Restrictions are everywhere. Event cancellations are taking place left and right. Schedules and procedures are changing constantly. Yet, the needs of a community are not restricted. They cannot be cancelled or changed. They are just simply there, ALWAYS. As I felt the temperatures drop and the early October snow storm hit, I watched families walking into CNMC with sandals, no coats, clothes too small for children or without socks on… I realized one thing: Bundle Up Cactus must take place. How are we going to get it done in the midst of COVID 19 with no room at CNMC? With the help of the city, Bundle Up Cactus was moved to the Cactus Recreation Center’s gym. We began to schedule people in time slots of 3 to 4 families at a time for 30 minutes.
Time slots for shopping and the size of the gym allowed us to maintain safe distance. Masks, and temperature checks as well as hand sanitizing for everyone (including children) were required at the door. We also disinf
ected the coats throughout the day. CNMC was blessed with many volunteers spread over this 3 day long event. Without them, this would not have been easy to do. Thank you to Pastor Ted Taylor and the group from Hereford Church of The Nazarene, Cassie Hataway, and her team from JBS packing plant, Ona Hale from MIdwest City, Oklahoma, and a great group of Dumas high school kids! Because of you, Bundle Up Cactus was a success!. There were families came whom we had met through our summer community survey. New friends like Maria and her family. I Raquel, had met Maria who was the very first K'iche person I learned to know during our surveys back in June. She had been very shy, very quiet and reserved. Little by little as we talked, she felt more comfortable. The more she felt at ease, the more we could help her. At first her husband was in the background, not having any interaction with CNMC nor us.
Recently they both come to receive help. Help through The Well, car seats for kids, and more. Maria was even the first one to attend the church restart at Nueva Vida. Her husband is slowly opening up too. Bundle Up was a big day for them, for no one in the family had an appropriate coat and had never attended Bundle Up Cactus. Their girls smiled as they received their coats and dad happily talked with us. This shy, quiet mother of soon to be 3 kids smiled and laughed. Many like Maria are very reserved towards CNMC. Many parents still feel untrusting of our gestures to help. This 3 day event brought us over 40 new families from Guatemala, Africa and Burma. It was their first time to seek or receive help from CNMC. This opening of communications and a door to future friendships is highly important, not to our success, but to theirs.
They can receive the help they need as they transition into a new country and learn the intricacies of this foreign culture and projects like this open up doors for CNMC to show them the love of Jesus.
Bundle Up Cactus is not just providing coats. It is a doorway to the success of a new life in the US and a great opportunity to encounter Jesus.