For Juanita Balaam, her daughter Abigail and mother, Florencia, illnesses have been constant. Having to deal with surgeries, stomach ulcers and heart murmurs between the three women, life has been difficult, and saving up to build a home of their own was never possible. Living in a borrowed home made mostly of sticks, exposing the family to the rain, wind and insects, they often got wet and sick with the flu. That was until AVPC partnered with the Filadelfia church in Akil to build a home this past July for the 3 single women who live together.
Aside from working hard in construction, AVPC led vacation bible school with 150 children in attendance in the afternoons. Youth from the Filadelfia church worship team also collaborated with music and dance. Our cook Cheli amazed everyone with her meals and quickly won the hearts and appetites of the team.
A special moment during the week happened during the evening of July 4th when AVPC spontaneously sang the national anthem for the local people and cooks, who (along with Kawika) responded back by singing the Mexican national hymn. It was a moment of national pride for both countries and profound unity among God’s people.
At the end of the week, Pastor Anthony from AVPC preached to about 250 people, mostly made of non-church members. Because many came to the farewell service, the church leaders decided to hold it outdoors. Praise God that many heard the word of God shared by Pastor Anthony. During the service, Juanita gave words of gratitude to the team.
Now months after settling into their new home, Juanita reflects with a smile, “We see that God blessed us with a house to protect us from the rain and the sun, but also the opportunity to have known and been with the group and to have seen the way they work with much love and patience.”
“I also learned through this experience that I must serve my neighbor and count the wonders of God in my life while I live,” she adds.
Certainly AVPC made an impact for Christ in Akil and as Juanita says, “We will never forget the team…they shall always be in our hearts and prayers.”
As always, this mission could not have gone as smoothly without the loving care provided by Filadelfia, our translators, Stephanie and Jessica (and Kawika) and our masons, who use their God-given talents to serve their people.