I was sitting on a wall, just a quarter of a mile from what seemed like the end of the world, in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, just last month. Me, my buddy, Mauricio, and a handful of young men and kids looking at the small covered court that Mission House had built for them. Next to it was a literal thatch-roofed hut that served as their church, where several of the guys in the group had met Christ.
I asked a simple question. Is Santa Clause a thing here? They laughed like I was the only guy that didn’t speak Spanish…which was true. Their answer was, NO! Santa is a thing everywhere, but not here in the Yucatan. It’s simply another day. There’s no gifts, money, stores, or provisions that would come close to “Christmas in the States.” That’s not a bad thing, I thought to myself, but what if somehow, each year, for the next ten years, we could provide Christmas for every kid in Ichmul? What if we could have food (rice, beans, and corn) for the families? I know. I get it. AChuck, you can’t feed everybody, and you can’t provide Christmas for every kid. Okay, but where I know that I can feed three hundred plus families and provide 325+ kids with Christmas for less than $15,000? You’re doggone right, I’m gonna try!
So here’s the deal:
If you can’t or don’t want to help, no sweat!
Every penny of these funds will go straight to food and Christmas for families and kids in the Yucatan. I’ll even send you a video from my next visit there so you can see the impact you’ve had.
I thought I was closer to my goal yesterday, but I’m still about $5,000 short. Will you jump on board with a little help?
Now, the rest of the story. I left that gathering and went to see a man that had once been a big man. A man among boys kind of guy. He has built a good business that builds ironworks not far from Ichmul. He was diagnosed last year with a debilitating disease. He told my friend Eli that he was going to see a witch doctor for help. This poor guy has a wife and three kids. We stopped at his home, and his wife brought some oatmeal/cream of wheat kind of soup out to us in a plastic bowl (see picture above).
I immediately started thinking about the upcoming battle with Montezuma. I had to eat it, so, like everyone else, I sipped. Not a single flavor – nothing. Then she came around and put some homemade hot sauce in it. I took the next sip and got 100% hot sauce. That must have been a funny sight to see this gringo struggling to find breath. I was looking for oxygen in a big way! She then thought it might help if she poked her finger into the soupy creation and stir it for me. I think that my mom warned me about this at some point in my history. But hey, when in Rome!
After that short trip through Kaopectate Valley, we went to this man’s shop and prayed with him. I’m talking Jesus take the wheel kind of praying and God got in the thick of it in that ironworks shop in the middle of nowhere. This dude is crying, I’m crying, Mauricio’s crying and we all got the full meal deal of God’s goodness. I told him to take a bottle of oil (think Wesson) and hang it in his shop to remind him that oil is a picture – a reminder – of God’s Spirit that is a gift to him from Jesus. AND HE DID IT! Here’s a picture.
The bottom line is this. I know most of you cannot go to a place like Ichmul right now, but those folks need to be loved on and supported and given a chance to do life as fellow Followers of Christ. They can be living in the freedom only Christ gives them. And those kids, well, I want those kids to know, for years to come, that Christmas is a lot more than presents…but when you’re a kid, presents matter!
I’ll keep you up to speed over the coming weeks. But will you help me meet this need? If we get more gifts than the total of $15,000, we will provide another round of food for these families in January. Please consider a gift of whatever you can give today. I leave for the Yucatan on December 5 and we need to purchase as much as possible in Cancun and not pay taxes on the shipping from the States.
Tomorrow, I’ll share my thoughts on where our country needs to make a few significant changes to move forward in something called unity. See you then.