We are blessed every week by a local health care organization, which shares non-perishable food from their private food bank. We get food by the pallet, sometimes 2-4 pallets a week! Wayne met the founder/director while sitting on a coalition panel, among other local organization heads, for spreading awareness on human trafficking. You just never know how the Lord will provide when you are obedient to do what He gives you passion for. We also deliver food to a ‘women with children’ shelter (domestic violence and trafficking victims) in Tijuana which was a connection from this same coalition.
It’s been awhile since we reported on how things are going with Mexican customs. As you know, we were experiencing great favor with the new 2nd in command, who not only secured that we paid the lower import fee, but also paved the way for us to really be known by many of the agents. This gained us faster access in crossing. However, in keeping with the usual process, her assignment came to an end, and she was transferred to another location.
We were concerned what that might mean for us. The new boss came with greater favor! He has not met with us, but seems to have a heart for the poor, and waived the customs fee for now! There are occasions when we have to pay, if our load is slightly larger than normal. But this has been a wonderful blessing on the budget, although we know that it might be for just a season. We still are restricted from bringing produce, uncooked meat and dairy products. This is unfortunate, as we get so much of that donated, and there is such great need for nutrition and protein. SO let’s get that pushed to the top of the agenda in prayer!
This Christmas Season as we gather with our families we believe it is important to remember those who are alone and possibly struggling with the loss of family. The testimony below, of our good friend who lost her adult son last year, shares how she finds peace identifying with others in their suffering. This was her experience traveling down with us one day.
“Two days ago, I traveled to Mexico with my friend Wayne from Voice of the Bride Ministries. We packed his flatbed truck with all the food and hygiene items we possibly could, and headed south into Tijuana. We journeyed into some remote little neighborhoods, to greet the hidden saints who have given their lives to serve the desperate and vulnerable. We pulled up to three different homes to give what we could; a home for women that have disabilities, a men’s home for those suffering with addiction and disabilities, and a home for the mentally ill and elderly. It was a privilege and honor, to be with those who are suffering and those who serve them. It was difficult, but at the same time, I felt connection and peace. They are the poor, serving the poorest of the poor, in extreme poverty. Only thirty minutes from my home, we witnessed such harsh conditions, that were troubling to see and smell. Yet, in those places, and in our darkest hours, God’s love and care is there. He doesn’t leave. He stays with us in the valley of the shadow of death, but doesn’t keep us from it.
There is a excellent book written by a father who lost his mother, wife and daughter in a car accident. It’s called, “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser. That title resonates with me, now that my son is gone. I feel connected to those who suffer, in a way I never did before. I feel community with the broken, because I am broken. I feel understanding when I look into eyes that appear grey, and searching. I feel joy when I can hug or touch the hand of a fellow traveler whose heart aches. I feel hope when I see a person continue to stay and believe, while living in a dark and seemingly hopeless situation. This may sound depressing or very sad, but for me, it is not. It is comforting. Beautiful. Jesus.” [Sheri Briggs – BridgeOfHopeSD.org]
p.s. watch for our Top 10 Highlights of 2016 next month!