Hello everyone. My name is Steve. The first week in October my wife (Patti) and I made a trip to visit Curt and Kelly in Yuma. This was our sixth trip to Yuma/San Luis in support of Casa. The previous five trips we were on house builds. This time our intention was to spend some time with Curt and Kelly, visit students, visit friends we've made in San Luis, and take some time to work on the ministry center.
Sunday we had the privilege of attending the student meeting at Cecy's and met twenty of the sponsored students. It was so inspiring to see all of the smiles and friendships that have formed among the students. We are so proud to see them step up and take leadership roles. This year the students are planning a Christmas Party for the teens at the Juvenile Detention Center in San Luis. It is a huge undertaking and they have jumped right in with the planning and preparations. It is humbling and inspiring to see them wanting to give back to their community. These students are truly the future of San Luis and we can expect great things from them.
We were also blessed to spend time with our student. Getting to see her each time we are in San Luis and keeping in touch with her through Facebook/Messenger has been a great experience for us. We are so proud of her for staying focused on school while facing hardships and struggles. Her dream is to become an anestheologist and we are with her every step of the way. Her determination and will to succeed is so strong!
Monday and Tuesday were spent working on the Casa ministry center. We removed the old gas water heater and prepared for installation of two new electric heaters. We did some work on upgrading the electrical service and checked the wiring in the laundry building. New locks were installed on the main building, laundry, and getting everything keyed correctly. The security company arrived and started installing the system and completed the project on Tuesday. All doors and windows have alarm contacts on them along with motion sensors inside the building. The system has a direct telephone line to the police. The building also has CCTV and wi-fi connection. Works great!!
Cleaning the building started, along with plans for painting on Thursday and Friday. Our good friend Rene Bustamante has taken on this painting project. Many people were there to help throughout the week.....Rosa, Jorge, Pastor Miguel, Thania, Yahir. It was a great time of fellowship together.
Some future projects that are upcoming are window installation, improving the outer wall for additional security, installation of ceiling fans, stove hook-up and lots more. We also had the opportunity to stay in the house overnight. We sure didn't miss crossing the border that day. We're excited about spending the entire week in San Luis during the house builds and having more time to spend with the families and our friends in Mexico.
Along with all this, floors and septic tanks need to be started for the upcoming builds.
Curt and Kelly have a lot on their plates right now. Prayers are needed for them everyday, as well as financial support as Casa moves forward to glorify the Kingdom of God and spread His love.
One last thing. Every year when we've completed a house build and we are in that final meeting time with new friends and families and saying our goodbyes, I get those emotions of sorrow and guilt that I'm leaving. Curt told me it's the Holy Spirit softening my heart. I have to admit it can be uncomfortable. This time with everything that was going on, it didn't happen. I contributed it to the fact that we didn't build a home and we were busy with lots of projects. However God had other plans. On the way home we boarded our plane for the short flight to Phoenix. We were seated in the back of the plane. A young man with a young child in tow made his way down the cabin isle. He was looking for his seat. Some other passengers directed him back towards the front. We departed Yuma and arrived in Phoenix. Being seated in the back of the plane we were one of the last off. We stopped at the seats in the departure/arrival area to gather ourselves and check on our next gate location. As we were standing there, the young man and child came through the door. He looked at Patti, she saw in his eyes that look. "Can you help me?" He handed us a clear envelope with two tickets for Miami, documents that looked like paperwork for a deportation hearing and a note that read "can you help me? I do not speak English." We took him to the arrival/departure screens and found his flight and gate. I pointed in the direction and he looked at me with eyes that said "don't leave me". I left Patti with the luggage and started off with the man and child to his gate. On the way there he asked me if I spoke Spanish. I don't, and kicked myself for not making more of an effort to learn at least a little. (Curt often laughs at me when I attempt any Spanish) We found his gate. I had him sit down and wondered what to do now. Just then a young man sat down next to us. I explained the situation to him and he agreed to help. I thanked him. I shook the hand of the man with the child, knowing that I might never see him again or know his future. On the way back to Patti, my emotions got the best of me and I began to cry. Why Lord? What if this situation were reversed, and I was this man? Where are we as a country? Where am I as a person and having a Christ-like heart? How often does God present us with an opportunity to share His love and we push it away?
I arrived home and attended church the next day. Pastor Steve's sermon touched on what I had felt. He used scripture that I often read for comfort and direction. Matthew 6:19-34. Specifically verses 19-21. Thank you Pastor Steve.
I'm reminded that all the things of this earth will melt away and only His love will survive. Let's share that love with all the people we meet. No matter where we are!!
Steve and Patti Kuck