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August 7, 2014 Xpujil Update

Dear Friends:

At the rainwater catchment construction sites, you see things like . . .

two young American women—one in high school, the other in college—squat down to help three American guys in their fifties/sixties lift forty pound buckets of sand and gravel up onto their shoulders.  Once raised, the guys get in line with our local Mexican partners, each with his own shouldered pail, ready to feed the cement mixer operated by a Presbyterian foreman from Castilla Brito.

I love it!  Good teamwork is a blast, especially when it has the potential to become much more.  To work beyond conventional expectations—and across generations, languages, and cultures—opens opportunities for significant, even life-changing, experiences, particularly when performed for God’s sake.

We come together in rural Mexico to serve, empower others, humble ourselves, solve problems, and create.  We see God’s unity, grace, and love in action.  I feel it when we work, but it really hits me when we pray together at the work site with the local volunteers, the recipient families, and the foremen.  The tanks we build will provide families with clean water for decades.  That’s good.  But when we work and pray together in God’s name, we enter a unique kind of worship that honors Him and reminds us of eternal truths that touch the very core of our existence.  That’s very good.

What We Did

Since April, our partnership has enabled twenty-four families to tackle their water problems head-on.  Eighteen family owned cisterns were built in the village of Polo Norte and another six in a small town called La Lucha.

All spring and summer the weather was fantastic.  Clouds and cooling breezes kept temperatures in the eighties most of the time.   Very little rainfall kept the sand pile dry.   That’s good because nobody likes lifting buckets of wet sand.

What We Will Do

There are no groups scheduled to visit in August, but we still plan to build three more cisterns.  For the first time, we will work in the village of Nuevo Becal.  One of our mission partners in Xpujil, Felipe Torres, began a new Presbyterian house church there a few years ago with the help of his family and church members from Castilla Brito and Xpujil.  Please pray for this outreach because the work is often slower and heavier when the American helpers are not around.

During autumn, I will sit down with the new cistern owner families to welcome them as partners of our clean water ministry.  I will also lead a series of our annual cistern owner meetings where each recipient family receives a record of its repayment history and balance.  Also, each community hears how much they have collectively contributed toward the construction of new cisterns in their village.  Gratitude to God and love of neighbor are the spirits we try to nurture on those occasions.  Lord, make it so.

Thank You

Thanks to all the folks who joined us in Xpujil for our little clean water ministry in 2014.  What a blessing it was for me to listen to their thoughts, stories, and dreams.  They came from six states:  Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee.  Some were retirees, others were working parents with teenagers, and many were high school or college students.  Everyone worked hard, asked great questions, and played a key role in this relational ministry that believes there is immeasurable value in helping others help themselves, not from afar, but right up close—and personal.      

Come Join Us in 2015

Now is a great time to think about coming to work with us in 2015.  Please send me an email if you or someone you know is interested.  Four to eight people is all it takes to create a great group.  If you have a much larger group in mind, we can do that, too.  Most of our 2014 visitors lived south of the Ohio River.  It would be great to have some northerners connect (or reconnect) with us in 2015.     

Please pray for us as your partners in Mexico pray for you.

Blessings to you,

Todd Luke

About the Author

Yucatan Mission Staff come from all over the world to help the people living in this beautiful part of the world. If you're interested in becoming a part of our staff, visit the 'Who Are We?' page on this website for more details.

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