Category Archives: “oh happy day!” updates

oh happy day, part 15b

Oh, how I wish each and every one of you could have stood in my home on the evening of Monday, November 2. First we stacked the diapers and formula that was purchased with money raised during the 1st Annual Babies of Juarez Half-Marathon last June. (Yes, it took me way too long to convert funds to supplies, but that’s beside the point.) This stack was enormous – twice as large as it appears in the pictures. And then – as if that original huge stack wasn’t enough, fellow team members (to be heading off on a journey to Juarez the next day) came by for a “packing party.” Men, women, and kids hauled up from the basement the monstrous amount of diapers and formula many of you helped create. Everyone was bringing supplies up faster than I could possibly stack everything. People thought I was nuts, but I just stood there laughing. So be it! I was in a state of joy beyond my own comprehension. So yes, take a look at the pictures. The pictures are a little like a puzzle, with the initial stack being hidden by everything that was stored in our basement the last few months – and by the pictures it’s impossible to see the sheer enormity of the load. It was so deep I couldn’t begin to capture it with my amateur camera. You could barely walk through the entryway. After I took pictures we loaded everything into one (of two!) trailers, knowing the supplies would head south the next day. Our team had the privilege of taking a good portion over the border with us. (There wasn’t room for all of it on the bus so the remainder of the load went into the mission’s storage facility in El Paso to go over with the next team. Or sooner if they had the means to get it across.)

So here’s my plug. Keep up the amazing work! To this day I’m flabbergasted by this last load of diapers and formula. Some of you gave me cash to shop. Some dropped off brand new supplies straight from the store. Some asked pediatricians and hospitals for their expired formula. Some asked for diapers and formula in lieu of presents at their birthday celebrations. Some gave me their outgrown sizes/already opened packages of diapers. Some gave formula samples. And just look what all those gifts created. Now the supplies are in Mexico saving the lives of dearly loved babies.

Having recently returned from taking three of my kiddos on a powerful trip to Juarez, my fire is renewed for the precious people there in the colonias. Consider yourself warned. J Anyone want to have coffee so I can tell you all about our trip?? And then I’ll ask you to join us in June or in October as we go again and build homes, open a medical clinic, and feed hungry people. We are so close in proximity to Juarez, Mexico, and it takes very little effort on our part to make a huge difference in the lives of the people. Buy a can of formula. Buy a package of diapers. Talk to your doctor or grocery store about donating expired formula or opened/damaged packages of diapers. It all adds up to become the pictures you see attached.

Little is much when God is in it.

What you have given of your resources is being used mightily in Mexico right this very moment. From the bottom of my heart, thank you


oh happy day – part 15a

Last Monday night we loaded up diapers and formula headed for the Babies of Juarez. These are the pictures of what was sent specifically with the money raised during the 1st Annual Babies of Juarez Half-Marathon. The supplies are officially in Juarez and being put to the very best use, feeding desperately hungry babies and helping them stave off infection.

I have to tell you – in this case the pictures do not begin to do the stack justice. Two separate trips to Costco and four bursting pallet carts. You should have seen the looks we got! It was overwhelming how many packages of diapers and how many cases of formula the marathon sent to Juarez.

Thank you so much for your efforts on behalf of these babies.

May God bless you.

oh happy day, part 14

Dear people…

You may all be very happy to know I only have a few minutes and will therefore keep my words to a minimum. My family heads off on a cool journey today, one that has consumed me lately – but I wanted to send you pictures before leaving. Since I wrote last we had a half-marathon to raise money for the Babies of Juarez and in my next update you’ll get to see pictures of $4,050 worth of supplies heading south! We’ve also been blessed with another dear woman who’s had a baby shower – and in lieu of gifts for her own baby has instead asked that friends shower the babies of Juarez. It’s overwhelming to see how God just continues to work in hearts to help this cause. And in really wonderful and sacrificial ways. We’ve heard the needs in Juarez are growing. Having been down there, I honestly wasn’t sure that was possible – but apparently the economy problems have trickled down to the poorest of the poor in their community. So when we return from Africa, look out! I’ll find my words again and can’t wait to tell you what God has up his sleeve to help these people who so desperately need it.

The picture serves as wonderful evidence of God’s provision through you. Thank you for your continued support.

oh happy day, parts 12 and 13

shipment #12

shipment #13

This update is terribly overdue. Since I sent the last official update two loads of diapers and formula have made their way down to Juarez, Mexico. Shipment number twelve left our house on Friday, March 20. Shipment number thirteen was picked up Saturday, May 2 and driven down on Monday, May 4. Take a look at the “baby shower gift” picture (below) to see the beginnings of shipment number fourteen that my kids and I got to pick up the afternoon of May 4. (Coincidental timing? I think not.) I haven’t had the words to say thank you – it’s truly been a case of being grateful beyond words. It’s not that I’m finding this project any less inspiring or encouraging, believe me. In fact it’s very much the opposite. Since February I’ve had little time to promote these efforts, so one would think the supplies would be dwindling. Not so much. God has knocked me over continually with my own lack of understanding. These last few months have served as the greatest reminder to me that I’m nothing but a storage facility for the work he is doing. And thank goodness this project is in his capable hands and not my own human ones.
Voila Tans in Highlands Ranch held another drive. My friend was given a baby shower to welcome the newest member of her family – and in lieu of gifts for her little girl she asked people to instead bless the babies of Juarez with diapers and formula.

