All posts by smacy

OH HAPPY DAY, PARTS 56-61

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:17b-19.

Whenever I watch the walls of a house we’re building in Juarez go up, these verses come to life for me. God’s love knows no bounds, but I sure do love when he gives it enough boundary to see tangibly, especially in the dimensions of someone’s new home.

The main reason we stack diapers and formula at the team center before organizing it for distribution is to give you this same visual. These pictures of tangible supplies represent God’s love—wide, long, high, and deep—and great care of his babies. God’s love displayed through you and your generosity.

So what is a person to do when you’re on a team that’s building a house for a family, and as the walls are going up you learn their youngest three kids were raised on BOJ diapers and formula? You lose it, of course! Because their dear faces are too precious to keep to myself, I share them here with you…

Not only are they alive, they are vibrant, happy, connected, thriving kids. Look at sweet baby Amy. Her smile was so distracting, it’s a miracle we got any work accomplished. If you ever wonder why you sacrificially give of your resources or go the extra mile to drop supplies off—I present exhibits A, B, and C. These children are the answer.

So here’s what you sent to Mexico since my last update:
Load 56…

Load 57…

Load 58…

Load 59… (delivered the same week as number 58…)

Load 60… (Bonus story: my dear mama works faithfully before our annual Thanksgiving trip to raise money for supplies through Dorothy’s Match. Last year this also spurred on some wild generosity from my dad’s childhood friend and his sweet wife. They started a matching program of their own that was so beautifully funded, we are still using money from BOTH these gifts to supplement the loads all these months later. For more on the Dorothy’s Match program, click here.)

Load 61…

Load 62 is hanging out in our garage and in our storage closet as I type, patiently waiting to be loaded up tomorrow and delivered on Wednesday. Our school and church have been crazy generous in their giving these past few years. So many of you have given to keep these babies thriving. We view the stacks of supplies in our home as an absolute thing of beauty! Needs keep being presented—and God keeps meeting these needs through you.

Thank you for your continued partnership in caring for our babies. This is never lost on me.
How wide, how long, how high, and how deep indeed.

oh happy day, parts 47-49

Mother’s Day is a mixed bag for a lot of people. Some long to be moms, but aren’t. Others have lost their mom and miss her terribly. Some have strained relationships with their kids. And others have a strained relationship with their mom. And there are also so many who are able to enjoy the day fully. Regardless of your situation today, I’d like to take a minute to thank you on behalf of the moms living in the colonias we serve together. At some point (or many points!) over the last eight years you’ve made a big difference in the life of a mom down in Mexico. Imagine having a baby you can’t feed or a baby desperately in need of a clean diaper you have no ability to provide. Thanks to you all, many moms in the colonias of Juarez have babies with full tummies and clean pants. Now THAT is my idea of a happy Mother’s Day.

47

Load 47 was collected by and went down with dear friends from Colorado . . .

48

Load 48 went down over Thanksgiving. In part it was made up of Dorothy’s Match and a large donation from a few Banner hospitals in the area. (Thank you, Lara and Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church in Mesa. An AMAZING gift to the babies thru Banner and your hard work…) Also, some wonderful pediatricians in the area made the effort to donate their expired supplies. Bell Mortgage is a fantastic philanthropic organization that was also part of this collection. Thank you, Glen and Brad, for such an awesome gift that made its way to the babies in November.

49A

49B

Load 49 went down in March from Arizona. It was a beautiful combination of donations from family and friends.
Now doesn’t this make you want to be part of grand load number 50?! (FIFTY!)

Load 50 will go down on June 21. (Poignantly and appropriately…this is Father’s Day.) Montview Presbyterian’s MomTime group in Denver and Gilbert Pediatrics have already given us a beautiful start. Want to join them in blessing the socks off some moms in Mexico next month? Here’s how . . .
· You can drop supplies off at 2735 E Flower Court, Gilbert AZ 85298 and/or 10208 Rustic Redwood Way, Highlands Ranch CO 80126.
· You can email me to schedule a pick-up of supplies.
· You can give online at https://www.justgive.org/basket?acton=donate&ein=84-1589315. (Just put BOJ in the notes.)
· You can send a check payable to Babies of Juarez to 2487 S. Gilbert Road, Suite 106-266, Gilbert, AZ 85295.
Happy Mother’s Day to every single one of you! Thank you for making a life-changing difference in Mexico.

oh happy day, parts 39-46

This update comes long overdue. So long overdue that I feel I should explain. During this very difficult year for me personally, I found it necessary to back burner many dear-to-my-heart things. I’m happy to report that a most welcome corner has finally been turned, and I can now put my renewed energy into something I love to do—send you this update and say thank you!

