Mar 18, 2019

2018 Amish in Mazatlan -by Dr. Luke

I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I would be helping managing a home-building project in Mexico with a team of Amish from Lancaster County!  It truly is amazing what God has taken us through as we try to get ourselves out of His way and line our will up with His.

Phil Sauer (philsauer.com) contacted me at the end of last year and asked if I'd like to follow him around and help out in learning his trade.  He is (at least) an electrical engineer and has such an amazing heart for teaching and a humility that shows Christ is in charge of his life.  Phil and I have become good friends and I love to sit at his feet and attempt to 'soak in' all he has to share with me.  When he asked if I'd like to join...I was so happy to say YES!  I was able to fly down to Mazatlan a day before the Amish arrived and go over a few things with Phil.  Here was our plan:
1: help the YWAM base in Mazatlan with the Worship Center that was yet unfinished.
2: help the base to increase the dorm space that they have to allow the training of 500 missionaries this coming year
3: to build a home of hope for a new Christian family that was in need.

We had 37 Amish folks, Phil and I, and 10 days!  No problem!

These guys are amazing!  They work so hard, they work as a team, they don't complain, they love each other and they love the Lord.

The staff at YWAM Mazatlan found a family through a Christian Feeding Center in one of the Colonias outside the 'tourist' area of Mazatlan.  These people live on very inexpensive land and are mostly crammed together in dramatically different living conditions.  They have running water most nights for a few hours at sundown and have to take advantage of this time to fill their various 55 gallon drums.  The water is undrinkable, but they use it to wash laundry, bathe, and to pour into the toilets when they need to 'flush'.  They have drinkable water delivery once per day when a small pickup truck drives up to change out their 5-gallon plastic jugs.  There is no sewer system set up and each house has a cistern to maintain.  The homes do have a small amount of electricity to their homes (half of what a USA home would have) and one breaker controls the entire home.

The family that was chosen is a sweet one!  The mother and father have two children, a 15 year old daughter and 10 year old boy.  The father is a Mechanic's Assistant and makes 900 pesos per week (roughly $45).  He was working most of the time we were on the build, and the children were in school.  The mother was so kind to the team.  She made us all ceviche the first day from fish and carrots, and iced muffins the second day!  She told me that she spends 800 of the pesos on food each week and has to pay for water, electric, and clothes/shoes with the leftovers.  They lived in a home built from various wood scraps which she told me were full of scorpions and spiders normally!  Their roof is a hodgepodge of scrap metal, wood, and the plastic canvas that we use for bill boards in the States.  They live in poverty, but you can tell they are good stewards of the little they have.  It humbles me to see how they live, and shows me once again that 'poverty' is a mindset.  You can live happily with little or with much.  It all depends on how big your problems are compared to how big your God is.  A sermon I heard recently mentioned that we should stop telling God how big our mountains of problems are, and tell our 'mountains' how big our God is!

The team took 2 days to build the home (normally it takes teams 3-4 days, but the Amish are amazing!) and dedicate it to the Lord.  We had a ceremony and gave the keys and a bible to the husband and wife, then everyone went inside this tiny home and prayed for and encouraged this young family.  What an amazing thing to be a part of!

I love being involved in God's work.  Big or small, local or far away, long-term or short-term, it is so good to give and do in His name.  I'm thankful that I have the opportunity and ability to help.  He has given us all gifts and we should use those gifts to bring Him glory, for He alone is worthy.  We have a good good Father and that is who He is!



I'll post some pictures of the progress with the Worship Center, and the building of the home of hope (http://www.ywamhomesofhope.org).





Day 1 in the Worship Center


Day 2 in the Worship Center

Day 3 in the Worship Center 
Day 3 in the Worship Center

Day 3 in the Worship Center
Final view of Worship Center...what a difference!



Day 1 praying at the Home of Hope site

Laying down the walls at the Home of Hope

Painting the roof trusses and the siding at the Home of Hope

Can you see the tarantula in the breaker box? 


Inside the old home built of spare wood and canvas roof

The walls are put up

On with the siding, painted to the children's specification

On with the roof!

finishing the inside details

Home of Hope dedication

Home of Hope dedication

Home of Hope dedication


Group photo from the lighthouse in Mazatlan




2019 Trip to Mazatlan by Dr. Luke

Trip to Mazatlan

by Dr. Luke

For Matthew's birthday this year, I surprised him with a plane ticket to Mazatlan. I brought him with me on a construction mission. We went down to help my dear friend, Phil, manage several projects on the YWAM campus there. We met with 23 Amish guys and girls that traveled down on a bus for 3 days to join us. These guys are such good and hard workers, and it always amazes me how much they get done in such little time. When we got to the campus, you could just feel the presence of the Lord there. The Spirit moves through these staff and students as they move through the city sharing life, truth, hope, and the joy that they have been given from above. They have a huge worship session upstairs in the worship center that we helped to construct with the Amish last year. What a blessing that was to be a part of! I felt bad at times for Matthew...perhaps he thought we were taking a vacation to the beach! 
Matthew 'catching some waves'
Getting his hands dirty
Hard at work busting up bricks

