12/30/21, Stephen, Tonyia with True Path Ministry, Pastor Rey and family, many from Iglesia Getsemani, Evangelist Ramiro, his son and wife headed to Canoas for our last day of Christmas giving.
We have been to Canoas many times but there is something special about going to this ranch and enjoying the simplicity of life (well maybe not the outhouse-it can be a challenge). We, as Americans, may think these people are poor because they do not have material things but it is quite the contrary. When you see the faces of these sweet people and you see and hear them worship, you know their life is full! A common question that we sometimes hear Pastor’s ask their congregation, is “are you content”. I believe in my heart the people in Canoas are content! They have Christ in their hearts!
We unload the blessing bags that contain food and household items and other gifts we have brought for Pastor Alfredo, wife Alicia and Francisco, wife Noehemi and family. Also from a generous donor, a new chainsaw with oil was given to Francisco. This will help him and his family not only to have wood to use for cooking but also he can cut and sale wood. They are always so grateful!
These 2 families proceed to invite us to come to their homes to eat. This is not a small thing as they live primarily off the land, plus we had a very large group that came with us. We split up into 2 group: one group to the Pastor’s house and one group to Francisco’s house.
Ramiro, family and few others from our group came with Steve and I to the Pastor’s house. Alicia had prepared refried beans, rice and homemade corn tortillas. Ramiro asked Pastor Alfredo how much it cost to buy a kilo of corn tortillas. Alfredo said he did not know because they do not buy tortillas. He raises the corn, Alicia grinds it and then prepares the tortillas. Ramiro went on to tell Alfredo that 1 kilo of tortillas in Galeana cost 20-25 pesos. This is very expensive. Tortillas are a staple at every meal. It is common in Mexico for the tortilla to be used as a spoon. Steve and I get the Americano pass, they give us a spoon to use with our meal.
Alfredo then proceeded to tell Ramiro that Alicia had been up since 5 AM grinding corn and preparing tortillas. I have to tell you, there is nothing like homemade corn tortillas. What a blessing to have her do this for us!
We all finished our meals, thanked our host and hostess and walked to the church. Lulu began with prayer and sang several songs before inviting others to come share. The Galeana group sang a song then Steve and I went up. I had Lulu read Matthew 20:25-28. It was emotional for me. We have been to Canoas many times. There is something special about these people, this place and church. They are our family in Christ!
I told them, the best I could in my broken Spanish, that we do not come just to bring them material things but it’s because we love them and Jesus loves them. That we continue to pray for them and know that God is with them!
Ramiro’s son, Josue, then got up to preach on Proverbs 19:17. Having pity on the poor, or helping the poor, is like giving directly to God. Not because God will reward us but because we love God and want to serve Him. As I listened to the sermon, it reminded me of several scriptures: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:37-40.
And Matthew 5:3 – Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Josue explained: We are all spiritually poor without Christ. Serving Christ requires ACTION. It was a spirit filled sermon with an on point message.
We gave our blessings to each other in the church, which is tradition at the end of the service. The kids lined up outside to receive their gifts, knitted Frisbees, gloves, knitted hats, and candy. The ladies also received knitted hats.
Side note: one boy was looking at a small bubble wand and dish, as his friends also looked on, they weren’t sure what it was or what it was to be used for. Steve reached down and showed them by pretending to have real bubbles, in unison all the kids went “ohhhhh”. Such a sweet moment where we forget these kids do not have access to TV, phones, internet or stores like the Dollar Tree.
We said our goodbyes and headed back to Galeana. We stopped in a small village just up the road, which we have done for years. We handed out stuffed animals, knitted hats, gloves, knitted frisbees and candy. They were excited to see and thankful!
What a joyous fun filled day to end our Christmas season giving, sharing the love of Jesus !
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
We could not do the work of Jesus without your love, prayers and financial support. Thank you!
Until Next Year! Gracia A Dios!
Note: click on a photo to see it larger.