The family of Luis Martinez Estrada was chosen. They had been in Cabo San Lucas for three years and had attended a church in mainland Mexico, where Luis had left a good job at a well-known hotel chain, to flee the area from fear of the escalating cartel activity (this actually is one of the main reasons for the overflow in our “squatter” areas). After arriving in Los Cabos, they had not connected with or attended a church until a unique “divine appointment.”
At the beginning of the time when there were few jobs in Los Cabos due to the Covid-19 shutdown and consequent lack of tourism, Pastor Carlos saw Luis walking along one of the dirt roads in the Colonia of Tierra y Libertad. Luis accepted the offer of a ride and Pastor Carlos asked how his family was doing for food. Pastor Carlos then offered work to Luis on one of the Cristo es el Camino Church’s work projects. From that point on, the church family began to disciple Luis, his wife, Hernestina, and their four children; Cristan, Madelyne, Erik and Maleny. Over time, the family began to grow in the Lord and their lifestyle changed, but Luis still did not have regular employment and the family was, and is, very needy.
The family does not speak any English and are not familiar with North American dialect, so we asked for a translator to go with us to help in the many details involved in buying multiple items for a family of six (with a certain dollar amount for each of them). Pastor Carlos was scheduled elsewhere that day, so we asked for his daughter, Paola. Paola was definitely a blessing from God and the nine of us had a great time.
As we went through several stores, the family’s need was seen in their choices; shoes, undergarments jeans, skirts for Hernestina, and other very essential items, with only a doll for five-year-old Maleny and a small pencil case for eleven-year-old Erik. Slender Erik actually picked out a belt that could have fit Richard at the first department store we were in because he wanted a belt so badly. We had to assure him that the next store had a children’s department and would have a belt that would fit him.
After an afternoon of helping each member of the family spend their part of the money, we headed to one of our favorite restaurants, Campestre (but we didn’t think about the fact that they are closed on Saturdays). Our next reasonable place to take them to dinner was Pollo de Oro, where one of the owners stood at their door informing us they were out of chicken and would be closing in one half hour. Finally, we gave up and ended up at our last ‘sit-down’ but reasonable option, Pizza Nostra. It was quite an eventful day!
But now is ‘the rest of the story’―“the amazing God story.” Several days after our shopping trip, Pastor Carlos shared the conversation we had not known about when we were out with the family. Just before he had chosen the family to be our Christmas Family, eleven-year-old Erik looked into his mother’s eyes and asked if they were going to have any presents to open on Christmas. Hernestina carefully told Erik, “yes,” because deep in her heart she was hoping God would provide something for the children. The rest is history; Pastor Carlos chose this precious family without knowing about the conversation between Hernestina and her son, and God showed how much he cares for the “desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).”
For those of you who have followed our Christmas Family blog through the years, you might recall the fun pictures of the family members picking out their gifts in the stores. This year I ran into a problem. I had so much fun with Paola and the family that I forgot all about taking pictures until we were seated at Nostra Pizza.
As one last note―the family picture is in front of their home; corrugated steel and scrap wood on the precipice of the drop-off to the arroyo below. This is one of the poorest homes in Los Cabos, but just look at the joy and happiness on the faces of this family!