Posts Tagged ‘Cadereyta’

I Have What I Have, by Greg Huffer, Back2Back Mexico Staff

November 8, 2010

I recently took a small team of men scouting out Back2Back for future mission trips to Cadereyta, a large impoverished community that we serve.  We have come alongside Pastor Jose Angel in this community, as his vision is to be a light in this neighborhood and reach these people with the light of Jesus Christ.  For the past three years, we have been helping Pastor Jose Angel to build a church and community center in the area.

Pastor Jose Angel

As Pastor Jose Angel shared his vision and story with the men, he recalled days when the church construction was just getting under way.  He said he received many confusing and doubtful looks and comments of ridicule for what he was trying to build.

You see, the church is different from all of the other buildings in the community.  First of all, it is on two plots of land, rather than just one, so it is twice the size of the surrounding buildings.  Secondly, his vision was to build a second story with housing above the church for he and his family to live in the area where they minister.  So, the footers and beams that we made were quite larger and stronger than what most other people were building for their own homes.  Most people thought that the pastor was nuts.

They would say, “What do you think you are doing trying to build something that big?! You’ll never be able to finish it- you’ll run out of money.”  But Pastor Jose Angel didn’t let these taunts stop him.

In fact, many people thought that he had a lot of money to be able to undertake such a large and costly project.  He simply replied to such criticism, “No, I am not rich.  But I have what I have and what I have is God.”

Pastor Jose Angel has a good understanding of what is happening in Cadereyta and the rest of the places that Back2Back works.  The pastor is not responsible for the church building that has been developed for three plus years now.  God is.  God is behind, in and through everything that we do at Back2Back.  He receives all of the praise for everything that has happened here since Todd and Beth Guckenberger moved to Monterrey some thirteen years ago.

As we look to the future and see new construction sites and projects, new ministry areas, new challenges that will rise before us, we realize that we are not rich.  We do not have unlimited resources.  We are not special people.  But we do have God and that is enough.

 

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Please Donate: Hurricane Alex Recovery Fund

July 5, 2010

The drive leading into the Back2Back Monterrey, Mexico campus

The bridge out of the Back2Back Monterrey campus on the south side of the property.

The result of 40” of rain in 36 hours last week has been devastating to our Monterrey, Mexico campus.  It has created additional burdens for the children’s homes, Cadareyta and the Rio areas that Back2Back serves. We are continuing to assess the damages and expect more will be uncovered in the days and weeks ahead.

Rio III suffered great devestation from Hurricane Alex

Back2Back staff has been providing regular meals for hundreds in the Rio III community, since it was devestated by Hurricane Alex

Words can never fully express our gratitude for the generosity of the many supporters who have faithfully joined with our ministry over the years to provide for the needs of the children and families we care for in Mexico, Nigeria and India.

Our current situation in Monterrey, Mexico is unique and your extraordinary help is needed.  A recovery fund has been established and we’re asking for your generosity in order to specifically provide for the substantial rebuilding that will take months to complete.

This fund will allow the accumulation of necessary financial resources and the greatest amount of flexibility in how and where we deploy, based on needs uncovered, weather, skilled worker availability, etc.

To donate online, please click on (or cut/paste into your web browser) the following link https://donations.back2backministries.org/ and indicate your donation for “Mexico Hurricane Relief.” Donations by checks payable to Back2Back Ministries should be sent to: Back2Back Ministries, P. O. Box 70, Mason, OH  45040.

As we learn more about the children, the caregivers and families we care for in and around Monterrey, we will do our best to update our website and blog. Please continue to pray for their safety and protection, as well as for our staff and families who live in Monterrey.

Thank you.

All donations are tax deductible. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that Back2Back Ministries has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds.

It Can Be Bitter Cold in God’s Shelter, by Greg Huffer, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 13, 2010

I just posted on my Facebook page (yeah, I do FB!) that it is “cold- not so much outside as inside.”  I just returned from visiting family and friends in Cincinnati where the temperature was in the teens with wind chills at who knows what, but at least in Cincinnati there was good heat inside.  A few minutes by the fireplace with a warm blanket wrapped around my legs and I was snug as a bug in a rug!  Not so here.  We have cinder block buildings and space heaters here and there.  And for someone like me, who always argues with his wife about wanting things cooler inside, I am always a bit surprised that it gets too cold inside our home even for me.

