Friday, March 12, 2010

Hasta Luego Nos Amigos!

Time truly does fly when you're having fun! As I write this it is nearing one year since Brad and I flew to Mexico to find a place for our family to live, and in the blink of an eye, it seems, we are back. Although our time in Reynosa was shorter than we would have thought, we know that the Lord has led us home. Some of His reasoning is clear to us now, but we know some will not be revealed until later.

I know that my words here could never convey all that the Lord showed us and taught us during our time in Mexico. I cannot begin to share the multitude of blessings He bestowed on us. But that won't stop me from trying.

When God called us to this mission, we had grand ideas of the ways He would use us to further the Kingdom. We dreamed of the ways that we could help orphaned children and bring lost Mexicans to a saving knowledge of Christ. We hoped for changes in our family and growth in our faith. We wondered if God would lead us to yet other foreign mission fields.

What we didn't imagine is that we were selling our God short. We were keeping Him in a box. You would think that by this time in our journey of faith, we would know Him better than that. Yet, much like the Israelites in the desert, we so easily forget what Yahweh is capable of. Not only did He do all that we hoped and imagined, He did SO MUCH more! God didn't just take us out of our country, He took us out of our boxes. He grew us in ways we didn't realize we needed to grow. Over the months since we left NC we've talked often about the "surprise blessings". Brad and I agree that, hands down, time was the most surprising and most precious blessing we received. Being back in NC for just four weeks, I already long for the Mexican pace of life. The extra time and the slow pace we were allowed in Mexico not only caused us to rethink the "Great American Race" we were so accustomed to. It also brought our family together for a time of regrowth. God gave us time away from all that normally fights for our time and attention. We spent quality time together as a family daily. Even more importantly, we spent quality time with the Lord and in His Word daily.

Another result of the extra time and the slower pace is that Brad and I were able to realize a long-time dream. We've written a book! Wow, that's the first time I've written that! Neither of us have ever considered ourselves gifted writers. Nevertheless, God has given us both a longing to write a book that would point others to Him. Thanks be to Him, we have co-authored a book entitled Your Last Breath. We are in the process now of having it published and we are just so excited! We'll keep everyone posted concerning the release and other details. In the meantime, we covet your prayers. Please pray that we would be led by the Lord and that He would give us favor in the publishing process.

Leaving Reynosa was bittersweet for our family. Although we know it is God's will and we are thrilled to be back with family and friends, saying "Hasta Luego" to our friends in Mexico was very hard. I tell everyone that I would have brought all 56 children back with me if I could and I truly mean that. But we have great peace knowing they are being cared for by men and women who are the hands and feet of God.

The week before we departed for NC ,our friends at the Children's Home gave us a going away party. One thing we learned about the Mexican culture is that they LOVE to honor people and make them feel special. When you are the "honored guest" at a Mexican fiesta they go all out for you. Our farewell fiesta was no exception. The House Parents and the children from each individual "casa" put on their own presentation for us. Some sang, some did drama, all made us cry! We were once again reminded of the love of God as these special people poured it out to us.

I have posted several pictures from our last week in Reynosa that will speak for themselves. But let me close by saying thank you all for your prayers and support of our family over the last year or so. Please continue to lift us up as we strive to do His will and to share the Love of Christ with all. FYI: Brad is now working for our church in a lay minister capacity. We are thrilled for the opportunities that the Lord is giving us to serve him.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What a JOY!

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:31-40
What an awesome privilege it is to be vessels of blessing for our Lord! We've all heard it said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. But when we allow God to do the giving through us...WOW! Last week our family was, once again, reminded of what it's all about. People, relationships, love, and compassion, these are the things that really matter. When our lives on this earth are over, these are the things that will endure.

Probably many of you participate in some sort of charitable giving during the Christmas season. Maybe you take an "angel" from the tree at the mall. Maybe you take food to the soup kitchen. Maybe you volunteer your time and talents in some way. Our family has also tried to help those less fortunate over the years. Most of what we have done has been from a distance. By this I mean that we never actually met the recipients. Whatever donations or gifts we gave were delivered through an organizing group. This year, however, was different!

Our home church in NC organized a shoe box ministry to which our members donated around 500 plastic shoe boxes full of fun and useful gifts for boys and girls. JOY boxes they are called. Various times in the past our family has participated in such programs. It was always a lot of fun gathering items that could fit in the boxes and would thrill some little soul somewhere. We imagined the faces of these children as they opened maybe the only Christmas gift they would receive. This year we were contacted to see if the JOY boxes could be distributed in Reynosa. Of course, we were thrilled. So, after lots of work collecting boxes on their end and planning for places of distribution on our end, last week the time arrived.

