Monday, December 17, 2007

From Generation to Generation

Just before leaving for La Barra I spent some time with my nephews: Jacob (4), Ty (3), and Kyle (9 months).



One day while Kyle was sleeping in his crib I just stared at his precious little face. My reaction was deep, heartfelt prayer for this little one that God would save him and mold him into a man of God who lives a life worthy of the gospel and proclaims the good news to the ends of the earth. I prayed that God would use those little hands and feet for His service and his little lips for His praise and all of Kyle's life for His glory. As I look at my nephews I think of things they may possibly walk through later in life and I just pray for God's grace to rule in their lives. In those moments a sense of urgency rises in me to tell these little ones about Christ and what He accomplished on the cross for sins and their need of Christ as their Savior. Then I went to La Barra and many times I would feel the same things and pray the same things for little Hallie Lou (hopefully Kyle's future wife if everything works out...Just Kidding Laurel!!).




Since I have been back from La Barra two of my cousins have had baby girls on the same day! I had the opportunity to see little Addison Joy's nursery before she arrived. That same wave of desire for her life to be pure and blameless before the Lord swept over me as I looked into her soon-to-be-filled crib and as my eyes passed over the white letters hung on her wall by her excited expecting parents spelling Addison! I just prayed for her salvation and Maggie's as well.

Maggie Blake


Addison Joy


I have a picture in my journal of my 1rst birthday where I am sitting in my PapaJim's lap and my dad is in the picture too. We are wearing those silly cone birthday hats. On my birthday in La Barra I looked at that picture taken 23 years ago and I wondered if in that moment my dad was looking at me and praying that one day God would use my life for something great! I know my parents have prayed for me and I see where God has me today as well as my brother and sister and their spouses and I praise God for His grace in our lives. I pray the same for my nephews and my cousin's children. Tonight Kyle fell asleep in my arms once more (probably my favorite thing ever!!). Again I think of those little hands and feet that, Lord willing, will one day be used to bring God glory and declare the gospel to the lost!



As much as I love missions and want to spend the rest of my life taking the gospel to the hardest and most unreached people groups in the world (by God's grace), I see the beauty of being a mother and taking the gospel daily to your own children. What a joy it is to be able to share Christ every day with precious little ones like my nephews! It is a hard road and wearisome at times as I have seen in my sister's life but the joy is immeasurable and as I pray our response is to all hardships in life: Jesus is worth it. So, moms out there...press on in raising Godly children. Press on and change diapers to the glory of God and take an extra five minutes to teach your kiddos something from God's word! Nothing warms my heart more than to hear my four year old nephew, Jacob, sing worship songs nearly incessantly throughout the day. God's praises are constantly flowing from his lips. The other day Jacob had to have some blood drawn and the nurse had to dig around to find his vein. Several minutes later the test was accomplished. Jacob didn't budge or cry a single tear. In the car afterwards, Shea asked him how he was able to do that. A little later Jacob's reply was, "Mom, you know how I did that so good? I know I am loved by my God." That is amazing! I used to think there was no greater joy than doing missions. I have been blessed to be proven wrong. There is no greater joy than to live our lives for the sake of the gospel, no matter where we are and to preach the gospel, no matter who the audience is...whether kiddos in La Barra or our own families. Praise the Lord for such a glorious gospel that permeates all that we do and brings joy to every nook and cranny of our lives!!







So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Psalm 71:18

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
Psalm 78:2-7

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7

May our hearts be so saturated with God Himself and His word that it spills over and out of our speech and actions that the next generation may know Him and declare His praises!

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Sheep Hear My Voice!

John chapter 10 brings me much joy when on the mission field! We must be faithful to preach the gospel and His sheep will hear His voice!

We had three services in La Barra before we had to leave. The first was held at Inocenta's house with her family. George was able to preach a message about the Thessalonians who 'received the word in much affliction (1 Thess. 1:6).'

The following Friday we met a lady named Eva who proved to be another one of God's sheep. Eva was already a believer when the Lord led us to her doorstep. We were in her living room with bibles open and she was telling us her testimony and reading Matthew 28:18 she said, "I need to be baptized and I want to be baptized." The following sunday we had the service at the beach where Steve preached on Christ being the way, the truth, and the life. Then we baptized Eva in the waves of the ocean in La Barra that God created for His glory and for the believers of La Barra to be baptized!

The following Sunday we had our last service at Eva's house. Jim did the preaching and Inocenta's husband, Endefonso, was there for the last half of the sermon. Afterwards, Eva and Inocenta made everybody lunch and Jim had an opportunity to share the gospel with Endefonso. He had recently returned to La Barra after spending several months in Huatulco at an Alcoholic Rehab program. Endefonso is still an unbeliever as well as Inocenta's children: Giovani (16 and very resistant to the gospel), Uriel (12), Jessica (11), and Eliezar (7). Please be praying for the salvation of her family as well as her spiritual growth.

Eva's husband, Rafael, is also an unbeliever as well as their children: Israel (19 and very resistant to the gospel), Jonathan (12), and Diana (6). Please be praying for the salvation of her family as well as her spiritual growth.

There were several other families we were able to share the gospel with, including Yair's family. Please be praying for these families that they would come to know Christ. We gave them all New Testaments in spanish. Pray that God would give them a desire to read the word and pray that the Spirit would open their eyes to see and minds to understand and ears to hear the word of God!

Please pray for these families:

Yair’s family: Ana (mom), Cecilia (grandma), Antolina (aunt), Aquilino (uncle), Rocendo (uncle), and Aldair (brother)

Noel and Celia with kids Jennifer and Leonel

Frederico and Elizabeth with kids Diana, Melissa, and Mercedes, and Grandmother Natividad

Felipa and her husband

Carlos-owner of El Dragon Pizza

Pablo-owner of El Chontal restaurant

Vicente and Josefa and their grown children: Iliana and husband, Lizet and husband and child Alex, Uriel, Victor, and Sheyla

Jose Luis and wife and child Luis Jose-owner of banana plantation we camped out on.

Evangelia and daughters (the Elorza family)

So, I've given up on trying to post pictures in this blog because the picture format is not right or something...so I made a slideshow. I have the La Barra album posted at http://picasaweb.google.com/Cara.Bebee/LaBarra02 if you want captions to explain the pics. Hope you enjoy the slideshow!!

By the way...the hole in my arm is no longer a hole but a scar! Praise the Lord!!. Thanks for all your prayers regarding my arm and my health!! God heard and answered!

As of now, my plan is to return to the Center for Pioneer Church Planting in January to help out with the school and get ready for teaching on missionary first aid February 4th-8th. I'm also working at Shea and Sylas' D-now in Eldorado the 1rst-3rd of February for my 6th year in a row. They are the best D-nows in the state of Texas!! This years theme is 'The Cross!' I'm so excited about that!! Then, sometime after I teach at the school, we (not sure who the 'we' is yet) will be returning to La Barra for another month and a half of 'missions'. Details haven't been figured out yet but I imagine we will return in late March or early April because the Griffin's (a couple and their baby that went to La Barra with me) and I are starting language school at Harvest Language Center in Guadalajara. The school will go from April 29th-December 5th. This way we can learn spanish fluently and be more useful tools in sharing the gospel with the people of La Barra. Of course, these are plans I have made in seeking and following Christ so we will see how the Lord directs my steps!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jesus es DIGNO!!

