Our ministry adventure to Piedras Negras, Mexico began in the summer of 2002. It was that summer that Melanie came to Piedras Negras as a youth leader for a few hundred teenagers. She did not know any of the youth much at all as we had just began serving in the youth ministry. She will never forget that HOT summer! She was a new mom who left her 6 month old baby at home with me and ventured to a unknown country that would forever change her heart. It was on that trip the Lord spoke to her and she just laughed Him off and said that was the craziest thing she had ever heard. It was the middle of the week and it was HOT and she didn’t speak the same language as the precious children she was serving, but one thing was for sure, she loved Jesus and she loved working with the teenagers. Melanie received so much joy seeing the teens serve instead of being like most selfish students at that age. That night after dinner Melanie and several of the youth were hanging out on the patio reflecting on the trip. Melanie was missing me, our two young girls, and our baby. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the baby they had prayed for earlier that day who had a huge tumor on its brain. That precious baby was just one month older than her daughter Faith at home. Melanie was a “newbie” on the trip and a newbie highschool chaperone. It was at that very moment a girl whom she did not know came and ministered to her and spoke over her like she had never heard anyone speak before. She can remember it like it was yesterday. Audrey began to pray over Melanie, and she even prophesied over her. Audrey told Melanie that “One day you will come here and live here and serve the people here in this city.” Audrey she also told her that “Your heart is mended and connected with the people here, and their hearts are mended to yours in a way I cannot describe. Even though you can’t speak the same language they can see and feel the love of Jesus in and through you.” When Melanie returned home, she didn’t speak about this to anyone, but kept it safe in her heart. She loved the people of Mexico and fell in love with the children and their love for Jesus.
November 2002, we decided to take the family to Piedras Negras, Mexico on a family mission trip during the week of Thanksgiving . We had decided that we wanted to give our children a lesson in thankfulness. Little did we know, that it was us who got the lesson. Our oldest daughter Desireae didn’t want to come, and we just about had to drag her kicking and screaming. That week the men did some much needed construction, and the women and the children painted the childrens classrooms. In the evening, we spent time evangelizing some of the colonials we were doing VBS in. We went from door to door inviting families to church and giving them New Testament Bibles as a gift. When I saw with my eyes the places these sweet little children lived, I almost lost it. Tears were welling up in my eyes behind my sunglasses. Most of the homes had been wiped out by a horrible flood just a couple of months earlier where over 300 people lost their lives. Many of the homes were assembled with whatever materials they could find. Shacks made out of pallets and cardboard and trash bags with dirt floors. And here in the desert there are a number of creepy crawlies that will send you to the hospital if you get bitten. During that trip the Lord spoke to me unknowingly that He had already spoken to Melanie previously. While we were there on the trip, I had a dream and the Lord began to speak to me in and through this dream. He confirmed to my heart that we would move here someday in the future, where we would minister to the people here. I did not share what the Lord spoke to me until a few weeks after we returned back home. After I shared my dream with Melanie and told her I felt the Lord was calling us to Piedras Negras, Mexico, she shared what her dear friend Audrey had spoken and prophesied over her just a few months earlier and God confirmed His calling in the mouths of two or three witnesses.
Oh, by the way. At the end of that trip when it was time to leave and go back home, our daughter Desireae, who we almost had to drag kicking and screaming did not want to leave. She was in tears because we had to go back home. She wanted us to sell the house and all our stuff and move right then and there. She said these children have literally nothing and we have everything, and I want to live here.