Our Pastor, Marcus Redding, associate pastor Bobby Farmer, and fellow church member, Ernie Buecker flew down to Reynosa on December 8th and we spent the better part of the week passing out JOY boxes to needy children. I am going to let the pictures speak for me, but just let me say that it was nothing short of AWESOME! To be on the delivery end of this mission was a privilege we will never forget. We gave out around 400 boxes in three different locations. Our first stop was a pre-school in the neighborhood adjacent to the orphanage. Two girls, fresh from college, are teaching about 30-35 kids in two houses in the neighborhood. They have not been paid yet and they travel over an hour one way, by bus, to get to work each day. Wow! These kids were so thrilled to see us, let alone to receive gifts. We were all reminded of the verse in the Bible that says "Suffer the little children to come unto me."Mark 10:14.

Our next distribution was at one of the colonias. This colonia is a sort of refugee camp for men, women, and children who have tried to get into America and have been sent back. Brother Hector is the leader of the colonia and a man of God! He gathered close to 100 children in the chapel. They sang songs of praise and Brother Hector told them that God had sent them some gifts that their American brothers and sisters were delivering. Amen!

Our third stop was at a small mission church of about 40 members. This church is pastored by a very good friend in Christ, Jose. The members live in a tiny community surrounding the church. Even though it is in the city of Reynosa, they do not have city power or water. The whole community is run off one generator. They are too far out for buses and they are several miles from town. If the children want to go to school, they have to walk to the nearest bus stop which is 2-3 miles away. Despite what we would consider horrendous conditions these people are JOY-FULL!!! After Marcus preached and we gave out the JOY boxes they served us hand-made tamales. YUM!

The next day we still had at least 50 boxes left and we weren't sure where we would distribute them. Brad knew of another colonia with lots of children. He prayed that God would lead us and that He did!! When we pulled up into the colonia we just opened the van door and as the children came out of their homes we gave out the boxes. As we were driving through, another van came behind us giving out heaters. To make this long story short, God introduced us to Bruce. He and his wife Paula moved to Texas about 2 years ago to work full time in the colonia, building houses for the people there. In two years they have built 36 houses! What a privilege it was to meet these people and see the work God is doing through them. We were able to give out all of the remaining boxes and met some gracious brothers and sisters in the Lord.

We have a remaining 100 or so boxes that we will be distributing to the school children at the home during their Christmas party on Friday.

We are so thankful for our church family at Hulls Grove and their donation to the needy souls of Reynosa. Along with each box we gave out gospel pamphlets and many, many Spanish Bibles. We had many opportunities to witness for the Lord and many opportunities to remind these precious people that "Christo te ama!".

Thanks also to our brothers who came down to help us. Having them in our home and sharing Reynosa with them was more of a blessing than we can express. These men love the Lord with all their hearts, and we were encouraged and uplifted greatly by them.

Please pray for all the children who received JOY boxes and their parents as well. Pray that the Lord would work in their hearts and draw them closer to Him. Pray for the teachers of the preschool to give their lives to the Lord if they have not and to be blessed in their work with the children. Pray for Brother Hector as he ministers to the destitute on behalf of the Lord. Pray that the Lord would provide for his ministry physically and spiritually. Pray for Brother Jose as he ministers to God's people and reaches out to the lost of Reynosa. Pray for Bruce and Pam as they minister as the hands and feet of God. Pray that God would bring revival to Reynosa...

Arriving at the preschool! Ann-Marie with some of the preschoolers. Pastor Marcus receives a welcome hug. Bobby, Marcus, and Ernie Pastor Marcus speaking while Brother Hector interprets. Some of the children at Brother Hector's Colonia open their boxes A boy from Brother Jose's church Distributing to the 2nd colonia A mom takes a box for her son. Pancho, one of the young men from the children's home was able to help. No words are necessary. A family walks away happy! Jackson and his buddies, Ernie and Marcus Vaya con Dios to our brothers from Hull's Grove!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving with Wyomians in Mexico

Unique. That's how we would describe Thanksgiving 09, the most unique holiday celebration we've experienced as a family. We had the awesome privilege of spending it with a mission team from Wyoming. Part of their mission for the week was to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the Home. The women from the group planned and cooked the best meal anyone could ask for and the fellowship was even better. It was such a joy to see the children lining up for heaping piles of food and smiling all the way to their seats.