Jesus is worth it!! I went back to Dr. Menendez today in Huatulco and he said my arm looks MUCHISISISISISISIMO MEJOR! That is 'much, much, much, much, much better' in espanol. So, praise the Lord!! I put the PG-13 pics of my arm at the bottom of the page for those who would rather not see them!! The first one was taken this past Saturday when I drained it. The second pic was taken this past Sunday after Lorena opened it up more. Now, the hole is significantly smaller...sorry I have no update pic for that...you will just have to trust me!

We were able to share the story of Lazarus with a lady named Felipa. We shared how like Lazarus we are spiritually dead in our sins and only faith in Christ by grace can we be saved and made alive. We shared John 10 with Yair's family: Rocendo, Aquilino, Cecilia, Antolina, and Ana. George shared with them how God's sheep hear His voice and obey and there are sheep from every people group in the world, including La Barra, the Chontal people. In both conversations George stressed the validity and truthfulness of God's word and that the scriptures are God's voice to us. He encouraged them to read the scriptures and gave both Aquilino and Rocendo new testaments in Spanish.

A woman named Inocenta brought her daughter Jessica to the dental clinic several weeks ago with a severe tooth infection causing her cheek to be swollen. We referred her to a doctor or dentist in town so she could get some antibiotics. Inocenta works at Pablo's restaurant so we followed up on her daughter's condition. In the process we found out that she was one of the 14 people or so that used to meet with Roberto and Maria. This past week George and Chris went to her house to take her some children's tylenol and talk about the Lord and Inocenta told us the full story. Some people in the town of La Barra developed an official document stating that they could not meet anymore in La Barra and they threatened the man that was coming from Huatulco to do the services that if he kept coming they would put him in jail. So those who were gathering with Roberto and Maria scattered and Inocenta is struggling in her faith. She told us of another woman named Eugenia who is in the same situation as Inocenta. They believe but have no way of being discipled or fed. We asked Inocenta if she would like to have a service at her house this Sunday and she said yes. So, in answer to much prayer we plan on having our first church gathering this Sunday morning in La Barra de la Cruz!! We shall see how things turn out!!

Thank you again to all of those who have been praying for me and for the people of La Barra. I can't tell you how much it is needed and how much it means to me. It is a comfort to look at our friends in this village knowing there are thousands in the states who are praying for their salvation. I pray we see the fruit of your labor and ours! Much love to everyone!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Barradise...according to the locals

La Barra Mission Theme Song:
Words by: Keith and Kristyn Getty


Oh, Church arise and put your armor on,
hear the call of Christ our Captain.
For now the weak can say that they are strong,
in the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth,
we'll stand against the devil's lies.
And army bold whose battle cry is love,
reaching out to those in darkness.
Our call to war to love the captive soul
to rage against the Captor.
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
we will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on every side,
we know the outcome is secure.
AND CHRIST WILL HAVE THE PRIZE FOR WHICH HE DIED,
THE INHERITANCE OF NATIONS.

Come see the cross where love and mercy meet
as the Son of God is stricken.
And see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet
for the Conqueror has risen.
And as the stone is rolled away
And Christ emerges from the grave,
His victory march continues to the day,
every eye and heart will see Him.
So Spirit come with strength in every stride.
Give grace for every hurdle.
That we may run with faith to win the prize
of the servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still light the way,
retelling triumphs of His grace.
WE HEAR THE CALL AND HUNGER FOR THE DAY
WHEN WITH CHRIST WE STAND IN GLORY!

It has been two and a half weeks of reaching out to those in darkness and it has been filled with adventures, trials, and joys. The first day in the village God provided an open door for the gospel through a little boy named Yair. His foot was infected and they needed someone to give him his antibiotic injections, clean his foot, and change his dressing every day. Every morning we would make our way to Yair's house and Jim switched out children's books about Christ or Old Testament characters. Almost every morning we would have conversations about Christ with Yair's family members: Ana (mother), Antolina (aunt), Aquilino (uncle), Cecilia (grandmother), Aldair (brother), and sometimes his cousins Juan and Karen. Yair's father died in a car wreck 7 years ago. I am still taking care of Yair's foot and the christian literature continues to permeate his family. Please pray for the salvation of Yair and his family!

BASEBALL: Club Barra

Many of the friendships we have built have been men from the baseball team in La Barra. Two of which speak english, Pablo and Jose. Jose Luis, whose land we are staying on is also on the team. Two years ago we did a baseball clinic to teach them skills for the field. They were champions last year and are working to be champions again this year. The first Sunday we were here they had two away games of which they won. We attended the games to cheer on our new friends. They played again this past weekend in La Barra and lost both games to the same team. It is a seven game series so we shall see who will stick it out and win it!

DENTAL

We have begun dental clinics every Tuesday and Thursday and have seen quite a few patients so far. All I can say now is BRUSH YOUR TEETH! I did have one fun patient named Miguel (11) who is also our loudest singer. While I was changing out tools he would begin “Alelu, alelu, alelu, aleluya...” and just before I was going to reenter his mouth he would sing in place of 'praise ye the Lord' “abra la boca!” (open the mouth), and then proceed to open his mouth wide. Not only that but he would try and sing while I was cleaning out one of his several cavities! I wish you could meet Miguel and see his huge, beautiful smile...he would definitely make you laugh!!

RANDOM MOMENTS OF JOY:

Pablo, one of the english speakers, owns a restaurant in town and we have enjoyed numerous conversations with him. One day he offered to give us a tour of the village and part of that tour took us to the river with a few young teenage boys. Upon arriving they took a dip in the river and afterwards, while sitting under a shade tree, Pablo said, “Tell us something.” Jim, our translator, took the open door to share the gospel to Pablo as well as the five or six teenage boys. Pablo has heard the gospel in years past yet remains in his sin. Please pray for his salvation. We ate at his restaurant the other night and he came and spoke with us for quite a while afterwards and invited us to stop by anytime during the day when he isn't working to chat. Pray God would provide opportunities to share the gospel during those times and grant us boldness.

