International Ministries

Building God’s World

September 21, 2005 Journal
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Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Life is indeed hectic here, though we are seeing God in the midst of all our difficulties and our faith is strengthened through his tender mercies.

We have been building the shelter over the summer, and though we had hoped to be further along by now, the construction has gone quite well. Our summer was filled with one work group after another volunteering at the worksite, and though itUnder construction... enabled much to get done, work groups also need their proper care and feeding, almost a 24 hour a day job. The end result was that I pretty much worked 16+ hours per day from June 1st to September 3rd without a day off. The groups are gone, but the work goes on. Hopefully we will have our roof poured by this coming Friday and then we begin doing the finishing work; plastering the walls, tiling the floors and installing kitchen and bath. Soon and very soon we hope to have the shelter up and running (perhaps by mid November). We will need some more help in these things and would love to have some.

What has been most amazing is that God has provided the perfect people at the perfect time to get done what we have needed to do. There were times of stress when people that we really thought were key had to back out at the last moment, and I had moments when I was about to lose it. However, with a lot of help from Adalia, I was able to commit all of that to prayer, and I have not ceased to be amazed what God has done. I have not been the perfect project manager this summer, and the Lord knows I have no credentials for this job, but I have tried my best and committed that effort to God, and God has been amazing. God will indeed work through our weaknesses to prove His strength.

The summer was also busier than expected in that we began operating our first full time shelter in mid June. We have had between two and three families in the shelter most of the time since then, with Adalia having to dedicate much of her time to coordinate the needs of these families and to provide their medical care and counseling. As we have started to house women full time in the house that our treasurer has lent us in Otay Mesa, it seems that the floodgates have opened and we are seeing new cases daily which need help and shelter. What we are doing in Otay Mesa is not only giving us the experience we will need to run the larger shelter in La Gloria, but also confirming the need for it.

On the personal side of things, as we finished with our work teams, we had hoped that we would have a couple easy weeks to begin the school year. The kids are Our Girlsstarting at a new school this year, a German school, and it has presented new challenges. They have spent the last several months beginning to learn the basics of German so that they would be ready to take two classes completely in German: German language and mathematics. They are doing well, but they have a lot of homework and they each need a couple hours of our help every day to meet this workload.

Just as we were getting started, Adalia had to travel to Mexico City this past Monday. Her mother, who has been paralyzed and bedridden for the last two years from a stroke, has been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer which has metastasized into her lungs. Her time with us is probably not long and Adalia has gone down to be with her and share the best of the time that she has left with her Mom.

If you could, would you remember Adalia's mother, Edna, in your prayers. She has suffered through a lot the last two years, and I hate to see her suffer more. We had so much prayed that she would survive her stroke and recover. She has been determined to recover and had been making some great strides, though never able to move much more than her right arm. You have to know how blessed I have been to have her as my mother in law, to have her treat me and love me as her son. We want to ask God not to let us lose her, and yet at the same time that she not have to suffer.

Please remember Adalia in your prayers. Adalia lost her older sister to cancer 4 years ago, and her father to cancer just 3 years before that. She is strong, and has inherited a faith from her parents that I've never seen equaled. We have no doubt of the precious world which awaits Adalia's mother. But Adalia also inherited a family which was strong in love and steadfast in their support of each other in all that they faced. As her family has suffered through these terrible losses, I know that she feels each time more alone, precisely because of how close and loving a family they are. It is a lot of love that she is losing, that we are all losing.

Please pray also for me, that I can be that love for Adalia. That I can support her in all that she needs. There is already a big hole opened up in her heart and I don't know how to fill it. Pray for me over the next several weeks as I try to help the kids with their school work and everything else that they need, as well as to help them cope with their grief and their need for their mother, while also trying to get a shelter built, handle all of Adalia's counseling appointments and get all the rest of my work done.

May God Bless You,

Ray