Not only was it a wonderful Thanksgiving, but working with the Wyoming group all week was truly a blessing. We will never forget these faithful servants of Christ and we thank Him the opportunity to serve alongside them. We pray God's blessings for them as they continue to serve Him and seek His guidance.
The men carve turkeys and the women prepare to serve the food.

Tio Alfredo assisted group members Nancy, Jenna, and Alex with some songs.

Sisters, Julie and Kassandra and their "perrita" Kere!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Me No Likey Hikey!!

Copper Canyon.....check! As I've said before, we have a mental checklist of places we would like to see while in Mexico. Well, we can now check off another item from our list. The last weekend in September we set out on an adventure like none we've ever had. Brad, being the travel guru of the family, had done hours of research online and in books. He had it all planned out from the route we would take for the 16 hour trip to where we would stay when we arrived. In the process of looking for a horseback riding outfit in the Canyon, he happened upon El Aventurero and guide, Norberto Rodriguez. What a "God thing" that turned out to be.

Norberto and his partner have a ranch in the town of Creel which is situated right on the edge of the Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon). There is a cabin on the property that will house around 15 people and we had it all to ourselves! What a blessing this was for our boys. They were able to be outside throughout our entire visit. They hiked in the mountains behind the cabin, rode their bikes, and built bonfires every night. It was like being back home in NC!!

We planned to go on a 4-5 hour horseback ride to the Canyon on our first day there. The boys' excitement rivaled Christmas! We headed over to the barn at 9am to saddle up and Jackson kept saying he wanted to ride his "own horse". Norberto didn't think this would be any problem for him, but Brad and I were biting our lips. Jackson mounted his horse and it took about two steps before Jackson was saying, in a panicked voice, "I want to ride with my Mom!" After switching horses and trying to ride tandem, Brad and I decided it would be best for Jackson and I to stay behind. We were both so disappointed! When Brad and the boys left we went back to the cabin and cried on eachothers' shoulders for about an hour. Then we got over it and made the best of a beautiful day in beautiful surroundings. When the guys returned they were beat and had great stories and great pictures from their trip. Brad also informed me that he had arranged for me to go on another trail ride with Brandon and Miller the next day.

At this point, I need to interject an important piece of information. I know this will come as a shocker to many of you, but I really am quite prissy! I know, I know, I hide it well. That said, a trip to a canyon is a stretch for me. A horseback ride through the canyon is taking me completely out of my box! But a trip to the Canyon, a five hour horseback ride, and a hike into the Canyon...I think you get the point! I was more than a little apprehensive about the day, but I had prayed about it and I didn't want to go back home knowing I had missed this opportunity that I may never have again. So around 9am we set out.

My biggest fear was that I would fall off the horse. So when Norberto asked me if I liked to gallop, I was honest and said "I'm fine with slow!". The boys have still not stopped reminding me that the ride took longer because "Mom wouldn't gallop!" Sorry!! As we headed out that morning I felt like I was in a cowboy movie riding through the old west. To say it was beautiful would be a pitiful understatement. Living in Reynosa, we don't see much grass or trees. We often talk of how much we miss the NC landscape, with its rolling hills, green grass, and tall trees. Well, there were times in the Copper Canyon when we felt like we were back in NC. Although the Canyon is said to be four times the size of the Grand Canyon it doesn't look anything like it. Picture the Grand Canyon with green river valleys and Pine covered mountaintops.

As we rode through the valley,we were crossing property belonging to the Tarahumara Indians. These people have lived in this area for hundreds of years. They dress traditionally and many of them live without electricity or water in the valley or in caves within the mountains. They come into town a lot to sell hand-made traditional crafts. They reminded us of Eskimos in their look. It was fascinating to see them and quite humbling to see how they live. Brad and I agreed that in some ways we envied their simple life and in others we did not.

After riding throught the fertile valley , dotted with Tarahumara cabins, wild horses, cows wearing bells, and herds of sheep tended by children, we gradually climbed into the mountains on our way to the canyon. It was awesome when we arrived at the edge! The sounds, scenery, everything changed. Norberto tied up our horses and led us to the drop-off. Then he started walking down!! Brandon followed right behind him and out of sight. Miller and I looked at eachother. Miller just said, "No way!! I'm not going down there." I encouraged him as much as a chicken hearted priss can.
I will not bore you with the details of the hike down, but I will give you the highlights. First of all, Norberto literally walked down the mountain without so much as holding on. If he were an Indian his name would definitely be "Sure Footed One "! Miller and I stayed very close together and I just kept saying "Don't look down!" As scary as it was, the view was indescribable. At one point we stopped so that I could get my camera out of the backpack and we nearly lost the backpack down the mountainside. Fortunately Sure Footed One grabbed it just in time.