Three days ago I woke up to Antonio's voice coming towards my tent and Jim meeting Antonio to translate. The next thing I hear is “Ricardo cut his leg with a machete. Can you look at it?” Antonio is a worker who works on Jose Luis' banana plantation where we have set up camp. Numerous mornings we have had interaction with Antonio. Not too long ago Antonio came asking for medicine for back pain and while I was getting that ready Jim shared some with Antonio from the gospel of John. We gave him a new testament that morning and he seemed eager to read it as well as his wife Elena. Well, I took a look at Ricardo's leg and new immediately that he would need stitches and I have yet to practice that skill. It was Sunday so we knew Lorena, a doctor who comes on weekends, might be in town at the clinic. She was there and was able to stitch it up. I was aiding her in cleaning the wound and cutting the stitches as she put them in when I myself got dizzy from the heat and passed out. That's right...I passed out. I was already on my knees and I sat back and said in my broken and inaccurate spanish, “Estoy mareos” followed by, “necesito agua.” And that is the last thing I remember. Later I learned the correct way to say 'I'm dizzy' is 'estoy mareada' or 'tengo mareas.' Coming back to the real world has got to be the strangest thing I have ever experienced. I assured everyone in the room after I woke up that it wasn't because of the blood that I passed out but because I was pouring sweat in a hot room with no circulating air. For those who know me you know it wasn't because of the blood. I went to nursing school for the sake of missions but also to see all the cool stuff they don't show you in the TV shows!! Anyways, while I was aiding Lorena in stitching and not becoming another patient, Jim was in the waiting room with Antonio sharing the gospel once more with Antonio. Praise the Lord!! Ricardo received 14 stitches, 7 inside and 7 outside, and is doing well. Please pray for Antonio's salvation and his family: Elena (wife), Ricardo (son) and daughters Isabel and Sarai. And I suppose I should add my health...I have drank plenty of water and gatorade and Emergen-C since then...not to mention I got bit by something on my left forearm which has caused swelling and redness and PAIN much like Ty's arm when he had MRSA. I had a doctor look at it today and he said it is a bug bite and will just run its course. I'm not too sure about that so please pray for the healing of my arm!!

Not so random but frequent moments of joy are singing songs with the kids under the big shade tree in front of the Agencia. Miguel, my favorite dental patient, sings so loud as well as his little brother Brian. Many times we sing several songs with Jim leading on guitar and then break for the reading of a story out of Jim's children's books. The kids love the story of Noah. Please pray for the salvation of these little ones!!

Just a few days ago, while Jim was singing scriptural songs with the kids, Shane met a German guy who owns a ranch down the road and is a German consul studying the ocean here. He told Shane after learning that we were evangelical christians that this community is largely catholic and doesn't need us coming in here and causing division. He also knows the president of this town, Antonio Martez (different Antonio from before) and asked if he knew we were here. We told him we went to him first and he gave us permission to be here. He proceeded to tell us that Antonio wasn't the one to make that final decision but that he has to take it before a counsel. We don't know what will come of this but if we get 'kicked out' of La Barra there is always Chacalapa up the road that we could go to. Please pray that this will turn out for the furtherance of the gospel.

One day while at Yair's house a drunk man approached me asking me for pills to take away drunkeness. With Jim translating I told him I didn't have such a thing. Cecilia, Yair's grandmother, told us he went to college years ago and when he was a year away from getting his bachelors degree he turned into a drunk, moved back to La Barra, and has been a drunk ever since. Two days later we saw him again in the streets still drunk. We said hello and walked on. A few days after that we were singing with the kids and he approached me again, completely drunk, and said he had pain in his heart in such a way that I knew he wasn't referring to chest pain and about to have a heart attack. I told him I don't have pills for heartache but I have Christ. I didn't know at the time how to say 'I will pray for you' but he shook my hand with a smile as if he understood the sincerity in my voice and walked off. Since then we have not seen him drunk. And this is big considering there have been baseball games and fiestas which would give him plenty of excuses to drink and get drunk. But he hasn't. His name is Epi and he is actually Maria's brother. We saw Roberto and Maria this week, the only christians from this village who have moved to Huatulco, as they were visiting Maria's parents, where Epi lives. Please pray for Epi's salvation. We also found out from Roberto and Maria that there used to be 14 people or so that met for bible study but they all quit meeting with Roberto and Maria because they were being made fun of. Please pray that God would save His people in La Barra and that they would see the worthiness of Christ to suffer all things for the sake of the gospel.

The most recent moment of joy was celebrating my birthday with chocolate, chocolate chip muffins from Otis Spunkmeyer (awesome but nothing beats yours, Mom) while reading a card signed by my whole family! Thanks Mom, Dad, Sylas, Shea, Jacob, Ty, Kyle, Ryan, and Sarah! I was given a birthday crown to wear from the Faulkners and a gift from my family of my favorite chocolate in the world: DOVE milk chocolate! The tradition in Mexico on birthdays is to pour water on the birthday girl or boy. Last night Antonio was saying he was going to blast me with the hose he uses to water the banana trees. He showed up this morning in pouring rain saying, "Agua!" I replied, "De Dios!" It was great celebrating my birthday in La Barra with my family in Christ. And like you said in my card Ryan, the best gift of all would be to see someone from La Barra saved from their sin!!

I think that about sums it up without giving you all the details, just most. If you have gotten this far in my blog you must really love me because this one is LONG! The website was unable to load pictures so I will try again later!! Here are a few prayer requests:

Open doors for the gospel: At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison. Colossians 4:3
SALVATION, SALVATION, SALVATION, SALVATION, SALVATION!!!!
Team unity
Spiritual disciplines
Confidence and wisdom regarding medicine as it has proven I have had many opportunities to treat people which has created many open doors for the gospel....praise the Lord...nursing school was worth enduring!!
My health since apparently I am having health issues for the first time in my life! Praise the Lord for good health and sustaining my life day in and day out for His glory!
And all the other bolded items in this blog!




Thursday, September 20, 2007

LA BARRA DE LA CRUZ

I am about to set out on another great adventure with my God to La Barra de la Cruz. We leave Monday the 24th of September and return November 19th. We will be building relationships with the people through various avenues such as medical clinics, dental clinics, teaching english, and day to day spending time with them and doing VBS-like activities with the children. There is one believing family, Roberto and Maria and children, who have quieted down in their faith due to some mild persecution. We hope to meet with them on a weekly basis if not more often to study the word together, fellowship, and encourage one another. We plan on partnering with them in sharing the gospel with others in the village. I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep the following things in prayer:

  • Team Unity: John 13:35; John 17
  • Personal growth/spiritual disciplines (bible reading, prayer, scripture memory, journaling, etc.)
  • Opportunities to build relationships with the people of La Barra, display the love of Christ to them, and share the gospel with them.
  • Salvation of those in La Barra; that God would plant a local body of believers before we leave.
  • Learning the spanish language and the culture.

As I have come to know over and over again, nothing is too big for God to accomplish and He is faithful to fulfill His purposes in and through His people. So many times I have been encouraged by the prayers of His saints for God's will to be done, for His name to be known among the nations and exalted. Many times over I have been blessed by your prayers for me and the people I am ministering too. There is no doubt that countless numbers of your prayers have been answered in the last 9 months of my life with the salvation of those in Chambri, PNG and God's provision for a car and many others that we could spend all day recounting. I hope you are encouraged to press on in prayer for God's name to be exalted among the nations and REJOICED IN among the peoples (Psalm 67). Malachi 1:11 isn't mere suggestion. God's name WILL BE GREAT AMONG THE NATIONS. Take joy in this and let this end result stay fresh in your mind as you pray towards this end. May God be given glory in all we do and say.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Family, Friends, and FELLOWSHIP!!

