Mar 31, 2009

The Langley Immanuel Youth Group

       We were privileged to work with the group of Dutch high schoolers from Langley Immanuel Christian Reformed church again this year. They have become our favorite group and we look forward to their coming all year long. They are a focused, hard working, fun crew. 

       This year we took part of the group to insulate and drywall the house of a man named Lamberto. Lamberto's testimony is one of persecution and forgiveness. He used to work for the railroad but after being injured on the job the railroad compensated him with a small piece of land adjoining the railroad tracks in an undeveloped area east of Tijuana. A few years ago he offered his land to be used for a church plant to minister to the surrounding, extremely poor, neighborhood. Two years later, the church was thriving and Lamberto had a small house built for himself and his family.

       A woman who was attending the church was the wife of a drug addict. Her husband did not like that she was attending church, yet the woman continued coming. One day, as Lamberto was walking down the street, her husband attacked him from behind. He beat him almost to death with a baseball bat. His skull was fractured and the resulting brain injury left him mostly paralyzed and unable to speak clearly. He was housebound and his house was not insulated or drywalled and it gets very hot in the desert where they live.

       To insulate and drywall the house would be a big job, especially since the group was made up of high school students. It was made more difficult by someone starting the job and doing such a poor job that we needed to redo their work. We only had three to four days so, all things considered, this was going to be a real challenge.

       Work, however, progressed quickly and we finished before our deadline so that we were able to add an awning onto the front of the house to provide a shaded porch. We were also able to build some much needed shelves in the kitchen.

       By God's grace Lamberto has been healing and is now able to speak clearly and use a wheel chair. He is slowly regaining control of hands. He has forgiven his attackeer and prays for him that he, too, may know the grace of Jesus Christ.

       Another project we were privileged to help them with was replacing a dilapidated fence at the Alcanzando laVision orphanage. This is an orphanage of about fifty children in a very dangerous area of Tijuana. The existing fence was falling down but the wire was still usable. Our task was to dig eleven holes in rocky ground to support new fence posts, cement the posts in, and rehang the cyclone fence wire. No one but the locals were prepared for how difficult the digging phase would be. The ground was like baked clay filled with large rocks. This was truly a labor of love. It turned out to be a real test of endurance and perseverance. God blessed our efforts and in the end there stood a beautiful and secure fence. It had taken the whole team but we were all able to enjoy a great sense of accomplishment.

View the photo album