Category Archives: “oh happy day!” updates

oh happy day, part 18

babies of Juarez, load 18.jpg

As you can see from the date stamp on the attached pictures, it’s been a while since load 18 made its way south to Juarez. We had the privilege of being on the team that went down June 2-5 and got to take supplies across the border. And what a trip that was! We’re going again at the end of the month and have another good load of supplies to take down, thanks to your wonderful support.

We’re in the middle of making some changes to Babies of Juarez. We are expanding! A few months ago our family moved to Gilbert, Arizona. As soon as we’re settled in our new home we’ll start advertising the ministry here and hope to find some good support in the area. But that doesn’t mean the Colorado hub is slowing down! We have a new drop-off location (thanks to some long-time supporters of the project,) and we have a few lovely people who are taking on the role of collecting in the area.

We don’t have an Arizona address to give you yet, but we’re hopeful that’s coming in the next month. As far as Colorado is concerned, you can now drop supplies off at 10208 Rustic Redwood Way in Highlands Ranch. (This is right up the street from the old drop-off spot. Thank you, John and Jen!) We also have a designated cabinet at Cherry Hills Community Church in the ministry center lobby. (Located right behind the kiosks, across from the desk.) This cabinet is still being checked regularly, so please feel free to use it! If you have supplies you would like picked up, please just email Jacque French at, and she’d be happy to set something up with you.

Lastly, if you’re interested in donating financially to the Babies of Juarez, please send your check to 2487 S. Gilbert Road, Suite 106-266, Gilbert, AZ 85295. As always, your gift is tax-deductible and every dollar goes to buy diapers and formula for the Babies of Juarez.

Stay tuned for further updates. Thank you all for your patience and continued support.

Juarez building / distribution trip

Oh, how I wish you could have been with our team in Juarez to watch God put your financial gifts to incredible use. On Thursday, June 3, we started building two homes. On Friday, June 4, we handed the keys to the two families receiving homes. (Every trip I’m blown away by how much can be accomplished in two short days. Phew!) Not only did one of the women receive keys to a new home – she also received Jesus as her personal Savior. It just doesn’t get better than that! We were privileged to raise enough funds to build two homes and hold two food outreaches (feeding about 350 people.) We also took a huge supply of diapers and formula with us that is now being used by wonderful, deserving families. The people in the colonias are incredibly hardworking, but the wages they earn are barely enough to keep a family alive. Typically a family gets one meal a day, so you can imagine how much they appreciate a free meal or formula for their babies.

One cool story about our job site: The mission had prepared us to each have $20 on us as we crossed the border. There was a possibility we would need to purchase a visa. The Mexican government was in the process of adding this requirement for people entering Mexico who weren’t coming as tourists. As we were crossing the border I prayed that God would find some other use for the Andersons’ $140. We’re pretty strapped these days, and I wasn’t overjoyed with the idea of giving that money to the government. Anyway, we did indeed cross the border and the money was not required of us. So now to the job site. The mom for whom our family built is young and had recently been left by her husband for another woman. She is raising two children on her own, one of which is a 5-month-old baby. We learned her baby has a hernia she’s had since birth. It was obviously painful for the baby and the mom had it taped down as best she could. The surgery to have it fixed by a reputable doctor was $300, and there was no way the mom could ever afford such a thing. (A good job in the colonias pays about $1.50/hour.) Well, our team thought it was the perfect way to spend our unused visa money. We pooled our money that evening, and the pastor let the mom know during the dedication that God had provided a way for her child to have the surgery. Honestly, so much can be done to help these precious people with so very little effort on our part. And don’t you love watching God redirect funds like that? Amazing!

I have story after story after story showing how God uses ordinary people to change lives in the colonias. How he uses generosity such as yours to literally change lives on earth and lives for eternity. Those who contributed toward this mission allowed us the privilege to go to Juarez and build homes for two women and their children. During the home dedications there’s always a time when the pastor tells the families about the support we received from the U.S. to make it possible for us to be there. Thank you to all who sent us and blessed those precious families.


P.S. Next trip is October 27-30—a medical and construction mission. There are only four rooms left and then it’s full. J

oh happy day, part 17

I’m so happy to report that this shipment of diapers and formula headed south and across the border last week. We thought we were building a load to take on our June construction trip, but God had in mind for the supplies to go earlier. What we sent in January with the men’s team had officially run out. Look what God had been growing in our basement the last two months to feed babies sooner rather than later! If I ever needed a reminder about God’s timing being perfect, here’s yet one more. Thank goodness for reminders.

As I hauled up this load from the basement, one particular story came to mind over and over. Jesus was feeding the multitudes on the hillside near the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:11-12

These pictures speak this to me – and remind me God is very pleased by this project and those involved in it. If you have an email account, I’m guessing you also get your fill of food and nourishment each day. I get way more than my fill. And all of you receiving this note have at one time given to the Babies of Juarez. Sometimes God calls us to sacrifice things or time or energy to give. Sometimes God calls us to give from what we have left over. Some of the pictures above illustrate “let nothing be wasted” by people giving one or two diapers to the babies rather than throwing them away—taking the time and making the effort to get these leftover diapers to me. There are babies who desperately need those diapers to keep them from horrible discomfort and infection. The picture of the whole collection is full of examples of people who have sacrificed to keep babies in Juarez alive — and it is made up of people who have given from what they had left over. All of it together becomes something really beautiful to me. And if it’s drop-dead gorgeous to me, in all my humanness – you can just imagine how lovely it is to God. Like the most stunning of all sunsets. Thank you for your gifts.