Well, the last month has been filled with family, friends, and FELLOWSHIP!! It started with a trip to Louisville, Kentucky to visit my brother Ryan and his wife Sarah. Ryan is attending Southern Seminary to train to be a pastor. He is going to be a great one, preaching the truth in love, and Sarah is going to be a wonderful pastor's wife!! I attended several classes while I was there including Systematic Theology (Dr. Moore), Hermeneutics (Dr. Wellum), Spiritual Disciplines (Dr. Whitney), and an Anthropology class with Dr. Sills. Needless to say I was challenged and encouraged. It was also a blessing to know that I had been taught at the CPCP much of the same things taught at Seminary. After much coffee and fellowship I headed back to Austin for a few days with my parents before making my way to San Angelo. There I stayed at the Russo household while spending much of my time drinking coffee at Baker Street and meeting up with friends. It was a blessing to fellowship with them again! Elaine, I will cherish the mornings (or late nights) we were able to spend fellowshiping over coffee or raspberry hot chocolate and the insight I gain every time I meet with you. K Booth, are you sure I can't take you to Mexico with me? I am really going to miss our talks as we walked the KOA. And Alison, stay away from IHOP...crazy boys lurk there. I enjoyed fellowship over pancakes that morning and our photo shoot in the parking lot!! And what a joy it was to see all my other brothers and sisters in Christ! I love this family!! Bob Beaver, thanks for the ice cream and the encouragement I receive from you. Thank you Jim Farmer for being a man of prayer and praying fervently for me. Thank you CCSA for being the body of Christ!! Thank you God for so great a salvation and for adopting us into your family that we can share such sweet fellowship on this earth. And thank you for nephews!! I spent a few days in Eldorado with my precious nephews! I got to be there for Jacob's first day of Pre-K! He was so cute in his new school clothes and big, heavy backpack! When he returned from school we asked him what he learned. He said he didn't learn anything about something. He's a funny one. And then he said, "And you know what? They didn't teach us anything about God." How cool is that? My four year old nephew was disappointed at Pre-K because they didn't teach him anything about God!! Later I got to celebrate Ty's third birthday with him and all his cute little buddies! He had a Buzz Lightyear birthday and a big blow up water slide which he went kamikaze on! And then there's Kyle, AKA Kygil (name created by Ty). I really enjoyed loving on my nephews and hearing them say their prayers at night was nothing short of precious and sweet!! Oh I pray God saves them and uses them mightily to further His Kingdom!!


Earlier this month I spent some time in Austin with my parents when God provided a car for me!! All through college I said I would love to have a yellow Aztek or Xterra and God gave me a yellow Xterra!! I named him Amarillo but will call him Rillo for short!! I have really enjoyed driving it and practically living out of it the past few days! I spoke at a Women on Mission luncheon at Hyde Park Baptist Church on my trip to Papua New Guinea and my upcoming trip to La Barra. It was a blessing to be speaking at the place I spent my first few years attending. It is always a good thing when the first person you meet says, "I remember when you were this big" and places her hand a couple feet above the floor indicating my height! It is also a good thing to get on these ladies' prayer list!! Praise the Lord for faithful prayer warriors! Thanks Mamaw for having me come and share and praise God for grandparents like you and parents like my mom and dad who support me in everything I do!! I also spoke again at FBC Eldorado, where my brother-in-law Sylas is the youth minister, which was a joy and privilege. Thank you Pastor Andy for letting me come and share all that God has done so far in my short missions career! And thank you FBC for all your prayers and support! They prayed so hard for me for a car and God provided! Right next to a car on their prayer list is a husband for me!! I'm waiting patiently for that answer...[picture to be inserted when he arrives :)]

Monday, August 27, 2007

GRADUATION!!







Well, the end has come to my time at the Center for Pioneer Church Planting as a student. We had a wonderful time at graduation. David Depew came and spoke as our guest speaker. He spent quite a bit of time teaching us this year what God has taught him during his life as a missionary in Thailand. Belinda sang a song by Selah and I got moose kissed by the President himself, David, and his wife, Tommi Sitton. This is actually a greeting in some other part of the world!!! My parents were able to come and experience this time with me which was a blessing.
The next day my parents and I drove to Austin where I boarded a plane to Louisville to visit my brother Ryan and his wife Sarah. Ryan just began seminary there at Southern...I almost got sucked in to the beautiful city of Louisville and the amazing school of Southern Seminary when I attended some of his classes!! So great! I had a blast!


The rest of the month holds time with friends and family. I will be speaking in Austin at Hyde Park Baptist Church Sept. 4th at noon if anyone in the area wants to come. I will be sharing about PNG and the upcoming trip to La Barra. I will be speaking at FBC Eldorado on the evening of the 16th of September on the same topic. I will be heading south again to Los Fresnos September 19th to prepare for our trip to La Barra that we leave for on the 24th. Please keep them in your prayers as well. Only one believing family, Roberto and Maria, and many who live in darkness and sin everyday. Wow...when I think of it that way it makes me want to leave tomorrow!! Pray we are bold in sharing the gospel as we ought!!


As of the car situation, I was told today that I will receive all the insurance money, $4,500, in approximately 15 days. Praise the Lord!! My car was a total loss so I will be awarded all the insurance money. Please keep praying that God would provide a car for me!! Thank you so much for all your prayers thus far!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ninos Pequenos de Centenario!

We have just completed our last trip into Mexico during my time at the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. I can hardly believe its almost over! Well, this trip was a blast. One reason it was a blast was because I had one of my good friends come from San Angelo as a translator. None other than the Fonze! He did a great job translating as well as being a servant and keeping the group in tears of laughter all week! Also, for the first time since PNG I was not working in a medical or dental clinic. This freed up my time to play with the kids, see the village, learn spanish songs and work with VBS, and my favorite...PLAY SOCCER! Many of the teens of the village would come around in the afternoons and we would play soccer from about 7 to 9 or 10 pm. During the day we had VBS around 10 am and another session around 3 pm. Ivan, a pastor and one of the men on my team, taught the lessons using Piper's children's curriculum. We sang songs with the kids and did crafts relating to the lessons. Ivan wrote a song by the title of this blog that we taught to the kids of Centenario. They didn't seem to know what to think of a song written for them, about them! I also spent part of my day in the kitchen with Carmen. For food on these trips we pack a tub of food specifically for a lady in the village whom we pay to cook a meal each day for us. It was a great way to practice my spanish and learn how to cook some tasty mexican food. It is also a great opportunity to build a solid relationship with someone in the village and share the love of Christ with in the process. They also are blessed by a little supplemental income. One day we were invited to a family's house for lunch. I love going to the homes of those living in the village to see where they live and to know more about their lives. The meal was excellent; they cooked a goat for us as well as chicken and an unlimited supply of tortillas it seemed like. Another thing I love about Mexico is the food!! However, there are things that break my heart when in Mexico. Recently we had an ex-Catholic priest, Richard Bennett (www.bereanbeacon.org), come speak at our school and teach us about Catholicism. With a broader understanding of this religion and Satan's vice grip he has on the majority of the hispanic population, it crushes me to see it's influence everywhere you look in Mexico. A lady named Juana invited us over for coffee on two occasions. While sitting in her kitchen drinking coffee, I noticed a framed picture of Mary hanging on the wall just above a shelf with a vase of old, dried out flowers and other little belongings as if they were offerings to Mary. Juana is a sweet (not to mention short...I'm 5'3"), elderly lady who will not go to heaven if she dies without Christ. "Sweet" is a great adjective for the majority of the people we meet in the places we go to in Mexico. But that is coupled with a veil blinding them from the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of CHRIST (2 Cor. 4:3-6). Another yard in town is home to an idol of Mary encased with glass and white christmas lights to light it up at night. This doesn't begin to describe the bondage of sin. My heart breaks for these people that someone would live there permanently to be a steady, consistent witness of Christ to them by their lives and by the preaching of the gospel. I pray God plants His church there, raising up spiritual worshipers to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

