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