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THE ELDREDGE FAMILY MISSIONARY NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2001

Traveling into Mexico for the first time was such a different experience compared to our previous missionary trips.  First of all, there is no need for plane tickets or purchasing visas.  No family physicals or background checks.  All that is required is a valid drivers license, a reliable car and an hour and fifteen minutes of travel time. 
Crossing the U.S./Mexican

   Greetings Friends & Family:
In the last few months our family has been immersed in a strange new, but interesting culture.  Needless to say, it took some getting used to, but now we finally feel at home in our new surroundings.  No, it's not in South America.  That would be easy for us. The new place we now call home is Southern California. California has been referred to as "the land of fruits and nuts."  And now that we've been here for a while we know that saying doesn't just refer to the produce. Ha, ha. 
The last few months John has been volunteering with
Breath of Life Christian Center (a branch of BOAM), which we feel will be valuable experience for our future plans to establish a permanent ministry in Mexico.
 
  On the home front, Danny and David are both doing great! They enjoy playing with their cousins and being tickled by Grandad.  Both are also being successfully home schooled by Mom.  Talking about Mom, there's yet another little Eldredge on the way.  Our little bambina is due summer 2001.  Assuredly, our quiver is filling up!  (smile)

Love and blessings to all!
- JoAnna

border is unusually easy.  No immigration to deal with, you barely have to

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Language: Spanish is the official language, however, there still are as many as 100 Native American languages still spoken in Mexico.
Religion: The Roman Catholic religion was imposed on the indigenous population during colonization. Though exercise of any other religions, including Protestantism and Judaism, were not permitted, local priests and bishops tolerated the combination of some indigenous practices with the rites of Catholicism.
Ethnic Groups: Mexico's population is made up of primarily 80% mestizos (ethnically mixed), approx. 8% Indigenous, and about 9% European ancestry, primarily Spanish.
Food:  Mexico has a very diverse cuisine culture. All regions serve up there own specialties from Mole Poblano in Puebla to Huevos Rancheros in Sonora to Cochinita Pibil in Yucatan. Of

course, let us not forget the Americanized versions of Tacos, Burritos, Enchaladas and Guacamole! Yummy
Music:  The only thing more Mexican than tacos is mariachi  (ma-ree-ah-chee) music.  The mariachi originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco sometime in the 19th century.  The word mariachi refers to the musicians now commonly seen dressed in silver studded charro outfits, wide brimmed hats playing instruments which include violins, guitars, basses, vihuelas (a 5 string guitar) and trumpets.

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made up of shanty style homes, are the majority in Tijuana.  Recently, we visited with a family to personally distribute some clothes and toys.  This family of 6 survives on only $80 a month and lives in a two room, approx. 8 ft. by 8 ft. home (sleeping area and cooking area).  We've found that these conditions are very typical of most families living in the colonias surrounding Tijuana.    Basically, our goal is to continue what we've started, of distributing clothing, toys and eventually food along with the Gospel in some of the poorer areas of Tijuana. Our long term goal is to establish a permanent ministry to do the work on a much larger scale throughout Mexico.  Reaching the lost with the Gospel will always be our primary goal, but as missionaries we are well aware that our actions speak louder than our words.  We not only want to share the Gospel with the people, but demonstrate it as well.  The Scripture that explains it best is found in James 2:15 NIV, "Suppose  a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you say to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." 

slow down.  But of course, leaving the country is a whole other story! 
We have had some great experiences during our last three visits, some of which have to do with the familiar feeling one gets when you are a missionary on foreign soil.  But what really touches us the most are the spiritual and physical needs of the people of Tijuana.   You would think in what seems to be a prosperous border town, the people of Tijuana would be living fairly stable lives. But in actuality just an elite group of wealthy people control the majority of Tijuana's commerce.  Most of those living in Tijuana survive hand to mouth.     
The poor c
olonias (neighborhoods), many of which are

We want to conclude our report by communicating what has developed since first starting this newsletter.  Recently we have been invited by Mexican pastors, Fermin and Maria Colon, of "Mission En Accion" to contribute and assist in the distributing of clothes and food in various colonias in and around Tijuana.  He has also given us an open door to minister.  Not only is this connection nothing short of miraculous, but a confirmation for us as well.  God is faithful!

Special Note:
    This is a special and exciting time for us and our
ministry!  God has opened an incredible door for us to
share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Mexico.

  In light of this, we want to clarify that this work is
associated with  Breath Of The Almighty Ministries with
separate funding.  In short we still need your
prayers and financial support.

May the Lord continue to bless you in all your
endeavors!
Until all have heard,

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