Category Archives: “oh happy day!” updates

oh happy day – part 93-97

Oh how many highlights are represented in the following pictures. Countless ways that God provided through you and others.

—A friend who took my breath away by shopping for a massive quantity of supplies himself when stores were limiting purchases.
—A school that went above and beyond to bless the babies, hosting an amazingly successful diaper drive.
—A church that is generous beyond my wildest comprehension.
—(The group collections blow my mind because of all the people involved who felt led to give. I deeply wish I could thank each one personally. It always brings a smile to my face though, wondering what connection they might get to have with the recipient in heaven.)
—A new crazy random hospital connection on the west side and a new OBGYN office in the east valley, both passing along their about-to-expire supplies.
—All the monetary donations given so I could quickly restock this summer when supplies ran low in Mexico. A few of you brought me to tears with your surprise year-end gifts. You folks made load 97 possible.

I tell people regularly that I had no idea back in 2007 I’d still be collecting today. I simply didn’t think this far into the future. But who am I to be surprised? God provides. He just does.

Thank you to everyone who has prioritized others by giving in some way—either to the babies or elsewhere. You make the world a better place and I am deeply thankful for it.

P.S. The trailer is already 3/4 full with load 98. Our church’s formula drive during Kids Camp was unbelievable, which contributed greatly to this next haul. This puts us super close to load 100. I have no words. That update might simply show a picture of me on the ground crying, and I don’t think a one of you would blame me. Only God could do this.
With love and gratitude,

oh happy day, part 85-92

     While the situation is different, the feelings I had as I watched the recent (and somewhat continuing) baby formula shortage stirred my memory of first hearing tragic stories in Juarez back in 2007. Just like then, I wasn’t personally trying to feed my own baby, but wow, did it break my heart to see others caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty and concern. If you or someone you know was struggling to find formula to feed a baby the last few months, you now have a more intimate understanding of what the moms in Juarez face on a regular basis. It’s precisely what wrecked me more than 15 years ago and inspired this ministry. Whether it’s due to scarce financial resources or depleted store shelves, I cannot fathom having a child I can’t feed. 

     Some of you have asked about the situation down in Juarez where formula is concerned. Thank you for thinking about and continuing to care about our friends in Mexico. I am happy to share some good news and also an opportunity for you to provide tangible help. First—as God often likes to do, he provided in advance. Before I heard anything about a formula shortage, we had a trailer of diapers, formula, and food in our driveway. Formula, thanks to donated funds and some wonderful humans who shop clearance all across the east valley of Phoenix; diapers, thanks to the Agritopia campus of Gilbert Christian School holding its annual diaper drive; food, thanks to Midwest Food Bank. Those supplies (pictured below as load 92) were taken down in June when I learned supplies were low in the colonias. I couldn’t get them down till July myself, but my hero friend Jerry drove them down with joy. This is one of the countless stories I’ve enjoyed over the years. God provided in advance through you, Jerry drove supplies to El Paso and was met by the Missions Ministries crew, a team took them across the border and happily stacked them for a picture. The beauty of the body of Christ functioning as intended. It just never gets old.

     Fast forward to today. Before I get to the pictures, here’s the challenge and opportunity to help. I learned yesterday morning that our diaper/formula storage in Mexico looks like what Old Mother Hubbard found in the nursery rhyme. In other words, the cupboard is bare. Formula is slowly coming back to the store shelves here and is hit and miss online at Costco and Sam’s, depending on the day. However, the stores are (understandably) limiting what can be purchased, so buying in bulk isn’t an option like I’ve done in years past. I need lots of people to contribute. If you want to do something tangible and deeply helpful for some families in Juarez, please consider helping us restock diapers and formula. Every can of formula and box of diapers helps these babies IMMENSELY.

     My address is 18619 E Chandler Heights Road, Queen Creek AZ, 85142. If you’re local, you could drop off any time or text me at 303.668.8221 and arrange for a pick-up. If you aren’t local and want to help…keep an eye on Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, and/or Amazon and have supplies shipped directly to me. I’ll be heading to Juarez with a team on September 20 and would love to make sure these babies are well cared for. Thank you for your partnership.

With love and gratitude,

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,

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.