The reason for our hike was to explore some cave drawings that are hundreds of years old. At each cave along the route we stopped so Norberto could point them out and give us the details on them. Our last cave was the largest. It was obvious that someone had lived there. We sat here and rested a while and enjoyed some get-to-know-you conversation before heading back to our horses and the ride back.

Before we began our hike, Norberto warned us that he had seen more snakes in this area than anywhere. He told us to be careful. I just started praying! On our trek back up the mountain, he stopped us to tell us another bit of interesting info. Miller was just about to sit down on a rock when he said "Snake!" Sure enough, right where Miller was about to put his hand a rattle snake was coiled up. It was a very small snake. We thought it was a baby, but Norberto told us this particular rattler is small. He deftly, picked it up with a stick and sent it down the mountain. At the same time I sent up a prayer thanking our Protector! Norberto said he didn't know how Miller had seen it....but I knew. After much huffing and puffing on my part, we made it back to the horses and started home.

On the way back Norberto asked me how I was doing and I said "Wonderful!" He said, " I hope you still say that tomorrow!" We met Brad and Jackson at the cabin and shared our adventure with them. I told Brad I was very proud that I had taken this opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, but I also shared that I already had the title for the next blogpost...."Me No Likey Hikey!!!" This has become my "tagline",if you will. Anytime I feel it appropriate I remind my family of it.

We've been blessed as a family to take many wonderful vacations and trips, but we all agree this was our first "Adventure". We made memories that will last a lifetime, we saw parts of God's creation that amazed us anew, we stepped out of our comfort zones, and we had the privilege of meeting the Rodriguez family. Norberto is a superb guide and a pleasure to be around. Our trip would not have been the same without the help of him and his family. Gracias a Familia Rodriguez!

I'm going to post some of the pictures from our trip here and the rest are on my facebook. I also wanted to just catch everyone up with what is going on here in Reynosa. The boys are keeping busy with their schoolwork and helping Brad at the the home. Brad has been continuing to paint the inside of each of the "casas" where the children live. What an improvement it is! Only 2 casas left and the job will be complete. I have been busy with school and with some English tutoring. Two different children have asked for help with their language skills. One is a 12-year-old boy from the home, Jonathon. Please pray for Jonathon. He is not able to go to school because he is so far behind. He just came to CHI about two months ago. Before that his grandmother was raising him. His mother has passed away. He is a very sweet young man with great potential. He just needs someone to teach him. Pray for me that I will be the influence he needs and that I can help him to catch up even a little. My other student is a nine-year-old girl whose aunt lives across the street from us. Her name is Ivana. She has been over a few times to play with Jackson. A couple of weeks ago she came over and asked me if I would help her with her English. Ironically, I had been praying that the Lord would help me with my Spanish comprehension. As usual, He answered my His way!! Jonathon and Ivana have helped my comprehension so much! Thank you God!

We have been here six months now. Sometimes it feels like six weeks and sometimes six years! We thought we knew what God had in store for us here, what He had for us to do. We are realizing more and more everyday that it isn't so much about what we are doing for others, but what God is doing in us. He has changed us tremendously in the last six months and we know he will change us even more. Please continue to pray for us that we seek His will and His glory above all else.

As you know, we are supported here completely through donations from friends and family. God has moved in the hearts of many of you to give what you can and we are very thankful. At this time we are still short of what we need to cover our yearly expenses. If the Lord leads you to help out in any way you can send a donation to our church (address is listed at right) or directly to us (address also at right). We thank you for your prayers and your donations on our behalf. Please know that you are all in our constant prayers. May God bless you ...

The Boyles

Sure Footed One!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Alvarez Hermanos(Brothers)

These four brothers are very special to our family. They are Juan(13), Dan(9), Pablo(7), and Miguel(5) Alvarez. I had the pleasure of meeting Juan with Pastor Marcus on my first trip to the home in April of 2008. Our family met Juan and the other boys in June 2008.

Pray specifically for each boy and their mom. This is their second time at the home. They were able to go back home with their mom last year but she has been sick since early 2009. Pray that God will heal her and the boys will be able to return home with her soon. The boys arrived back at the home in May, 2009 just when we arrived to start our work. We were so happy to see Juan, Dan, Pablo, and Miguel! They have adjusted so well at the home.

