August brought the intense heat and humidity along with the tropical thunderstorms that show us the true power of nature. This is always a difficult time of the year for the families in the mission. The heavy rains come late in the day and into the evening when it is time to turn in for the night. One can only imagine how difficult it is to get a good night’s rest when it is raining inside your home and the bed and blankets you are using are always damp. Mildew builds quickly and the musty odour that accompanies it adds to the discomfort. For those who work through the night in the heavy rains, Dengue fever from the mosquitoes, skin rashes, bronchial illnesses and allergies are all in full force right now.
The road leading up to the dump becomes a muddy slope with deep crevices from the rain running downwards. Large chunks of the road are washed away and if you dare to drive up you do not know where the bottom of the pond is that appears in front of you in the middle of the road. The new concrete road is not officially opened, however the dump trucks and personal vehicles are now travelling on it to get into Majesterio. The intense rains wreak havoc on the cobble stone roads as well. In the colonias pot holes grow bigger day by day as the rain breaks away the pavement.
For those of us who have vehicles and live outside Majesterio it is risky to go out in the evening as you can get stranded with the onset of a sudden storm. For those who live in little colonias like Majesterio, walking becomes an adventure too. Slippery mud, large puddles, deep crevices and the heavy rain make venturing out one of those things you avoid if you can. Local creek and river beds are overflowing and flow very quickly. Often I am told by Moms that the rain ran through their homes like a river and takes with it items that were on the ground in their home. Drying out clothes, bedding and other items is difficult. Everything is laid outside each day so that it can dry in the sun, only to start over again the next day.
As you have probably heard the AMECA Bridge was washed away late one night. This has caused considerable traffic backups as there are now only 2 lanes of traffic on one bridge travelling north and south. This is much like 10 years ago before the second bridge was built.
On a good note, the mission only missed one day travelling out to the center, the morning after the bridge collapsed. God willing this will be the last rainy season that the families along Hope Road will experience in their little shanties. We continue to pray and wait patiently for the permits and surveying to be done on the land for the housing complex.
August and September have proved to be very busy months in the mission preparing for the children to return to school. With 250 children receiving assistance this year that meant filling many backpacks with supplies. Thanks to SPIRIT FOOD CHURCH from CALIFORNIA. They spent a week here assisting the mission, painting the activity room, sharing fellowship at Pastor Hector’s service and interacting with the children and spending special prayer time with some Moms. We were also blessed to have JONATHON AND RACHELLE here with a group from their church who also assisted with painting and decorating the activity room.
A huge thank you goes out to ADELE for coming down to ensure that the programs continued while BRENDA went home to Canada for a couple weeks.
August 18 -23 the mission was blessed with a donation of a time at Paradise Village. One night was given to each of the young ladies celebrating their QUINCIENERA this year.
The first evening KATIE YARITZA came and brought along her Mom VICTORINA, HER STEP DAD RAMON AND HER LITTLE BROTHER JUAN RAMON. Upon arriving at Paradise Village we spent a couple of hours just sitting and chatting about relevant topics. Discussions were had on sharing information on family planning, respecting your body, the value of Education, and personal interests/goals/dreams and the importance of faith in our lives. After a swim in the pool and several slides down the Crocodile slide, we took a walk out to the pier before returning for a Spaghetti Dinner. Then it was time to return to their room to enjoy the beds, the shower and the television.
The next evening was JASMINE, with her Mom Araceli and her friend JANET. After our conversation, swim and walk we were invited to dinner with the SPIRIT FOOD CHURCH GROUP. A home cooked Mexican meal, fellowship and worship topped off the evening before their night in the room.
Next was SANDRA JASMINE with her mom NOELIA, DAD EPITACIO AND LITTLE SISTER DIANA. This family had a lot of questions and interest in opportunities for jobs at Paradise and other businesses, as well as formal education. A meal at MacDonalds was the dinner of choice for them!
Saturday evening was ROSARIO, who brought her mom GUADELUPE, GRAMMA CLETA AND FRIEND PAOLA. Their choice for dinner was PIZZA. A lot of conversation was about Education for Rosario as she has not been interested in school. The happy ending here is that she is now attending the adult evening classes offered at the FAD center so that she can complete her Primary Education.
