POWER Journey week 3 Day 3

Up early at 6:00, Down for breakast and loading into the Vans at 7:00 sharp. Heading to boarder mission. Awesome worship with a shout out to Alex Perez for spontaneous joy leading a Spanish language worship time.

Tim James brought forth his second message on perseverance he reminded us to know the finish line (Life with Jesus) and to stay the course. The director Jerry gave us a brief history of this holy and historic place where they still support multiple ministries feeding 1200.

So, after our time a Border Mission we split up big time to seven different locations in and about Reynosa. From small construction jobs to a group to the Men’s Prison to witness and give out small necessities like a tooth and tooth paste ( a tough but very rewarding assignment, A trip to the city jail in Acuna changed my life forever for the better, so I am lifting up our guys there for sure.).

Here is a list of our projects this morning

Crew Working at Big Heart Orphanage
Crew working at Mexico Missions Group with Alianza
Group with Josh Muse (my job)
Prison Tour
Festival set up
Rio Bravo
Site supply delivery

My assignment was to work on building, a new home, way back in back country jungle. So I’ll talk mostly about that. Here’s the story…A local female pastor named Rosario ministers to the women and families in the surrounding neighborhood where there is a badly abused woman whom Pastor Rosario befriended took in to her home. Our job today is to frame out a small house for this woman.

A side note here. I use the term “Neighborhood” as a term that has very little resemblance to our tract home and shopping centers. Pastor Rosario’s house is isolated on the bank of the Rio Grande river, a prime location anywhere else but here a dangerously polluted flow with the banks lined with jungle type brush. The road in was rough at best, I don’t even want to think about it if there is rain.

We passed some other houses along the way, most made of whatever building material would have been at hand or at the dump. Pastor Rosario’s house was no exception, distinguished only by a locking gate and very well kept porch with chairs and potted plants. Behind the home was the Rio Grand, but the only nod to the river was a long pipe running out of the open air laundry to the river. And next to the house was a bare slab of rough concrete with anchor bolts.

Our job was to frame up a new home for Jaunita, the woman that Pastor Rosario was protecting.

We met there Rosario, her husband, and Juanita. They were very happy to see us. We also met Dustin, a missionary working with Kake International who would finish up the project after we were gone.

Dustin is a young man from Appalachia. He joked that he was the only person from his town to come down from the mountains to do something different. Again, I am amazed by the people that God calls to ministry down here. Amazed for sure!

Okay, back to the job. We had a great crew, a couple of first time young men Noah and Nolan, as well as some experienced project people, including Barry, Desmond, Gary, Robbie Ronnie and Tyron. I’m forgetting someone I am sure, I’ll give him a shout out when I remember his name. Of course there was myself, a very experienced and expert nail bender to help out and/or take photos of the day. We had about five hours time scheduled for the job. Oh, and I’ll mention it was hot and a bit humid, but a breeze really helped out. Anyway…

We quickly came together as a team, and after a prayer began the job. I was really a joy working as a quiet team with quiet, efficient concentration. No egos involved, no arguments or long discussions. In other words, it was a typical POWER job. Always ready to help or to stand back if needed, volunteering o do things if you saw a need. And for sure a really cool thing was older men taking time and patience to teach the young guys some new skills and letting them try out new things. I was even able to bend a couple of nails myself, keeping my nail bender record well intact.

Within the time allotted we completed laying out and raising all four wall up as well as a couple of roof rafters. And away for lunch and setting up the festival at the orphanage Refugio de los Ninos. We just call it Refugio.

Refugio is a really nice place, a walled and totally secure compound, perhaps 20 acres in size (my estimate). Nice buildings, classrooms and dormitories including a gym and chapel. POWER has a long standing relationship here and we have done many past projects there and kids waved at us as we came through the gates.

We had a great home cooked Mexican feast, from tamales to carne asada and pollo asada . Beans salad sauces, quesadilla and chips cheese sauce and salsa. And more including a great cake for desert. Good food in limitless quantity. No this is what I call a POWER LUNCH😎!

I spoke to a few guys about their morning. The prison tour was a standout, with our guys breaking off into teams and praying for a lot of prisoners, leading at least one man to the Lord. Thank you God for your gift of salvation freely given at so great a cost. Hope for the hopeless and strength to the weak. Healing hearts and souls.

Three of our men men shared their testimony including Luke Barnes, who gave his life and heart to to Lord just two months ago. A shout out to Luke and the other men that boldly proclaimed their faith in the presence of many witnesses. An even bigger shout out to Jesus, that’s for sure!

The crew with Alianza sanded and repainted a lot of fence, the crew at Rio Bravo painted rooms. At Big Heart orphanage we poured concrete. In true POWER style we pounded out big jobs in a short time. Total fun and brotherhood.

Then came the Festival!

After lunch we set up games in a concrete ball court, things like ring toss, basketball, and soccer goal kicks. Generous big prizes and every kid got at least a sucker. Free hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and tons of other things to do, including professional carnival rides. All free to the community. The crowd waiting to get in was huge, well over 1,300 people, lots of families including husbandsI

A quick word about the family and God dynamic I have seen here in Mexico. Churches are mostly filled by women, somehow the men are not interested. Perhaps too proud or distracted by the world to bother to listen. So the POWER Festivals are a great in that it is a family affair, showing fathers that good fun with family may be had instead of going to strip bars or strip clubs. So here, POWER is making a difference in the hearts of the men of Mexico.

The entrance to the festival grounds was blocked by yellow caution tape. Before they dropped the tape the good news of Jesus was given by Doug Wible followed by Betsy and Randal Chacon who are the directors of the orphanage. Then the countdown, “Tres, Dos, Uno Go!” Kids and adults both came running in. I had posted myself kneeling right in the middle of the pathway and shot off about twenty photos as people ran by (hoping not to be trampled, news at 11). What a blast. It was incredible to watch all of the kids running by.

By the way, You can see all the photos for the day in the POWER picture gallery, just click on the link on the website.

Soon lines were 50 deep for every game, everyone having a great time. The guys manning each game or concession had a great chance to interact with the kids and adults, and all were loving the time. One small hitch though, it was very hot and a bit humid, and soon the sun turned the ball court to a small furnace. But no worries, we had a crew of men running out water and supplies, and giving breaks the anyone that requested a cool off. A big shout out to the ball court games guys, great work and perseverance. And the people had a really nice shaded picnic area were families cooled off as well as ice cold water stations scattered around the Festival grounds.

Now this was fun! My assignment was to take photos of our guys and the families interacting together. So I really was able to talk to lots of people, telling them that God loves them, taking photos or just smiling at total strangers just because we are happy together. My heart goes out to the people here. So much need, but so much joy. Thank you Lord for such a great day…

After three and a half hours, prizes exhausted we began clean up. Taking and storing our games for another year, picking up trash and sweeping. After laying hands on the Chacon’s, to bless their ministry, and thanking God for the great day, we loaded up and took off for the border.

We arrived at the border crossing at 6:55, followed by a nearly three wait in line. Looks like a late dinner tonight…

Finally through the border crossing, a three hour wait to get through. A late dinner at Pancho’s. Then back to the hotel. A great day for sure.