13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."
Have you ever heard the saying, “Oh, these kids nowadays”. Whether we say it as good, bad, or indifferent, I have said it myself on occasion. Well, the last couple of months we have had the opportunity to see these young adults take action. In the middle of July we had the pleasure to host a youth group from First Reformed Church of Sioux Falls, SD. We had planned on finishing a youth room on a church property, referred to as “Cristina’s”, which is very near the dump. The group arrived on a Saturday evening and we made our way to the ministry house. Sunday morning the youth led the worship service and gave a powerful message of “the one lost sheep.” Monday the rubber met the asphalt! With the temperature expected to reach 105, we began the remodel. In four days, we repainted the entire church, inside and out. The kitchen was repainted, cleaned, and organized. The new youth room was insulated, sheetrocked, and a new tile floor was installed. They set up a classroom that will help teach reading and writing. We had been told that most of the kids in the area are illiterate. Friday was our pool day. We spent the day swimming, eating pizza, and enjoying each other’s company. “These kids nowadays” did an incredible job. They endured the heat and even got in some competitive soccer games. There is some controversy on who won these battles...Mexico or the U.S.A. I think it was a draw.
Over the last couple of months, we have been holding our sponsored student meetings on a monthly basis. The ministry home has also become a classroom for English classes. Every Saturday the group arrives to study and learn the English language. It has been so much fun to watch this class grow, but also to see the friendships that are being built by spending time together. At our last student meeting I shared with them, Matthew 5:13. Jesus said “You are the salt of the earth”. I asked them to be salty in their homes, school, local stores, and wherever they go. I challenged them to be different and to show the love of Jesus. After I was finished, one of the young ladies asked if she could share. She stood and said, “We have been given a lot and now it is time to give back to our community.” She asked for everyone to meet at her house the next Sunday at 5:00 am. By the way, the sun is not up yet. She proposed that we take a mile stretch of the city and pick up all the garbage. “Who’s in?” she asked. Several hands went up. The plan was set. Now who is going to show up? Sunday morning at 4:00 am, Kelly and I got up and made our way to the meeting place. Soon cars started dropping students off, and before we knew it, we had a crew. We all changed into new shirts that Church for the City in Yuma donated that said “We love our city”. We made our way to pick up trash. By 5:30, we had over 20 people picking up garbage and sweeping the city sidewalks. By 9:30 am, we had picked up four heaping pickup loads of trash. We kept looking back and seeing the transformation in the community. As the morning rolled on, I watched as people came out and just stood in the street, watching these young adults sprinkling salt in their neighborhood. One car load of youth about their age came by three or four times to make fun of us, but our students held their own and finished the task at hand. ”These kids nowadays”. We can not say enough about these young adults from two different countries, going out to make a difference in this world. They are incredible. Thank you to this next generation who are being raised up in truth and are examples of God's word.
As the ministry house is used more and more, the utilities and upkeep expenses go up. Our electricity and water bills have nearly tripled. Pray for the funds to pay for these additional expenses.
The home building season is rapidly approaching. Pray for guidance.
Pray for a young family who will be coming from Canada this year to help us through the busy season. Jason Klupenhower, his wife, and two young children will be shadowing us this year. We will need housing for this family for 5 1/2 months.
Love you all and thank you for your prayers and support.
Curt and Kelly.