Posts Tagged ‘casas por cristo’

The Ruckus caught in the act of ornery. This is from last night after I gave up and put a diaper back on this kid.

Call me sick and twisted, but I love jr. high kids. Always have, and probably always will. I even took my bend and went to college to be jr. high teacher. You might call it immaturity, but I’m going to go ahead and just call it the way God made me. Maybe God was just preparing me to raise Solomon.

If you get grossed out easy (say with farts, poop, and the like), you may just want to pass this story on and check out the link at the bottom of this post. Proceed only if you are brave or crazy like me, but I just had to share this story.

Solomon is a man’s man or a boy’s boy or however you want to get around to it. He challenges my seemingly endless energy, and on most days trumps it. Last night as my head was landing full force into my pillow (as it has every night since this little booger went mobile at 5 MONTHS!), I barely remember saying to David, “If Solomon was a WWF wrestler his name would for sure be ‘The Ruckus’.” I sort of remember David saying something about a tornado, but he didn’t quite beat my eyelids.

David spent last week leading a team from Redeemer down to Juarez, Mexico to build a house with Casas Por Cristo. Solomon (who with the addition of about 6 cans of baby food a day has shown no slow down towards weaning) and I stayed back in Amarillo to deal with the sprout of his first FOUR teeth at once. It was especially hot last week (the hottest day was 107), and the heat flared up The Ruckus’ eczema. This is where the story begins.

David and the team made it home, but not without bringing home the annual Mexico stomach bug. By Monday morning I was worried about both my boys. I made a call to the pediatrician to see if there was anything more I could do for Solomon’s rash. Solomon must have known what she said because as we were on the phone he decided to take off the diaper he was pooping in. This pretty much set the bar for the day.

So on doctor’s orders I removed Solomon’s diaper so he could get some air. I carefully placed a mattress pad in the pack-and-play and hoped for the best. He had only been in there a few minutes when I hear a noise from our corgi, Calvin. I turned around to see Solomon standing in the pack-and-play, back arched, pointing a stream down the hall that ended on Calvin’s head.

This is Calvin by the way.

Calvin was obviously horrified. He was looking at me like, “Are you kidding me!”. I sprung into action – towels, wipes, antibacterial wipes. My hysterical laughter came to an abrupt halt as I rounded the corner, arms full, back at the pack-and-play. What I saw next can only be described as little round nuggets covering the mattress pad. The Ruckus, who looked very proud I might add, was taking the time to meticulously squish each nugget between his toes. Obviously he was trying to do the most helpful thing here.

It was quite a stinky mess, and the smell of course only furthered my poor husband’s condition. I was pretty sure he got every last nugget that is until this morning when I found a very tricky hidden one. I haven’t had laughed that hard in a long time, although I’m not sure David and Calvin found it quite as funny in the moment.

When I finally got things cleaned up and got a chance to rest, I treated myself to some blog reading and came across this. It was exactly what I needed to read. And after you now read this gross jr. high humored story, you may need something a little more Godly to read too! HA! Moms of all little ones, enjoy this precious blog, “Dear Stay At Home Mom…” by Trevin Wax, and every second of today with your precious little ones.

It’s an awesome ride!
KR 🙂


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El Paso, Texas USA and Juarez, Mexico: separated narrowly by the Rio Grande River and a very tall fence. Two cities whose downtowns touch, proudly fly two very different flags. They are worlds apart, so it seems.

From El Paso looking into Juarez

The city of Juarez has seen well over 3000 murders in the past 18 months, on average 8 murders in the city per day (more than Iraq and Afghanistan). Nearly all the violence revolves around drug cartels and drug trafficking. The drug of dispute, mostly marijuana, all headed for the United States through El Paso. If you think these cities really worlds apart, think again. They are more intertwined then you could ever imagine, held together by basic economics. Think about that the next time you call smoking pot ‘harmless’. Pot smokers demand creates a supply, and people are dying over it. [“Mexico is the largest foreign supplier of marijuana…for the US market.”]

the border

Casas Por Cristo is an amazing organization building houses in Mexico despite the violence and despite the fact that many of the church groups are refusing to come back because of fear. And let me just say, I felt completely safe in Juarez. The biggest difference I could see were the many family businesses that had shut down. The people of Mexico love Casas and love the people willing to come and build houses for them. The violence in tied up in the drugs. We never once felt threatened or scared.

On the morning of July 29, we crossed the border into Juarez and met Manuela, Iver, & Ramon. Manuela was a 23-year-old single mother. Her husband had headed to the USA with promises of sending money, only to never be heard from again leaving Iver and Ramon (5 and 3 years) fatherless. Manuela got a job working every day at the airport making $60. per week. This is where they we living.

