Thursday, October 16

Hurricane Norbert Breezes on By Las Glorias

We had a bit of tension over the weekend as Hurricane Norbert whooshed through our area. Praise God that Tropical Storm Odile gave him a little nudge and he passed us slightly to the north. Saturday, Doug and I and a few of the kids went down to the beach to see what was "up". The tide was. Where's the beach???

The kids found the wind to be pretty strong! The gusts were churning the waves into foam and that foam was blowing across the sand like bits of cotton fluff. At one point, a gust grabbed Doug's ballcap and took off with it. He, Andrew and Seth took off after it -- right into a sand storm!

Some of our neighbors were on their roofs taking pictures. I didn't go on the roof. Later Saturday evening, Doug did actually climb up on the roof to fix some roofing that was coming loose. He didn't tell me he was doing that. I probably would have said something like, "No way!!!" I realized where he was when the ladder blew off the roof and Jessee came downstairs to get it. No, he was not on the ladder when it blew over. Thank you, Lord.

We didn't get a lot of rain. We were actually praying that it would rain a little, because the wind was whipping the sand fiercely against the windows and doors. So much so that fine sand was coming in through cracks and creating a silty, gritty film on everything. We had to wipe every dish and every cup and every flat surface once the storm ended.

All things considered, though, we got off really easy. Our bike canopy blew away, the awning out front of the house was munched a little, we lost some roofing and the power was out for 3 days. Friends and missionaries a couple of hours north were not so fortunate.

Pray for the village of Alamos, Sonora, where Norbert hit hard. Villagers are still shovelling mud and muck out of their houses. Many families lost everything. Remember -- "everything" here is a lot less than "everything" in the States. If you lose "everything" in the States, State Farm will be by first thing Monday morning to take a report. Losing everything here means that you are looking for someone who has the same size feet, because you don't have any shoes.

You can read more about the storm damage in Alamos here.

Hurricane Norbert Blasts Alamos, Sonora

Here are exerpts from an update letter we just received from fellow missionaries in Alamos, Sonora. Alamos is only about 150 miles north of us -- just east of a town called Navajoa. Please read their update and pray for this village. If you'd like to help in any way, let us know! You can also donate via Paypal through the "Make Donation" button on the left. Specify "Hurricane Relief" in the comment box.
From Daniel and Ana Jones, Rancho Maranatha, Sonora:

"He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number"
Job 9:10

Stories continue to be told, amazing ones that leave you totally speechless. My little sister in Mexicali keeps calling on the phone, she wants to hear them all. There are too many to tell...

This is like many, many, many homes in Alamos; and this the overwhelmed look on many, many, many people's faces. But I have to say that last evening, as I sat with my sister Elia outside her ruined house, the moon was shining so bright, the air was so clear and crispy and we were so, so, so thankful for the way the Lord spared the lives of every member of our extensive family involved in the disaster. Most things can be replaced, (well, not pictures, at least not the same ones), but lives can never be, and for not having lost any family members we don't cease to thank our merciful Father. We truly stand in awe of His wonders!

Aaliyah saw this today and exclaimed, 'oh, my goodness!' This picture is taken from my cousin Flora's back yard!

Thank you so much for all of you that are praying for us. Please do continue. We are hoping, and praying, our brothers and sisters from CC Alamos will be able to come to the fellowship day next Sunday. Many of them are so busy, either cleaning their own houses, or helping someone else. Thank God for all the help the government is sending. It is truly amazing to see all the helicopters, airplanes, fire trucks, ambulances, etc., just aiding people left and right. The CFE (electric co.), has done a remarkable work restoring electricity practically to the whole town already. Also the road that accesses Alamos was already working the second day of the hurricane, we were so thankfully amazed at how fast they did that.

Crissie is here with her friend Anabel cleaning the kitchen. Crissie, who lost everything, including her bed of course, has been spending the night at her friend's house. Uncle Pino, as you can tell, has lost one of his shoes, it was buried in the mud, he told me, and he is quite upset about it. (I think Daniel found it today!)That handsome guy above right, (you can't really tell by the picture that he is very good looking), has been shoveling mud these last two days even in his sleep.

Thank you so much for your prayers, for your concern, for your encouraging and kind words, for your help. In name of all the believers involved, THANK YOU!!!

We love you all very much,
Daniel & Ana

Saturday, October 11

Fishermen of Boca del Rio

Doug, Ladis and Ladis’s brother Guedo went out shrimping. They left at 5 a.m. At 9 p.m. I got a message that they were back at port and ready to come home.

