“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The last month has been a flurry of activity. The first week of February, we had a repeat group back from Faith Baptist Fellowship of Sioux Falls,SD. This group has been coming since the first year we started the ministry. What a great time we had the whole week. We built a home for a great couple and had the whole family there all week to help serve. Dedication day was something I had never experienced before. The grandkids and the neighbor kids thought it would be a good idea to take on the Americans in a game of soccer. Notice I said they thought it was a good idea. We all had them by about 40 years, but we held our own. I have never heard so many giggles and so much laughter. Final Score: Mexicanos 10, Americanos 9. It will be an afternoon that will not soon be forgotten. I am looking forward to the rematch next year.
The last week in February we tried something new. We built two homes in one week, side by side, with a crew from Saskatchewan, Canada and a crew from a RV park in Yuma. The crew from Canada drove 31 hours straight to come and serve. What a great bunch of guys! The group from the RV park drove down everyday. We served side by side, made new friends, and served two beautiful families.
The dedication was a celebration with pizza and laughter. We had a wonderful time of prayer, praying for one of the new home owners’ Mom. She is a struggling drug addict and is looking to walk away from the life she is living. Pastor Miguel’s wife, Damaris, ministered to her and said the group would like to pray for her. That afternoon, her and the daughter were headed to a facility to seek help. Please keep her in your prayers.
I received a letter from a friend and asked his permission to share it. Please enjoy, as he writes from the heart.
Mexico Mission Report
I continue to be amazed at what God is capable of on these mission trips. Pastor Randy, Shelli, Dylan, Lori Gerking, Cory Gerking, Kim Butler, Grahm Butler, Ellen Stokebrand, Jeff Kohrs, Don Gerdes, Jan Gerdes, Leon Schermeier, Mike Little, Nathan Wichman, Cheryl Wichman and myself have been blessed beyond measure the last two years. As you can see the group has expanded not only within our church, but to servants outside our membership. The first week of January the last two years was spent in San Luis Mexico building new relationships and rekindling friendships we have built over the last few years. Our family has grown by eight, with the addition of abuela y abuelo, Olivia and Laudio in 2018 and Maribel, Emila, Paloma and Nea in 2019. Something most of us take for granted, shelter, continues to be the reason we venture across the border. Pallets, cardboard, plywood, tin, tarps or as you might expect about anything they can assemble together on a bed of sand is what the people we serve in San Luis call a home. As you know, the home is just a tool for us to share God’s love, but the need for shelter in this community is unimaginable. In 2018 we were greeted by a huge heart drawn in the sand and in 2019 Maribel confessed she had been praying for someone to help her provide safe shelter for her girls. I am so proud of these teams for answering the call to serve, so God could work through each and everyone of them to meet some of the families needs. One of the many highlights from the last two years was Yahir, a sponsored student, who asked Curt if he could speak to all of us after dinner. Yahir is a 19 or 20 year old new Christian that has taught himself english over the last few years, but he had something he wanted to say. In the best english he could muster and showing a few nerves, by name, he thanked each of us for taking the time to serve the people of San Luis. He wanted to personally let us know we were making a real difference for the poor in his country. He thanked those sponsoring students educations for investing in their future and said someday he wants to be like us, serving the poor and helping those in need. He closed by giving all the glory to God. Wow, he wants to be like us and all I could think was you are such an inspiration to me! What is happening in Mexico through Casa del la Esperanza is something I wish you all could experience. For those of you that have served thank you and see ya next year. For those of you that have prayed and given financially to this outreach, Thank You! For those of you that have said I would love to do something like this “someday”, now is the time. We are called to be disciples of all men, so take up the call now to be a part of this incredible ministry.
Your friend in Christ,
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Curt and Kelly Van Ekeren