The last night in Centenario, we had a fish fry that we invited the whole town to. The whole town didn't come but it was neat to see families gathering together at the school where we stayed, eating together. It was a blessing to us to be able to show the love of Christ in sharing a meal with them. The fish was quite tasty too. I have never once in all my life liked seafood in America but in Mexico I have never once NOT liked it. Mom and Dad...you would have been proud! These fish were scaled only before battered and thrown into the oil to be fried. Other than the bones and organs, I ate every bite! My fish was so cute with his little buck teeth that I thought I would give him a kiss! There are other tasty things to eat in Mexico that are much more appealing to the eye like chocolate covered bananas with sprinkles that I was forced to try by one of our other translators name Irian. I gave in with little complaining.











Like I said above, I have two more weeks of classes before our graduation. After that my plans are to spend some time with family and friends and speak at various places before leaving for La Barra. Here are my plans for the next year (Lord willing):
August 17th-Graduation
September 24th-November 20th- La Barra
January 08-August 08-Teach at the Center for Pioneer Church Planting (missionary first
aid) and work with Mark Faulkner and Chris Johnson as short term mission directors.
September of 08-PRAYERFULLY-planning with a team to go to some unreached people group
with the gospel long term!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fish Tailing in Fish Town

We recently returned from a trip to Mexico where I served in Emiliano Zapata (EZ) and Chris Johnson served in Fish Town, AKA Las Higuerillas (LH) with a translator named Bianca. Tuesday night was a graduation ceremony for some kids in EZ that I wanted to go to, see the kids and follow up on some people we gave bibles to and shared Christ with. Chris and Bianca went with me so we could go to LH the next morning to see Pastor Hacinto and the kids they ministered to. Another girl went along with us named Christy. We spent Monday afternoon getting my vehicle registered so I could drive it past the checkpoint in Mexico and getting visas for Bianca and Christy. We left Tuesday afternoon and made two last minute stops: getting the satellite phone from the Sitton’s house and getting 24 hour Mexican auto-insurance. I will say right now Praise God for His sovereignty over those two actions!! We made it to EZ and waited with the people there for the activities to start but soon it began pouring rain. We stood inside the school building for some time before the event was cancelled. We decided, since everyone abandoned building and went home, that we would head out to LH that night instead of the next morning. We were driving along quite nicely in the dark around 9:30 pm with the drizzle falling on the windshield, enjoying each other’s fellowship when all too quickly some potholes appeared. I nonchalantly said “uh-oh”, like I do when we unexpectedly approach a tope (Mexican speedbumps, pronounced toe-pay). That uh-oh turned into some fish tailing and I hear from Chris who is in the passenger seat, “You got it!” Well, about the time my car was facing the opposite direction we were originally heading and we were in the grass on the opposite side of the road I knew I didn’t “got it.” All I saw were trees and grass and at that point I threw my hands in the air above my head and said “Lord?!” and we began to roll. At that point I just remember waiting for the glass to shatter and my body to be broken but all I heard was silence and all I felt was peace. The car came to a stop on all four wheels in the midst of trees. Immediately Chris and I began asking if everyone was okay and we all were. Not a drop of blood anywhere. Christy said, “Can we pray?” and realizing my car was still on I asked for some strange reason, “Should I turn my car off?” I turned it off and we held hands and prayed. My door was still in tact and able to open without any problems. We all piled out and Chris and Bianca went to the road to flag down a ride while Christy and I grabbed what we could. A man named Teo took us the rest of the way into LH and to Pastor Hacinto’s house. We sang along the way in english and spanish and when we arrived we gave him a spanish bible and some money for gas. Pastor Hacinto wasn’t home but his mother-in-law told us he was in Matamoros and that we could stay in the church building across the village. This little building was a refuge to us from the lightning that made the night turn into day and the storm raging on outside. It made me think of how God is our refuge, a shelter from the storm, a safe place. That night the four of us sang to God, praising Him for sparing our lives so that we could praise Him more on this earth and take the gospel to the unreached! We reflected on ‘to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ and how if our lives were taken in that crash it really would have been gain because we would have been in the presence of Jesus, face to face. But God let us live. Why? He still has good works planned for us to walk in. We still have glory to bring Him while on this earth. We still have people to reach with the gospel. We talked about how there is no one like our God. I couldn’t talk about it enough to explain it so I read Psalm 115 under the dim light of a small lantern light we brought. When I realized the first verse of Psalm 116 said "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice ("Lord?!"); he heard my cry for mercy", I went on to read the rest. All of us were greatly ministered to by that psalm. And of course I had to read Psalm 117 because that is the reason we exist! We exist to bring God glory and to tell others of Christ that they too would praise and extol Him and bring glory to His Name. We prayed for the people of LH that night and EZ and the other towns we have been to thus far. We prayed that God would establish His church among the people in the Mezquital region. We prayed that He would be honored and magnified in our lives and that He would use us to magnify Himself among the nations. It was a sweet time of fellowship in that little chapel. I believe the last song we sang together was It is Well With My Soul. And with my bible and a rolled up sheet for my pillow and wooden pew benches for my bed I went to sleep.

The following morning we returned to the vehicle to realize that what we had left in there had already been ransacked. My CD player was tactfully removed and stolen along with my CDs and other belongings we left behind because we couldn’t take them with us. But I will rejoice in the plundering of my property because it’s not mine in the first place and it’s not eternal! Besides, now somebody has a whole lot of Christian music and a CD player to listen to them with. They are missing out though because they left behind my Piper sermons!! After Chris used the satellite phone many times to work out all the details a tow truck came and pulled my car from the forest of mesquite trees (or whatever kind of tree that is) that surrounded my car like a taco! The trees were the taco shell and my car was the meat!! The adjustor said my car was probably totaled. We left my car in Mexico and headed back across the border in the Sitton suburban with Mark who came to get us.














