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"And they shall dwell safely in it and shall build houses and plant vineyards; yes, they shall dwell securely and with confidence when I have executed judgments and punishments upon all those round about them who have despised and trodden upon them and pushed them away, and they shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord their God [their Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service]." Ezekiel 28:26 (Amplified Bible)
I visited with the Gonzalez Ramirez family living in the community of "Mariano Matamorros". "TJ", our seasonal field staff person, told me about this family. He said that he was so moved by the kindness and gratitude this family showed him as he drove up to their house to verfiy the site before the group would arrive that Monday morning. He said that from the back of the house came a small woman whose tears moved his heart. I spoke with Demetrio & Dolores and they shared a very important truth with me
Lydia: Dolores, thank you for allowing me to come into your little house.
Dolores: Thank God for all of you who work so hard in building us this house!
L:How has this experience changed your lives?
Dolores:Just seeing all these young people coming to Mexico leaving the their comfortable homes to work and sweat and get physically tired to build us a house...well, it just makes me want to cry. There are no words to describe my gratitude. Thank God!
L: What can you say about the Love of God shown to you?
Dolores: We have seen the Love of God and also the power of it through these kids. It proves to us if God can move in providing us a house He will take care of all our other needs too. Through life's struggles God has multiplied everything... Our work is humble, but we want to give God all our obedience. ("TJ" walks in and Dolores offers him a gum. He sweetly declines. Dolores sells gum for a living.)
Demetrio: I am just happy...very happy. I didn't work today just to be here to help the group. (Demetrio washes and waxes cars) We waited and hoped to one day have a house that would not leak. I cannot do it myself because I never learned a trade. I am not a carpenter or a bricklayer I just wash cars. I was an alcoholic for many years. It was God who helped me and now I've been sober for 10 years. On top of that I couldn't read, but God taught me to read the Bible. I want my new house to be a place so many people can come and enjoy sharing God's word. We have been faithful to our church and joyfully give our tithes and offerings. (Demetrio earns around $35.00 a week and Dolores maybe $30.00 a week)
L: Your faithfulness amazes me. What could you tell the many participants that want to come down to build homes in Mexico.
Dolores:If I could tell everyone who would want to come to build homes for the poor and needy in Mexico I would tell them that if they obey God's calling He will provide the rest. He will provide strength most of all. He blesses those who obey Him.
L: Amen to that!
Dolores: I can remember my husband and I praying together and he would always mention in the prayer the request for a new house. And now...(tears of joy flooded her eyes)..I just see these young people and it touches my heart. Many people have a hard time believing in God, but we do believe in Him.
This little couple challenged me. Demetrio who is 53 years-old and Dolores who is 63 years-old challenged me to obey God even through all my struggles.
After talking with them I thought it would be nice to talk to the Chris, the trip coordinator from Federal Way, Washington. Chris brought 16 young men and women to build hope in Mexico.
Lydia: Tell me a little bit more about your group.
Chris:We are from Washington and I have with me a group of 16 people. Harvest Ministries has been coming down to work with Amor for about ten years.
L: What has been your personal experience with Amor Ministries?
Chris: I have been coming down on trips for five years. First, as a volunteer now as a trip coordinator. It has changed my life. It's a lot of work to prepare for a trip like this, but it always seems that God provides for everything. Our church backs us up 100%. We are here to "Build Hope" just like Amor Ministries motto.
L: On a personal level does it discourage you that you are not able to speak Spanish to the family?
Chris: No. We communicate to them so many other ways just being here and showing our love through building breaks the language barrier.
L: That's great. The family told me that they were very happy you all are here.
Chris: These trips have impacted my life. This is my second time coordinating trips to Mexico. I was not the designated person, but when I found that maybe this trip was going to be cancelled I stepped up to take the job. I just couldn't see breaking tradition. This trip is so important for our church. It builds relationships and strong testimonies. It's easier than an over sea missionary trip, but just as fruitful. It's affordable for the group to come with Amor Ministries. Our church rallies with us by making fundaraisers, lots of prayers and a few phone calls of encouragement on the trip down. It's just a great testimony of Faith!
Demetrio and Dolores in their old house.
This is where they use to live.
This is the group hard at work.
Dolores moved to tears unable to contain her happiness in seeing this group work so hard to build them a new house.
This is Chris from Harvest Ministries.
Demetrio helping the group building his house.
Dolores can see the group working from her back door.
Dolores in her wedding gown. One of the few things of value that they had in their little house.
What a beautiful story....I absolutely agree with everything said in the blog. I too learned that there are no language barriers when it comes to doing God's work..I also am a witness to the strength He gives in order for His work to be done..I am also grateful to Amor for making the opportunity available to me to do His Will and be a witness to His Glory...Amen