Dear Friends and Family of the Erma Fennell Foundation,
As you may already know, Judy and Paul have been gone this past month for their son, Mike’s, wedding in the beautiful Quebec and have been touring different churches across Canada and the states. Their goal was to inform more people on a more personal level about what it is that we are doing here and how things are going as we transition into our new leadership. We have all missed them very much and anxiously await their return, but are very happy for them that they are able to spend time with their family, friends, and our faithful supporters.
In other news, we have new residents of the Big House (the two-story house on the front corner of the property next to the main street). In July, Saul and Amber Machado and their beautiful children, Kayden (age 4) and Brielle (just turned 1), moved in to help us out with outreaches, construction projects, the soon-to-be carpentry workshop, and other random jobs around the property. Check out Amber’s blog at www.saulyamber.com to learn more about them.
The carpentry shop has been a dream of Victor’s for a long time. Basically, he had this idea that we could bring in kids off the street (adults, too) and teach them a trade they could be certified in and use to provide for themselves and their families instead of having to rely on the charity of others or laboring in the fields for next to nothing. We are currently looking for any donated carpentry or plumbing tools that we could use to get this trade school on its feet. Victor and Saul are currently working with the government to get certified training as teachers so they can teach and certify as well. We are all very excited about this and can’t wait to see it bloom into reality.
Also over the summer, Karen Wind, a local missionary from Canada, has come under our ministry covering. Eight years ago she moved to V.G. and since then has taken on two little boys, Alex (age 6) and Miguel (3 months) that have the same peeling skin disorder as our Claudia and Mariana from San Telmo. These three have been joining us for our devotions in the mornings and helped us create new brochures for the foundation this past month.
Other Summer Goings-on – Our ministry has been blessed in many ways over this past summer. After moving out the trailers, we’ve successfully extended the parking lot and added in a fire pit/picnic area for groups to use. Also thank you to Karen Scott and Vickie Millhouse’s groups we have a beautiful new palm leaf carport cabana for Judy and Paul’s vehicle (the old one came crashing down when the trailers were being removed), a nice and sturdy aluminum roofing on half of the parking in the back by the tool shed, and a fresh coat of gasoline/tar stain for the wood railings in front of the dorm. In addition to our daily staff devotions, we’ve also started over the summer having monthly ministry meetings with all the helpers. Another thing we were hoping to start this summer was a new location for our Monday outreach. We’ve begun to realize that the need for spiritual guidance wasn’t as great in the place we used to meet in Zapata as it is in other places such as the new rapidly growing community in Padre Kino (behind the Coca-Cola plant). So we’ve been trying to get permission and clearance with the one pastor there so that we can come alongside him with classes for the children once a week.
LA GLORIA NEWS – I (Christina) am personally SO excited to write to you about the blessings that have been going on at Pastor Hector’s church, La Gloria. In the last week of July, we were blessed to have Vickie Millhouse’s group from Washington bring an amazing Vacation Bible School to the kids there. We drove the foundation’s
school bus down to be used by Pastor Hector to pick up kids from the neighboring areas. By the middle of the week we had over 100 kids packing into that tiny church to
hear more about the adventures of the Christian life, play the games, and make some of the coolest crafts they’ve
probably ever made in their lives. I would have to bet that it may be one of the most fun weeks of their lives, and mine as well. A few weeks later, we used the bus to bring the congregation to the beach for baptisms and a barbeque! Four of our members (whom Pastor Hector has been personally discipling) wanted to symbolize their dedication and service to the Lord through baptism. On August 14th, we celebrated with them as they were able to fulfill this longing of their hearts. Lastly, I’m ecstatic to report that Josefine Wong’s dental group that ministered with us this past May was so touched by La Gloria that they donated funds to have a new larger church
built and that the already existing building could be divided into two classrooms for the kids. Victor, Saul, and some men from the church [including a pair of hard working
brothers, Arnulfo (11) and Jorge (13)] have there and have gotten as far as laying the floor, putting up the walls, and setting up the tresses for the roof. Victor says there should only be a few more weeks of construction before we’re ready to dedicate it! PRAISE THE LORD! Now the children will not have to meet outside on the porch in the cold for their Bible lesson.
I know we keep saying this, but it actually looks like there may be an “end” in sight for the “beginning” of the Daisy Mae daycare center in San Telmo. Victor and Saul have cleaned up the whole yard, plan to paint the kids’ jungle gym this week and take Pastor Santos and Sara (director of the daycare) up to Ensenada to purchase all the final necessities such as crib mattresses, kitchen items, etc. Victor’s plan is to have the dedication soon after Judy and Paul return from Canada.
Judy is getting excited to have winter rapidly approaching as she plans to begin a quilting school of sorts with us ladies here. Yolanda, Myra, Amber, and I will be helping cut, coordinate, pin, sew, etc. and get as many blankets and cloth bags (for Christmas stocking type goodies) ready as we can for the people as winters tend to be pretty cold here (especially when you can’t just flip on a switch to turn on the heat).
ATTENTION GROUPS – As we’ve been disappointed to have many groups “drop out” on us this summer, we have decided to start a new method of booking. We are going to start requiring a deposit when a group books with us. It will only be 10% of whatever is being booked (i.e. if a group books 10 people for 7 nights, we’ll ask for $70 of the $700 upfront and when the group comes they’ll only need to pay the other $630). Since groups will be paying that once they get here anyways, it just gives us a little more insurance here that people will think twice before booking or cancelling.
Lastly, we are very excited to start looking into working with Compassion Canada. We’re hoping that maybe we can hook up some of the families or at least the kids that we know here with their support system to ensure that they have uniforms, school supplies, food in their tummies, and a better hope for their futures rather than this vicious cycle of poverty that seems to consume many lives here.
We thank you and pray that God would bless you all richly for the financial and spiritual support of the ministry here in Vicente Guerrero. Please continue to pray for God’s direction and favor in this place and that He would pour out His love through us into the lives of these children and adults that we reach out to every week. God bless you all!
In His Service,
The EFF Staff