Missions 2016 – Joe Cortez


I saw God’s hand at work well in advance of our group venturing down to Ensenada.  Our two vehicles (both with over 100,000 miles each) performed flawlessly.  Okay, well maybe we did have to turn the air conditioner off for a bit while climbing the Grapevine in 111 degree temps, but that was just a brief discomfort.  I saw that God has built an incredibly efficient refuge at the Yugo camp.  Although this was their busiest week of the year, I thought they handled the feeding, sleeping, and other arrangements flawlessly.  Never once did I feel that the camp was overcrowded.  Also, Yugo has perfected the art of building a home in four days.  We were provided with three of the most easy-going, talented build-leaders we could have in Nathan, Katelyn, and Joe, and all supplies were ready, waiting, and available to us as needed.  God has provided a special blessing to Yugo, the teams that travel there, and to the people of Ensenada.

Aside from the opportunity to dramatically change a family’s living conditions, it was amazing to see the social growth of Teresa’s two children.  They went from hiding inside their RV on the first morning, to gradually becoming valued members of our team as they worked side by side to construct a place they could only pray and dream about.  How special.

It broke my heart to hear Teresa say how thankful she was that she now had security for her sons.  I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like for her to leave her son’s behind in their dilapidated RV as she left for work each day and not returning until after nightfall.  I’m so thankful that Kathy and I had the opportunity to play a role in making their lives better.

Joe Cortez

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