Thursday, January 24, 2013
Thank You God, Thank You God, Thank You...
Words that I have uttered over and over again in my life. Words that I have uttered after witnessing God do the impossible in someone else’s life. Words that I have uttered in response to Him answering the earnest cries of my heart. Words that I have uttered when I have realized that God has always been right there with me. He has not abandoned me. In fact, He’s been there through it all and pulled me through even when I didn’t know that I needed Him to. However, these words fall so far short of what I actually want to say to Him.
How can I ever truly thank Him for His incredible faithfulness to the ministry of Casas por Cristo? In October we entered our 20th year of ministry and in September of 2013 we will officially celebrate the completion of those 20 years (watch for details throughout the coming year). One thing that I have been able to look back and see throughout those years is God’s amazing faithfulness.
God has been faithful to us by providing us with YOU! Throughout our history, you, our supporters, have been right here with us. You helped a struggling little family ministry get off the ground and begin to realize her vision of changing people’s lives here in the desert surrounding Juárez, México. You have sent your sacrificial support. You have come and built homes and relationships with families in need. You have covered us with your prayers.
When we shared with you our desire to expand this ministry into Acuña, México, you were right there alongside us. You provided the funds so that we could begin ministering with new pastors, to new families, in a new city. You came and built the first homes with us. You listened to God’s call on your heart and YOU were faithful.
When we shared with you our huge goal of expanding this ministry to another country, you didn’t balk. Once again, you were right there along the way. You prayed with us as we sought discernment on which country to expand to. And when we chose to grow into Guatemala, you made it happen. Your prayers paved the way. Your gifts provided the resources, the building materials and the tools that we needed. When we needed to secure vehicles in order to be able to get out and minister with these families, once again you were there to answer the call.
God provided YOU!
Along the way, God has been faithful to us as we have continued to minister in Juárez. In fact, He has been more than faithful. Throughout the turbulent drug war that has been raging, God has allowed us to continue spreading His hope, His love, His mercy and His grace with a community that most of the world has given up on. Over the past four years we have facilitated over 12,000 volunteers crossing into México without any adverse affects from the drug cartels. Our people have been safe and the families that we minister to have been more receptive to the Gospel than ever before. Families have seen strangers leave the “safety” of their homes to step into the “hopelessness” of their world and shine the love of Jesus into their lives. How could they not respond to Jesus after that?
The homicide rates topped 3,600 in 2010 and the media coverage was intense. However, God has been faithful and we have seen peace returning to Juárez. At the end of September, the homicide rate was below 600 — rates that are more in line with those before 2008.
I want to do something that I haven’t done in four years. I want to boldly invite you to come back to Juárez. This community that so many have given up on is ripe for the Harvest. God has prepared these people to be very open to His message of love and grace that He chooses to share through YOU.
God has been so faithful to us over the years, and He has done so through each one of you reading this article. Your prayers…your support…your involvement…your commitment have kept us going. So I say, “Thank You,” and once again, I find my words to be lacking.
You are going to read some articles and some stories in this issue of Beyond Building that scream of God’s faithfulness. In the process, I pray that you will feel encouraged…that you will feel appreciated…that you will feel challenged…and that you will feel motivated. And that maybe as a result, you will join with my inadequate words and cry out….
“Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you...”
Casas por Cristo