The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sometimes things do happen fast...

We've grown accustomed to the 'it will happen when it happens' way of things getting done here. This was/is a long process; more so for me (Faith) as an 'A' type personality.

This past week is a funny example.

One of the big plans for the children's home is to have a biodigester installed because the ground here is so difficult to work with as far as drainage. The leach field that Alan put in two years ago is no longer working. It is better than the 'nothing' situation they had before but still not ideal. So we're heard various plans in the works to do this new thing with the area. Friday Alan showed up and there was a group from the city, a digging company, and someone from Juarez all ready to tear into it. Fortunately, Alan got there in time to show them the layout of where the tanks are and where the tubing is for the current drainage system. Had they just started digging away...well...let just say it could've been a bit ugly. So that is in the works. Alan will be looking for some materials they are having a hard time finding down here while we're up in the states.

Next, there was a party of sorts last Saturday with some folks from town, from Juarez, from the V, T, & A children's home in La Junta, and the people who are living and working in the home for the elderly. They have been raising pigs at the children's home and one of them was put to good use on Saturday for carnitas. Here are a couple of pictures for you! Prepare yourself.

We did get to have a couple of good conversations with Leo who is the overall director of this organization. He had decided to remove the current directors and bring in a different couple from the area to work at the children's home. There were various concerns he had and felt this was a good decision for all involved. If you would pray for the new directors as they learn the ropes and settle into their new roles. We're also praying for the previous directors as they shift back into their lives in Juarez.During the party they mentioned that there was no water to the house. The next question; "Was the bill paid?" Yes it was; so that meant go looking around. The tanks on the top were dry so that means plugs somewhere. Oh boy. Alan went a digging. Literally. There used to be a box and a faucet out of a small area right by the clothesline. It was buried underground and you would've never found it if you hadn't know right where to dig. He found it and proceeded to use those great muscles and deductive reasoning skills. Gracias a Dios they now have water again...

Alan has been back and forth the last couple of days putting in some things that the new directors requested. Door locks replaced, door knobs, various fix its that need to be done. The house gets, how shall we say it, a bit of wear and tear.'s been a bit of a whirlwind week. That and we're getting everything buttoned down here to be gone for the month. Nothing much...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One other thing....

I forgot to mention in the other post that we are also getting ready to leave to visit my sister. We'll be leaving Madera around the end of April/1st of May. We're working on getting bills paid in advance, workers paid at the children's home, and in general things ready for us to be gone for a month.

I don't know what kind of internet access we'll have but I know it won't be as frequent as normal. :) If you need to contact us email is still probably the best way but we might be a bit slower in responding.

We're planning on our trip being the last one back to the states for a while. IF the Lord continues to direct us south to work w/ the family in Honduras, we're planning on driving from Madera. Funny, but the mileage is almost what it was for us to drive from Vancouver to Madera, Chihuahua. It will be more complicated in getting to the states so we're going to be saving our resources as much as possible. It looks like we can just go to Belize to renew the "tourist visas" we'll have for a while. At this point, we hope to be in ready to work there in August. There are a few projects we're working on at the children's home that we'd like to finish helping with and there is a group in July coming to work with our church on some construction and a VBS for the local kidlets.

Thank you to all of you who have contacted us with continued support for our mission ventures! We are walking through these doors until we have clear direction (through any means HE likes) from the Lord that He would rather us do something different. Please let us know if you still feel called OR if you do not feel called to continue your support! We FULLY TRUST that God will, lead you in the best decision for YOUR family and that he will lead us in the direction HE wants for our family. If it's to work in Honduras, we're thrilled! If it is to be finished with this chapter, we are confident that He has provision for that also.

Again, we are so grateful for all the love you've extended to our family through this. Know that we are so humbled to be called to this type of service. We would not be able to serve like this without your help. I'm thinking of Paul when he's writing to the church in Philipi -

"Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Philippians 4:14-20

Through your blessing our family, you have a share in our work.

que Dios les bendiga...

The past week

There have been various things going on here.

First of all is the fact that we've been cramming to finish some school materials that we were lent for the year. Wonderful, but now we've had to work pretty fast to finish the books because we need to get them back to the family we borrowed them from before they leave the country! So there's been lots of reading and fun times here but I (Faith) haven't been at the children's home much.

Yesterday we drove out to Calandria to move the rest of our things out of the cabin so that it is ready to hand over to the ranch. Eduventure has decided to close the Mexico campus and as we had left some things out there for the next semester...we had to clean up a bit. Gracias a Dios we were able to get it done in one day and it is ready for the next ministry to use! We were amazed and grateful as we remembered the fellowship, growth, sweet times for our kids, days with only the sun for power (and a battery charger to run the teeeeny fridge), water issues and mice scampering everywhere. God has been very good to us through these roads he brought us to. His people are everywhere and we've been blessed by them. Today involves unloading the truck and re-organizing a bit some of the things from the ranch.

Over the last week and a half or so Alan has been working on our pastor's vehicles. They live just down the street so it's been an easy commute. :) They have been blessed with some donated vehicles but out of the three only one is working at this point. Alan has been trouble shooting on one of the vans and then earlier this week, the car was having trouble. He's thinking that the car is fixed now and hopefully, the van be up and running fine this week. They need the bigger van to get out to the ranch where Juan Carlos does bible study once a week with the community out there. The little car just doesn't make it on those roads...

