oh, happy day, parts 67-84

     Tongue-tied. Synonyms: dumbstruck, speechless. This was my state of being while driving home from Juarez earlier this month. Alternating between tears and favorite worship songs, I was overwhelmed by how precious it was to be back in the colonias outside Juarez again. After nearly 10 months, I was given the opportunity to not only drive diapers and formula to El Paso, but to go into Mexico. My happy place, filled with people I’ve known and loved for 14 years. Without knowing it, I had taken this privilege for granted. Our school group and our church group were two of the last teams in Juarez as the great shutdown was happening last March. No one but God knew the world would still be upside down all these months later. Thankfully he had no intention of letting his babies go hungry in 2020 and made a way for the work to continue.

     If I didn’t procrastinate every writing project so proficiently, I’d have sent an update earlier. But alas, here we are. SO much has happened the last few years. SO many babies fed and given clean diapers. SO many lives saved and made better. SO many stories of fat babies and healthier starts in the world. SO many ways God has showed up to love on our families in Mexico through your generous gifts!

   Now here it is 2021 and we’re still going strong. Government restrictions meant a few loads could only be pictured in a trailer or U-Haul as I dropped them in loving hands in El Paso. The crew in Mexico has continued the happy work of distribution. Lord willing, we’re finally moving back in the direction (long, slow direction) of normal and will one day be stacking supplies again down in Mexico. But whether they get neatly stacked for a photo before distribution or simply distributed, God sees every gift, every giver, and every recipient, and we are amazed at what God has done through you.

     Are you looking for ways to offer something positive in the world? Please continue partnering with us. Actual diapers and formula can be sent to our home. Funds can be sent through this PayPal link. Please put “Babies of Juarez” in the memo line and every dollar goes to buy supplies. A few sweet friends shop clearance all over Phoenix to stretch each dollar as far as possible. I was only in the colonias a few hours, but heard new stories of “fat” babies and a baby who was drinking formula from a store in the colonias, only it was making her terribly sick. The mother got her hands on some of the BOJ formula you sent, the baby started thriving. Thanks be to God and thanks be to you for your continued support of these families.

     Here’s to a brighter year! With love and gratitude,
                Quinn

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 53-55

My heart is full—and I’m flying high these days with the many amazing things happening for our Babies. I’d love to promise brevity in this report, but that would be a promise I don’t intend to keep.

• I had reason to go looking for a specific picture recently. The search led me to my very first “oh happy day” email. At the end of it I had written this: I’d be short-sighted if I didn’t let you know I’m in this for the long haul and will collect diapers and formula as long as God allows.

• Well I was pretty much useless the rest of the day. Back then I had sure hoped this would be a long-term project, but I didn’t really know what God had in mind. I only knew that he had asked, and that my heart was all in. And if there’s one lesson I’ve learned over the last nine years, it’s that God provides.

• Actually, the lesson is that God provides abundantly.

• My last update included a story about a young couple with a struggling new baby, and then an ask for support. And boy, did you answer! We were overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by the supplies arriving via amazon and Target. You dear people about did me in. Thank you for your generosity and your care for the babies. God knows every sacrifice of time and resources you made—and I am convinced you overwhelmed him too. Bless you for giving. (Now, the UPS man might not share my enthusiasm, but I promise you I’m thankful enough for both of us!)

• Last fall, we had another successful Dorothy’s Match campaign run by my loving parents and funded by some of you incredibly generous people. Want to see just how crazy successful? https://mauriandsherry.com/2015/12/04/dorothys-match/ Months later, I still read the blog post, shake my head in amazement, and grin from ear to ear.

• Here’s a picture of what my friend Jen took down in November from Colorado. To all the supporters up there who remember the babies and keep giving, thank you!! It is MUCH appreciated. Many Colorado supporters graciously send funds now, or they participated in the plea to ship supplies to me. Those supplies are part of what’s driven over from Arizona. (In case you’re from CO and interested in these little details…)

Unknown

• One of those vital Colorado supporters is a 10-year-old boy named Chase. For the third year in a row he asked his parents for diapers and formula instead of Christmas gifts. (Seriously. If that doesn’t encourage us, I’m not sure anything will.) This family blessed the ministry with $1,000 to do just that. You see what I mean about God’s provision? In this messy world we live in, God is looking after his own—and he’s doing it through the heart of a young man in the suburbs of Colorado. Thank you, Chase! This means more to me than you’ll ever know.

• For those who’ve been down to the colonias, you know it’s a hard life. Here are a few dear faces who also want to thank you for the help. You are making life a reality for some babies and life dramatically better for others. Isn’t this relationship we have with them the coolest picture of the body of Christ? God wants us to carry each other’s burdens. And you all get an A+.

Unknown-1

• Because I can’t help myself…here’s another one taken during a separate distribution. How am I supposed to get anything written while looking at these faces? Aren’t they lovely? (Thank you, dear Leo and Susy, for taking and sending these wonderful pictures to us.)

Unknown-2

• So here’s the Thanksgiving load. I can hardly stand it. (And, for the record, the picture doesn’t begin to do it justice.)

Unknown-3

• And here’s load number 55. She went down with us in March. Our church, Redemption Gateway, was sending its first team and held a diaper and formula drive the Sunday before we left. Our church family literally gave as though their own lives depended on it. It was inspiring.

