April 2023 Newsletter

March & April home builds and elderly nursing facility remodel.

April 2023 Newsletter

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John 21:1-14

Hello Friends,
A lot of activity has happened since our February update. Last week we finished the last house for the spring season. In all, we were able to build five homes this year. Every home and every family we build for is different. It seems like a new and different set of circumstances arise as we get closer to the build date. This past March, we had the honor to actually build for a husband and wife that are also a couple of the students of the ministry. The week before the build, we learned that their electrical supply was two blocks away from the lot we would build on. After contacting the group that was coming to build, we were told that they had raised more than enough to cover the $1800 it would cost to run the electricity to the house. The house we finished last week will have to wait for another 6 months to have electricity. It has been a trying season for us, but we are learning that God has our hands, and continues to pull us through the trials. Thanks to all the teams that came this year to bless families with new homes. It is truly life-changing for the families.

As you all know, we have had the privilege to help out a elderly nursing facility in San Luis. Vetter Health Services in Elkhorn, Nebraska, saw the need and immediately responded. Since one of their employees was here in January for a home build, he had the opportunity to go back and share with the team. After sharing with the leadership team, they collected money to help with all the updates at the facility and their foundation matched the funds raised. We also received a generous donation from a relative to help with the expenses. With the help of several volunteer winter visitors and local help, the facility has seen a major transformation. With the funds donated, we were able to build them a new dining area with big windows, new lighting, and a place to get out of the cold and heat. Some of the students volunteered to go paint the facility with great, bright colors. We hired a company we have used in the past to go in and rewire the facility, and install new mini splits with A/C and heat. They installed three mini splits and one portable A/C unit for the family. Seven new ceiling fans were supplied for the bedrooms to circulate the air. The storage room was cleaned out, and all new storage racks were installed. A local A/C contractor in Yuma gave us an air handler to suck out the bad air and circulate it with fresh air. Also, a local motel has donated linens to keep them supplied with towels and sheets. As we were leaving a couple weeks ago, the gentleman who runs the place said,  ”There will be no more suffering this year”.  A huge thank you to all who donated the funds to buy the new material, and to all the volunteers that took time to help build. It is not the same place that we saw six months ago…and there will be no suffering this year. I think that powerful statement sums it up!

The students are doing well in school, with several of them looking to graduate this year. I know as a group, they are making plans to have some fundraisers. The graduates have to pay for their certificate or license to practice what they studied for. Most of the certificates cost between $700-$1000. They have been talking, and they want to help their sponsors by raising some funds to lessen the burden on them. Please keep them in your prayers.

Kelly and I will be taking a sabbatical in May to seek the Lord's will for the future…to refresh and have breakfast with Jesus. We have not had a vacation for almost five years, so we need some down time to recharge our batteries. Will you pray for us? We are still looking for partners who may be willing to come alongside us and mentor. We realize we are not getting any younger, so a fresh set of hands and feet, and a young mind with new ideas, would be welcome. A huge thank you for your prayers.

We hope to see you all in July-August on our trip back to the Midwest. Love You all! We thank God every day for your prayers, generosity, and support.
Curt and Kelly Van Ekeren