Posts tagged Todd and Maria Luke
Todd and Maria Luke - September 2019 Update

“Few things are more transformative than to go to another culture where many of your assumptions are not shared. You have to examine what you’ve always taken for granted – that your point of view is right.”

Dear friends,

Our little cistern partnership continues to roll along. Thank God for your participation.

Fifty-six family-owned cisterns were built in 2019. Our Mexican partners Victor, Raul, Isaias, Ezequias, Felipe, Lucas, and Diego guided nine American teams at the work sites. Seventy-six Americans came to Xpujil to lend a helping hand. They came from places like Jonesboro, AR; Los Angeles and Hollywood, CA; Northbrook, Gurnee, Evergreen Park, and Palos Park, IL; Caruthersville, MO; Roxboro, NC; Moncks Corner, SC; Brownsville, Collierville, Germantown, and Memphis, TN; and also towns in New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Our mission team members’ ages ranged from 14 to 77.

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Todd and Maria Luke - January 2019 Update

Gary is from Memphis and was scheduled to have both knees replaced on December 19. Last summer, he and a coworker (Greg) joined a cistern-building mission team that consisted mostly of folks from another church. Neither Gary nor Greg had been to Xpujil before, nor had anyone else from their church.

A couple months later, Gary sent me an email. He touted an affordable, easy to use, long-lasting water filter that attaches easily to a bucket. The Sawyer PointONE filter pores are so small (0.1 micron absolute) that no bacteria, protozoa, or cysts like E.Coli, Cholera, and Typhoid can get through. It has been used for years throughout the world in places with living conditions similar to the Xpujil region. To hammer home the filter’s effectiveness, Gary sent me a video. In it, he poured pond water into a bucket equipped with the filter, and then drank the water that flowed from it.

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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
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.

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Todd and Maria Luke - May 2018 Update

Dear friends,

Below, you can read about:
•    twentieth anniversary for sanctuary 
•    twenty cisterns in January and February  
•    “Curious Creature” paradigm success
•    new cistern molds with a 10cm annulus
•    five cisterns in March and April – Mexican labor, Mexican funding  
•    invitation for 2019

Happy 20th Xpujil Sanctuary
The Xpujil Presbyterian Church sanctuary opened in the spring of 1998. Presbyterians from across Calakmul County recently joined the local congregation for a special worship service to celebrate the twentieth anniversary. Stories were shared about the early days of our new partnership, rooted in a simple “Amigos en Cristo” spirit. Also remembered were those Mexican men and women who came to Xpujil to teach, preach, and lead: Pastor Francisco Chan, Pastor Manuel Pech, Pastor Francisco Mutul, Obrera Ernestina Chan Pantí, Pastor Isaias Beh, Obrera Vernonica, y Obrero Abdiel. God used our little partnership to bring them to the region and make their families feel at home. Twenty years later, the Xpujil church is active and serving their neighbors.

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Todd and Maria Luke - June 2017 Update

Dear friends,

May is the wild card month for the Xpujil region’s agrarian communities. With immeasurable toil, families have cleared their land and are ready to plant. But sowing seed must wait until the rain returns. So, the farmers wonder. Will soaking rains come in May or in June? The good news is, some rain has already fallen – enough to refill our nearly empty guest house cistern. But more is needed. 

Here is a worthwhile prayer: Lord, send the rains that refill family cisterns and farmers’ hopes.

May is also festival time in the county seat, Xpujil. Two weeks of games, rides, food stands, and men who hawk blankets, pots, utensils, and pans with their voices electronically amplified to eleven. Eleven is also the volume level setting for the nightly concert/dances which begin, appropriately, at 11:00 p.m. and last until the break of dawn.  

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - September 2016 Update

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. 

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - December 2015 Update

Dear friends,  

Twenty years ago, I packed a bag to move to Xpujil full-time. Thanks to you, I can look back with tons of great memories and look ahead with hope and excitement. 

From my front row seat, I marvel at this ministry that, by design, leans heavily on its partners. Your participation and commitment allow us to continue to make an impact in the Xpujil region. I am blessed to be a part of it. Hundreds of families, from both sides of the border, dedicate time, talents, and treasure to form this unique partnership. Thank you for your role. Truly, I cannot thank you enough.

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - September 2015 Update

This ministry year began with a father/son trip and ended with a group of high schoolers. In between there were folks who remember when Kennedy was shot, college students, more high school kids, and a family of five with children in elementary and middle school. Every group came to serve God and others through cistern construction, but each had unique experiences. As an eyewitness, I delight in watching the Holy Spirit move around unexpectedly.

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - January 2015 Update

Dear Friends,

In the villages where we build cisterns, not many Christmas lights glow. That’s fine. Our Presbyterian partners have their own traditions. For most, the highlight was an evening long worship service on the 24th. Kids sing. Grown-ups lead prayers, sing hymns, and read scripture. Most churches do not have a pastor, so church members deliver the Christmas message. Following worship, there is a big meal. Very few gifts will be exchanged between friends or family members. Resources are limited, families are big and gift giving is not part of the Christmas tradition. Nevertheless, folks will give thanks again and again for the abundance of blessings received from the Lord, even though they have also endured illness, death of loved ones, unimaginable heartbreak and poor harvests during the past year. 


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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - April 2014 Update

Dear Friends,

Cistern building season has arrived. During the next two weeks, our Presbyterian partners, both American and Mexican, will work with six families in the village of Polo Norte to build six cisterns. God willing, by July, we hope to have built twenty cisterns. Most of the families with whom we will labor together are not Presbyterian; so there will be ample opportunity for us to create with our hands, love with our kindness, and hopefully win their respect. 

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - January 2014 Update

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, I stood at the front of a small Presbyterian Church in the village of Nuevo Campanario—about four miles south of Xpujil. Outside, it was a shade darker than twilight and raining. Fat raindrops seemed to fall faster than the pull of gravity. Water pelted the church’s tin roof. Victor Guzman and Felipe Torres were with me.

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Todd and Maria Luke - May 2013 Update

Dear Friends,
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. 

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