9614_10153500545398977_4171356869075492427_n

• When our team arrived at the Missions Ministries team center in March, we were met by the family we’d be building a home for the next day. We were introduced to them all by name—except for the baby who was introduced as “Baby.” With a trailer of supplies ready to be unloaded, what an in-our-face reminder of why we collect these supplies. (For those new to the ministry, it’s very typical for the families in the colonias to not name their children till they reach 6 months old. The infant mortality rate used to be around 25%, and they felt not naming a baby would make the loss somehow easier. I cannot imagine.)

• When someone holds a diaper/formula drive for the Babies, we typically just get to see the fun outcome of the drive as a whole and not the individual donations. But with the Redemption Gateway drive, we got to see the whole and also a few bonuses. I think this is where the beauty of this ministry comes in and reminds me why we stack supplies and take pictures. My husband’s favorite drop off this go-round was a Kirkland brand can of formula in a Taco Bell bag left on our friend’s front porch. This giver missed the drive at church on Sunday, but was compelled to go out of their way to get a can of formula in our hands to take down. My stand-out favorite was a final hour drop off right before we loaded the trailer with supplies. A woman from a small group at our church went out of her way to get our address and came the night before we left to drop off a pack of diapers. God knows the baby whose empty stomach didn’t stay empty because of that Kirkland formula. And he knows the baby who gets clean diapers instead of sitting in dirty ones with a sore-infected bottom because of that last minute drop-off. He sees your giving and your efforts, and he is pleased.

Unknown-4

• How is a person supposed to be brief with all this great stuff going on?! Don’t even get me started about all I’m leaving out!

• So when I look at the Thanksgiving abundance and then the bounty of load 55, I might be tempted to wonder how on earth load 56 will come together. Where will the next round of supplies come from? How will we ever keep this up? I’m so happy to report that nine years in, there’s finally no wondering (or worrying) from me. God himself is putting it together. I’ve already gotten a sneak peek too, and let me tell you—he is doing a magnificent job.

oh happy day, parts 51-52

Have you ever felt stuck? I’m feeling stuck.

Eight years ago, when we started collecting diapers and formula for the babies of Juarez, I had no clue what the future held—that we’d still be collecting supplies and taking them to Mexico. Mostly it was a day-at-a-time, donation-by-donation thing. Yet the passion I have for these families and their need has done nothing but increase over the years, which reminds me the fire is God-given!

So here I am—stuck and at a loss to fully convey what’s in my heart. If you’ve been down to the colonias you have seen the situation with your own eyes. It’s ridiculously hard for people to find work there. When they do, the average wage is $8-10/day. How do you provide food, clothing, shelter, water, and education for your family on $10/day? Diapers and formula are expensive to those of us with a much larger wage. Can you imagine buying them with a $10/day paycheck?

I want to share pictures of the last two supply loads taken down to Mexico. But first—a story. We hauled Load 52 down a few weeks ago, and while there, my friend Jacque and I had an unexpected opportunity to meet a young family who was receiving formula from you for the very first time. We were headed back to Leo’s office (Leo is the head national for Missions Ministries) on an unrelated errand and we found him meeting with this sweet couple and their four-month-old child. They had just come from the doctor, receiving news that their baby is dangerously underweight. Moms in Mexico try to breastfeed, but due to diets of primarily beans, rice, and tortillas made with lard, they usually don’t have the nutrition to do so. This young family had nowhere to turn and no means to buy pricey formula. Jacque and I could see the deep concern on their faces. Someone told them about the help offered through Babies of Juarez, and they went straight to the team center. We also saw a sense of wonder in them, like “is this really happening? Is it too good to be true?” Yet what could be more like God than seeing their need that day and showing up to meet it? When that formula was purchased on the clearance rack at Fry’s, God knew full well where it was going. May I never ever get tired of watching him provide. May the wonder of it never be lost on me.

IMG_3637[1]

I’m telling you about this family because we need your help. The number of babies being fed and diapered through this ministry continues to grow. An incredible gift and privilege! People come from many miles to get help for their families. Meeting this young family and sensing their anxiety over the need staring at them broke my heart and spurs me on.

It’s that time of year when the many needs of this world are (rightly) put before us at every turn. The holiday season and end-of-year push. We struggle to find balance between all we have materially compared to the rest of the world, and yet because of our culture we sometimes feel squeezed financially too. It’s an interesting rub, and something I hope we all grapple with as we enter this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Our family heads back to Mexico on November 25, pulling a trailer we hope will be full of supplies for these in-need babies. I don’t really like to ask for help, yet on behalf of the babies, I’m asking today if you’ll help us fill up that trailer.

For my home address, please e-mail quincyjoyanderson/at/gmail.com.

amazon.com will deliver diapers and formula right to my front door. Super simple, right? Maybe you’ll feel such a gift tighten your budget, maybe you won’t. We’re all in different places financially. But I can promise—your gift will be felt in Mexico and quite possibly be the difference between life and death for a child.

And now—the lovely pictures of loads 51 (collected in Denver) and 52 (collected in Phoenix.) God’s jaw-dropping provision through you.

IMG_6712 IMG_3610

My cup overflows…

We collect diapers and formula