image4

Pictured left to right: Dave Ferris, Randy Wortman, Jena Carter, Dave Carter, Ned Metzger, Bob Hibma, Andrew Hibma, and Doyle Tellinghuisen

The Fellowship of Christian Farmers, International sent a team of volunteers to Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico, near Torreon, for the ongoing construction projects at Bible Grace Baptist Church.  The pastor is Antonio Gomez.  The trip took place February 18-25, with all work being done to the inside of the church.

image3 (1)

Dave Carter opening up a serving window from the kitchen

 

image2

New counter for the kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image10

Partition wall building inside the church

image5

Moving the pews, preparing to paint the floor

image13

Sealing and painting the floor

Paster Tony Gomez and Bety

Paster Tony Gomez and Bety

Report from Dave Carter:

“We arrived in Torreon about 9:00 PM on Saturday, after uneventful flights, and were met at the airport by Pastor Tony and Bety and others.  Sunday morning, we met for worship at the Gomez Palacio church and ate a noon meal there.  Again, Sunday evening we worshipped at the church.

During the ensuing week, we spent too much time getting materials to use in working within the church. Tony wanted the front part of the sanctuary floor painted and while we easily got paint and muriatic acid for cleaning, the next three attempts to get the correct shade of gray did not work well.  We finally finished the last section of floor with a darker shade of gray.  Even Tony was getting frustrated with the inability to get the right shade.  Also, we cut a hole in the kitchen wall for a serving window and a local carpenter installed a countertop in it.  After cleaning the kitchen and moving appliances and tables, the walls were painted.  Later, the carpenter built a center island with countertop and base cabinets with countertop along one wall. A new sink, range hoods and refrigerator were purchased to finish out the kitchen.  On Monday, a local steel contractor made and delivered steel posts to support a second floor storage area.  Tuesday and Wednesday we set and anchored the posts.  On Thursday we welded together steel for the perimeter of the storage area, welded them to the posts, and welded in the floor joists.  On Friday, we put the wood floor down.  It was somewhat of a chore to make everything look right as the ground floor walls were not square and we found that Mexican plywood is not all 4 x 8.

There was no time during the week that we had any hint of danger.  We always felt safe, even while driving.  Our hosts cared for us very well and our rapport with all in the church was excellent.  Pastor Tony wants us to come back and we would like to return as well.  Tuesday morning, Fernando Deluna, Tony’s son-in-law, gave us a tour of the John Deere engine plant where he works as an engineer in sales. Tuesday evening some of us went to Pastor Ramon Sosa’s first service in the new church plant in Torreon.  There was good support from Tony’s church for Ramon, as well as all 15 of the people that Ramon invited.  It has been encouraging to see young men that I have known over the past 18 years mature and be obedient to God’s call in their lives.  It is solid evidence of Pastor Tony’s leadership in the church and his desire to develop new pastors to lead in the future.  God is surely working in Mexico.

We had a good week with all of us staying healthy.  The ladies who cooked for us did an excellent job of making sure we were well fed and keeping us well.  We had a good group of eight who were able to accomplish what was needed.  As the peso was valued at half of what it was two years ago, our funds for working went much further than previous years.”