Archive for April, 2023

Yoliztli & Santiago’s Need for Shoes
Santiago & Yolitzli with their two children

This past week Dawn and I had a wonderful time talking to some of our friends on the Big Island, *Yoliztli and *Santiago (names changed for security). They are such beautiful people, that it always encourages us to talk to them. Yet there is the pain as we listen to their plight. Life is so hard, and we always feel like, we wish we could do even more for them than we are already doing.

Yoliztli and Santiago told us that Santiago’s shoes had holes in them and he had problems with his feet, because he works with cement. The dust and cement get on his feet, and this causes pain and discomfort for him. He has to walk a long distance to get to work, which makes it even more uncomfortable for him. Even though we sent them some extra funds for food they said they still are having to skip some meals so that there is enough for their children to eat.

They haven’t able to buy some boots for Santiago’s work, because they cost $15 USD, which is a lot of money for them. If they buy the boots then they won’t have enough money to buy food to eat. They also mentioned that Santiago didn’t have any socks. Yoliztli and Santiago feel embarrassed to tell us about their needs. They are grateful for what we are doing for them, and they don’t want to burden us with more. Dawn and I assure them that it’s okay. We want to know how they are doing, and how we can help.

We feel like it’s a privilege to be able to send aid to our familia. Yet, it’s so frustrating, that they have to struggle daily with things we don’t consider in the USA. Most of us don’t have to choose whether we are going to eat or buy shoes and socks.

Yoliztli told us that she was so thankful for all that we’ve done for them, and how we have encouraged them through our messages. I send daily encouraging devotional messages to them. She shared her gratefulness through her tears.

They feel embarrassed to ask us to send more help, even though they desperately need it. We asked them to send us a picture of Santiago’s shoes, so we could see what they looked like. They are worn out, and have holes in the soles and other parts of the shoes. Santiago said, “please don’t share the photos of my shoes with others.” He felt embarrassed for others to see how bad his shoes look, so we won’t share those photos.

Santiago’s Birthday Surprise
Santiago ready for work in his new boots

While Dawn and I were talking to them, we both felt like we needed to help them buy some boots, socks and more food. We sent some additional aid the next day. After we sent the funds, Yoliztli told us it was Santiago’s birthday, which we didn’t realize. She said that Santiago was treated very poorly as a child and for much of his life, so he has a lot of doubts. Sometimes he doubts God’s love. It was so encouraging that the Lord worked it out for us to send the funds on his birthday, so that they could buy the boots and socks. He felt very loved and encouraged. Praise the Lord!

They invited a few friends over to have a meal with them for Santiago’s birthday. They wanted to buy some meat, but they couldn’t find any. They were able to find the ingredients to make a pizza, and they enjoyed a fun birthday celebration with family and friends.

God is so good, to provide for his children and show them his love.

The Ever Increasing Needs
Pastor Justin and his wife giving a bag of beans to one of the women in their church. The price of rice and beans keeps increasing, which are staple food items for our familia on the Big Island

The needs on the Big Island seem to be ever increasing. I told one of our pastor friends, Justin that we wanted to send an offering to Yoliztli and Santiago and some other pastors. I asked, “who had the greatest need.” He said, “everyone.” I told him, “I don’t know how we can help everyone.” He responded, “that happens to all of here. Help those that you can.” So we sent an extra gift this month for some of the pastors that we are working with, which includes Yoliztli and Santiago.

Hopefully these stories give you a glimpse of the overwhelming task we face as we seek to raise funds and send aid to our familia on the Big Island. Thank you for praying. We know that God hears our prayers.

Extend Your Hands to Help!
The children from Sandro & Yolitzi’s church on Easter Sunday. We are sending monthly aid to help these children and their families

Dawn and I ask you to prayerfully consider extending your hands to help! Send a gift today to help a needy family, so that they can have enough food to eat. Pray for them as they share of good news of Jesus.

You can support one family for $25 a month! A special needs gift to help one or many families is a great help as you extend your hands to show the love of Christ.

Click to Donate…

Featuring Jessica’s tears and prayers for toothpaste

Thank you for joining us in prayer, and for considering making a gift to help our precious familia.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja, and Beyond

Jessica’s Family
Jessica with her family (she’s grown some since I took the video)

Just a couple weeks ago I was praying and encouraging Jessica’s parents, who live on the Big Island. You might remember Jessica from the video that I shared. She gives thanks that God provided toothpaste for her because she had to brush her teeth with water and salt since they didn’t have any toothpaste. The saltwater burned her mouth. She prayed and God answered. When I’ve shown that video to friends at churches they often cry to think of this little girl and many others like her who can’t even buy a tube of toothpaste, because of the scarcity on the Big Island. Some of them said, “Wow! we have so many options of toothpaste to choose from here in the United States and they don’t have any!” (I’m including the video below in this post if you’d like to see it).

Short video of Jessica with her mom in Spanish

It was good to talk to Jessica and her parents. God has given Dawn and me a special love for them.

One of the challenging things that Jessica’s family has been facing is a number of health issues, especially Jessica and her mom. Part of the reason is because of the lack of healthy nutrition available to them. This is an ongoing frustration. Since 2020 the economy on the Big Island has gotten especially bad. It was already difficult to live as the people make only $25 USD per month. The pandemic sent the already fragile economy into a tailspin. The price for their staple foods like rice and beans has gone up by 500%, while their monthly earnings have not increased.

The lack of food and medicine leads to malnutrition and sickness.

The Spiritual Battle
Some of the beautiful friends on the Big Island that Dawn and I are praying with and for.

The other issue is a spiritual one. On the positive side, the church is growing on the Big Island. These needs have opened people’s eyes to the spiritual needs they have. Many are giving their lives to Christ. The donations we are sending help these needy families and they are wonderful witnesses as they share the little they have with others.

That is the positive side, but the other side of the coin is that there is much santeria and witchcraft on the Big Island. Even some of Jessica’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members are involved in witchcraft. There is a clash and a battle that is going on. This is why prayer is so important. That is why I spent about two hours praying with Jessica and her mom and dad strengthening them and praying for God’s protection and covering.

I don’t like to write about evil, but I feel like it’s important that you know so that you can join us in prayer. Some have said the church marches forward on her knees. We definitely need your prayers to stand strong.

I was just talking to a pastor friend who lives near us, and he told me that he has a team of intercessors, because the battle is so intense when we are planting churches. We started thinking about some of the casualties that we’ve seen. We know that we have victory in Christ, but we are still in a battle. This is why Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 6:11, 12 that we must “put on the full armor of God, so that (we) can stand against the devil’s schemes. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (I personalized and adapted the passage). Paul tells us to put on the armor of God and to pray.

Stand with us in Prayer

Your prayers are more powerful than you realize. Paul asked for the Ephesians to pray that he will speak the gospel fearlessly. Pray for us and those we work with to be able to proclaim the gospel fearlessly. Pray for protection against the attacks of the enemy. Pray for God’s provision for Jessica and her family as well as the many other families to whom we are sending aid on the Big Island.

Dawn and I would also like to invite you to extend your hands to help our familia by making a donation. You can support one family for $25 a month. Make a Donation Today.

Click to Donate…

Featuring Jessica’s tears and prayers for toothpaste

Thank you for joining us in prayer, and for considering making a gift to help our precious familia.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja, and Beyond