You can tell from the subject line that the babies haven’t been at all neglected. Thanks be to God! Many have been so faithful to keep giving despite my lack of expressed gratitude. Loads of supplies have been delivered to Juarez by friends in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado. We’ve had churches like Christ’s Greenfield step up and take a massive collection—of both supplies and cash. Very special MOPS groups from Cherry Hills Community Church and FBC Frisco (in Texas!) stepped up in a mighty way to bless moms in Juarez. A generous young man named Chase asked for supplies last Christmas. (Can you even imagine?) Discovery Bible in Oklahoma has been collecting and taking supplies with them on their house-building trips. BAE Systems in Phoenix took up a huge collection that we got to take down earlier this year. Every single collection represents individuals who have given their time and sacrificed resources to give some babies in Mexico a future and to help carry the burden of some in-need families. I just cannot thank you enough.

The large groups represent only a portion of the supplies given. Many of you give as individuals—of your time to get the supplies to me and also of your resources. Almost every time someone hands me a single can of formula or an opened bag of diapers, they tell me it isn’t much and wish it were more. All of you dear ones, please take a close look at the pictures below to see what a bunch of people’s “not much” looks like when combined. Basically, you rock.

Two more quick things before I share pictures.
· One sustaining reason we’ve successfully met the needs of the babies in Juarez this past year: monthly gifts. A few of you generous people donate money every single month to BOJ. And I love to spend and stretch these funds. I regularly shop clearance formula and use coupons sent to me. We put every penny to great use, I promise you. And, one other noteworthy thing—every single dollar given goes to buy diapers and formula. Any admin costs of the ministry are covered by someone else. If a person gives $50 a month for supplies, $50 is spent on supplies. So if you’re looking for an opportunity to regularly make a difference in a child’s life, please consider us. You can send a check to Babies of Juarez at 2487 S Gilbert Road, Suite 106-266, Gilbert AZ 85295 or give online. It makes a huge difference.
· My oldest daughter and I had the coolest opportunity to make a special trip down in June to be part of the distribution of supplies. We took lots of pictures, but the story deserves a separate post, so you’ll have to wait to see all the darling faces. For now, just know that the beneficiaries of your continued support and generosity are some very precious babies and very grateful mamas.

I can’t do your giving justice with my words alone…so here are some pictures.

BOJ

You’re all very near and dear to my heart. Thank you for sticking with me and continuing this work of feeding hungry babies.

Quinn
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. ~Helen Keller

oh happy day, parts 36, 37, and 38

Babies of Juarez is having a wonderful year! Since our last update, we had the joy of taking loads of diapers and formula down to Mexico in both June and October. And as I type, supplies in Colorado have been loaded into a trailer and are heading across the border tonight. There are so many great things happening…!

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Here’s one of the many cool things about the shipment that’s going across now. This sweet group of girls from a church in Parker collected these supplies and delivered them just in time to make the load. (Adds extra joy, doesn’t it?!)

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And this is load 38 in its entirety. Heading down and across today. Yay!

2013-Juarez flyer—5 addresses-2sidesprint

Of the other fun happenings, one that tops the list is our expansion into Oklahoma. Here’s our newest flyer with the added drop-off area. What an incredible way to increase the number of babies we get to serve. We couldn’t be more excited about this addition to the BOJ team.

birthday party 1
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In the last few months, two sweet girls collected diapers and formula during their birthday celebrations.

Babies of Juarez watched a fun donation come to Arizona via an old Michigan connection. That friend worked extra hard to get us his family’s gift to the babies. His baby couldn’t use the formula they had purchased, so he and his wife donated it to the babies in Mexico. From a baby here to a baby there! An especially fun exchange.

The friend who is doing RTW again with us this year. (Paragraph starts with “Initially simply a friend of a friend…”) copy

Initially a friend of a friend from Colorado but now my dear friend in Arizona continues to collect supplies for the babies. (And how cool is this? Her family will join us for the second time at a parking-lot build here in Gilbert. They’re busy sending diapers, formula, and homes to our neighbors in Mexico.)

We had a friend from school get involved with a sizeable donation through his generous, community-focused company, Bell State Bank. That gift fed many hungry children. The project called Pay It Forward: Community Connect is making a difference through its employees.

a friend of the project put together a drive in Mes and collected this for the babies_Snapseed copy

A friend of the project put together a drive in Mesa and collected this for the babies!

representatibe of the WA OR AZ Juarez trail...and clearly a trip to the Nike employee store copy

While this picture reveals our annual trip to the Nike employee store, it also shows a sample of what was relocated from Washington to Oregon to Arizona to Juarez, Mexico. When God wants to take care of his babies, he finds a way! Every one of six suitcases held a stash of diapers and formula. TSA maybe thought we were nuts.

