We have had an amazing week in Oaxaca. Our flights there and back went very smoothly. We met with the Johnsons, former IMB missionaries, the first night and talked about plans for the week and they were our leaders for the week as well as translators. We began Saturday morning working along side the men and women of the rehab centers to accomplish several tasks including securing the womens facility by clearing the fencing area and laying concrete. A water pump was also installed on top of the chicken house at the womens facility and water purifiers were set up where needed.
We purchased two sewing machines for the women and taught them to use the machines and make various projects that they can sell to generate income. One of the items was a purse made of different fabrics. The looks on their faces when they finished their own individual purses was one of the highlights of the trip. Such a small thing seemed to give them a feeling of worth and a sense of hope. We attended two worship services one of which was with the men and women from the rehab centers. It was great to join with those from a different country and culture but yet worshiping the same true God and Savior with one heart and mind.
We went up into the mountains to visit with some fellow believers who live in primitive circumstances and took them gifts and taught the women there to also make some things they could then sell to help support their families. The people we met were incredibly hospitable and gracious, even though they had so little they were grateful and always wanted to give back.
On our last day we took part in a carnival that was put together for the children in a poor village near the womens rehab center in an effort to display and share the gospel. We served hotdogs (probably the first meat they had eaten in some time) and played games with the children. The smile’s and laughter that came from the children was a great way to end the week. We also learned our last night that one of the men from the rehab center that Mike Lawrence had been able to spend time with prayed to receive Christ.
We had much unity amongst the team and we had a good time of sharing stories and testimonies with each other. We are hopeful that lives were changed through God’s working in us this past week, but we are certain that we were changed as well. Praise God for the work He has done in all of us and we pray he will continue to draw the people of Oaxaca to Himself.
Written by Karen Howell