News from Juarez Mexico: Endless Ministry Possibilities
By the Kiehl Family
It’s official, we have completed our first missionary year in Mexico! At the end of our year we were beyond blessed to visit the United States and chat with many of you, our stateside missionary team. Because of your participation, we were able to build three chapels, renovate and/or build homes for thirty-eight different families, distribute over three hundred Bibles, catechize hundreds of people, provide medicine to countless needy families, offer food to hundreds of hungry families, share the warmth of blankets and clothing to the elderly and young alike in their time of need! Through it all we learned to not just love the poor, but to love living amongst them!
They have been witnesses to us of a level of generosity virtually unheard of in our circles in the United States. How many times have you walked into a home made out of dirt that has no heat or air conditioning, with a wood burning stove, and been offered the food that was supposed to be served to the family that lived there, but now that you arrived they wouldn’t hear your protests when offered their food?!! We’ve said it before, and I’m sure we’ll say it again, the poor have so much to teach us! I know now why Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of God is theirs!” (Matthew 5:3)
Our new missionary year has just begun and oh, what an adventure we see ahead of us! We returned to General Cepeda a couple weeks ago to help the new General Cepeda team (two families and 3 single girls!) learn the ends and outs of their new mission post. With the tremendous generosity of benefactors stateside, as well as God’s grace helping us bring truckloads of donations into Mexico with not even the smallest of issues, we were able to donate many gifts to the poor children, clothes for the families, reading glasses, and medicine to the new General Cepeda team, as well as have quite a bit to bring with us to our new mission post!
After a brief stay in General Cepeda, we then moved to our new mission post on Saturday, January 25th, and so far it has been amazing! Our new mission post is in Juarez, an extremely poor city in the state of Coahuila, Mexico (not the Juarez you hear about in the news!). The pastor we are working under, Padre Rogelio, procured for us a three room house. You heard that right three room, not bedroom, house. Our house does have electricity, but no running water, no gas and no phone. All of this means we are blessed this year to live in true solidarity with those we serve! How awesome is that!
Fr. Rogelio has found for us a few beds, a refrigerator, and a gas stove. We are working on getting a working gas tank together so we can finally cook! It’s a great start. We are finding the most adventurous part about our new house is not only having to fill buckets from the faucet in the plaza across the street, but also having to wash all our dishes in those buckets because we don’t have a kitchen sink! We pretty much just gave up on doing laundry and instead have hired a local woman to do it a couple times a week for us. Through it all, we have once again seen the generosity of the people we serve. They have come over numerous times to make sure we are doing well, bringing blankets and space heaters, deer meat, fish and fresh eggs. It has been incredible and very humbling! Praise Jesus!
But probably the most exciting thing about our move is that we are starting an entirely new mission!!! No other missionaries have ever worked here which means there are no molds that we must fit our ministries into, so we are able to create a mission to fit the exact needs of the people who live here. They have gone over forty years without a priest, and only just were assigned one last year!
Because of this, we have endless areas in which we can serve, because really, they need EVERYTHING in regards to the faith: catechesis for both the young and old, sacraments, Bible studies, community. They even need to be taught how to pray the rosary! The possibilities are endless!!!! Please pray that we can be ready to move in the directions that Christ is calling us, when He calls us, and how He calls us.
We thank each and every one of you for your constant support and prayers. Thank you all so much for everything you do for us! It does not go unnoticed! We pray for you all every day! May God continue to bless you all!
Teresa, Jonathan, Moses, Elijah, Micah, Isaac, Gemma and Ezekiel KiehlButton Button