I headed over to Boca to meet the boat, not knowing that the guys still had to empty the nets and descabezar (dehead) the shrimp. For the next hour, they guys plus all the wives pulled shrimp, crabs, small fish, starfish and debris from two 100 meter long nets. Then Mavil and I popped heads and separated the big shrimp from the little. The guys’ final tally was 90 kilos of shrimp – 200 pounds. Wow.

After the first few days, however, the shrimp count dropped drastically. Yesterday’s catch (an 8 hour day) was only 9 kilos for one of our friends. At $10 per kilo, that barely covers the cost of gas.

When he got home the first day, Doug was absolutely beat. Sixteen hours in the blazing sun in a small boat full of dead fish had taken its toll. Over the next week, Ladis and Guedo went out a couple more times, but they struggled with the boat motor a lot. Doug decided that a better (and MUCH less physically draining) use of his time was to do some work he’d been hired to do for an American family here in Las Glorias.

The life of a fisherman here in Boca del Rio is not an easy life. The pescador struggles against his flesh in the daily, back-breaking work of hauling in lines. He struggles with the equipment which is so quickly destroyed by the salt and the water. He struggles with corrupt authorities who steal his profit for their selfish gain. He struggles with the storms that roll in unexpectedly and fish which stray from their normal migration paths and tides which seek to capsize his boat and take his life. With these conflicts day after day, many men turn to alcohol and drugs as a sedative or a pain-reliever. Our prayer is that the men of Boca who are believers would be able to shine out and show a better way to deal with these struggles. Pray that they would not lose heart!

Boca del Rio Water Purification Station

Water is often an issue in our part of Mexico. Being an agricultural hub, one would imagine that irrigation is a vital part of life. So very true! Irrigation canals run through most major cities and to the outlying towns and villages passing farmland and orchards along the way. The roads are lined on both sides by fields of corn, milo, tomatoes, peppers, beans and many other crops. It seems that the land here is in a constant state of either planting, growing or harvesting.

Villagers in outlying coastal areas rely on water which is pumped from inland, both for “tap water” and also for drinking water. Water purification systems in the larger cities are improving almost daily. Los Mochis now has tap water which runs all the time and is safe (and actually very tasty) for drinking. Guasave also has water which runs all day – but we’ve yet to actually drink it…old habits die hard!

The coastal villages, however, depend on a system of pipes and cisterns to move water to them from towns with good, freshwater wells. When we moved here 3 years ago, the nearest water purification plant was about 10 miles away in the village of Palos Verdes. About a year and a half ago, a woman in the church of Boca got a government grant to construct a water station in Boca del Rio. Hurrah!

For the first time in history, the people of Boca del Rio, Las Pitayas, Las Glorias and Rosales could purchase drinking water locally! This is very important in a culture where most families don’t own cars. Water at “Water of the Pines” costs $.80 for a 5 gallon garafón. Very reasonable…and delicious! So, here are some photos of Karen, a graduate of the school of ministry, working at the water station. She is working to earn money to go to Africa as a full-time missionary. Keep her and Mavil in your prayers! They earnestly desire to go and work at the orphanage in Uganda, but are lacking the funding. We know that God is faithful to complete the work He begins and are looking forward to His completing this work in these young ladies’ lives!!!

Saturday, October 4

The only metal fab shop in Las Glorias

...or "Why I Want to Finish Building the House" by Rebecca.

Not that I mind having the projects around, and I really don't mind the sound of tools buzzing all day, but I'd REALLY like to keep the metal shavings in the shop and not get flashed-burnt while trying to teach history. Ah, someday!!! ;^) I know that Doug would prefer to not have a couch in the middle of his shop, too, so we're on the same page!

Anyway, here's what Doug has been working on lately...
Esteban came over one morning to help paint the metal frames. Painting has never been Doug's favorite and with his asthma the way it is he avoids paint whenever possible. Plus, those two are always looking for an excuse to hang out. It was really neat listening to them, too. Since it was kind of a "one-man job", Doug pulled up a chair and read to Esteban while they worked. I was sitting inside working on the 'puter and heard Doug teaching out of the book of Matthew. I thought, "Who's here?" and then realized that he and Esteban were studying the Word together. Very cool.
Over the next days Caleb, Jessee and Andrew took turns helping install the gates. It's very handy to have all those extra hands and feet to hold things and fetch things. The boys are learning a lot in the process, too!

The finished products! There are actually 5 gates of varying sizes. Quite a project and beautifully done! (Yes, my bias is showing again!!!)