We received a monster check out of the blue from a couple in our Sunday school class. We received a monster check from my son’s friend’s family, also out of the blue. (Gotta wonder what the people at the UPS Store think of me crying over mail.) A close friend of a close friend held a drive at her church and totally overwhelmed me with supplies. People drop off unneeded formula samples and half-opened packages of diapers. Our school parents continue to donate to the cause. Friends. Neighbors. They’ve given again and again. I am humbled when some unexpected supplies show up on our porch and I have no clue who donated them. But God knows. The only reason I feel comfortable even stating some of the ways we’ve accumulated supplies, risking leaving out important ones, is because God knows it all. Every sacrifice that’s been made on behalf of those babies. Every extra effort to drop something off instead of throwing it away. Every prompting heeded instead of ignored. The list above is nowhere near complete – it’s just meant to encourage us all! To be used by God is no small matter. Many would say there’s nothing greater.  
Today I sat down to have a quick lunch and the thoughts for this update finally came to me. “Give us this day our daily bread.” My mind goes back to some Bible study lessons this past year when God provides manna and quail in the desert for the Israelites. Daily. I can’t understand that incredible depth of reliance for my daily bread, because God has seen fit to stock my pantry in embarrassing ways. The Israelites learned this daily dependence on God to provide for their physical needs. Many people, many babies in Juarez are literally in this very same situation. Manna isn’t falling to the ground with the dew. But manna is showing up on my front porch. God’s unlikely avenue to feed the babies of Juarez, who are relying on him for their daily bread. May God grant me this same dependence and understanding, whether I’m hungry or full. May I be a person who walks daily in the knowledge that everything good comes from God. May God continue to use our plenty to help those in such need.
From the very depths of my being, thank you for allowing God to use you in his plan of provision for the hungry babies of Juarez.

oh happy day, part 11

As my younger daughter and I hauled the collection up from its storage place this time around, I was stunned by its significance. In our entryway I organized the most beautiful mound of diapers and formula for a suitable picture, fully amazed at what can be accomplished when people find a cause so worthy. I struggle to find words to express my gratitude in grand enough terms. Please look at – study – the pictures. Your involvement in this project, whether big or small, has literally saved lives in Juarez, Mexico. Standing among the stacks of supplies, I felt so grateful for all that was collected in such a short amount of time—and more humbled than ever before.
Every donation comes with a story. I received a handwritten note last week from a woman I’ve never met who learned of the project recently and was waiting for her next social security check so she could contribute. She had enclosed a check and apologized for the small amount, wishing it was more. I promptly bawled. I want to be more like her, to exhibit such incredible generosity in spirit and in action. Friends and strangers make occasional contributions to the load, both big and small. Valor Christian High School’s basketball program gave diapers and formula for the second year in a row. A friend’s friend’s small group gave diapers and formula in lieu of doing a traditional Christmas exchange. My folks’ church participated in Advent Conspiracy last month and they gave money to buy diapers and formula in lieu of traditional store-bought gifts in the names of friends and family. Our neighbor from up the street has recently dropped off huge amounts of supplies twice, attempting to do it anonymously. A friend of mine from Bible study just mentioned she and her husband have all they possibly need for their soon-to-arrive baby, and she wants her upcoming shower to instead shower the babies of Juarez.
Some days I wonder if I can hold any more gratitude, you have overwhelmed and blessed me so!
This is the first time all three of my kids have been on hand to help load the missionary’s truck with supplies. They have all owned this project for themselves and pray faithfully for people to continue giving. To watch them so full of joy, with giant smiles on their faces, carry load after load of diapers and formula to the truck, all three of them knowing firsthand the people who would receive help that very next day—I wonder, is there a better day for a mother like me? A few times they even shouted out, “This is so much fun!”
My kids stand in the pantry to choose an after-school snack from an embarrassing amount of options. Children in Juarez are lucky to get one meal a day. Many babies in Juarez go unnamed for months because there’s such a high likelihood they won’t live to see a first birthday. I need to be grateful at every turn for not only all that I’ve been given in this life, but for every chance I’m given to help a person who needs it.
A little over a year ago God asked me to start this project, and I have to tell you it’s already been the journey of a lifetime. I am living proof that obedience to God is the key to joy and purpose. I’m humbled by what saying yes has unfolded. It’s my great privilege to stand back and watch him work through you.
It is a gift to serve with you. Thank you so very much…
PS: I want you all to know load number 12 began just hours after load 11 left our home. My friend Julie has exceptional timing!