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

oh happy day, part 28

We had quite a few new families join us on our trip to Juarez this month—and it was great fun to watch them patiently haul supplies and stack diapers/formula for the picture and then haul supplies again…before carefully putting everything on the shelves to await distribution. Here’s what you sent to Mexico!

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I swear sometimes God might be trying to kill me. I thought the stories surrounding load 27 would do me in. Little did I know load 28 would be just as wonderful! On the last night of our trip we were sitting at church listening to various members of the congregation sing and speak, when Elizabeth, Pastor Miguel’s wife, called up the kids who had been recipients of the diapers and formula you’d given. Elizabeth expressed powerful words of gratitude to you all for helping these dear families.

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It was incredible enough to look at happy, growing children who made it through infancy, but imagine watching this while knowing the family who had given the very first Babies of Juarez diapers and formula was sitting in the seats watching with me! I thought my heart would burst on the spot.

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Of course I had taken a picture of the gift that started it all. And 28 loads later I’m still taking pictures…thanks to your continued support of the babies of Juarez. God sure does love his babies!

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Look at this face and know that your gifts and efforts have truly mattered.

oh happy day, part 27

Load 27 knocked our socks off! A trailer carrying all these supplies went down to Juarez mid-January…

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And then last week I received the gift of a lifetime. My daughter Cassidy and I were graciously invited to join a team of friends down in Juarez for a house build. While there, a dear friend and head national for the organization that distributes the Babies of Juarez supplies, Leo, arranged for a group of moms and babies who have benefitted from your generosity over the years to come visit us at the team center. To say the very least, it was overwhelming. And moving. And life changing. We heard stories of babies who lived only because of the supplies you gave. We met some babies who couldn’t tolerate regular formula and required specific nutrients in the high-end formula donated by others of you. We heard stories about mothers who notice massive differences between the development of their infants, babies, and toddlers who received diapers and formula through Babies of Juarez and their older kids who managed to survive on sugar water and bean juice as babies. They described their younger children’s health, growth, and overall physical/mental development as dramatically superior.

SO—not only have your gifts meant life to so many babies, they’ve meant a better life. Last week I got to see this with my very own eyes and hear with my very own ears. You are making a tremendous difference in the lives of families in great need. And now…enjoy some pictures of these beautiful babies!

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On behalf of the babies and their mommas, thank you for your amazing support.
Quinn

oh happy day, part 26

What can I say about load 26? You should probably know how hard I’m working to tone down my enthusiasm for this particular delivery of diapers and formula. It was chock-full of cool moments. I live in lists, so here are the highlights in my favorite form.

• Only six weeks after load 25, we got to take load 26 down.

• “We” includes my dear husband, kids, parents, in-laws, brother, sister-in-law, niece, and cousin, all flying to Arizona and then driving with us to El Paso. I’m sure that piques your curiosity, so here’s the whole story.

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• It took the majority of a 6×12 trailer to haul the supplies to El Paso. (We stopped about every ten miles to refuel. You think I’m kidding!)

• A huge portion of the supplies came from a diaper drive done by our kids’ school. The support was overwhelming! Over 20,000 diapers given. (We didn’t have room to take them all with load 25, so the rest became part of 26.)

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• A good friend and ultra-active supporter of Babies of Juarez spent countless hours putting on a yard sale to benefit the cause. (Raised more than $1,200!) Some of the supplies from this load were the fruit of her family’s labor.

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• In a Walmart parking lot in El Paso, as we transferred supplies from our rented trailer into the Missions Ministries trailer, it became clear some would have to go into storage to wait for the next border crossing. A great problem to have, don’t you think?

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• Once safely across the border into Mexico, we unloaded 26 with the unsolicited help of the beloved construction crew. I came on the scene after the process had already started. Watching joy-filled faces and willing hands jump right in to tackle the project together was a life moment I will never forget. Then my moms, cousin, and sister-in-law stacked the load for the official picture. I always appreciate the patience of our team members as they recognize my need to share with you what you’ve all done together. The pictures keep us all motivated to remember the babies and their overwhelming and ongoing need.

• Unexpected rain threatened the supplies. I was happily gallivanting around Juarez with a friend shopping for mattresses, and the unload/stacking crew had headed elsewhere. So my husband, our kids, and the team center security guards quickly hauled everything indoors.

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• Back at home, we discovered the pastors of the Mexican churches had blessed us with pictures of the supplies being distributed to the families. Here’s a sampling. (Missions Ministries made the sign to thank you all for your beautiful efforts.) The most perfect cherry on top of load 26.

On Sunday, load 27 heads to Mexico. What’s that old saying about wild horses? I can’t wait to report back to you!

These words and pictures only hint of the effect of your efforts. Let them encourage you as we come together to serve others. Thank you all for the privilege of delivering your gifts and resources to help hungry babies survive and even thrive. It brings me tremendous joy.

—Quinn

oh happy day, part 25

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Seriously.

Without a doubt, number 25 was the largest load yet. The pictures don’t come close to doing it justice. Three trailers went across the border with the October team—full of supplies. What a blessing to the families down in Mexico! Hungry babies being fed and staying free of infection.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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We collect diapers and formula