Our last two weeks in Mexico were filled with packing, cleaning, finishing Bible studies, and getting together with friends. We treasured every moment with them, even though it was emotionally exhausting. Steve and Josh’s last day with the Hope House boys was especially difficult. The staff at Hope House gave Steve a group picture of the boys with all their signatures on the back. That evening our entire neighborhood, plus a few more friends, went to the plaza of San Antonio Tlayacapan for tacos. Another night our dear friends Adrian and Angelica and their extended family had us over for carne asada. We will miss Brissi’s silver smile and her cute baby brother who was just born and yet to be named—Steve suggested EstebanJ. On Monday, Diego came over to say “Adios” on his way to school. He and Sophie played together almost every day. After a final round of goodbyes with neighbors we left to meet up with the Dutro family in Ixtluahuacan. They were helping us move our things to Laredo by filling the back of their pick-up truck. Little did they know that they would be gone longer than the one week they had planned. (See prayer request list.)
We had two days of very smooth traveling. We met a group that had come through at the Columbia Bridge and had met with banditos who wanted a “pay-off”. We did not have any problems crossing there and we entered Texas at 4:32 pm!! After unloading both vehicles in 106 degree heat we shared a meal with three other missionary families, 21 people in a three room duplex…it was sweet fellowship and lots of laughter!
We are staying at Laredo Stepping Stone until we move into a home. We’ve made an offer and have an acceptance and hope to move in by October 19. We are enjoying being neighbors with the St. Clairs, whom we met at the language school in Mexico. Our Anna and their daughter, Hannah, dissected a snake that had been killed on the front porch. Anna has the skin stretched out and drying in the sun.
And now on to the new adventure God has for us (and you our supporters) in Laredo, Texas. Laredo has been described as “Mexico with infrastructure” and “Mexico above the border.” We will definitely be speaking Spanish here.
“Why are you moving to Laredo?” is the oft asked question as we meet people here. When we explain to them what BRIDGE Ministries (Bibles, Resources, Instruction, Discipleship for God’s Exaltation) is about and that it will include a place to buy Christian materials in English and Spanish very inexpensively… let’s just say they get rather excited. Some of their responses have been: “When?”, “This is sooo needed!”, “Mexican pastors are praying for a way to get materials.”, “Thank you, we drive six hours to get Bibles and communion supplies.” Their words and facial expressions are encouraging since the task before us seems daunting at times. Steve is working with an attorney to fill out the paper work for the 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) for the ministry right now… that alone is a huge task.
Corrie Ten Boom often felt overwhelmed with what God had called her to do. She writes, “When I say to the Lord, “I cannot do this,” I always receive the answer... I have known that for a long time, but it is good that you know it too, for now you can let Me do it. And I said, “Lord, then you do it.” And He did.” We cannot do this on our own. We need to walk closely with God to hear His directions, we need to ask for His wisdom and power, and we need your prayers.
Prayer Requests and Praises
-Pray for wisdom and direction for the Dutro family. (Rodney and Kina are the ones who started the Hope House.) When they tried to return to Mexico, they were refused entry because their truck does not have Mexican plates (even though they had been told it was legal by an attorney in Chapala). They were given two options: turn in your work visas for tourist visas and you can take your truck, or leave the truck and take a bus back to Mexico. They chose option three… go on a fund raising tour to Tennessee (where they are both from). Pray for clear direction on how they are to return to Mexico.
-Pray for continued wisdom and strength for hermano Jorge and his family: Candy, Nahum, and Alegria, as they run the Hope House. Pray for protection over the boys and staff. May they live lives of integrity.
-Pray for direction in where to locate our new ministry. There are many options, and we pray that the Lord will guide us to a location we can afford and that will be easily accessible. Pray for the funding that will be necessary to provide for the ministry and our personal living expenses.
-Pray for our family as we go through another time of transition. May our children make some good friends here. Pray for God’s leading as we look for another place of worship.
-We praise God for our neighbors Madeleine and Kathy who helped with cleaning the last two days in Mexico. That was a huge gift.
-We praise God for Laredo Stepping Stone—this ministry that offers a place for missionaries to stay for free. This has been a huge blessing during this time of transition.
-Praise God for His Son, Jesus—the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May the life changing Good News of Jesus be spread in these border towns (where hope is so often non-existent), and throughout Mexico and the United States. If you’d like more information about Jesus, contact us. If you would like a Bible or a book that helps to explain the Bible, let us know… we want to hear from you.
For the King,
Steve, Leigh Ann, Josh, Anna, and Sophie
~For Support—please send donations to:
Ripe for Harvest
P.O. Box 487
Monument, CO 80132
Please be sure to include our name (Steve/Leigh Ann DenHartog) along with your donation.