Friday, June 25, 2010


A maquiladora is an assembly plant in Mexico (near the United States border); parts are shipped into Mexico and the finished product is shipped back across the border.

This factory is on this side of the border, assembling high-quality products for U.S. and international consumption. It's really not technically correct to call this plant a "maquiladora," for the company adheres to strict U.S. labor laws and safety standards. It's equipped with current-model machines, allowing the operator greater efficiency. We have a spacious lunch room with all the amenities (quite a few microwaves, a large new fridge, snack machines) -- even a Starbuck's coffee and chocolate maker... gratis!

Working here is almost like being transported to a foreign country -- to our neighbor just down south a ways -- Mexico. (Zenaida and Licha are my next door -- or "next-machine" -- neighbors... and now my friends.)

Spanish is the language of choice and tortillas and salsa are the usual sides for lunch (versus rice or bread). As a result of being thrown into this environment, my Spanish has greatly improved. My rusty Spanish learned in high school (many moons ago) and in the month-long language immersion courses in Guatemala and Chile is being polished and sharpened daily. i can honestly say that my Spanish is much better than my Fijian! i can almost speak it better than my native Filipino language -- Tagalog.

But alas -- i still have a long way to go with the Spanish language! Today i went to work at 11:30am (instead of the usual 6:30am) because i misunderstood the Spanish conversation i had with Esperanza, a Mexican co-worker and friend. We finish at 11:30, NOT start!

Here are Lucy and Alicia... very hard-working, very helpful, very friendly ladies... as are all the rest of the workers. Working with these very down-to-earth folks -- some who work to the very last minute before the bell rings (for breaks or at the end of another 10-hour work day) -- has given me a new respect for the blue-collar worker. Working with such hard working people has erased that cartoon image in my mind of the Mexican too attached to his siesta. GOD has allowed this GODventureZ that i may unlearn such negative views, ingrained since childhood.

What is truly remarkable about this company (part of LCI) is that it hires visually impaired people! Amazing and wonderFUL. They are literally half-blind (or near blind) and are trained to be part of the work force -- their efforts are just as important in the whole scheme of producing the finished product. (Maia, Alicia - their fully seeing "mother hen" -- Oni, and Wayne and Kadihd in the back.)

This environment is, indeed, a GODventureZ for me... another aspect of Life 101 with many new friends (Ariana, Ana, Jessica and Lala, above) and new experiences -- including the numbing experience of sitting for 8 - 10 hours at a time! Yet GOD has added many wonderful blessings to this gift of His -- friendly people to work with, time with my daughter Maia, employment in this tight economy, money for necessities, grateful insight that GOD is my true Employer (for it was His providence that allowed this job to manifest), and most joyful for me is listening to John MacArthur sermons the whole day, where he expounds one Bible verse at a time... sometimes for a whole hour! Hallelujah!

Lucy and Guadalupe enjoying the newly built picnic tables for morning breaks and lunch get-togethers. And just recently, Rich added shade for the three tables -- NICE!

Rejoicing faces -- Kristina, Laura (wearing an rLn original) and Lupita.

Rejoice in the LORD always. Again i will say, rejoice! i know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. i have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For i can do everything with the help of CHRIST who gives me the strength i need. (Philippians 4:4, 12-13) The Secret of Contentment is CHRIST JESUS.