July 27, 2016
Growing up along the border of Mexico has never been easy . . .

Many border towns are poverty-stricken. I was one of the youngest in a family of six, and it was hard for us to meet basic needs. My family moved from house to house; in one of those moves we ended up eight miles away from the nearest middle school. There was no school transportation. This caused me to drop out of the last two months of middle school. 

Ricardo and Janeth Brambila and their children

In summer time, mission groups from the United States would come down to our little Baptist church in Mexico, donating bicycles for children to ride to school. I was not a believer but loved to go to VBS because the people were very nice and they would bring snacks--especially animal crackers and milk.
I was selected to receive a bicycle, which was an answer to prayer and the starting point of God showing his love for me. The bicycle was a gift from heaven that allowed me to go back to school and continue with my education. Out of this experience, I share that it is Christ, church, and education that can break the cycle of poverty.

I have been the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church San Isidro, TX, for 14 years, and am the Family Hope Center Director for Buckner International in Peņitas. I hold a Master's in Divinity from Liberty University. I've been married for thirteen years to Janeth, and we have three children, Laura, Eli, and Caleb. My redemption story started with a bicycle. 

Lester's note: I met Ricardo in Starr County on the last day of his employment with Avance in 2010. He and others from that organization helped facilitate a family reading fair at Primera Iglesia in Rio Grande City, along with volunteers from First Baptist Church in Tyler. The next day, Ricardo began his work with Buckner. In that role, as well, he has continued to support the Books for the Border and Beyond family reading fairs of Literacy Connexus. And he and his wife Janeth have provided access to books for children participating in summer meals at FBC San Isidro.

And to think, it all started with a gift of a bicycle . . .
Next week . . .

Be sure to stop by our Literacy Connexus display and give us a chance to (book)worm our way into your heart.

We'll be putting on some great workshops, too!
Upcoming Trainings . . .

Aug. 19-20
Aug. 19-20
Marble Falls
Aug. 26-27
San Antonio
Aug. 26-27
Cross Cultural
Sept. 9
San Antonio
Sept. 10
San Antonio
Teaching Higher
Sept. 10
San Antonio
Sept. 16-17
Cedar Park
Sept. 16-17
The Woodlands
Sept. 23-24
El Paso
Sept. 23-24
English 4 Everyone . . .

Tomorrow the Tarrant Literacy Coalition is hosting a full day of training for teachers and volunteers who work with English Language Learners. What a great opportunity! 
National Literacy Missions
Partnership . . .

Aug. 11-12
Lester Meriwether, Executive Director 
Offices at Henderson Hall - Agape Baptist Church
3954 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth, TX  76116
Mailing/shipping address:
3020 S. Cherry Lane, #123168
Fort Worth, TX  76121
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Pam Moore, Editor     
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Trivia Challenge
1. During the whaling era of Nantucket, the term coof referred to a:

a) non-native Nantucketer

b) white whalebone whistle

c) lily-livered landlubber

d) salty sea-creature slumgullion

2. Jicho la ndege means bird's eye in Swahili. For a human head to be comparable to a bird's in eye-to-head size ratio, the human's eyes  would have to be the size of:

a) golf balls

b) billiard balls

c) tennis balls

d) baseballs

Afrikaans is the language of South Africa, derived from Dutch. It is often found at the top of which list:

a) Easiest languages to learn for English speakers

b) Most difficult languages to learn for English speakers

c) World's most clicky languages

d) World's most vowel-heavy languages

Problem accessing  the answers? Reply to this email and we'll shoot them your way.  
These instructional links may help: