Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - September 2016 Update

Campeche, Mexico

A Few Cistern Numbers
2016 Cisterns Built: 32        
2016 Repayments: $17,000 Pesos
Total Cisterns Built: 401

Number of Cisterns to Be Built Later This Summer: 3
Two of the next three cisterns will be built by partnering with families run by single mothers. The third cistern is for a family living in Cristobal Colon. It will be our first time working in that village. That cistern will have 1/3 more volume. The family will cover 40% of material costs up front and all the expenses related to the larger size. We are able to build these three cisterns due to the favorable currency exchange rates in 2016 – extra grace from God who works through our generous partners and international financial markets. We are excited to share this gift, especially with the two single moms who would, under normal circumstances, be unable to afford a cistern. I cannot overemphasize how hard our partners Victor Guzman and Felipe Torres have worked with these moms to get things set up. 

New Tool/Old Lesson
When you drive up to a new cistern work site and see the sand and gravel piles situated far from where the cistern will be, you may groan a little, because you know that the sand and gravel won’t magically move itself. You either have to carry forty pound buckets of sand and gravel a long way on your shoulder, or push a tippy wheelbarrow loaded with four or five heavy buckets. Not fun.  

In the month of May, a West Tennessee couple said, “There is a better way to do this.” Their vision: buy a heavy duty, four-wheel wagon (some call it a “utility cart”) that lets a couple people pull five full buckets of sand/gravel at a time, without all the sweat.  The problem: these things are not sold in Mexico. (Believe me, we checked.) The solution: make a donation, purchase the wagon online, and send it down on June 28, disassembled, in the suitcases of two generous travelers. That’s what we did.

On June 29, the sand and gravel piles at the first work site sat about 20 yards from the cistern. So, the wagon Sherpas became the utility cart pit crew and quickly assembled our newest tool. Our Mexican partners (and me) gave it a skeptical look and a half-smile. And then the wagon allowed us to easily move the 170 buckets needed for that seventeen bag floor pour. Yippee. But doubts remained.  Could it haul tons of sand and gravel without breaking? Well, the wagon rolled smoothly all week long. So far, so good. By day two, it was even being used by the local crew to move those insanely heavy 112 pound bags of cement mix. The utility cart will need some regular maintenance, but it looks like a keeper. At the beginning, Victor (cistern foreman/leader) did not deem the wagon worthy of a place in the back of his pick-up. The Americans pulled it from site to site. But very quickly, it earned a spot. The wagon now gets loaded into the truck and sits beside two other valuable tools that you won’t find anywhere else in our part of Mexico: the rebar cutting sheers (thank you, First Presbyterian Church Baton Rouge) and our handcrafted concrete chute (thank you, Palos Park Presbyterian Community Church.) A moral to this story: Even our tools speak to the power of a partnership driven by a shared desire to serve according to God’s good purpose. 

Come Join Us!
Cistern building requires commitment, effort, treasure, and time from both our Mexican and American partners. Six American mission teams, fifty-six people in all, served side by side with dozens of our Mexican partners in 2016. This year, a few of our American partners that normally visit during the summer, came down in January. They really enjoyed the cooler (high 70s, low 80s, low humidity) winter temperatures. 

So, for the pleasant weather and for the convenience of our Mexican partners, we would love to host more American work teams next winter. Currently, we have open Tuesday-Tuesday slots in February from 7-14, 14-21, and 21-28. Ideal group sizes are between 5-10 people. As always, dates during spring break and summer (beginning Tuesday, May 23) are also available. 

Please visit our web site: for more information about our mission trips, or contact me directly.       

Thank you for your prayers, participation, and continued interest in our little cistern building ministry.

Glory be to God, 

Todd Luke  
cell (847) 867-0085

Read more about the Lukes' ministry by clicking HERE.

Amount needed in 2016

The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise at least $4,200 per month for the Lukes' support and program funds. To make a donation, click HERE.

The Outreach Foundation now offers the option of receiving missionary/project updates, newsletters, and receipts by e-mail. If you would like to sign up to start receiving these communications electronically, please send your name and e-mail address, along with that request, to or call us at (615) 778-8881.