Sunday, March 4, 2018
Dear friend of IDT,
Over the past 20+ years IDT has partnered with hundreds of churches from all over the USA and Canada to build 1000’s of homes for local needy families. About 3 years ago the majority of the construction ministry was separated from the IDT covering and placed under Heart Ministries, lead by Bill Sopher, a missionary with IDT for over 15 years. IDT still participates actively in this ministry, specifically in the interviewing, selection and follow-up ministry of families benefited by this ministry and most of our missionaries participate in the construction and group hosting responsibilities.
The house build ministry is not only a life changing experience for the families who receive these blessing but also to those involved in making it happen. We have seen 100’s of people come to Christ through this ministry, not only of the families who receive the homes, but often people coming with the groups have experiences that lead them to receive Jesus into their hearts for the first time or rededicate their lives to the Lord. It is such an amazing thing to witness and to be a part of!
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Cor 3:6-9
The past month we have been busy with the house build family selection process. We interview hundreds of people coming to us for help in regards to housing. The requirements for the selection process are that the family own or be current in the payments of their land, have documentation to prove it, and that the land is in the name of the wife, or of both parents. We want to make sure dad won’t leave and sell the house out from under his family. Buying your own little property is pretty accessible, even to field workers, in places where there is no access to water or electricity yet, especially if 2 or more people in the family are working, and can cost as little as $60,000 pesos (about $3,500 dollars) for a 30 x 50 ft lot. A down payment on a piece of property is usually 1000 pesos, about 60 dollars, and the payments are 1000 pesos a month until they pay it off. Another requirement we have, is that the family already be living on the lot. We want to make sure they don’t already have somewhere else to live because many people will ask for a house on their property and not go to live in it because there is no electricity, and instead, stay with relatives or rent a room elsewhere. Sometimes we make exceptions to this rule for families with special needs or those who are well known to us, if we can be assured that the home will be used for them to live in, and not sit empty, sold or be rented out.
There are a lot of people who try to take advantage of this blessing, so we interview and visit all those who are eligible a few times before making the decision. This process gives us a lot of close contact with families we might never otherwise meet and gives us a chance to share the love of Christ with them. We always tell the families that it is the Lord who provides their needs, and not us, that he is a faithful provider and he sees their need and will answer them if they cry out to him. Another amazing aspect of this ministry is the way the Lord leads us in the choosing, there are so many needy families and we can’t help them all but we often feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit in who He wants us to choose and what groups we should assign them to. We have witnessed many awesome “God appointments” between the families and the groups that build for them that we could never have arraigned! We work with many local congregations and we try to connect the families with a nearby congregation for their future spiritual growth and fellowship.
We ask for your prayers in this ministry; that the Lord would be in our midst during the selection process, that He would soften hearts, and His Word would go in and bring light to many through this work, both to those benefited, and those who contribute, and for protection and provision for those who have been moved to participate in this ministry.
The sewing class at the IDT tech school has been in session for a month. In February, we received a timely visit from our faithful friends from Wintersburg Church in southern California, bringing all the needed supplies for the class, which is now in full swing, using the sewing machines also donated by a member of this church. The beauty and carpentry classes will be starting soon. All of our classes have earned much recognition and have long waiting lists. We wish we could take more students but resources and teachers are limited. All our teachers are volunteers and all our supplies are donated. The Lord generously supplies for these classes through individuals and churches as He leads. Sometimes people would like to donate things, like tools and sewing machines, but we have no way of getting the donations here. Another need we are praying for is a teacher for the mechanics class. We know the Lord has a plan for this ministry because He has supplied the beginning of the mechanics facility, enough tools to begin, and the interest in the local community. We’re just waiting for the teacher! We are also praying for the Lord’s guidance in how to attack the great need of the local at risk youth living around the dome. Many young boys are turning to sniffing glue in the streets to fill the hole in their impoverished lives and we are so saddened by the damage that Satan is wreaking in and through them. We know this is on the Lord’s heart, we pray for wisdom and grace to minister to them.
We were blessed this past week with a visit from friends from Camarillo CA, who brought down and installed more solar panels at the girl’s home. This is an awesome blessing; their goal is to get the system to the point where there is electricity 24/7 in the home. This is their 3rd or forth trip and on each one they bring and install more equipment for the system. This equipment is very expensive and we could never do this without them. This is made possible mostly by their own contributions, and gifts from a couple local churches in Camarillo California. What a blessing!
For the past few years we have had the blessing of a friend of IDT volunteering to receive and deposit the donations sent to IDT’s P.O box in Coronado California, however he is moving and no longer able to commit to this responsibility so as of 20th of March we will be moving the mailing address for donations to:
1030 South Hutchins St, Ste 4-310
Lodi CA 95240
Please make the corresponding change in your records. We will still have our PO Box in Coronado for a couple more months and we get anything that gets sent there and will continue to receive personal mail and packages there until May.
God bless you and thank you for your support,
The IDT Mexico team