We pray the each of you is having a wonderful time preparing for the joys of the Christmas season! The last month has been an extremely busy and challenging one but we are looking forward to things slowing down soon. The last of the kids get out of school tomorrow and we are excited about spending time with them over Christmas break before they head back to school and we transition to Oaxaca.
The weather here at the Home has been unusually extreme! We have had several nights dip down to 18 degrees, which might not sound too cold but since we have no source of heat it can be pretty miserable! We have also had the water pipes burst in several places from freezing since they are not protected very well here. It has warmed up a little now so Lord willing we are done with those temperatures!
Outside of the normal everyday affairs of the Children’s Home and Church here we have been busy with several other things. First, we have been working on our FM2 paperwork. This is the visa that will allow us to live in Oaxaca permanently and to legally preach the Gospel there. We have had some issues with getting all the necessary permissions and papers in order but I think we have everything we need together now so please continue in prayer for this. Second, we made a quick trip to the border to pick up a box trailer full of Christmas presents for the kids here at the Home that a church in Alabama collected for them. We now can use the trailer for moving our household items to Oaxaca once we get all the papers approved by the Mexican government!
The trip to get the trailer was quite interesting to say the least! The Children’s Home is tax exempt and any gifts they receive should be exempt from import taxes but it is a very difficult process and we are just learning how to do it. We thought everything was taken care of to ensure the presents would be tax exempt but the night before we were to cross the border we found out that it was not! We ended up staying in Laredo longer than we had anticipated trying to sort things out but were advised it could take weeks to be resolved. To make a long story short we prayed about it and decided to just cross anyway and trust God to take care of the import taxes. We ended up stuck at the inspection center for several hours and after speaking with everyone, including the head of the inspection center, we were told we would have to pay $1,000 U.S. dollars in taxes. Obviously we could not pay that amount and so we just continued to pray that God would intervene. We argued with the inspectors some more explaining that these were donated gifts for a childrens home. Suddenly one of the inspectors walked over and said that they had changed their minds and were only going to charge us about $93 U.S. dollars! We were so thankful because we could not have even made a return trip to the border to get the presents once the tax paperwork was done for even close to that! Also we did not have to spend more money waiting at the border trying to work things out. Thanks for all you who were praying during this time! It is so awesome to see God working!
We thank God every day for the churches and individuals who support us through prayers, words of encouragement and giving! Thank you for everything you do to allow us to serve Christ here in Mexico! Please be in special prayer for the following things:
- Please pray that we are able to speedily complete all the paperwork necessary to allow us to move to Oaxaca full-time.
- That the Lord would provide the additional funds necessary to cover the expenses of moving to Oaxaca. We have already had many additional expenses preparing to move and we anticipate many more in January as things start to happen. With the Christmas season our giving has decreased a little so please pray that God will fill the gap needed to cover these extra expenses!
- Keep the Children’s Home here in prayer as we prepare to depart, that God would bring new help to show the love of Christ to these kids.
- Remember the ministry that God has for us in Oaxaca. Pray that God would even now be opening doors and preparing hearts to hear the Gospel.
Nathan, Mary, Sam & Jack