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half of the June load copy
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And there it is…the hauled-down, stacked-in-Mexico (to show you all), ready-for-distribution photos. Loads number 36 and 37. Our distribution methods have evolved over time. For most of our operating years the diapers and formula have been distributed through the pastors of five local churches. They have a pulse on the greatest needs in the community and this way the supplies are rightly viewed as God’s provision. Just recently we’ve had one local pastor take on the role and distributes during set dates and times, sits down with the families and leads them in a Bible study, and then distributes the supplies. We’re very grateful for Pastor Martin and his approach toward helping people physically and spiritually.

We press on to finish this year strong—helping babies not only survive but thrive—and look forward to a great 2014. We will make our last trip of the year over Thanksgiving and would be grateful for all supplies and monetary gifts. (We shop clearance and often find bargains on Craig’s List!) (And…100% of all donations go to buy supplies. All operating costs are funded separately, so every dollar given can be used to care for babies in need.)

Thank you for your incredible support over the years. You’ve given a brighter future to a whole lot of babies. From the bottom of my overflowing heart, thank you.

oh happy day, parts 29 and 30

Here we are at the end of a whirlwind summer, yet you found ways to keep giving to the Babies of Juarez. Words cannot fully express our gratitude.

As usual, I’m eager to share pictures from the last two loads, but I can’t not tell you this one remarkable story first. On our June trip, I was approached by a pastor’s wife following the church service we attended. She’s been actively involved in distributing the supplies you give to the babies. She shared three stories with me along with the hope I would visit the families with her someday (as if my heart would survive that). The first two stories I’d heard before—families coming into the area, with children close to starving, being given diapers and formula from our project. The third story was about a young family, a couple recently married and trying to build a good life in pretty tough conditions. The young man was attending the university with plans to become an engineer. Families in the colonias outside Juarez sacrifice deeply to be educated, so the fact he had gotten that far was a true testimony to his family’s commitment and his personal drive. But then the couple became pregnant earlier than expected in their marriage, and they had a choice to make—formula for the baby or school tuition. He was about to drop out of school when he ran into someone from Missions Ministries, the group that oversees distribution of the diapers and formula. This person encouraged the couple to stay on course at school because we could help them with supplies for the baby. This story really struck a chord in me. The pastor’s wife told me the young man will be graduating soon, thanks, in part, to many of you. Not only did you feed a baby, you enabled a young family to change the course of their lives forever, and they now have choices for the future.

The pictures might be good at showing what you gave, but they can’t convey the many stories behind the families receiving the supplies. I hope the one I shared will help you see these supplies a little differently this time.

oh happy day, part 29

Load 29

oh happy day, part 30

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Load 30

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Load 30a—A young girl in Highlands Ranch asked that in lieu of birthday gifts people buy diapers and formula for the Babies of Juarez. (Thank you, sweet birthday girl Haley!)

Some fun connections to these loads:

· The MOPS group at Mountainview Community Christian Church did a generous, loving BOJ collection that went down with load 29.

· A former neighbor in Colorado surprised me by sending a huge gift for the babies.

· Part of these shipments involve a dear woman in Colorado Springs who collected from her doctor. She took the stash to my friend’s mom’s home in Colorado Springs, who in turn drove it up to Highlands Ranch to store at my friend’s house until I was able to pick it up on a recent visit. (These details may seem silly to some, but I love the journey some supplies take in making their way down to the colonias of Mexico. One day I might have to map them!)

· Some of the supplies in these loads started at a crisis pregnancy center in Washington and were driven to my parents’ house in Oregon. Some were then transported by my mom, others by my brother and his girlfriend who were on leave, visiting from Iraq and traveling between the two places. We got to load up the supplies in Arizona and drive them to Mexico. (Can you see how fun this is?)

· The sweet stack of blankets pictured in load 30 were made by Gilbert Christian middle school students and lovingly presented to babies at the clinic in June.

· A second sweet birthday girl asked people for diapers and formula in lieu of gifts.

· Some of the formula in load 30 was purchased with love during a visit by my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and sweet new baby niece. The generosity of one young family blessing another.

I could go on! But the next load with more stories is just around the corner so I’ll stop there. Your willing heart and generosity go a long way in God’s economy. Thank you for the impact you’ve made in my life—and the lives of so many others.

Quinn
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. ~Helen Keller