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Written by Janet Les
Maria and Andres live in Agua Prieta with their large family, including several married children and grandchildren. The family owns a large lot in "brick village," an area so named because many brink makers operate there. Most of the family works making and selling bricks. The family home is one large brick room with running water, electricity and a wood stove. This puts it above average compared to many of the homes here. Separate buildings include an outhouse and bath house. A married son and his family sleep in a building of patched cardboard and scrap wood. Their roof was leaking badly so the Chilliwack group added a new metal roof in March.
Andres had prostate cancer about 1 Â½ years ago with surgery and numerous complications. He is now well. When he found out he was ill, Andres started coming to church. Maria had been praying for many years that her husband would attend church with her. They bring several grandchildren with them but sadly their teen and adult children do not come.
Many of our Agua Prieta families are the working poor. They do not receive any income from government or charity but manage to scrape by, often with poor diet and low standard of living. Families that have a decent house are in better health and can use their meagre resources for food, health care and school fees.
Visiting groups usually build a home or two for the neediest families, who are selected by John and Rosemary. John has perfected the process of buying materials and constructing small 14 x 14 houses. Many groups in recent years include a few construction workers who lend their experience and expertise to this project. Groups also pay for all the costs of materials.
The houses are built in such a way that owners can easily add on as they are able to afford it. The families must purchase their own lot and fence it, so a commitment is evident. The land must be Â½ paid for before a home is donated. Demand for this service exceeds the ability to provide it, of course.
After a home is completed by volunteers, the group gathers with the recipient family for a dedication ceremony. John reads scripture, for example, Ps 127 Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. ... He gives a short inspirational message applicable to the family situation. Together the group prays that Christ will be the center of the home, that His word and prayer will be heard there. The keys are then presented to the homeowner in what is often a moving moment. This tradition is wonderfully meaningful for both the Mexican family and the volunteers from Canada and/or the United States.
Posted Sep 21 2011, 1:48:44 PM UTC
During his last term, the former mayor of Agua Prieta initiated lunch programs in several poor areas of the city. Agua Viva Ministries was given the contract for our neighborhood, utilizing our Center to serve a daily hot lunch to school children. Unfortunately, the funding didnâ??t last long. However, through food donations, volunteer helpers, and your donations we have been able to keep this program going. Attendance varies from 30 to 50 children each school day. Tabitha and her volunteer parent helpers provide a nutritious hot meal. On the day of our visit, the children were enjoying a bowl of bean and sausage soup, along with a small piece of chicken, salad and tortillas.
With the government no longer supporting the initiative, Tabitha is able to open with a Bible lesson, hymn singing, and prayer. We watched the children learning the names of God: JehovÃ¡, Dios el Dios, El SeÃ±or, El rey de Salemâ?¦ Several of these children are now regularly attending church with their families.
We praise the Lord for this ministry opportunity and request your financial support for the grocery expenses so that we can keep it going.
Posted Sep 21 2011, 1:39:24 PM UTC
The elderly are vulnerable in Agua Prieta, with some having little or no income. Each Tuesday after Bible Study, eighteen members aged 65 and older andp one younger widow receive a care package including flour and beans. We thank God for all of you dear ones who help make this possible. Pictured in the forefront is "Prietita" who is 78 years young.
Posted Sep 21 2011, 1:13:01 PM UTC
Posted Sep 21 2011, 1:06:46 PM UTC
The health of our friends in Mexico is often compromised by their standard of living. Agua Viva Ministries has a good working relationship with several physicians and pharmacies who provide necessities in urgent cases. Your donations make up the rest of whatever help we can provide.
Jovanneâ??s eyesight is poor and he was thrilled with his new glasses, presented here by John. Wow - now I can see! Thank you, from Jovanne and his family!
Posted Sep 21 2011, 1:03:26 PM UTC
New homes built by volunteer work teams, who visit from various parts of North America, are an ongoing project of Agua Viva Ministries.
During winter night temperatures may drop to freezing in Agua Prieta and families struggle to keep their homes warm. An enterprising work team from Loma Colorado brought 20 of these wood burners that someone had made up there. We bought some stove pipe and they went around the community looking for homes to install them in. As a result many of these people are now coming to church.
Posted Sep 21 2011, 12:53:24 PM UTC