Tuesday, November 4, 2014
A Simple Bag Of Food
What can you do with a reusable shopping bag?
Can you build a house? Change a life? Save a life?
One Saturday morning almost two years ago My friend Jill, a missionary with YWAM Chico, gave me some extra despensas (a reusable bag with basic foods like rice and beans) her team had left overs. Her simple instructions: "take these to poor people". So that is exactly what I did that weekend. I came to Camalu and asked my in-laws to show me the poorest people. The nieces loaded into the pickup and off we went. The first stop some very small rental rooms where many women were outside washing. One woman had what looked like a baby swaddled to her back. Juan Carlos was actually 5 and was fed pure liquids because of major health issues, he just recently went to Heaven. His parents introduced us to Alfredo's parents, a 7 year old playing outside in the dirt alone since he is non verbal and can not walk. Juan Carlos' father then got in the pickup and guided us to a one room rental house where we met Christian and his family. I prayed for each family and gave them a bag of food. We met some other families which we still have contact with to this day.
After this is when I was put on bed-rest while pregnant with Gianna until I reached 7 1/2 months in the end of January 2014. While we were loading the cars to move to Camalu a family came over with a boy walking crooked. At first I did not remember them. At their house we had prayed for Christian to walk and be more mentally alert. I also encouraged them to contact Shriners in TJ. Well on this day they had come to re enter their son Christian into the special needs school. The first time he was not able to behave in a classroom setting. Now he was walking better and functioning at a higher level. They asked where we were moving and I told them Camalu near the baseball park, come by anytime. About a month later there was a knock on the trailer door and the 5 of them, the 3 of us crammed into the trailer and started building a relationship.
We found out that all three children are special needs, Vania has a hereditary blood disorder, Christian has CP, and Eduardo the smallest has yet to be diagnosed. Since Jose has DMD we are able to relate to their struggles for good and knowledgeable medical care. We encouraged them again to contact Shriners and any other doors they could and see which one God opened. Praise God Christian was able to get into the program in TJ. More about the door God opened for Vania later. Eduardo is going to have more testing to rule out the heredity problem.
In April Jill brought an amazing group from Colorado to build our house. On Thursday night after the house dedication the group went with Paulino to the trash dump. Jill not feeling well stayed behind with me to pray, we have been prayer partners for a few years. That night Oscar, Gume and the family came to see our house. As we were talking with them God touched Jills heart that this family needed a house. They had been renting a room that all 5 of them lived in. We prayed for them and off they went until a month or so later they came to tell us they had purchased land!
Well within a few months of praying and a lot of leg work Jill had a team, some of which had just been on a house build and met the family when we went to share the love of Jesus and pass out despensas in there neighborhood. The team and many others went above and beyond by providing them an indoor bathroom with roll in shower. Paulino was blessed to be a part of this knowing how thankful we are to have our indoor bathroom.
In June 2014 while in the hospital when Gianna had Jaundice a nurse found out that we have a special needs son and we live in Camalu! Later I found out her parents are missinaries to South America from Oscar and Gume's church. Off the record she asked if we would be willing to visit a former patient of hers. Eva a 7 year old with severe CP who happens to look amazingly like my friend Sandra! Well a few weeks later with just directions and the names her dad Adam and her name Eve we found them! Just over 3 years ago Eva's mom went to the emergency room one day with a headaches and died that night. Gilberto the 15 year old brother now takes care of Princess Eva.
A few weeks later Jill took the team to Eva's part of town and we invited Pastora Olivia who preaches at our church and also the church near Eva's house. There they met Eva's 11 year old brother Elvis and blessed him with a bag of food, a backpack full of school supplies, he was the only one in school at the time. (Eva's story will have to wait). A few days later Pastora Olivia was at our house when Gume and Oscar stopped by and we told them she was now giving Eva's family a ride to church on Sundays!
Olivia took Gume and Vania one day to share Jesus with Eva's family since she could relate as a CP parent, then they stopped by our house.(our house is open 24/7 in this culture people stop by could be 5 minutes or 5 hours. This day Hermana Rosie, who happens to live close to Jill, was at my mother in laws cooking a huge pot of Arroz con puerco! Rosie had meet Olivia when Rosie made a Carne Asada for our kids and we had so much we invited the whole town! When Rosie met Vania she feel in love with her! Rosie being a nurse found out about Vania needing a vaccination that is not covered by insurance and when she went back home she learned more about the vaccination. About a month later someone from up north brought us a package with a tambourine and cash! Both of which were just in time for Vania's birthday! We finally found the only doctor in SQ who happens to deal with rare cases and made an appointment for Saturday. The most amazing thing is he only comes twice a month since he is the pediatric director of the general hospital in Ensenada!
So this brings me back to the question what can you do with a reusable shopping bag? One thing I know is God is not limited to what He can do with one! We are called to be His hands and feet where ever we are!