Todd and Maria Luke - May 2013 Update
Greetings from Xpujil. Thanks to all of our partners on both sides of the border, cisterns continue to be built in the name of Jesus Christ, families are solving their own clean water problems, and neighbors are coming together to help one another. At the same time, Presbyterian farm families are testing new technologies in their own fields.
Twenty cisterns were built in 2012 with gifts provided by U.S. Presbyterian partners. We hoped to build twice as many, but we were extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work with twenty families to help them fulfill their clean water dreams.
Also in 2012, with funding from the Mexican government, our Presbyterian foremen built an additional thirty cisterns in the remote village of Dos Lagunas Sur. The thirty cisterns built hold 94,500 gallons of water. By our standard cistern size, we could have built twenty cisterns for the same cost which would have had a 126,000 gallon capacity. Since the target community did not know whether this opportunity would be available in future years, and since they had no skin in the game (no pay back arrangement), the recipient families opted to allow the construction of the smaller cisterns. In the end, our Presbyterian foremen were generously compensated, and they had the chance to share their gospel with 30 families who received high quality cisterns. As Presbyterians with a heart for the people of the Xpujil region, we should not underestimate the power of our participation in this partnership.
Four cisterns were built in January 2013 by a mission team from Yorkfield Presbyterian Church who worked with local volunteers and the recipient families. We were blessed with clouds and temperatures that stayed close to 80 degrees. Six new cisterns were built in late March and early April by a fabulous youth group from my home church in Northbrook, IL who worked alongside recipient family members and other local volunteers from the village of La Lucha. Once again, the weather was cooler than normal.
Rachel Hill, a student at Louisiana State University, will be our summer intern. As a child, Rachel visited Xpujil twice with her parents and older sister. We are honored that she will be sharing her talents with us during June and July, and we look forward to her arrival.
Four mission teams from U.S. Presbyterian churches new to our Xpujil ministry are tentatively scheduled to come spend a week between now and the beginning of August 2013. We are extremely grateful that we have the opportunity to share our work with so many new faces.
The tractor and pull-attachments are now in Castilla Brito, and Felipe Torres is at work with our Presbyterian farm partners. This is year two of our unique farming partnership. The plan is simple: make available the tractor, plow, planter, bush-hog, blade, and corn degrainer at a fair rental price to our local partners. Felipe is the equipment operator, mechanic, and appointment-taker. We look forward to the challenges that come with developing this effort to help our farming friends become better stewards of their land, more productive, and better able to provide for family health in all its fullness.
Our efforts in this little corner of Mexico are made possible through your steadfast interest, participation, and prayers and so we thank you! It is my hope that our Lord will continue to nurture this partnership both now and in the future.
Gracias por todo. Thanks for everything.
Pray for our mission partner, Felipe Torres Anchevida, and his family. They take care of our facilities, our visiting mission teams, and equipment in Xpujil. Our ministry cannot run smoothly without their loving service.
Pray for our Presbyterian cistern foremen: Victor Guzman, Raul Vazquez, Mateo Vazquez, Alfonso Perez, and their families. Several times a year, they leave home, often for a week or more, to lead volunteers through the cistern construction process. They also organize, manage, troubleshoot, and evangelize during the course of their service which is very different from their regular jobs as farmers.
Minimum Goal for 2014
$2,500 per month in support and ministry funds