Todd and Maria Luke
“If you are willing to give up your life to God, he’ll give it back. Not the way you expect it, but as something greater.” Below please find one tiny snapshot of what happens when a bunch of regular folks like you and me take a step of faith that looks to be so foolish.
Fifty-one Cisterns Built in Six Villages in 2018
Funding Source Cisterns Built
Mission Teams 33
Private Donors 9
Church Partners 6
(that did not send group in 2018)
Mexican Cistern Owner Families 3
Fifty-one cisterns were way beyond our expectations this year, but the Lord graciously worked through those mentioned above. Several supporters play important roles in this clean water story without stepping foot in Mexico, while other contributors never leave there. I hope participation from all fronts will continue to mature and grow.
The numbers in this update don’t say enough about the efforts of our Mexican partners who strive to be good stewards with the resources God gives. Pati, Felipe, and their crew provide hospitality, cleanliness, safety, and comfort to our guests – and carefully account for each peso. Our Presbyterian cistern foremen take that same mindset to the remote villages. Rather than commuting daily between cistern worksites and home, they choose to spend long stretches in the village with the work. Financial thrift also flows from those volunteers who give their time and energy to build their neighbors’ cisterns, not just their own. Thank you.
Cistern Repayments from Cistern Owner Families (pesos)
2015 Total $66,500
2016 Total $112,664
2017 Total $96,210
2018 thru 9/1 $139,126
Number of New Families Committed to Repay 100% of Cistern Materials Cost (this began in 2011)
2011 25 2015 29
2012 20 2016 35
2013 23 2017 45
2014 27 2018 51
We carefully manage a repayment account for each cistern owner. Once there is enough money in the family’s account, our Presbyterian partners have the means to visit that family to see if cistern maintenance is needed or an accessory improvement can be made. We can add a coat of paint; fix/replace gutters, downspouts, faucets, or any other plumbing fixture. Families welcome such assistance because the closest hardware stores are located in Xpujil.
We look forward to each opportunity to strengthen the trust relationship that began when the cistern was built. As more accounts grow, we hope this component of the cistern ministry will blossom. It is exhilarating to consider the different ways the Holy Spirit may move through these interactions. May the Lord help us be helpful, friendly, and loving during each visit.
New Molds Update
In the last update, I mentioned that we contracted a new welder in Xpujil to construct a cistern mold. Unfortunately, the welder did not complete his assignment. We’re working on fixing that. Meanwhile, we need new molds for 2019. Felipe and Victor have contracted with our old metalworker friend in Chetumal who built our previous molds. We had hoped to reduce the amount of travel (and cost) necessary for this process, but that didn’t work out.
Come and See
We work and think about our jobs all the time. But how often do we think about how God provides for all people through these endeavors? Work is not a bad thing. It’s very good. To work with families in Xpujil to help them solve their own clean water problem – simply by filling and lifting buckets of sand and gravel – may open the door to long-term awareness of:
1) the sacred value of all labor;
2) a hunger to “love your neighbor” for God and a neighbor’s sake – not your own;
3) “work-enabling” ministries that help distressed communities close to home; and/or
4) chances to ask and listen to God about his plans for our vocations, gifts, and talents.
Why not give it a try or return for a period of refreshment?
Please take a look at the tentative schedule. Pray. Talk to your friends. Give me a call or text if you would like to work with us and/or have any questions.
Thanks to everyone for your ongoing support of this little ministry. Please pray for us to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. It is so easy to make light of prayer. But in reality, it is essential.
2019 Work Trip Calendar
January 2-8 spots are available
January 8-15 spots are available
January 22-29 Open
February 19-26 Open
March 5-12 Open
June (all) Open
July 16-23 Open
July 30-Aug 6 Open
These dates are available on a “first come, first serve” basis.
Muchas gracias por todo.
(847) 867-0085 (cell)
Read more about the Lukes’ ministry HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $4,200 per month for support funds for Todd Luke and $2,000 for the cost of one cistern.