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Garden Update Late Summer 2016

Published: November 21, 2016 (Originally published: August 7, 2016)

In early 2016 we started a garden to feed the poor in a small town in Mexico. Here’s what the garden looks like now!

We’re transplanting our seedlings from the greenhouse, now that we’ve tilled and prepared the soil. We are growing zucchini and few different types of squash, along with cabbage, peas, corn, beets, peppers, and tomatoes.

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Our Garden: Early Fall 2016

Published: November 21, 2016 (Originally published: September 7, 2016)

In early 2016 we started a garden to feed the poor in a small town in Mexico. Here’s what the garden looks like now!

The garden is starting to fill in, and we are grateful for zucchini! They grow so quickly, we always have vegetables to give. We had a surprise rain storm that almost wiped out our tomato plants, but we’re praying they’ll recover.

We’ve planted the next side with seedlings, hoping to space out our harvest a little better this time. When the entire garden has produce ready for harvest every day, it’s hard to keep up, so we’re hoping to space it out to harvest from one side one day and then the other side the next. It’s a good problem to have!


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Our Garden: Late Fall 2016

Published: November 21, 2016 (Originally published: November 7, 2016)

In early 2016 we started a garden to feed the poor in a small town in Mexico. Here’s what the garden looks like now!

Praise the Lord for a twelve month growing season! Zucchini are still the favorite in the community and we’re making sure they’re always available to harvest. For variety, we’ve still been growing the large globe squashes as well. They’re so versatile.

Depending on how they’re cooked, they can taste like a traditional zucchini. But the texture also works well to cook them like pumpkin and sweeten it for dessert. So from the same large squash, you can take half to use for soup for dinner, and the other half with sugar to make a dish similar to our sweet potato pie (minus the marshmallows).

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Introducing Our Community Garden

Published: November 23, 2016 (Originally published: February 11, 2016)

We’ve started a community garden! Along with our home repair and building projects, we’ve always given food, clothing, medical care and other necessities to those in need. Where we are in Mexico has such a long growing season, that we’ve wanted to grow food in the community for a long time. Everything finally lined up and we began. People started giving more and more, and one of our construction workers gave his land for us to use. Thank you all for your generosity to this ministry!

At first, we wanted to use the traditional community garden model, where each family gets a plot of land and they are responsible for it. They buy the compost and seeds, and they reap the harvest of what they grow. What a great model! And there is such talk and debate in the church now about how to give without hurting. How to give without creating dependency. I thought it would be a great example of helping people help themselves! But after much prayer, the Lord told me that this is not how we were to begin. In beginning, were to labor in the garden. We were to buy the materials. And we were to give the harvest to the community, so that they would see that He is feeding His people. Later perhaps it will be a traditional community garden, but for now it is a gift. How beautiful! Thank you Lord!

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Garden Update Early Spring 2016

Published: December 13, 2016 (Originally published: March 7, 2016)

Early 2016 we started a garden to feed the poor in a small town in Mexico. Here’s what the garden looks like now!

We’ve been blessed with lots of rain and the garden is growing! We’re growing a few types of zucchini, green beans, and herbs.  Zucchini is our main crop so far. The seeds are cheap, and they grow quickly and produce so well!

Zucchini are very popular here and this time of year they are pretty expensive, so most aren’t able to have them until the fall.  We also harvest the blossoms. People love to stuff the blossoms with cheese and fry them.

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Agape Community Center

Published: December 13, 2016 (Originally published: June 28, 2015)

For years, the community in which we’ve been working has been trying to complete a public meeting and recreation center. It originally started as a 20 X 20 single room that currently houses a seniors group, a pre-school, and a no cost legal clinic. A few years ago they were able to add bathrooms.  Recently the women made and sold tamales for an entire year to earn enough for material to build the walls for a larger meeting room and the men built the walls.  But when it came to building a roof, they found it was beyond their capabilities.  To make things worse, the roof on the original room needs replacing too.  We offered to help, and the Agape Community Center became our current project.

Update November 6th 2015: We’ve finished the Agape Center! The two new roofs are on, we added new sturdy doors, electricity, windows, and the necessary window bars in this area. The community will now come together and paint the building. They’ve already started using it for community meetings, the local senior citizens club, birthday parties and daily Zumba classes. With the school room, the church, and now this community center, we feel so blessed to have been able to take on projects that impact whole communities. Our thanks go out to you, our readers, for the support and prayer that makes this possible!

The photos below begin with the earliest and end with the latest.

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Roofs & Home Repairs in Mexico Winter 2016

Published: January 7, 2017 (Originally published: December 30, 2016)

Each year before the rainy season, we go through the community to see which homes are most in danger of flooding. And we begin replacing warped and rotten wood, relaying tar and roofing paper and patching walls. Often we end up needing to remove the entire roof and start fresh. (You can see into a home from above after we removed the old rotten roof in the first image below.