Sunday evening ROSALVA, HER HUSBAND GERRARDO AND THEIR CHILDREN, ALONG WITH JACKIE came. Although there was no QUINCIENERA in this family, they have been on a difficult journey this year. Rosalva had her first daughter at 13 yrs of age and now 14 yrs later she and her husband have hit a few bumps in the road. A short separation and a strong desire to rebuild their relationship, led them to counselling with Pastor Hector. They are now living together again and planning to be married in the church. This was an opportunity for them to strengthen their relationship and it also fell on GERRADO’S birthday! JACKIE and the girls came for a sleepover at my place (Brenda’s) so that ROSALVA AND GERRARDO could have private time in their room. GERRARDO has been motivated to learn to read and write now as he did not attend school.
A huge thank you to DARRELL AND HAZEL for their generosity. This opportunity was valuable in so many ways. Being outside their daily life and exposed to another side of the world is motivating in itself, and having quiet time away from everyone else to share information, ask personal questions and help motivate these young ladies will empower them even more. This experience is one way to ensure that they do not become young mothers and that they continue their education so that they have the same opportunities that our own children have. This was also an opportunity to share some firsts! The first elevator ride, the first escalator ride, first ride on the crocodile slide, first time in a hot tub, first shower with hot water and for JUAN RAMON (4 yrs old), the first time seeing a toilet!
Following that exciting week was uniforms, thanks to TERRY for her assistance. The week she was here we were able to purchase and package uniforms for all the children. We also completed the activity room.
Everyone is gearing up for the reopening of the upstairs programs in the community center. Adult classes have started Tuesday and Thursday evenings so that they can acquire their PRIMARY AND SECUNDARY certificates. We have 10 people attending right now. Teachers are being provided by the government, a result of our positive, working relationship.
Preparations for the DAYCARE/PREKINDER CLASS are almost complete and plans are to open in October.
Friday DESPENSA/FOODBANK DAY continues to assist 200+ families. LISA, LARRY & BEN we really appreciate your assistance picking up SAMS/WALMART donations twice a week!
The Breakfast/Lunch program has broken records this summer with some days serving 200 children. Summer vacation here in Majesterio is not that exciting and with not a whole lot to do the highlight of the day for the mission children is coming over to the center to say hi and have something to eat. They are all anxiously awaiting the English/Computer, Homework classes as well as Soccer and the other fun activities they remember from last season!
To assist one child with school supplies you could bring
To assist RECYCLERS working in the dump you could bring
- BACKPACK with 6 lined notebooks, pkg pencils, pkg blue/red/black pens, ruler, erasers, scissors, sharpener, pencil case, geometry set, calculator, Spanish dictionary, pencil crayons, highlighters, whiteout, colored markers, construction paper and
- WHITE POLO SHIRT (KID’S size small, medium or large)
- TENNIS SHOES, size 12, 13, 1, 2, or 3, (boys or girls)
To assist the ACTIVITY ROOM you could bring
- BANDANAS, BASEBALL CAPS, ADULT RUNNERS, HEADLAMPS (found in Canada in DOLLARAMA)
To assist the FOOD SERVICE ROOM you could bring
- BEADS, CRAFT SUPPLIES, WHITE GLUE, PAINTS, PLAYDOUGH, COLORING BOOKS, TISSUE PAPER
To assist the DAYCARE ROOM you could bring
- PLASTIC CUPS, PLATES, BOWLS, FORKS, SPOONS (found in DOLLAR STORES in US/CANADA)
- AGE APPROPRIATE TOYS (1 yr – 5 yrs)
- DIAPERS, BABY BOTTLES, BOTTLE BRUSHES, DIAPER RASH CREAM, BABY OIL, QTIPS, BABY SHAMPOO, BABY FOOD, POWDERED MILK (NIDO, NAN 1, NAN 2,)
To assist the COMPUTER/ENGLISH PROGRAMS you could bring
- LINED NOTEBOOKS, PENCILS, PENS
- LEARNING GAMES FOR THE COMPUTER, COMPUTERS,
- SMALL ITEMS TO USE FOR INCENTIVES/MOTIVATION/REWARD