There are some new cool contributions here. A 6-year-old girl from our church had been saving her change for a year to buy diapers for the Babies of Juarez. A friend from Sunday school got up the nerve to ask her pediatrician for any expired formula and left the doctor’s office with supplies. The Beth Moore study group at Cherry Hills got involved and gave diapers and formula. (Micki, would you please forward my gratitude?) Our pastor mentioned the project in a marriage class and sparked a huge interest (and drop-off!) from one of you. We even got one more Christmas present added to the mix. And there are so many other stories I don’t even get the privilege of knowing about, with mysterious drop-offs finding their way to our front porch. Adding to the beauty. Thank you for your gifts.

Some of you have patiently waited for the Five Guys fundraiser update. (I really don’t want to inundate you with email, so decided to wait until I had the above to report.) We raised $350.14 that day! Thank you, thank you to all who came out and supported the cause. We knew the dollars wouldn’t be the main feature here – although that’s $350.14 worth of formula we didn’t have before…and that’s huge – but we also raised awareness and had many people learn about the project through the event. I just can’t thank you all enough for your support. I honestly spent most of that day wanting to cry, feeling so blessed. Thank you for your gifts.

Okay, a few more things before I let you go and before I get choked up again:

• Last time I asked you to eat burgers for the babies. Now we’re giving you an opportunity to drink wine for the babies. (There are some jokes and connections I can make to heart health here, but I’ll spare you.) Please see the attachment regarding a fundraiser a friend is putting together in record time. You can help by attending the event (I already know many wonderful people who will be there!) and/or spreading the word and/or donating something for the auction. Could be a $20 gift card for Jamba Juice; could be a week in Cabo. Everything helps!

• Our next shipment of supplies goes June 1.

• Stay tuned for more information regarding the half-marathon fundraiser. There were some changes made after I got confirmation on the date from the Rocky Mountain Half organizers. I went to the website to confirm registration was open and found out the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver has kind of taken its place. (So now they’re turning the Rocky Mountain Half into a 5K/10K sort of event. So with that change we’re trying to decide what to do. There’s a very good chance we’ll change our fundraiser to October 17 along with the big run downtown.) (That’s so much more of a challenge, you know. And the Rock ‘n’ Roll events are FUN.) I know many of you have already “signed on” for the half – and I’ll be in touch with anyone who’s expressed interest. I just wanted to encourage others who think October is more feasible than June in terms of training to consider it.

• I have to give a shout-out to my faithful helpers. My two youngest kiddos get a big kick out of loading up the truck with supplies and insist on posing when I’m taking pictures for the website. The next generation of diapers and formula collectors are already hard at work. I love it.

• Our June 2-5 trip to build homes outside the city of Juarez just had two spots open up. (By this I mean – room for two couples, two families, two individuals, etc.) If you’ve ever considered going, this would be a great team to join!

Okay, time to close here. I don’t say this lightly, but you have all contributed greatly to my life. This project has brought me such joy – and you’ve been a big, big part of that. Thank you for partnering with me – and making this journey all that much more worthwhile.

oh happy day, part 16

I just had to share the latest picture with you all. Shipment number 16 was assembled in quick time. We took the largest load yet down to Juarez with us in November. Then my dear husband had the opportunity to be part of a men’s team that went down last month. They took the supplies that are shown in the picture. Pretty amazing what God quickly put together, even over the holidays that tend to be so busy for people. You weren’t too busy to give! Thank you so much to everyone who fed and diapered the babies this go-round. We had some amazing “Christmas present” donations and a “family fundraiser” that contributed greatly to this load. We have lovely neighbors up the street who continue to give so generously. And I had three dear family members (in Oregon, Illinois, and Ohio – how cool is that?) give me exactly what I wanted for Christmas – diapers and formula! And these stories are just a portion of the equation. It’s incredible how what’s given, both large amounts and small amounts, all adds up to keeping babies alive down in Mexico. God is good.

Two items of fundraising news:
—Our Five Guys Burgers and Fries fundraising event on Thursday, March 4, raised $350 toward our project. Our next scheduled trip to Juarez is in June, and we want to overwhelm the wonderful families, churches, and women’s shelters with many, many needed supplies. Thanks to all of you who showed up for lunch and/or dinner at Five Guys. My mom posted pictures on her blog. Take a look!
—The 2nd Annual Babies of Juarez Half-Marathon will be taking place Sunday, June 13. The website is scheduled to be updated at the end of March. Last year we had 15 runners and walkers that raised more than $4,000 for the Babies of Juarez. Won’t you consider joining us this year? If you have interest, please let me know and I’ll add you to the distribution list so you get a pledge sheet and t-shirt when we gear up. It was a rock star group of people last year and the course itself is definitely worth running or walking. A really cool experience for a great cause, if I do say so myself. J

Remember — every dollar raised, every dollar given goes in its entirety to buy diapers and formula for the Babies of Juarez. This makes the fundraisers all the more fun, I think!

Okay, I’m trying to keep this short and obviously I’ve set a new record for myself. (Don’t get your hopes up – this is not the new norm!)

Thank you again for your beautiful support.

Eat at Five Guys Burgers and Fries on March 4!

Want to do some good just by going out to lunch or dinner?

Stop by Five Guys Burgers and Fries for a meal

on Thursday, March 4. Present this flyer when you order and

Five Guys will donate 15% of the sale to Babies of Juarez.

A win win!

Your family gets fed and at the same time you’re

feeding a hungry baby down in Juarez, Mexico.

Where is Five Guys?

9352 S. Colorado Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126