Juan is your typical big brother and takes very good care of his younger brothers. He has started middle school this year and lives in house #4 with Teo and Elisa. He is quiet, speaks good English, and loves to read. Pray that the Lord will give him wisdom and strength in his teen years. He loves to talk and learn English with me(Brad).

Dan is the fireball and pistol of the brothers. He loves to talk, run, play, and have fun! Dan is very loving. He spends a lot of time playing and wrestling with Miller and Jackson. He also lives in house #4 with Teo and Elisa.

Pablo and Miguel are very much the younger brothers. They are quiet and keep to themselves a lot. They are very loving also and spend time playing with Miller and Jackson. Miguel lives in house #4 also and Pablo lives in house #1 with Alfredo and Veronica.

Our family has spent a lot of time with these boys in the past 6 months. We love on them and fellowship with them as often as possible. Dan made my day about 2 weeks ago when called me "mi Padre" (my dad). All the boys want is someone to listen, love, and hug them! That is a very easy task for us! Continue to pray for the Alvarez brothers daily! The Boyles Family

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fiesta Fun

Phew!!! The time since our last post has flown by. Seriously, does anyone know where September went? It's been a fun couple of weeks here in Reynosa. We took the opportunity to celebrate all the children, staff members, and volunteers who had birthdays in July, August, and September. Unbeknownst to the children, the local movie theatre had donated free movies tickets to our entire group! How awesome is that!! The only thing CHI had to pay for was popcorn and drinks. To say the children had a great time would severely understate it. I wish I had taken my video camera (No, not so that I could pirate the movie!). I would love for everyone to see the faces we saw that day in the theatre. We were so blessed to be able to experience this with the children. One boy in particular was unforgettable. He had just arrived at the home that week. He had lived with his Grandmother who is on her deathbed and did not want him there to see her die. Unlike most eight year-olds he did not attend school and play with other children. Instead he took care of his dying Grandmother. Just to watch him that day was a precious reminder of what the Lord does through Children's Haven. He was so happy to be there and we are so happy to have him!

Another cause for celebration this month was Mexican Independence Day. We celebrated a day early this year so that we could make it a school activity. Just like Americans, Mexicans go all out to celebrate their independence. One difference, however, is their emphasis on the heroes of their liberty. To commemorate those who fought for Mexico's freedom throughout history, the children dress as different characters and heroes of the past. This year, after giving a short presentation for parents and guests the children loaded into the vans. We drove them to the adjacent neighborhood where many of the students live. They then proceeded to parade through the streets with songs and shouts of "Viva Mexico". We thoroughly enjoyed it! Incidentally, the fiesta gave me an opportunity to wear the dress that Tia Elsa so graciously made for me. I was a little nervous to wear it at first, knowing I would stick out like a ...blonde Americana! But once I arrived and saw most of the women and girls in similar attire I was proud to be a part of it all.

We continue to grow in countless ways as we acclimate to this "foreign place". But I must be honest and say that sometimes we feel so out of place and we long for home. However, God in all his goodness and his infinite wisdom reminds us that this is how we should feel. As long as we're on this earth, we should long for home...our Heavenly home with Him. If we don't feel foreign and out of place in this world then we're comforming to it rather than letting Him transform us.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Romans 12:2

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sightseeing, School, and September

It has been a week of firsts for Familia Boyles! We experienced a long awaited sightseeing trip to the city of Monterrey complete with our first stay in a Mexican hotel. We completed our first week of homeschooling and were blessed far beyond our expectations. And, along with all of you, we rather reluctantly ushered in September.