We were there to work, and work we did! The group helped to finish out two bunk rooms, making space for almost 100 more missionary students per year. We built an extension outdoors for the dining area, painted almost every hallway there was, upgraded the firewall/network system, built a Home of Hope for an amazing mom of 11 children, opened up and finished a garage for parking 3 more vans, we also completed numerous other projects within several other dorm rooms (cabinets, plumbing, electric, etc). Much of my work was behind the scenes electrical and plumbing work to let the other guys put up drywall and paint. Matthew learned so much and was able to work hard and play hard with the guys and girls there. Every time I looked at him, he had a smile on his face. The Lord blessed the experience that he had and I am so thankful for it.


Building the outdoor dining extension Day 1
Building the outdoor dining extension Day 2


Building the outdoor dining extension Day 3

At the end of the trip, we all got the opportunity to hike up to the lighthouse. The view up there was amazing! It was so refreshing to once again be out of my 'comfort zone' and serving the Lord with all I have. Matthew and I were sitting with one of the Amish men that was learning the guitar. We were talking about how to learn and he wanted me to play a little for him. He had a book of worship and praise songs that he was learning from and we just started playing and singing. After the first few songs, I looked back and we had over 30 kids that had gathered around for the 'spontaneous' worship time. I love it so much when the Spirit shows up. God can do so very much with so very little, and it is always an honor to be His 'boots on the ground.'
After electrical work, sheetrock, and paint
Our big plumbing 'puzzle'
After tiling the bathroom

“Thank You Lord for the opportunity to serve You with my family. Thank You for the safe travel, and for the wonderful fellowship. I love getting to take part in all You are doing there. We had such a blessed time there and we are honored to be Your people and that You are our God.”

-As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.-

Our view from the Lighthouse













Oct 1, 2018

Luke's Mission Trip to Guayana

A good friend of mine, Dr. Dave, asked me to get in touch with a group of eye docs that had been going to Guayana for the past 20 years.  Dr. Julie has been going since the beginning and was the woman in charge of making arrangements.  She, her husband, and their two kids were planning a trip down with about 5 more people...and, after I had a brief conversation with her and prayed about the decision, I wanted in on it too!  What a neat trip it ended up being!  The Guyanese people are a mix of native tribal people,  African (from the Dutch occupation) and Indian (from British occupation).  They speak a type of English with a thick Caribbean accent that can, at times, be difficult to understand.

Chedi Jagan Internation Airport, Georgetown, Guayana
We arrived at the airport after a huge (18 hour) day of travel from New Mexico to Dallas, Miami, Trinidad and Tobago, then finally, Georgetown, Guayana.  While standing in line to go through Customs, I noticed that we were the only 10 'white folks' in the cue line.  We were sped through the lines by a great guy that worked with the Ministry of Medicine there and we piled into a church van for the 3.5 hour drive to our host house.  That was a long day!


The Local Christian Church
The next morning was church, then we set up clinic and began seeing patients.  
Check out this sign...I love it!!!
The Church that hosted our Clinic

Here are some pictures of the clinic:



We ended up seeing a bit over 1,000 patients before I had to head home.  I came home early to make it to Amarillo for my brother-in-laws wedding...Congrats again Jonathan!!!!

These were some great, hard-working, strong and proud people.  Most of the country is divided into the Hindu and Muslim religion.  In face, right across the street from our Christian church was the little town's largest Hindu church.  We were working with a network of churches that began with 2 missionaries and a vision.  They came down ~20 years before with the goal of planting a church every year.  There are 17 churches so far and 11 of them are financially independent and able to serve the small community in which they are growing.  It was an honor to share the gospel of Hope with these wonderful people and to hear their stories, their struggles, and spend time loving on them!  I met a young boy named Lucas who was a great hugger too!

Dr. Luke with Lucas

Thank you to all of those of you that continue to support us in our journeys to share the Good News!  I constantly feel strengthened by your prayers and the love that you have shared with us.  

We love and pray for you too.
Grace and Peace be with you all!

Apr 21, 2018

Down and Derby!

Our kids participated in a pine block derby race in March.

Here are their cars:







 Mandie won 4th place overall and "Most Artistic"

Michael won "Best Reptile" 

Marcus won 3rd place in his age division


 
Matthew's Truck won "Best Truck"

Miles made the cutest whale car I've ever seen!


And I thought I'd throw these up as well: