Hit the Ground Running…
That is what I have been saying to myself all month. And the busier the month got, on went the running. We have some prayer concerns that we wanted to ask you to bend God’s ear on.
First I want to share what an honor it was for me to be by my grandmother’s side when she breathed her last breath. For those of you who prayed that I would make it to NC in time, I thank you. It was a privilege to spend a couple of days with her before her passing. It was also an honor to deliver her eulogy, though hard to summarize the faithfulness of a 97 year old saint. Our family will miss her dearly and we will need to up the anty on a prayer warrior loss for VOB.
I returned from North Carolina, along with my mom. She had an already planned visit to see us and tag along on some VOB missions. Many of our friends and ministry partners in Tijuana loved meeting her. I know it means a lot to them that someone would come down and visit while on vacation, just to be a blessing. In turn, they were a blessing to her. You may hear from her next months newsletter!
VOB is what I like to refer to as, “on call” for what sometimes is a daily pick up of food (yesterday marked 13 days in a row). We have connected with a local mission which provides food and various needs to the massive homeless population of downtown San Diego. This mission, appropriately named “God’s extended Hand,” receives donations from many resources, including the San Diego Rescue Mission. When they have more (particularly non-perishables) than they can move quickly, they call me. I then sort the truck load, and attempt to properly store items, until I can run them down to Tijuana. Sometimes an immediate delivery is necessary. Although I am most grateful for this provision, it has been hard to determine a consistent schedule each day. Thus, I need your prayers for my ability to plan accordingly, as well as for favor in managing my time. And please, just as when we pray, start your prayer first with THANKS for the abundance, because we ARE so thankful!
A final, and current concern for prayer, is regarding a new difficulty we are having with Mexican Customs. More specifically, with Mexican Agriculture Inspectors known as the “Sagarpa”. As you may remember we have not been allowed to declare fruit for 8 or more months now. Remember the huge truck loads of oranges we were getting in just before? This is due to a concern about the potential problems of a fruit fly epidemic. Well, the concern now, is over a moth that may pose a potential threat by coming in on vegetables brought INTO Mexico. We are working closely with the Sagarpa, regarding this concern. But, as of now, we are being told we can no longer bring produce of any kind into Mexico. This is a huge upset, as not only do we desire to get important nutritional food to the poor, but it comes at a time when we are experiencing an abundance of donated produce. At this point, I am limited to only taking small, undeclared amounts of food in multiple trips across the border. This ban only applies to produce being brought in through the non-commercial declaration side of the Mexican border entry. Therefore, the ban only applies to those bringing in donations. We are looking into what it would mean to be recognized as a commercial exporter of produce, recognized by the Mexican federal government. This is what we are told would give us greater favor. Basically the government wants paperwork which documents where the produce originates, and how it was managed. The irony is, most of the donated produce we get first originated in Mexico before being imported into the US!
Thank you for beckoning the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of the poor, once again oppressed by red tape! I am encouraged by a quote we found jotted down in my grandmothers night stand:
“The Lord has been good to me, whenever I have any worries I go to Him”.