Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dresses of Hope

In the midst of the aftermath of Huricane Alex we have experienced some very heartwarming stories. I have told several people that I believe God is using this tragedy to bring people closer to Him. In the Rio 3 community that was hit hard with widespread destruction, we have witnessed several such stories.  As the area has become darker, it has given Christians an opportunity to shine brighter.
The first week we hosted groups after the storm, we hosted a group from Northview Christian Church in Indiana. A 13 year old girl named Danielle came with her mother on this group. Danielle spent months preparing to come by organizing dress sewing sessions. She and her friends made 77 dresses for young girls and her mom and her brought them with them. She had done this before in other areas but this was the first time she was able to bring them and give them away herself. What a blessing she was for 77 young girls from Rio 3 that week! Some of these girls lost everything in the flood waters of Huricane Alex!
Check out Danielle's blog! There is a video she made when we gave away the dresses.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Update on Anna and Linda of Rio 3

                      Inside of Linda & Anna's house after the flood

                 The first time we met Anna and Linda last July
                               Praying for Anna
                                Linda last winter in their home
                              Digging out their house this week  

A lot of people have asked me about Linda and her daughter Anna that we have come to know at Rio 3. Linda is 85 years old and lives in a house near the river with her daughter Anna and Anna's husband. Each of the women have lost a leg due to poor circulation but their faith in God has inspired hundreds. Many groups this past year have come to love these sweet saints during their visits to Rio 3.
Olga was able to evacuate them from their house and move them to the church building before the flood waters reached their home. But on Thursday night the river flooded many homes and destroyed many more. Their home was flooded and when the waters receeded there was 12" of mud inside the home and 3 feet of mud against the doors outside. All of their material possesions were lost. Linda is currently in the hospital being treated for an intestinal infection and Anna is sleeping and staying at the church buiding. Anna's husband has been sleeping outside on a new piece of property that he is claiming in hopes of building a new house.
We are in the process of helping them get resettled. Yesterday (Tues) we dug out their home and sorted through the damage. Aside from important papers, there really wasn't much left to salvage.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Operation Lighthouse at Rio 3

Delivering mattresses for people to sleep on in the Mercy House Church of Rio 3

On June 30, Huricane Alex hit the Mexican Gulf coast and became Tropical Storm Alex as it moved inland. Over the next 2 days, it dumped 40" of rain on the city of Monterrey, causing massive destruction of buildings, roads, bridges and highways. No area of the city was hit harder than the ministry area we call Rio 3. Hundreds of homes were washed away in the middle of the night. Perhaps as many as 1,000 people who once lived in extreme poverty, could now be left with just the clothes on their backs.
We've named our relief effort "Operation Lighthouse." For over 2 years now, I've shared with the American groups that we've brought there to serve, that I believe the church we serve beside is a lighthouse in a dark world. Well the world of Rio 3 has never been darker than it is now. Jesus called us as Christians to be Light to the darkness. While this is a terrible tragedy, I believe it has the potential of being an awesome opportunity to spread the Gospel in practical ways. Please stay tuned to this story because God isn't finished with it yet!