Also, last weekend we were the parents/guardians of 18 kiddos or so at a "Dia del Niño" celebration that the maquiladora (factory) in town. They had invited the kids from the children's home and the workers and their families. Reyes and Brenda had another commitment that they had to take care of so Alan and I, along with Matuse, (one of the helpers) took the kids. I will be honest and say it was a bit nuts. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. I hope they aren't too was practically impossible to get a "still" shot. These fiestas are a H.U.G.E. deal and the kids are beside themselves with excitement and just can't hold still. :)

There were piñatas, dancing, prizes for some games, a little lunch with cake, and of course the candy bags at the end. We've come to realize something interesting here. A lot of times they don't fill the piñatas themselves with candy. They just have them for the sheer fun of whacking it. I don't get it and neither do the kids. :) Sometimes as a joke they'll fill it with flour or confetti but they are doing more of the goody bags to keep things even.

Janelle also had a birthday (8!!!) last week and we had several of the neighborhood kids over for cupcakes, piñata, and play and when they found out that we actually filled the piñata with the candy...the eyes lit up all over the place. Here is a couple of pictures from that too.

We've also been in the helping with communication department with the children's home. There have been a couple of times over the last week or so that they've needed a formal letter to send to the "presidente" (mayor) of the town here to solicit either donations or explain something. Once Alan packed up the computer and printer and took things to the children's home but on Monday, Reyes (the director), came here and they worked on a letter together. We've also had the phone calling back and forth between them and Juarez (where the org. is headquartered). For the most part, the bigger bills are paid through Juarez and handled through there. Well, last week their power was cut. After some hunting around it was found that there had been no payment. So that meant a couple of phone calls to Juarez to see what happened. After finding out that it had been paid (a bit late) then Alan and Reyes were off to the electric company to see if everything was clear and when the power would be turned back on. We're hoping that it's all clear by now. Alan will find out today.

Wow...that is scattered. But then we're wanting to share what life is really like here so there you go! This playing safety stuff is a bit hard to track some days.

Much love to each of you and your families!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A word or two on our thoughts of late ...

We are considering bringing our time in Madera to an end, probably some time later on this summer. The main reason for this is that we no longer feel the need here at the children’s home that there once was. With the change in directorship there has come a much closer cooperation with, and more support from, the covering organization in Juarez. Also, the increase in interest and support from the local businesses and people here in Madera for the home has been encouraging; not overwhelming, but seemingly steady. This is a good thing; this is why we came here. Our goal from our arrival here has been for Mexican nationals and the local people here in Madera to take the lead in running and supporting the home. Another factor is the number of children now at the home. We don’t work here in view only of the present circumstances but also in view of what may develop in the future, and we work on projects with the hope that the home will some day be operating at full capacity; this being said, the number of needy kids at the home the past months has been consistently low, requiring less resources. While there will always be projects and jobs that can be done, we have felt lately that the long-term need for someone in our capacity here does not warrant the resources we need to live and work here.

A secondary reason that might have kept us here in Madera, that of our commitment to Eduventure, has disappeared with the announcement a couple weeks ago of the closing of Eduventure’s Mexico campus. Enrollment has been low for several semesters; this year it was substantially below the cutoff point for holding a semester and the decision was made by the leadership to pull the plug. This is a sad, but not at all unexpected development for us.

And so as we look forward to a new chapter, we would covet your prayers concerning the decision of what to do next. At this point we have two options we are considering. The first is the most simple – to re-enter the workforce somewhere and return to life as we knew it. This would mean looking for work over the next months in the US and also potentially in Mexico and other countries.

The second option involves moving south and joining forces for a time with a missionary family in Honduras that we have come to know. Allen and Trish Sowers are with Missionary Ventures International (MVI) and have been in Honduras since 2001. They are involved in supporting more than 200 protestant pastors in western Honduras, building a bible training center, starting a feeding center, and a myriad of other projects. They have been begging for help for several months as the evangelical growth and request for teaching and discipleship in the area is mushrooming but they don’t have the personnel and resources meet the potential. Our roles there would be primarily related to construction, logistics, and potentially office help. Our plan initially would be to move to Honduras for a period of several months and see how things go, how we and our abilities fit. If things look good, we could potentially stay there for years, possibly joining MVI in the process. The Sowers have a website that gives more information about their work in Honduras :

At this point we’re not really sure which of the above options we would prefer. During our time here we have come to love the Latin American culture and would love to continue working here, especially moving further south into new regions. On the other hand, there are some benefits to returning to the US, particularly related to our children and extended family.

In the end, a great deal of our decision will be made for us by the level of financial support we find for the work in Honduras. To this end, we are asking our supporters to communicate to us their intentions and anticipations concerning support for the foreseeable future. Whether people are excited about the Honduras potential and can continue to be involved, or if economic hardships and cutbacks are on the horizon, please let us know. Whatever the direction we find ourselves moving in the months ahead, we are confident that God will direct, and He will provide, and we ask for your prayers in following His leading.

Alan and Faith Hayes