What we felt at the beginning of the year has been coming to pass and has even exceeded our expectations.
As 2020 began and COVID-19 interrupted the lives of many around us, the Lord urged us to change our way of thinking and respond to the guidance of our hearts. And, in part, that guidance involved raising more crops. So we began to prepare the ground to plant.
In some places, the task seemed impossible. It required a lot of work in ground that was not very cooperative! We dug, pulled weeds, removed rocks and added soil just to reach a point where we could plant. We were very tired during those days, but we felt so encouraged at the same time.
Reaping the Fruits of Our Labor
The process of growing our food taught us in every aspect, from the soil to the seeds. As we gathered the harvest from our gardens, we realized that our personal relationships were bearing fruit also. We sensed a growth and maturity in our community. It was as if we had been walking in a rut and suddenly found ourselves in the open, dazzled by what we had not been seeing.
Taking Time to Relax a Little
We also had a lot of fun, and sometimes that included a swim in the pond after a hot day working together. Fishing was another popular activity.
Celebrating an Engagement
On May 22, Brother Nathaniel Klingensmith from the community in Waco, Texas, and Ary Lozano became engaged to marry. Our joy for the engaged couple is overflowing, and we eagerly look forward to the wedding.
Maintaining a Rental Property
Some months ago, Brother Oscar Saucedo felt to leave Monterrey. He began to visit some properties in Cadereyta looking for a place to live. Among these was a rental property with a large piece of land (about 35 acres), an inviting lake, a pond and very good ground for gardening. The brothers agreed that the property was very desirable, but the rent was too high. So Brother Oscar’s family found another place to live, and they moved out of Monterrey.
Then one day, the landlord of the property in which Brother Oscar had been interested called. He was looking for a family to live on the property and maintain it. Would Brother Oscar be willing to serve as land overseer? Indeed yes!
This month our brothers have been working on the property. They are sprucing up the residence as well as performing other renovations.
Committing through Baptism
Our community has been blessed recently with three people wanting to give their lives to the Lord. We were thankful as each person expressed a heartfelt commitment to God. The joy on the faces of the baptized members shone forth as we felt the love connecting the new brother and sisters with us.
On May 17, Sister Blanca Hipólito was baptized. (Shortly after, she and her husband, Brother Eric, moved out of Monterrey and settled into a little house near the other brothers and sisters in Cadereyta.)
On September 13, Brother Eduardo Rocha and Sister Diana Saucedo were baptized.
Welcoming the Newborns
Sister Gretchen Deines joined us from Texas to help with some upcoming births this summer. What a blessing she was, and we are grateful for her visit and assistance.
On June 22, Brother Enrique Badillo Cepeda’s family welcomed a new daughter, Rebekah. She weighed 8.3 pounds and measured 20 1/2 inches. (See also page 5.)
On July 22, Brother Eric and Sister Blanca Hipólito were blessed with their fourth child, Blanca Faith. She weighed 7.9 pounds and measured 20 1/2 inches. (What a busy year for the Hipólito family: both Brother Eric and Sister Blanca were baptized; they moved out of Monterrey and had their first home birth!)
Beginning an Exodus to Bernal
In October of last year, Brother Éder, together with brothers from the Waco community—Adolfo Anzaldua, Benjamin Neikirk and Caleb Gonzalez—visited some other states in Mexico, including Mérida, Yucatán and Querétaro. In Querétaro, in a town called Bernal, they stopped to buy some chocolates. (They had never heard of the village before nor visited it.) In the plaza, they met the Héctor Castillo family. To make a long story short, a close relationship has developed between Brother Héctor and our community. We feel that Bernal itself provides a location that will benefit our entire community.
At the beginning of July this year, Brother Éder and Brother Bernardo and his wife Sister Elsa made a trip to Bernal. They visited Brother Héctor’s family and were joined a couple of days later by Brother Adolfo and Sister Letty and Brother Caleb and Sister Ana from Texas.
While they were there, they looked at some properties and houses. On August 28, Brother Bernardo Badillo’s family moved to Bernal, the first of our community members to relocate there. Brother Héctor and his family graciously prepared a house to receive them.
In summary, these last months have been full of blessings, successes and changes that we could not have imagined given the circumstances when 2020 got underway. What we felt at the beginning of the year has been coming to pass and has even exceeded our expectations. We look forward to the rest of the year and whatever comes next!