Our Casas’ reps were amazing women…yes, women, Brittany and Amy.

Brittany, Manuela, Iver, Ramon, Amy

They did an amazing job showing us how to build. We saw sand, water, and rocks become concrete; concrete become foundation; boards become walls; chicken wire hold up stucco; plywood make a roof. Through the sweat, laughs, newly knit relationships, and burritos made by Manuela’s mother, we built a house for this precious family.

Many good conversations were had during the process. I spent the first afternoon talking to Brittany about her story as we worked. Brittany has a college degree and before becoming a missionary worked a great job making a comfortable living.
“I hate to build, and I hate construction,” she told me.
“And I could have continued what I was doing and been comfortable and happy, but I would have woken up every day and known that I could have been making a difference. [by building houses for people with Casas Por Cristo].”

She sees the big picture.

Even now I can’t get her words out of my head. That is true selflessness, giving up her life for love. And not just any love: true love, it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our final day is always my favorite. Out of all the impactful experiences during a trip like this, none compare to the dedication of the house. The sweet boys who had played with us and helped us throughout the build, hid shyly behind their mother’s legs. We told them how much we loved them. How much Jesus loves them. How He sees them. How He will never abandon them. We said our kind words, prayed over the home and the family, and gave them the gifts we brought. It was God who built that house. I feel honored to be a part of this precious family’s lives. I feel honored to be a part of the gift.

The final act of the dedication is nailing in a Casas Por Cristo plaque on the outside of the home. We chose Jonathan, a member of our team, to get the nails started so that Manuela could drive them in. Nails and hammer in hand, Jonathan stood before us and what he said so simply, carried true meaning. He sees the big picture. And his words helped me see it too.

“With these nails and hammer, we remember the nails that hung Jesus to the cross.”

Tears streamed down my face.

I know what held Jesus to that cross. It was love. Jesus could have lived all eternity without experiencing the cross.

But he saw the big picture. And out of love, He humbled Himself to the point of death, so that our sin and our shame might be covered in His righteousness. He gave up His life to extend to us a grace we don’t deserve. Everlasting love and life. Hope and shelter. The gift of all gifts, that cost Him everything.

We loose sight of the big picture. We spend our lives seeking our own comfort, our own desires. So slowly and so quickly, life becomes about such simple, meaningless things. When are we going to see that life is not about us? When are we going to see the big picture?

Look at what Jesus has done.


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In six days, I will be venturing south with 30+ other folks from the ministry of North to that most dangerous city across the border. It’s best I’m not too specific, but you probably get it. Anyway, we will be spending just under a week building houses for 3 homeless families. This is my third build; I can’t wait.

Tuesday after North, the team met to put faces to names, get our packing lists, fill out our medical information, and learn about the families. Our team will be partnering with a wonderful organization, Casas por Cristo, and further splitting down into 3 teams. When we arrive in the slums of the town, we will have a few tools, wood, a pile of gravel, and some sand….and what will take place is an amazing miracle. When we leave, somehow, a house will stand. It’s an amazing thing to see. Even better a family that doesn’t have a house right now as you read this blog, will sleep under a roof. It’s the gospel in action…shelter from the storm…love that no one deserves….grace no one can’t repay.

Please, PLEASE, pray for us, and especially for our families.
Family #1: husband, wife (ages 41, 40) and 4 kids (ages 8 to 13), weekly income $70
Family #2: husband, wife (early 20’s) 1 small child, weekly income $0
Family #3: husband, wife- factory workers (ages 19,18) 1 small child, weekly income $60

Some exciting blog news!!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been putting together a blog-miniseries called “Real Stories”.

I asked several of YOU readers to write down YOUR stories and email them to me. I kept it pretty open. I really just want to hear from some of you what Jesus has been to YOU in YOUR life. The stories are phenomenal! I can’t wait for all of you to get to read them!

Starting next this coming Wednesday, a “Real Story” will post on my blog for every day I am gone. Here is a clip from next Wednesday’s first “Real Story”

I overdosed on january 3,2009 i had already been up for 72 hours
having the time of my life snorting lines about every hour. That when
I started to feel it- I couldn’t breath and i felt like I was dying & I
WAS— I drove myself to the hospital because no one else would and
the only thing left to my name were three rolled up dollar bills and
half an eight ball of cocaine, I HAD nothing else to lose. I was
admitted at 8 am that morning. About three hours later my parents
walked in—- this was my lowest of lows

So check back every day starting next Wednesday, and read the stories of people just like you who read this blog!!!!
KR ☺

Enjoy these pictures from my previous house building trips!! Lots of love to you!

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