It’s definitely time for an update on load 23. This massive amount of supplies went across the border with a team on June 8. And on top of that—there are many more supplies that couldn’t fit in the trailer. Those stacks of diapers and formula aren’t even included in these pictures. Those remaining supplies were stored briefly in El Paso and have been taken across gradually. What an incredible job you did! Thank you, thank you.
And you can see our team took some creative liberty assembling the supplies for the picture. Cute, isn’t it?
Some of you are new to this project—yay and WELCOME! I thought it might be helpful to give a quick rundown of how the ministry works. It’s delightfully simple and effective. People like you donate supplies or money to purchase supplies. There’s a hub in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and one in Gilbert, Arizona, has recently been added. We collect and store the diapers and formula. When a team is going to the colonias for a house-building project through Missions Ministries, the supplies are loaded and sent with that team. Missions Ministries distributes the supplies to the five local pastors in their area of service down in the colonias outside Juarez. The five pastors then distribute to the families under their care. Over the years we’ve seen pastors come the very night we arrive, late in the evening, because they knew of a hungry baby who desperately needed food. It’s a life I can only imagine. And overwhelming to say the least. Since this project started in 2007 we’ve sent 23 big loads to Juarez (see babiesofjuarez.org for pictures) and as a result the infant mortality rate has dropped significantly. It’s been my life-changing privilege to gather supplies from all of you these past few years. Thank you. Two “often asked” questions: why not cloth diapers and why don’t the moms breastfeed? The families don’t have adequate water supply to wash cloth diapers—and the moms are typically so malnourished that their milk dries up quickly.
A few noteworthy items this go-round:
–The daycare at First Baptist Church in Mesa held a diaper/formula drive and collected 1,571 diapers and enough formula to make 878 bottles! Amazing.
–Summers Laboratories in Collegeville, PA, recently donated 200 2-oz tubes of Triple Paste medicated ointment. What a wonderful gift!
–New to You consignment sale has agreed to support Babies of Juarez again by handing out our flyers at its upcoming event on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. Thank you!
–We’re gearing up for the October 9 half-marathon in Denver. Want to run or walk—or pledge support to a runner or walker? Click on the “Half Marathon” tab to contact us for information and registration.
–The June Water2Wine event was a huge success, raising close to $7,000 for the Babies of Juarez and two house-building projects. (Incredible work, friends!)
–Load 24 will go down with us on October 12. From the look of things so far, God plans to feed and diaper a whole lot of babies!
A friend of mine (a saint in my eyes) lives in Ruidoso Downs and ministers to many people in the colonias outside Juarez. He keeps me updated on certain families we know or babies being born. It was his words God used to birth the Babies of Juarez project in the first place—and he continues to encourage and inspire me. Through him I recently learned of Traike, one of the new babies we’re now privileged to love on through this project. I include these two excerpts from his notes so you can meet her too. And watch her grow!
Thought you might enjoy this newborn photo. Our baby strategy these days is to help the mother while she is pregnant with food, fruit, and pecans. We provide one can of formula and one bag of newborn diapers before the baby is born, then they are all yours. This little one is 10 days old, comfortably sleeping and looking healthy like an American baby. Her family rents a terrible leaky house, probably will never own a home, but they live in Pastor Martin’s area and attend his church.
Your new baby girl is named Traike. I translate it “little tranquil one.” Her mother, Lupe, brought her outside so I could see her just after she woke up from a nap, the sun was very bright and hot, but Lupe is so pleased with her life. Pastor Martin has taken them your diapers and formula and she is doing fine. They usually attend all services and outreaches at Pastor Martin’s church, so I’m sure you will see this little one in person. They live in a miserable red house at the bottom of the hill going up to Pastor Martin’s church. Her dad’s name is Antonio.
You can see how this encourages me. Real babies in rough situations being fed and diapered by your gifts.
During our June trip we heard stories of babies in great need—stories of the situation prior to Babies of Juarez supporters regularly giving and sending supplies. Many babies were being fed water skimmed from the top of boiled beans. Most families in the colonias we serve are in a one-meal-a-day situation. And those meals consist primarily of rice and beans. Due to the cost of formula, many families are simply unable to afford it and were using bean water to try and get some nutrients in their children. Can you imagine buying formula when the average income is $5-10/day? You can be sure my heart made a pledge that day to do everything possible to ensure no more babies are drinking bean water on our watch. It was a powerful story—and a reminder to me how much I’ve been given. And a reminder to me how much I want to give in return.
Thank you for your continued support. It is precious to me…