I don’t know what will happen next so I would appreciate your prayers that God would provide and that everything would work out with the insurance company. Praise God with me that the four of us exited the vehicle without a scratch on us. We are a little sore but that is to be expected when you roll a car three or four times!! Praise God that we have another day to enjoy Him and His creation, to bring Him glory, and to tell others about the saving grace of Christ.

Porque para mi el vivir is Cristo y el morir es ganancia. Filipenses 1:21

Behold Him there the risen Lamb, My perfect, spotless, righteousness
The Great Unchangeable I AM, the King of Glory and of Grace
ONE WITH HIMSELF I CANNOT DIE, my sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me...to look on Him and pardon me.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Plentiful Harvest, Few Laborers

This trip into Mexico was quite different than the previous two trips. A team of 120 people or so came in last Thursday and Friday from all over the US. We broke up into 6 teams of various sizes and left on Saturday for 6 different locations. These locations are Emiliano Zapata (E.Z.), Centenario, Las Higuerillas, La Poza, Media Luna, and Ruby Island. My team consisted of about 30 people including the Davis Family (students at the CPCP), Chris Berger (last year student of CPCP), a group of people from Kerville Bible Church, and a nurse from Pennsylvania. We conducted two days of medical clinic in E.Z. and two days in Centenario. We dropped off the team at Centenario as we were leaving the village to head to E.Z. our van started making a very strange noise. We stopped the van and piled out while the men took a look. In the meantime, a local was standing nearby so I went over to talk to him with another guy on our team and a translator. He was half drunk and holding a half drunk bottle of beer in his hand. He began to rattle off in broken english..."I am not a bad person. I just like to drink beer. God is my God and I love Him...I just like to drink beer; it makes me happy." We began to show him verses in his own spanish bible like Psalm 16:11 that true joy comes from the presence of God and that this happiness he experiences from drinking beer is only temporary and not truly satisfying. He told us that it is impossible to obey the whole Bible. We showed him Philippians 4:13 and Psalm 119:9-11. He had so many questions. As we got back in the van to head to EZ the urgency of laborers for the harvest was like a blow to my chest. If only there was a consistent, evangelical witness in Centenario who could live and speak Jesus to these people on a daily basis, this man's questions could be answered and a church could be established there! In America, no matter how small a town may be that you drive through, you generally don't get through town without seeing several churches on several street corners. Not in Mexico. Centenario is home to roughly 300 people and EZ has around 260 people. These are people who go days on end without hearing any kind of truth from God's word and don't see it displayed in anybody's life.


WHO WILL GO?
We set up camp upon arriving in EZ and before long we had a soccer game going with the kids. I must say that is one of my favorite things about Mexico...EVERYBODY PLAYS SOCCER!! The next day we began working in the medical clinic. This time we had a doctor on our team so I was able to learn quite a bit by sitting in on the consultations and seeing what he diagnosed and prescribed. I also worked quite a bit in the pharmacy making labels in spanish for Cookie as she filled the little ziploc bags of meds that the doctor prescribed. The people of EZ and Centenario were very grateful for our free medical clinic. Robin, a nurse who lives in La Poza with her husband, was consulting with a lady named Maria Guadalupe. She was complaining of headaches and asked if headaches could be caused by stress. Robin answered yes and came to find out that the stress was due to giving birth to a still born child a few months prior. She didn't have anybody to talk to about this depressing event in her life. Robin explained to her she could talk to God and went on to share the gospel with this woman. While in the process of sharing Christ with her a member from the Baptist Church in San Juan, about thirty minutes away, whom Robin knows, walked in and was able to meet Maria and pray with her. Pray that the believers in San Juan would be burdened for the people of EZ and Centenario and evangelize these places! The rest of the team that wasn't in the medical clinic did a VBS for the kiddos in the afternoons. They went through the gospel throughout the week and did many crafts with the kids. At the end of the week we invited all the kids to return around 7:30 pm and to bring their parents and extended families and friends for the showing of a video. We set up a projector and a sheet and we showed a video called La Esperanza (The Hope). It is an hour long video telling the main stories of the Bible chronologically and ending with the gospel. We had many women and children show up. Rafaela, a woman who did some cooking for our team while we were there, has been resistant to the gospel the last two years teams have gone to EZ. This year she asked for a Bible halfway through the week, she came to the movie, and she came to one of our team devos we had every night. Please pray for Rafaela's salvation and spiritual growth and that God would bring fruit from our labor among the people in EZ.


VBS KIDDOS!! (left)
LA ESPERANZA VIDEO!!(right)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stateside Once Again

"Brakes give way...over a cliff they go...and they're dead...instantly...and I asked my people, "Is this a tragedy?" I found myself quoting this part of Piper's sermon "Boasting Only in the Cross" often as we traveled through the mountains in Oaxaca state to get to the Coicoyan people. He is referring to two elderly women missionaries, Ruby Aliason and Laura Edwards, who served God faithfully overseas as medical people. As they were driving through the mountains of Cameroon their brakes gave way and they died instantly. In the eyes of the world this would be a tragedy but not for the gospel's sake. They died serving the Lord and in an instant they were in the presence of the Lord! To die really is gain when all our joy and hope is found in the person of Christ because we will instantly be in his presence!! Anyways, these are the kinds of thoughts that pervaded my mind while traveling through mountains that were home to 13 villages or so of people who have never heard the name of Christ or a true presentation of the gospel. We did a medical and dental clinic in two villages, Jicaral and Trinidad, and another part of our group did a dental clinic in two other villages. The need for laborers hit me the most as we set out from Jicaral to travel further into the mountains to Trinidad. We literally drove right through one village. The road went through the middle of the village with houses just feet from our vehicles on either side. There was a huge catholic church on the edge of the village. As we drove on through the mountains beyond, the village would come in and out of sight, reminding me of how unreached they are! Who is going to live among them and tell them about Christ? Who will go? Well, that is David Sitton's aim in starting this missions training school, the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. He desires to train laborers and launch them to the nations. That has been the most sobering sight in every place we have been so far...the magnitude of unreached peoples and the thought of 'who will go?' I am only one person!! If you have the slightest desire to do missions then do as we say here at To Every Tribe Ministries..."Pull the trigger!" Just do it! We have a clear mandate in scripture to go to peoples who don't know Christ and tell them about Him. You have a desire to go...what else do you need? "Pull the trigger!" I just so happen to know of a great training school for missionaries and several places where unreached peoples dwell. Please pray about what the Lord would have you do next in your life. I make this call out of a constant need I have seen everywhere we have gone...a plentiful harvest and few laborers. So, will you join me? If not then consider how you can support those who are taking the gospel to the unreached. Every missionary needs a support system back home. That could be you. And that is no less of a noble task. It is equally part of taking the gospel to the nations. And there is so much joy in both the going and the sending aspect of mission! So, what will you do?

And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
Luke 10:2

Our prayer here at TETM has continually been for laborers and we have seen the plentiful harvest which only fuels our prayers more for laborers. You can find out more about TETM at their website: www.toeverytribe.com. You can listen to Piper's sermon, "Boasting Only in the Cross" at http://www.desiringgod.org/Search/?search=boasting+only+in+the+cross. Click on the sermon and a box should come up and you can listen to the sermon.

