November found us back at Way of the Cross for the first of two months of SOWER projects there.
With the economic conditions and the drop-off of groups wanting to do short term mission work across the border, Way of the Cross has had a challenging year financially even as God blessed their efforts with a bountiful harvest of conversions.
The SOWER work concentrated on preparing some of the fourteen-plex units at the motel to be used by interns and other ministry personnel. The men ripped out ceilings and replaced the sheet rock and sprayed the ceiling and dealt with some plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical issues. Two units were substantially completed in November.
The ladies worked at the warehouse stuffing gift bags for Nicaraguan and Mexican outreaches.
Other plumbing and electrical work was done on a former WOTC orphanage in Matamoros, across the Mexican border from Brownsville, Texas.
There were three SOWER couples on the project. We had worked with one of the couples last year and half of the other couple when he was a single SOWER, but now he had his new bride - a wonderful addition to his life. One Saturday we all went to Nuevo Progreso together for sight seeing and shopping. Half way across the bridge I heard "Paul Alton!" It was Patsy Oleksin from North West Community Church, our home church in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. Small world. Have to behave myself, I guess.
One evening we six met for pizza with two additional SOWER couples that were in the valley. It was little early in the season for more to be this far south.
Gladys Porter Zoo
"The Gladys Porter Zoo is an oasis nestled in the center of Brownsville, Texas. With 26 acres of lush tropical plants and some 1,600 animals, the Gladys Porter Zoo is known for its successes in breeding endangered species of wildlife."
That quote from the zoo web site sums it up pretty well.
Juanita and I spent a delightful afternoon wandering around the zoo grounds and buildings. Could see wanting to go back every couple of years. More often if taking kids or grand-kids. We happened to hit the reptile building when they were feeding the snakes. I may not have the same fondness for snakes as one of my daughters has, but it fascinating to see them swallow something that is bigger around then they are before dinner is inside.
It is a Mexican tradition to hold a party called a quinceañera for a young lady when she turns fifteen. She is the center of attention and of encouraging and wise words on how to live her life as an adult.We were honored to be there when WOTC held a quinceañera for Isabelle Castillo.