As a family, we have an unwritten list of all that we hope to do during our time in Mexico. Among other items, it includes all the places we would like to see; places like The Copper Canyon, Mexico City, Tampico, The Colonial Heartland, and Monterrey. We can now mentally check off one of those items. Last week we had the opportunity to travel to Monterrey and spend the night. Monterrey is the third largest city in Mexico. It is about two and a half hours Southwest of Reynosa. We have all anticipated this trip since we arrived because, for one we've heard so much about the city from various sources and, two because we were dying to see the mountains!! Suffice it to say, Monterrey did not disappoint us. We had originally planned to make it a day trip. But when we looked online and found that nice hotels were only $60-$80 per night we decided to take advantage. When we arrived we knew we had decided wisely. We would not have been able to experience nearly enough in a day trip. We stayed in a Holiday Inn right in the heart of downtown which made it perfect for our sightseeing endeavors. Most of what we wanted to see was within walking distance and the rest was a short taxi ride away. On our first day we checked out the pedestrian shopping area known as the Zona Rosa. It was very modern and yet very Mexican which is quite an oximoron. We did lunch at VIPs which we knew from Reynosa. It is the Mexican equivalent of Dennys! We checked out one of the MANY parks in the city, Parque Hundido. One of the sights I really wanted to experience was the Barrio Antiguo. It is the "Old Town" part of the city with cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. We followed our tourist map to the area and headed up one of the antiquated streets. At first it reminded me a bit of downtown Charleston. But the further we walked it started to remind me more of downtown New Orleans, namely Bourbon Street! As we made our way we noticed men peeking out of doorways staring at us. We've grown accustomed to being stared at wherever we go, but this was a bit unnerving. Couple that with the fact that nearly every sign we saw contained the word "bar" somewhere on it. We made a U turn as soon as we realized our mistake, but in true Boyles family fashion it was anything but inconspicuous. As we were crossing the street to make our hasty retreat Jackson tripped on the curb. "Man down! Man down!" Those of you who know Jackson, know that he is the clutsier of the Boyles Brothers and these sort of incidents are not at all uncommon. However, we're in the middle of "Bourbon Street", with an audience that is growing by the minute, and Jackson is screaming that his toe "burns like fire!!!". I'd like to tell you that we all came to his aid with sympathy, but actually it was more like "shut the kid up and move FAST!". I think Brandon and Miller must have just started sprinting when they heard Jackson go down, because when I looked up they were about a block ahead of us. Brad was not far behind them and I was desperately trying to drag the injured child up the street. Just another day for the Boyles! I am happy to report that the remainder of the trip was without incident.

For dinner that evening, we found a restaurant that was recommended in our Mexican Travel book. La Puntada was just a block away from our hotel and was supposed to be a popular spot for locals. It turned out to be just what we had hoped for : good food, good atmosphere, kid friendly, and CHEAP!

On Friday Brad decided we would take a taxi to another park called Parque Ninos Heroes and visit the Museo de la Fauna y Ciencas Naturales (basically the museum of natural history). We had a great time! This was the first time for all of us in a Mexican taxi and what an experience it was! Our driver was Jaime(sp?) a fifty-year resident of the city and a very nice man. He took us to the park and offered to come back for us at whatever time we chose. We took him up on it. At the park, which has a botanical garden, an aviary, a lake, several musuems, and several sports facilities,we found our way to the Museo de la Fauna which cost a whopping 50cents for admission. It was a small exhibit so we were only there for about thirty minutes. That left us thirty minutes until our taxi returned so we took advantage of the row boats on the small lake. Brad and the boys rowed around in two boats while I stood on the shore and took pictures.

At 12:00 Jaime returned to pick us up. As we were riding back toward our hotel I asked him if he would recommend a place for us to have lunch. He,very excitedly, said, "El numero uno en Monterrey!" and told us all about a place where all the locals go and you can get "comida del dias" (daily specials) for about fifty pesos. He told us that the specials included soup, beans, rice, a meat dish, and tortillas. I think his mouth was watering as he described it! He then, eagerly pulled up in front of the restaurant...La Puntada! We all just gave eachother knowing looks and giggled to ourselves. We enjoyed the delicious "comida del dia" and commended Brad on choosing "El numero uno en Monterrey" the previous night. Thank you Jaime!!

After lunch we headed back "home" to Reynosa and laughed as we recounted our first adventure in Monterrey. We are already anticipating our next trip.

Since returning from Monterrey we have completed our first week of school. Most of you know I have been earnestly praying that God would guide me in this endeavor and that we would bring glory to Him. I am thrilled to report that we had a wonderful week and the grace of God was more than sufficient. I know that He has a blessed school year in store for us and I plan to enjoy every minute that I have with the boys. That doesn't mean, however,that I will stop praying. I will continue to seek His guidance and His grace daily to be the Mom and teacher He wants me to be.

Thanks to all of you who are praying for us. Please do not stop!! Pray that God would show us the work he has for us here, not just at the children's home but everywhere in Reynosa. Just this week a parking lot attendant whom Brad has befriended asked if we knew anyone who would hire his wife to "clean up". Her name is Maria. Please pray that Maria would find work and that she and her husband Ernesto would know Christ as their Savior.

Please know that we pray for all of you regularly. We pray for God's will to be done in your lives. We pray that He would bless you with wisdom to know His will, strength to do His will, and love for Him above all else.

Looking Ever to Him,
The Boyles

Row, row, row your boat!

Parque Hundido

This guy was stationed outside of our hotel!