I do thank you so much for all your prayers thus far and thank you to those who have sent money to TETM for my schooling here at the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. I can't express to you how grateful I am for this training and the opportunities I have had to take the gospel to people who have never heard. I can't imagine what kind of missionary I would have been now that I know what I have learned through this school. This experience has been priceless to me! Thank you. I love you all and pray for you often. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you.
Side by side
Phil 1:27
Cara

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pray for Coicoyan!

We head out tomorrow morning for Coicoyan in Oaxaca State. The Coicoyan people are among the most unreached people groups in Mexico. They are unreached because they are among the hardest to get to with the gospel. They are very hostile to the gospel and have run out some missionaries already. They are in desperate need of the gospel! We plan on running a medical clinic as well as a dental clinic. Hopefully this will open up doors for the sharing of the gospel. Their native language is Mixteco but some speak Spanish. However, they don't like to speak Spanish because they view it as an inferior language. They are also very superstitious about everything. They are very syncretistic in their beliefs as well. They live out Roman Catholicism to some degree but they also have their own "saints" that they pray to for rain.

PRAY:

  • opportunities for the gospel to be shared
  • salvation of the Coicoyan people/church established
  • wisdom/knowledge for medical and dental clinics and strength to endure
  • unity among team members
  • travel safety

Thank you so much for your prayers! I pray I will return with news of salvation or at least seeds planted! Thank you and I love you all!!

Phil 1:27

Cara

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

Where do I begin? We headed out Sunday the 29th of April and arrived in La Barra Tuesday morning. In times past the leadership of the village would have a meeting on whether or not we could camp on the beach. This has always been an issue because they have a rule that nobody can camp on the beach, not even their own people. This has also been a source of conflict in times past because some of the leadership do not want us there and it would be at that time that they would give us permission to sleep on the beach and do our clinics but not bring our religion. This year, a man named Jose Luis, the shortstop for the baseball team, said we could camp around his house where there was a toilet and a shower. So, we set up camp. The leadership ended up not having to meet at all. They did inform us that they would be having a fiesta May 2nd and 3rd so we probably wouldn't want to do our dental clinic then because everybody would be at the fiesta. So, that Wednesday we drove an hour to another city set back in a mountain called Chacalapa. There we were warmly received. We set up clinic on the front porch of the Agencia and saw about 45 patients that day. The following day, back in La Barra, we got a great taste of culture at the fiesta. We also saw effects of their bondage to sin. People of all ages were drinking beer and getting drunk. The following two days were filled with drilling and filling teeth! We opened clinic around 9 am and went until 6 pm or so. Saturday, the last day for clinic, we stayed open until 9:30 pm because we just couldn't turn people away. One of the last patients we saw said she was so grateful because she saw how we were tired and stayed anyway to see everybody. I pray she recognizes that as the love of Christ! Throughout the time we were in the dental clinic, our translators spent some time with the people in the village, visiting homes, and whatnot. There were many conversations regarding Christ and the gospel but the people of La Barra are still resistant and hardhearted. They want to continue in their sinful way of life. There is a family of a believers though. Roberto and his wife are fairly new believers. They held bible studies in their home for awhile until one of the men that came was threatened with a machete not to come back or that would be the last time. Roberto and his wife have quieted down under the persecution. Please pray for their strength, boldness, and endurance in preaching the gospel and that God would open up the unbelieving eyes to see the futility of their ways and their need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that our team was of some encouragement to Roberto. It is strange writing these things about persecution in that place because these people are our friends. There is a feeling of spiritual darkness there that we didn't feel in Chacalapa but they are our friends. David Sitton explained this to me as the "Palm Branch" phase. One day the people are laying palm branches down before Jesus and the next they are crucifying Him. I don't know how long this "palm branch" phase will last but I am sure as soon as the gospel is boldly and lovingly preached in that place the persecution will come. Please pray that God would raise up a team to go to La Barra and to go to Chacalapa where the name of Christ is not known and is not exalted. Pray that the gospel is preached no matter what the cost! The following Sunday we hung around La Barra to watch the baseball team play a game against another city. La Barra won and soon after that we headed out for the trip back home.
I want to thank you for all your prayers for me on this trip. Many times during the clinic I could feel God giving me strength to see another patient. Two days in a row my first patient took me about 3 hours due to so many cavities. God sustained me through those three hours and the following patients who had difficult cavities to get to and fix. I know without a shadow of a doubt that that was an answer to so many people's prayers. It truly is amazing when you know your attitude isn't quite right and you think you just can't go on and then you pray, or you know someone else is praying (thank you Mark!!), and that attitude is gone and you suddenly have this source of strength and endurance that only comes by God's grace. He is so good and able to sustain his children through any situation in life! Praise Him!! So, thank you again for your prayers. You are greatly appreciated!
Philippians 1:27
Cara

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Please Pray for La Barra!!!

We head out for La Barra de la Cruz this Sunday morning early. If I am not mistaken TETM has been to La Barra the past five years and every time they have refused to let us share the gospel. However, we must obey God rather than men, so year after year we have been a little more vocal about the gospel. Two years ago we put tracts in their bags of medicine we sent home with them from the medical clinic. This past August they refused to let the team do a VBS so they handed out bibles and just conversed with the people. We plan to do a dental clinic this year. This tight-nit community is predominantly catholic and they have been as blunt to say we don't want the gospel because it will disturb our community. The men say, "It will keep us from being able to sleep around and it will mess up our whole routine here." These people are hostile to the gospel. I believe there may be two known believers among them, a husband and wife. Heres what to pray:

  • The gospel would be faithfully preached according to the Spirit's leading
  • God would open their hearts to believe the gospel and repent and obey God's commandments; God would establish His church among them
  • Dental clinic would run smoothly; good judgment calls (we will have two dentists with us)
  • the people would see compassion in everything we do, especially the dental clinic, and know it is because of Christ.
  • Safety on the road...25 hours both ways!! Fun times!!

Thank you for your prayers. I can never say it enough how much I love and appreciate you all for praying for me and for the gospel to reach the ends of the earth to every nation! God will be great among the nations!! And the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God!! Praise Him!!

Philippians 1:27...For the faith of the gospel

Cara

Thursday, April 19, 2007

We DRILL and we FILL!!

