1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus.
I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders and deacons.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
The month of June was spent traveling, meeting new people, and visiting old friends of the ministry. One of the things that God brought to my attention during this time was a scripture verse and the realization of what God can do with so little. In Philippians 1:1-5, Paul greets them first, and then in verse 5 he says, “For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now”. I have often wondered what some of these verses are all about. Then God showed me one afternoon. Almost ten years ago, my Pastor challenged me to go back and see if we could raise some funds to do some work in Mexico. So I made a trip back to the Midwest looking for some support to begin what we felt God was leading us to do. When I got on the plane to come home, I had several people interested, but only one verbal commitment. The friend
I had coffee with said we will commit $20.00 a month to help. I asked God, what can we do with $240.00 a year? And when I say WE, I am talking about all of you who have been involved in our growing process. Before I traveled back to the Midwest in June, God showed me what WE have done.
1. WE have built 45 new homes and affected hundreds of family members with these homes.
2 WE have built 6 bathrooms for people who had no facilities.
3. WE have remodeled 2 orphanages and added a laundry facility to one.
4. WE have remodeled and helped at two feeding centers.
5. WE have handed out over 4000 pairs of shoes to the community, free of charge.
6. WE have given away hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to the community.
7. WE have provided several medical and dental procedures to families in need.
8. WE currently are sponsoring 24 students and adding more this year for higher education.
The fruit of the education program? One of the young ladies, Gisselle, graduated last month and as they handed her the diploma, they also offered her a job. She went from student to employee in one day. Yosadahara graduated with a nursing degree and is currently working with the elderly. Thania graduated with an accounting degree and is currently working part time for the university and part time for Casa. Jorge and Daniel will graduate in December with degrees in law. Both have told me they have jobs lined up upon graduation.
At our last student meeting, one of the students said, “When I saw the 16 foot table in the dining room of the ministry house, I wondered, why did he build such a big table?” Later the same student said, “I think you may have to add on to make room for us all!” I told him, “Gladly!”
9.WE have bought a ministry home that is being used for group housing and student gatherings.
What do WE have to look forward to in the future? Our English classes are going to begin next month, as well as bible studies led by one of our students. I feel the need to start a men's ministry to reach out to all the men who have been deported. Some have said they will probably never see their families again.
So when Paul said, I give thanks for you from the first day until now, I understand. You have been praying, supporting, and investing since the day we started. Look what WE have done! It could not have been done without each one of you.
Many thanks to everyone!
We have a youth group coming in July to serve at one of the feeding centers. Pray for protection in the heat, but mostly for God to show us how to be servants.
Please pray for Kelly and I as we seek some time this summer to recharge our old batteries, and prepare ourselves for another year of ministry.
Love you all,
Curt and Kelly VanEkeren