Today's verse: 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares on Him, because He cares for you"
What a verse! What a month!!! We had many opportunities to practice our "care-casting" during the past weeks and God proved over and over that He really does care for us!!!
As I write this, Caleb is washing the last of the dishes and everyone else has headed off to bed for their "nap" before we leave for our summer furlough. The plan is to leave at 3 a.m., so if anyone is thinking of us at that time, lift us in prayer! We hate turning around to get things we've forgotten.
We intended to send out a more complete update letter -- with photos -- but it just wasn't meant to be. On June 24 a mission team of 26 youth and adults came down from Restoration Life Church in Sacramento, California. What a fantastic time!...and what a fantastic team!!! This is the biggest team we've hosted since we've been in Mexico and of course it was a lot of work for everyone, but the blessings were immense!
The Las Glorias Youth Center now has a floor and thanks to a wonderful young lady named Rebecca (no relation) the team poured a cement walkway from the street to the door, too! (more on those projects later...after I upload photos). During the 7 short days that the team was here, they poured a 7x14 meter floor and a 25 foot long sidewalk, prepared and led a VBS for about 50 kids in Boca del Rio, attended and competed in a 3-day volleyball tournament, attended a Mexican wedding and did an outreach in a local prison.
In between all that, the team members had a chance to build some lasting friendships with some of the folks from our village and to experience first-hand Jesus's call to "go unto all the nations". We will never know, this side of heaven, how much of an impact the Rest Life team had. Today though, during our church's sharing time, members expressed again and again how much they enjoyed the American team and how much of a blessing the team was...in so many ways.
The day after the team arrived, we were joined by a young man from Oregon. Stephan contacted us some months ago asking if he could come down to spend the summer with us. We promptly told him he was crazy to want to be here in the summer, but nevertheless he was welcome. Stephan pitched right in with the RestLife team, and he and Doug and our boys continued putting the finish on the floor after the team left on Wednesday.
Thursday was our "day of rest"...sort of. We gathered for our family devotion about 10 a.m. and our prayer time was interrupted by a tremendous clap of thunder and a torrential downpour. This was followed almost immediately by a swarming of termites and crickets and the frogs all came out to play, too. We agreed that the California team probably got out just in time! I know that God was stretching some of them well beyond their comfort zone. Termites in their beds might have been the last straw!!!
Friday was spent preparing to leave for the States, and Saturday was set aside as the day to do last-minute shopping and computer stuff. Unfortunately our Saturday plans changed at 3:30 a.m. when Doug and I were awakened by a crashing and yelling coming from upstairs. Jessee, while climbing down from his bunkbed, had tripped over something (we'll never know what) and fallen face first into a metal chair. His fall caused a chain reaction which threw another chair down the stairs and crashing into the wall (which was the horrendous sound that caused us to leap from our beds thinking a child had fallen down the stairwell). Doug was up the stairs before I was out of bed. I was relieved to see Jess coming down the stairs on his own, but there was a lot of blood. We determined pretty quickly that he was going to be ok, but that we needed to get him to someplace where a really good doctor could stitch him up.
We called Braulio (our friend and the director of the school of ministry) and asked him where the best place to go would be. He answered as we would have, "It depends which doctor is working. Either the Red Cross station or the Hospital General." Well, we had no idea which doctor would be working...or even which doctors were good! So...we prayed. All the way to Guasave, we prayed for God's wisdom as to where to take our son. We know that boys like scars, but we also know that bad or careless treatment could be life-threatening if there is infection. When we arrived in Guasave, we decided that God was leading us to the Red Cross. We both had peace about the decision. When we walked into the treatment room, the doctor stood to greet us. It was Pablo, the brother of my friend Kati who owns the store here in Las Glorias. We knew him and knew that he was a conscientious doctor and very experienced. Praise God!!!
When it was all said and done, Jessee had 25 stitches starting at the bridge of his nose and reaching to his jaw. We praise God that the cut didn't go all the way through his cheek, that his nose wasn't broken, that he didn't hit his temple, that the slice missed his eye and that none of his teeth were knocked out. Those are a lot of praises!!!! The Bible says that God is able to "keep us from falling", but He's also able to protect us when we do fall!! Pray for a quick recovery for Jess. His cheek is still pretty swollen, and he's not able to chew very well yet. Our time in the van is liable to be pretty trying for him.
Even with our trip to the "emergency room" we were still home by 8 Saturday morning, did our family devotions and went back to bed for a short nap. Needless to say, shopping was canceled and computer stuff got shoved WAY back on the burner. Today, Sunday, was dedicated to packing all of our camping gear and clothing for our 3-week furlough and here we are...11 o'clock and ready to head out. The last kiddo just headed off to bed and I'm going to follow his example. Sarah just called out a moment ago, "Mom, you should finish that quickly or you'll be miserable tomorrow." She's right! I'm finished!
Next letter will have pictures and blog links and more about our ministry. For now, I pray peace for each of you who is reading this letter. No matter how busy our lives become or how many stresses or challenges, we must remember to lay our cares, worries and burdens at God's feet. Remember today's verse..."Casting ALL your cares on Him, for He cares for you!" 1 Peter 5:7
Serving a mighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
-- Doug and Rebecca and the kids: Sarah, Caleb, Jessee, Seth, Andrew and Evie