John 1: 4-5
"4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
Thought we could wrap up the year with a little update on what has been happening. We have prepped all the house builds for 2018, except one. Kelly and I have been working on the house in Mexico and we are so close to having it ready for our first visitors. The house has been painted, thanks to many gallons of donated paint. We ordered and have installed all new windows in the house, as well as a security system. A couple of weeks ago I spent a few nights there trying to get some work done in the evenings without disruptions. I woke one morning and the room I was in was very warm. I sat on the edge of my cot and thought... we need some ceiling fans in here. I finished my days work and as soon as I crossed the border I got a phone call from a friend in church. “Curt, could you use some ceiling fans for the house down there? The neighbor dropped off four and they are like brand new.” I told him what I had thought about just 5 hours earlier. God heard my thoughts and said, “ I can supply that.” This week we made a table to seat 20 people in the dining room. One of the helpers down there asked, “How do you get the salsa passed from one end of the table to the other? Do you need to call the person?” “Come on”, I said. “ It's only 15 feet long!”. We will work out the details later. Kelly and I sat there the other night and just envisioned the fellowship we will have around this table. Please keep us in your prayers as we are trying to wrap this thing up in three short weeks.
About the time we gained possession of the house, we had just started talking about the Christmas party. I told the students I had no time to plan a party, so you can do it this year. They came to us with a proposal of holding a party at the juvenile detention center. At first we were a little reluctant, but it is what they wanted to do. One of the students at the first meeting stood and said, “ We have been blessed with so much. We need to give back to kids our age.” It was set, and they went into full motion. We had student meetings every two weeks. They planned and made phone calls, even with a full class schedule. I encouraged them to go to local businesses and ask for discounts. Two weeks went by and they gave a report. The pizza company would cut the cost in half because of who we were holding the party for. The shoes had been discounted. They were amazed! One of the dentists in town heard about the party and brought really nice gift boxes with new socks for all the kids. The party was held on
December 16. Kelly and I had virtually no hand in the planning. The students really stepped up. We arrived early, decorated and set up tables for drinks and fellowship. Then they let the kids out of the facility. We all greeted one another and the party began. They all mingled together like we were hoping they would. They played soccer and volleyball. The students had planned games so the kids could win prizes. The pizza arrived and we had a short message from one of our students who had been placed in the facility at one time. Daniel told the kids that there is hope outside. Just be strong. We prayed and one of the student’s Dad came and sang for us during lunch. Gifts were handed out to each student. They received new shoes, hygiene products, socks, a Bible, and a great book to read. As we packed up and were getting ready to leave, the director came to us and said, “This is a time of year when the kids suffer from depression, but this year our courtyard was filled with laughter and smiles. Thank you.” She asked one of the students,” How did you get involved with this organization?” He replied, ” We are not an organization, we are all family”. Oh my! That jerked the tear ducts a bit!
A few weeks ago at one of the meetings, we gave our students a black piece of paper with a white dot on it. We asked what is different about this paper you hold. They said it has a white dot on it. Why did you notice a small white mark when the whole 8x12 piece of paper in front of you is black? It stood out, they said.
I told them that in John Chapter 1, it is mentioned that light stands out and darkness does not comprehend it. I told them, “You are that white dot everyday. Make sure you let your little light shine.” Our students glowed at the detention center so much so, that they have asked us to come back once a month and hold bible studies and maybe some learning classes.
Thank you to all who sponsor a student and for all who gave towards the Christmas festivities.
As Kelly and I left San Luis, Kelly said, ”Truly, that is the best party we have ever been to”.
It sure was.
Please keep us in your prayers as we wrap up 2017.
If you would like to make a year- end gift, there is still time.
Thank you for all your prayers and support.
You are loved.
Curt and Kelly VanEkeren