In seasons like this, my thoughts more often than not are about the people in Meme’s Rio or in the Cadereyta (two of the impoverished shanytowns that Back2Back works with).  My mind drifts to the 70% of the population of Mexico that live in poverty.  It considers that the majority of the world lives more like someone at Cadereyta than say someone living in the suburbs of Chicago or Cincinnati (where I grew up).   What do they do on nights like tonight when the temperature is supposed to get down around freezing?  How many blankets can they throw on to keep themselves warm throughout the night?  Do they ever feel snug as a bug in a rug?  Somehow, I doubt it.

The past two winters, I’ve been able to work at Cadereyta with a group of men from Columbus.  Each time we’ve gone, not only has it been cold but it has also been rainy, leaving the dirt roads nothing more than a sloppy mess.  Several times, just walking through the six-inch deep slop, my shoe has almost been pulled from my feet.  As we get on the bus and head to the Back2Back campus and relative warmth, the hour-long bus ride home is often more quiet as we think of the people I am leaving behind in the elements: the little kid with a runny nose and hacking cough or the grandmother who is nothing but skin and bones.  How will they fare over the night as the temperature drops even more?

I think in America we tend to think that because we have warm homes and comfy beds that we are experiencing the shelter of God.  So, if that is true, then what does that say about the people at Meme’s Rio?  Do they experience the shelter of God any less because they have a tin roof over their heads?  Or let’s turn it around.  If the person at Meme’s Rio that is fortunate enough to have a space heater (that runs off pirated electricity) is experiencing God’s shelter, does that mean that we experience it more because we have a thermostat we can set to a comfortable temperature?

I am coming to believe more and more that God’s shelter has little or nothing at all to do with this kind of thing.  I’m not so sure He cares how comfortable I am – He just promises to give me comfort through the Comforter.  I don’t think that God is pulling for me to have lots of money, but He is desperate that I would be rich in faith.

God does bless people materially.  We see that in the Scriptures, but not as much as some people may think or want.  What we see more is the promise that we will struggle and have trouble in this world.  God’s shelter comes to us regardless of where we live, or how we live (economically, comfortably, etc).  God’s shelter is ours because we believe in Him and follow Him and trust HIM- not what He may have given us.

Are we prepared to accept that God’s shelter may not keep us warm?  It may not help me purchase those extra Christmas presents for the kiddos.  It doesn’t mean that I can finally sell that heap of metal I’ve been driving and nursing along for three years and get a new car like the guy across the street.

But it does mean that as I stand on the side of the road because that bucket of bolts has finally died, I have the assurance of knowing that Someone is standing next to me.  It does mean that there may be fewer presents under the tree, but a deeper understanding of Christmas than ever before.  It does mean that there is peace in my heart as my bones shiver when the sun goes down, because the truth of the matter is that sometimes, it can be bitter cold in God’s Shelter.

Vessel, by Beth Guckenberger

June 22, 2009

This week we are being visited by Calumet Christian School out of Columbus.  One of their teachers, Chris, has been coming here for a couple of years and now comes twice a year, once with his school and once with his church. They are a group of men who have decided to focus on one area of our ministry, a squatter’s village we call “Cadereyta”  They are choosing to invest deeply in the people and the mission happening there.   He showed me this video his team put together from their trip in January.

There are so many needs in the world, so many good causes, so many people who would benefit from our gifts, or our time, that some days it’s overwhelming to me to decide where and with whom I will spend my energy.  Watching this video was a good reminder for me that we aren’t responsible for taking the gospel anywhere.  God is already working, we just need to go and show up and be the vessel or extension of His already present pursuit of people.  The lives you see in the video are being impacted by a small group of men from Columbus, Ohio.  It begs me to ask the questions:  Where else can we be a reflection of God’s goodness?  And what obstacles can I remove that prevent me from leaning into an area, relationship or need God might be calling me to serve?