A couple of weeks ago (we really meant to get this to you sooner) Buddy and I traveled to Los Fresnos, TX with our mission team from North Kannapolis Methodist Church. There were eight total that made the trip. Some were new missions and some were seasoned veterans. We all had one common factor linking us together, we were friends on a mission for Christ.
Initially we were headed to Matamoras, Mexico. Even with reservations to go and travel advisories saying not to travel to such a dangerous area, we just knew we were following God’s plan. We were to build a house in a needy neighborhood. With a passion to make a difference and all the monies we had raised to build this house we were excited to go. Buddy and I had traveled there last year to meet the mission director Larry, Doctor Nancy and their children. We stayed at the clinic and hospital to see what we could do the following year. All our plans were made and ready to go.
Two weeks before we were to travel to Mexico we received a call from Larry telling us that plans had changed! They had never felt unsafe before, but they were receiving threats from some of the drug cartel and they were forced to flee to South Texas for their own safety. They left with only the clothes on their backs!
Knowing God always has a plan, we decided to make the trip anyway. We already had our plane tickets and had raised enough money to build a house…so, off we went to the big state of Texas. We knew Larry needed us! Once we landed Larry told us there was a family that was trying to build a house and really needed our help. Ramone and his brother Carlos had been working diligently every day trying to get done whatever they could with the supplies that they had. Presently, the family of five was living with Ramone’s parents. There were seven family members living in one room! After just a few short days we had all fallen in love with this sweet family. We just couldn’t get enough of the 18 month old, Joshua! Such a cutie pie!
We ended up putting siding on the house, which including priming before hanging it. We painted trim, we tore down a porch (well Sandra did, not knowing she had such skills!) and we painted an entire house! It felt so good to see our handy work come to life on the last day.
On our last night we all walked down the road to the local restaurant for an authentic Mexican cuisine! We were celebrating our week, besides we were a family, right! That night I was talking to Carlos’ wife, Ruth, and she was telling me (in really good English) how grateful they were for us coming to help her and her family. She said just two weeks before we arrived she was reading the Bible and praying that God would find a way to help them finish their house. You see, it would have taken them a whole year to save the money just to buy the materials to do the work we did in one week! I was so proud of our team. As we know, it is not us but through us. God does the work, we couldn’t take the credit! God knew exactly what He was doing. If you remember, it was exactly two weeks before we left North Carolina that we found out that we were going to Texas instead of Mexico. Man, God is SO good!
Ruth invited us to come back next year to visit their new home and she would cook for us! Let’s not talk about food, we all gained weight while on this trip! Between Becky cooking and the three trips to the DQ, we never had a chance!!!
You know, despite the high temperatures, not so plush sleeping accommodations, and a frequent cockroach (even a newborn opossum!) it was an amazing trip! Our team bonded and really worked together like magic. Between our daily devotionals, Joel’s not so bad Spanish, and direction from our fearless leader Buddy, we created some pretty awesome memories. Ok, so of course I will have to mention the multitude of images I cranked out of my camera to capture all these memories!!! (Check out the video below!!)
I was really proud to be a part of this mission team. I am looking forward to the next adventure God sends us on! Love you Lord!
“Keepin’ it real” (our infamous slogan for the week.)