This story begins with Little Noah, a seven year boy who, five years ago, was playing with a toy truck and saw a television ad depicting the plight of children living in third world countries without clean water. His mother writes, “Noah pointed at the TV and said “need water, need water!” Then he looked at me and said “mommy, sad.” Without seeing or hearing anything about their need, Noah knew those children had one, and at 2 and 1/2 he even knew what it was. Water.”
Tomorrow, Noah will turn on the tap for the water well that he funded entirely through his own efforts, and water will flow. This water will provide life to a field of 2000 papaya plants at Camp John 3:16, one of two fruit crops supporting a small but critical revenue stream for this budding project that will eventually see thousands of children from neighbouring pueblos attend. Sports, classes, workshops, swimming, adventures, animal care, crafts, Bible study, vocational training and basic life skills will be learned alongside role models who follow Christ and know how to love those who are in need and at risk. There is no shortage of need here in the Yucatan. A sustainable business model that supports a youth camp, that supports the people, to support themselves to grow is our goal. This little boy puts one of the first crucial elements into action : water.
Next, meet Big Noah. Noe as he is known in Mexico, is the son of Estela, and between the two of them, minister daily to 40-45 abandoned abuelitos (grandparents) at an undersized location in western Merida that reeks of urine and is insufficient in so many ways I won’t even mention. We would never imagine even the worst seniors home in Canada or the US to be this poor. We would not consider leaving a 90 year old in her wheelchair on the doorstep and hoping for someone to care for her. With very little funding or support, Estela and her son tirelessly care for these people, administering medicine, rolling wheelchairs, hand-feeding and changing soiled clothes in a constant cycle. Laundry is hung on the roof, a luxury item in and of itself given that two years ago most of the home was roofless and the abuelitos slept in hamacas or on the ground outside. When the electric bill can’t be paid, Estela gets on the phone with a local church and scrapes together pesos to get by another month. The government kicks in a few bags of rice and beans each day. When asked how she keeps these people alive, she smiles as she says that they occasionally receive an anonymous gift of ‘not one turkey but two!’ and for that, she knows that it is only by God’s hand that these people are not starving.
God bless those named Noah who follow the one who came to save the world from so much pain and despair. May we all learn from a Noah in our lifetime.
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” ~ Matthew 10:42