A few pictured highlights from the last month (ones that require more explanation than can be given on Facebook or Instagram, those happening picture places of their own.)
We instituted a monthly meal together amongst those in leadership positions in the mission (Oscar, Maria, Darwin, Felipe and Valeria) a while back, and it has been a good time to share, and share deeper the more we meet. Lately I have been experimenting eating out instead of in...allows for no distractions, time to talk in the truck, and to try some new things. These meetings are key to getting cross flow of ideas, information, and communication about the good, the problems, and personal information.
Last month we did McDonald's...and even split a McRib, with some conversation about the US institution that the McRib has become.
(While I am thinking about it...if you need a good movie review, the kind that seems real, and leaves you devistated and with more questions than answers really in the end, with great performances, try "The Founder" which is all about the history of McDonald's.)
The little Church that could, in Danli had an anniversary in November. This Church is not one we as a mission had planned, and to be honest, are not sure how to best support long term. Right now the pastor lives off of odd jobs, and the clothing ministry...when we have clothing. This is the Church's building you see here, with the pastor's house next door...which is adobe and just about as stable as the Church's building. Pastor Edwin feels called and led to continue here, despite the economic outlook, and lack of property/"real" building. Praying for God's provision for Edwin, his family, and the Church and people of Danli, and wisdom for the mission how to continue to help them there.
The Milk Project continues, under the impetus mostly of Maria's huge heart. The sewing classes she has been giving have been a huge hit for the older kids, with everyone pitching in a bit to help Sammy here, to make a blanket for his use at home.
Imagine not having a blanket of your own? This is a big deal for him.
We continue to look at, and pray over, ways to continue to have the kids over 13 in the project continue to come. I think we are committed to seeing this through until they hopefully graduate high school, or at least giving it a good hard try. Already we have kids that if we were to let him, would stay all day.
The possible work in Sampedrana is still on our radar, and we are working on those possibilities. We have received some financial help when we are ready for the up front costs, which is good...but now are focused on gauging Church interest and how much they are willing to take on and lead into the future.
You can also be in prayer for the Church in Talanga. They are doing gangbusters in terms of reaching children in the area (seen here giving some a ride home after Sunday School...yes, that is right, all these kids choose to come even though their parents do not), but are continually struggling to reach adults there, which is very frustrating for pastor Manuel...and not in a way of saying my Church has X number of people...but in knowing the needs of a fallen world and feeling like you are not making an impact...which he is, but confronting that daily takes a toll.
The clinic ambulance is finally finalized! Not seen here is the tinted windows in the back, but it has a secured stretcher, oxygen, and place for nurse and family. We have rules and such for how it will work, who will drive it, etc. And...we have already had several patients, without even really promoting it well yet. How this part of the ministry will develop remains to be seen, but we are so glad to have this ability now at the clinic, it has been needed for years. And we could not have done it without the 100% support from FAME and IDES that donated the money for its purchase!