“The Butt Paste is falling off the shelves.” Definitely words I never really planned to hear. And on top of that, they’re words I never, ever thought could bring me such joy. These words were spoken by one of the missionaries at Missions Ministries and the sentence speaks volumes about the work we’re all doing. Supplies of Butt Paste (a Desitin-type product) run low at the team center clinic down in the colonias, but now, thanks to your tremendous support, it is literally stacked high and falling off the shelves. The babies have clean diapers and they are no longer suffering with terrible sores on their bottoms. And although we don’t have as vivid a picture to describe the difference your formula is making, we’ve heard firsthand the infant mortality rate in the colonias we seek to serve has dropped significantly. This is cause for great rejoicing! You are truly making a tremendous difference and keeping babies alive. Thank you, thank you.
Phew. I could go on all day. But there’s a lot to say, so I’m gonna jump into updates.
–We are heading back down to Juarez the week of February 20. We were able to take supplies down over Thanksgiving. The newly built shelves held a very small supply when we arrived, so I’m sure the cupboards are nearly empty by now. If you’re considering a gift or have supplies at home you don’t need, please drop them off (or contact us to pick them up!) in the next few weeks. Thank you!
–The last two shipments included a surprise gift from Durango, a precious six-year-old birthday party collection (pictured first), a class gift from Cherry Hills Christian (second), our first Arizona diapers and formula gift from my sixth grader’s close friend (third)…and many other great stories. It’s humbling to watch people step in and fill the great needs down in Mexico. We are so grateful.
–We’re officially up and running in Arizona. Please see the attached flyer for the new Highlands Ranch drop-off spot and the new one in Gilbert, Arizona. The website also gives this, but any monetary gifts can be sent to 2487 S. Gilbert Road, Suite 106-266, Gilbert, AZ 85295. (Checks payable to The Shepherd’s Way, please. All gifts are tax deductible.)
–There are babies with special needs in the colonias. Providing basic needs for a family there is daunting; I imagine a special need would feel insurmountable. Enfamil Premium Lipil (or the store equivalent) is literally keeping three babies in the colonias alive. The babies were born prematurely and were malnourished. They weren’t responding to basic formula, but their situations changed when they were given the premium Lipil. I could go on and on with stories, but this one is too good to keep to myself. We had just learned via email the specific type of formula that was needed for these babies, and my dear friend checked the cabinet at Cherry Hills only to find cases of that exact kind. God is in the details, make no mistake about it!
–Among many other things, Missions Ministries supports five local churches in the colonias. These local churches distribute the diapers and formula you give. They know the greatest needs in the community and are able to distribute supplies accordingly. On our trip back in October we had the privilege of loading up the pastors’ cars with the collected supplies. (These pictures show some of the fun we had. The people pictured are faithful supporters of the ministry, so it was a special blessing to get to load up the supplies with them.)
–During our October trip, God also graced us with combining two passions: the babies of Juarez and building houses in Juarez. Life is so good. I thought I’d reached heaven for a moment there! Okay, I’m telling you this because this trip also birthed a new project. (See all these amazing giving opportunities?!) When you get a chance, please check out eightythreehundred. We recently launched the project, and—thanks to two big donations and quite a few smaller ones—we’re already half way to funding a February build. (And many, many others!) You could spread the word and join us in watching the “temperature” rise on our website progress thermometer!
–One of the greatest gifts my husband and I ever received was the chance to build a house over Thanksgiving with both sets of our parents, our brother, our sister-in-law, our soon-to-appear niece or nephew, and our dear cousin. These precious people did a wonderful job of preserving their experiences with pictures and written word. If you’ve ever considered taking a trip like this, want to see where your gifts have gone, want to meet some babies of Juarez, or are just curious, I encourage you to read their stories here and here.
We’re going back to Juarez February 20-23, March 13-16, June 8-11, and October 12-15 and would happily welcome new team members.
As I went through the files to find out what to call this update, I was struck by the number. We’ve sent 20 (20!!) shipments of diapers and formula these past three years. You are all rock stars.