April 2024 Newsletter

I was the leader of our first mission team in the Spring of 2024. We had a mission team made up of nine missioners from Federated Church in Kingfisher, Okla. Patty Stoudemire was our liaison at Federated Church.

We had an absolutely perfect week in every respect, especially with respect to the weather. Not a drop of rain. It was also harvest time for the vegetable crop behind the casa. The workers were harvesting the Spinach crop during our visit.

Anyone who has traveled to La Familia over the past few years has observed that the two bodegas on the property were in bad need of organizing and cleaning. To accomplish this, the Federated Team with the help of Chuey and several of the older boys pulled every item in the bodega outside and stacked every item in a separate space.

Every possible item that may be needed for any purpose was returned to the bodega in a highly organized manner. I believe you will be impressed the next time you visit the casa.

Before photo of the bodega
Freshly organized bodega

One of our directors at Casa Hogar La Familia — Silvia Arias — loves growing plants more than anyone I have ever worked with in Mexico. The job of planting and growing is more difficult in the region where the Casa Hogar is located for two reasons: #1 is because we get a relatively small amount of rain in that part of Mexico and for things like washing dishes and watering plants, the casa relies heavily on water that is trucked in. Water is not plentiful.

When we first built the casa hogar, there was not even one blade of grass growing naturally, but Silvia was determined to have fruit trees and flowers in the area around the front of the casa. This photo is one of Silvia and me in the shade of several fruit trees outside the front side of the home. I hope you can see that Silvia was successful at getting her fruit trees and flowers to thrive.

Silvia and Bill Lee in the shade of Silvia’s fruit trees

Perhaps our greatest success story over the past 23 years that I have been associated with La Familia has to do with the five Urbina children who were reared at La Familia. I met them when the oldest child—Isabel—was just eight years of age. The youngest was Fernanda who was between one and two years of age.

The young woman in this photo is the second oldest child, Jazmin. Everyone associated with Casa Hogar La Familia is incredibly proud of these five children and the way their lives have blossomed because of the opportunity they found at La Familia. In just a few weeks, Jazmin who is already a Registered Nurse will become a Registered Nurse specializing in Intensive Care.

Jazmin Urbina and Bill Lee

On our last day of the mission trip, the mission team spent that day in the City of Puebla, one of the most beautiful and safe cities in Mexico. This photo is of seven members of the Federated Church mission team from Kingfisher, Okla. The photo was taken in front of a water fountain in front of the Principal Cathedral located on the Town Square of the City of Puebla.

Team in Town Square in the City of Puebla

On the mission team’s last day at the Casa Hogar it is becoming a tradition for the “Ladies of the local church” to surprise the team with a home-cooked lunch made up of local foods. Note the banner on the wall behind the food table with a big WELCOLME Oklahoma Team.