We had a really terrific trip. There were 13 missionaries, including three new people. Travel was trouble free and relatively quick. The new screening at the Mexican border is up and running but only delayed us a few minutes. All three vehicles were pulled over into the secondary screening area, but we got through without inspection. Our biggest challenge was not having a fluent Spanish speaker with us, be we managed to muddle through.
St. Joe's: The children all seem to be doing well. We especially noticed that Diana has really come out of her shell. She has also changed her name back to her birth name or baptismal name (I'm not sure which) and goes by Mary Angelica. The rest of the kids seem to be well and are really growing. We once again measured for kitchen cabinets, and Dave A. volunteered to get them cut here and ready for installation, (except still flat) and we'll take them down on the next trip if we get the money. There were just a few very small projects there that Marvin M. took care of.
Verdad y Vida: We were in for a shock the day after our arrival when we went over there and found all new nuns in residence. Marvin, Colleen C. and Susan N. fixed some serious plumbing problems in both the boys' and girls' bathrooms that included the purchase of new toilets and a couple new cabinet/sink combinations. The plumbing was significant, but fortunately Colleen's expert skills came through and got the job done. They also replaced a couple of windows. The new Madre is Fabiola who was extremely personable and helpful and Colleen and Susan were great representatives for Capstone. Later in the week Colleen and Teresa P. were able to assist Madre with some computer issues so really endeared themselves.
Hacienda de la Inmaculada: The bulk of our crew spent the week there. We built a big roof overhang over the laundry clotheslines to protect the clean clothes from the sun and rain. The front entry got painted, which was really needed and pleased Madre a lot. We thought we were going to do some bathroom work, but there were several other workers there and they took over that project after Steve E. spent some time with his head in the toilet(s), getting them installed. Wiring was done for the future installation of the refrigeration unit. We also did lots of laundry (in pathetic "automatic" machines)and played with the kids as much as work would allow. We were able to do a walk through to look at future projects and get them prioritized. There are currently about 70 children there, and still not nearly enough adults. One bright light is that a Kinder teacher comes daily and takes several of the preschoolers to the attached classroom for instruction. They even wore uniforms!
Rusty G. and Deb M. went to see a gentleman who is paraplegic and needing assistance. We heard about him through an email inquiry. Unfortunately he mainly needs money, but also seemed to need a couple of Gringo listeners for the better part of an hour. He lived in the U.S. for quite awhile, so his English was great. We made some suggestions on ways for him to get some assistance, and we'll follow up in a few weeks. By the way, he told us there is an orphanage a couple of blocks from his place with about 60 children....
Thank you for your prayers and support.