Since our community here is on the coast, unprotected wood rots quickly and soon begins to leak. And because it’s on a hillside, walls with cracks and holes leak into houses from the runoff.

Repairing roofs here means heating tar in a barrel, and using a rope mop to apply it to the roof. Other crews here use tar paper that is supposed to seal with the sun, but our guys swear by hot tar… even though it’s hot, messy and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. They say it’s the best and cheapest way to repair them. And we’ve never had a leak in a roof we’ve done! Thank you so much for your support that gives families in need warm, dry homes!

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India Outreach – Spring Bible School 2017

Published: (Originally published: May 22, 2017)

After we had wrapped up the last service for Parvathi’s tribe, they asked if we would do anything special for the children. We told them about the outreaches we’ve been doing for almost ten years now in a different area, and they loved the idea. We hold these outreaches VBS-style with games and stories and crafts and food. All centered around Jesus.

It took a few days to find volunteers to help. Not many other people in the area speak their language. But the Lord quickly brought it all together, and soon we had helpers, a meeting hall, food, snacks, and clean drinking water for all 47 children for five days!

The children came from 9 am until 4 pm each day. It was a little more challenging than usual though. These children have never been to school and haven’t learned to read. So we focused on Bible stories, and songs, and even memory verses. The kids were so proud of themselves for memorizing Bible verses. They had so much fun!

The parents had told us one of their biggest needs was personal hygiene items. So on the last day, we were able to give each child their own towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, and soaps. Such simple things we take for granted in the first world. But the kids were so excited to have them!

At the end, some parents asked if we could hold regular services for the children. We would love to, and we’re praying how to proceed. Please join us in prayer as we continue to minister to this tribe and show them the love of Jesus.

I praise the Lord for what He is doing in the lives of this tribe, and for our growing relationship with them. A relationship that started simply, when we responded to His prompting to pay for cancer treatment for a young girl we had never met. I pray we’ll always be sensitive to His gentle promptings!

Gracethrufaith India outreach

The volunteers made up a sign thanking all of you who support this ministry and make this all possible. Thank you so much for responding when the Lord prompts you to give. Lives are being transformed because of it, and I’m so grateful!

Gracethrufaith partners IndiaMay the Lord richly bless you!

I’ve included a few short videos of the kids reciting memory verses and singing.

Click on the images below to view the gallery.

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Update: Parvathi

Published: (Originally published: May 22, 2017)

A few short weeks after I published Parvathi’s story here, her condition worsened, and she went home to the Savior she had just met. We cried and cried, and we mourn still.

Parvathi was from a small tribe. When we were asked to provide medical treatment for Parvathi, they accepted us among them. And, fortunately, our volunteer there speaks their language!

In addition to medical treatment, we brought groceries each week to Parvathi and her family. After Parvathi was born-again, others close to her noticed a change in her. She was no longer afraid and she had a deep peace. Six women, in particular, started asking Parvathi about this change, and she told them about Jesus. They asked our volunteer, when he came to bring groceries to teach them too about Jesus. So he started teaching them and praying with them and teaching them worship songs in their language. These six women also accepted Jesus!

Then, shortly after, Parvathi passed away. We held a memorial service for her and during this service, all six women testified how much Parvathi loved Jesus, and that they too had received Him as their savior. These women are well respected and their testimonies greatly moved the tribe.

Then they asked us, if we have love for them as a people, can we hold a meeting for all of them as we had for Parvathi and the other women? With Bible Stories and singing?

We put together an evening with food, Bible Study, praise, and prayer. The men were so happy to be included! And families together learned about the love of Jesus. They are so receptive, and many have given their lives to Jesus. They have asked us to begin regular services for them.

It’s amazing how the Lord is working things together here! He is giving peace from despair and beauty from ashes in this tribe. When we thought our ministry among this tribe was over with Parvathi’s passing, it looks like it’s just beginning.

Thank you so much for your support that makes all of this possible! Both your giving and your prayers are bringing salvation to so many.

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India Outreach

Published: December 11, 2016 (Originally published: November 9, 2016)

In 2007, a reader from India wanted advice to start a Bible outreach to children in a poor tribal area. We prayed, and knew the Lord wanted us to join with him and share His love and provision with these people.

Violent persecution of Christians took place just before our first planned outreach. Over 50,000 were left homeless after mobs burned down homes, churches, and businesses. Christians were threatened to covert to Hinduism or be tortured and killed. In the aftermath of the attack, those who survived and were able to fled the area, leaving mostly seniors and children.

Reaching the children in this area became even more important than before. And we’ve continued for 9 years! For two weeks at a time, we provide food, activities and the love of Jesus to hundreds of children, while teaching them about the Bible.

Because of the persecution and danger in this area, we couldn’t post photos or info on the internet before. But the Lord has brought so much restoration to this area in the last eight years. Those who were children in our first outreaches are now the youth leaders. The Lord has raised up pillars in the community who love and serve Him!

Thank you so much for your support that enables us to reach those in need with the love of Jesus.