Happy Thanksgiving (a week early)! It is really starting to feel like fall here as the weather cools and we begin to make preparations for Thanksgiving dinner here at the Children’s Home. A few months ago we bought a turkey, which we have been fattening up for Thanksgiving, and after innumerable mornings of being startled awake by his gobbling outside our window we are counting down the hours until his departure… Not to mention we are all excited about a big U.S. style dinner and football!
Looking back over this last year we have so much to be thankful for! This year has been the hardest and most trying of our lives and yet, at the same time, it has been the most wonderful and amazing year we could have imagined! Through every trial and every struggle God has stretched our faith in His inexhaustible provision and extraordinary protection. There is something absolutely indescribable about living in total dependence on God and seeing Him work each and every day to provide for you and to use you for His glory. We are so thankful to each and every church and individual who God has used this year to allow us to be here serving Him!
This month has been an extraordinarily busy one as we have raced to get everything set for living in Oaxaca full-time while stilling serving at the Children’s Home and Church here in Jerez. Thanks to the generous support of Cornerstone Baptist Church we will be able to apply for our FM2 visas which will make us official Mexican residents! This is a huge blessing! As we have mentioned in previous updates the FM2s will allow us to legally be in Oaxaca preaching the Gospel as well as allowing us to be able to keep our vehicle indefinitely in Oaxaca. We are currently here on tourist visas which has made it nearly impossible to move as far south as Oaxaca. Lord willing we hope to have this process wrapped up by the end of this month! Please pray that all continues to go well and we encounter no problems or delays with the paperwork. On November 30th we are picking a box trailer up in Laredo, TX with the gifts for the kids at the Home for Christmas which a church in Alabama has been collecting. We will then be using the trailer to move our things to Oaxaca! We are so excited about getting to Oaxaca, but also sad at the thought of leaving all these wonderful kiddos at the home.
Everything at the Children’s Home is going well. Two new boys have joined the Home since our last update, Ilan and Jaime. However, the month has not been without trials and problems! Just after we sent out our last update Jon, Mary’s brother, hit a little boy while driving people home from Church. The little boy was rushed to the hospital in Zacatecas and placed in the ICU. Jon was placed in jail. Eventually Jon was released because he was a minor pending further investigation. It turned out that the boy had a fractured skull from ear to ear and his brain was swelling which was causing seizures as well as an inability to swallow and move properly. Thankfully the Lord answered our prayers and the boy is making an amazing recovery! He is home now and able to walk, talk, and swallow! He will be in rehab for several months but the doctors expect a nearly complete recovery! Also Jon has been cleared of all charges after the boy’s family made a statement to the police stating the he ran right out in front of the van and there was no way that Jon could have stopped. Please continue to pray for the boy’s full recovery, and the emotional recovery of Jon as this was especially traumatic for him.
Also this month four of the younger kids here at the Home were taken from school by their mother without permission. We are gravely concerned for their safety as they came here from a very abusive home both sexually and physically. The DIF (Dept. of Children & Family Services) helped file a police report but no one has any idea where the family lives. Please be in prayer for the safety and return of Wendy, Rudi, Angelito and Miguel.
In addition to the trials there are always joys that come with working here! This month Mary and I were able to host a Fall Fest at the Church. We had about 40 teens in attendance for preaching, food, a massive bonfire, a huge game of capture the flag and of course S’mores! It was the first time for most everyone to try smores and they loved them of course! I have attached a few pictures to the update.
Thanks again for each and every one of you that support us financially and through prayer! Without God working through you we could not be here! Please keep us in your prayers over the next month as we finish our visas, collect the trailer and start moving things south.
Nathan, Mary, Sam & Jack