Hey everyone. I have to tell you of the latest thing God has blessed me with. The last two weeks Chris, Kirby, and I have done some intensive dental training. The first week we spent in the classroom with our great "dentist professor", Gerry, where we learned how to use all these fun tools with fun names like 'explorer' and 'hatchet' and 'spoon' and 'drill'. Great names for tools that go in the small cavity called the mouth!! Spoon isn't too intimidating! Anyways, we learned how to spot cavities and gain access to the tooth and dig out the decay. We then learned how to make a small mixture to fill the cavity with and then seal it off with varnish. We learned how to do flouride treatments and other various things. This past week we left every day after class and drove to a car factory just on the other side of the border in Mexico. In the second floor of this "christian" run car shop we held a dental clinic from about 4:30-10 pm every day. At first it was a challenge to practice what we had just learned on real teeth in real people's mouths but as the week progressed we gained more confidence by God's grace in answering all our prayers...and let me tell you...those prayers were many!! I say this is a blessing from God because it is yet another tool in my hand to display the love of Christ to the nations. We have this saying among To Every Tribe Ministries which goes like this, "You have to earn the right to be heard." When we go to a new unreached place, we don't just shove the gospel in their face and demand that they believe. Rather, we be Christ to them and demonstrate our love for them in ways like medical clinics, baseball clinics, dental clinics, etc. We do these things in the name of Jesus so as to build relationships with people and earn the right to be heard. When you gain their friendship they will listen. They may not believe the gospel and they may even become your enemy. How they respond to the verbal presentation of the gospel is not dependant upon us. However, how we represent Christ to the lost is dependant on us and we must live lives above reproach and display Christ in all that we do and say. What a great way to display the love of Christ by first meeting their physical needs. When asked why we would do such a thing, we say, "Because Christ first loved me..." and we go on to share the gospel. Anyways, I wanted to inform you all of this new skill God has given me. We will be having a dental clinic in La Barra and Coicoyan. Gerry is going with us to La Barra of which we are all grateful. The Davis' went through this training while we were in PNG. So, there will be five newly trained "dentists" and Gerry, "the real deal." Please pray that God would make His love known to the people as we do dentristy among them. The whole reason Gerry does this two week training course for people is so they can show the compassion of Christ to people by meeting their dental needs. Please pray that the people would receive this compassion and receive the gospel!! We will be in La Barra April 30th-May 8th and Coicoyan May 28th-June 5th. Thank you for your prayers!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Salvation in Chambri Village!!!

Well friends and family...God brought our team safely through PNG while preaching the gospel. I am thankful to be back in the states because there is nothing quite like sweet bar-b-que boneless wild wings and potato wedges with ranch dressing! But that is absolutely nothing compared to what we experienced in PNG. God was mighty to save in Chambri. Before I get into all the stories let me clarify a few things from my last blog. It is not a six hour hike to Chambri. In fact, we canoed right up to Karimbit village which is on the very edge of Chambri Island. So, maybe it was a six second walk across the airstrip to the first hut!! The hike would have happened had we gone to Yimbe but for some reason the Lord kept us from going there. One possible obvious reason is that Yimbe was having tribal wars with some other tribe. I guess it wasn't my time to be martyred...HAHA!! Anyways, we did meet Prisca and she is quite an amazing and beautiful woman. I also learned that there are a few other believers in her home village where she lives no more because of the persecution she faced. However, Prisca did come back to Chambri island because she heard word that we would be there...thus, we met Prisca. Prisca faithfully attended all the bible studies that we had. I would like to tell you the story of how the church was established in Chambri in case you didn't get around to listening to David's sermon on the website. I wanted to include it in the newsletter but as you will see my newsletter was long enough....I am sorry I am so longwinded. Well, here is the story:

On David’s short term trip in 1995 a native believer died on Chambri island. The Chambri people have a ritual they do when someone dies in order to find out who is responsible for the person’s death. David knew if they performed their ritual that it would not be good and that Satan would deceive once again and another innocent person would die. Especially since the one who died was a believer and there were Christians on the island, David knew who Satan’s prime target would be. So David and the team went to the area where this ritual was taking place and prayed. What they do is chant around a bamboo pole and it will levitate and point to whoever is responsible for the person’s death. As the people began to chant the bamboo didn’t levitate. David began to yell out verses of scripture that declare God as Creator and God above all gods. The people were angry at David and began to chase him and the team and throw coconuts at them. Eventually they stopped chasing him so David called the team back. Suddenly, out from the jungle stepped a woman named Rosa, a witchdoctor. She began to try harder with her chants to levitate the bamboo. David yelled out, “Rosa, if you can levitate this pole we will follow your gods but if you can’t levitate this pole then you must follow our God.” Again, the pole didn't move. This angered all the people because their ritual had been broken and destroyed so they began to chase the team and throw coconuts at them again. One man, Bob, began chasing after David with his machete. David had nowhere to run, they were on an island, so he just turned his back and waited for the machete to come down on his back. But it didn’t. A man jumped in between David and Bob and told Bob not to kill him because he feared what David’s God would do to them if they killed him. The next day Bob came up to David and said, “I almost killed you last night.” David said, “I know. But you saw what happened so you need to repent and believe in Jesus and follow Him.” Machete Bob didn’t believe that day but he became David’s right hand man and best friend. When David and another team returned the following year, there were approximately fifty new believers. Within the next few years Bob became a believer. Now instead of machete Bob he is brother Bob!!

So, thus God established a church on Chambri island. What I didn't include in my newsletter is that the man who saved David's life that night was Casper. Casper is one of the six who were saved and baptized in Chambri!! Isn't that amazing!! Praise the Lord! I would also like to tell you how David first heard of the Chambri people and came into contact with them:

When David and his wife Tommi were missionaries in Wewak back in 1989, Tommi took some guitar lessons from a man named Leo Wasi. Leo Wasi was from Chambri island. Sure enough, through the sharing of the gospel, Leo was saved!! Not only was he saved but he wanted to take the gospel back to his own people. So, David and Leo set out for Chambri island. A six hour truck ride and three hour canoe ride away was Leo's home and the place where God would use David and countless teams to establish His church. The first time Leo preached there a riot broke out and punches were thrown as well as insults and rocks. But they pressed on. What you will rejoice in learning, that I wasn't able to put in my newsletter, John Wasi, brother of Leo Wasi, was saved and baptized in Chambri this trip!! Nearly 18 years later!!

So, we were more than blessed on this trip! My newsletter tells the rest and I believe everyone who reads my blog will receive the newsletter. I hope it blesses you.

Some verses to chew on:

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!! Sing to the Lord, BLESS his name; tell of his salvation from DAY to DAY. DECLARE HIS GLORY AMONG THE NATIONS, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For GREAT is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Psalm 96:1-6

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
Psalm 2:8

For from the rising of the sun to its setting MY NAME WILL BE GREAT AMONG THE NATIONS, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. FOR MY NAME WILL BE GREAT AMONG THE NATIONS, says the LORD OF HOSTS.
Malachi 1:11

PRAISE HIM!!
Philippians 1:27....Cara

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Papua New Guinea!! Bring it on!!

Well...the time has come! We are leaving for Papua New Guinea in 5 hours!! Crazy!! I wanted to inform you of what we will be doing in PNG so you can be praying!! First of all, our team consists of eight people: Kirby Myer, Chris Johnson, David Sitton (AKA "Chief"), Rod Connor, Mark Faulkner, Carly Barnes, Kate ???, and Me! Please be praying for our physical endurance as the trek to the unreached is long and strenuous. We will arrive in Wewak, PNG sometime on the 18th (I think...the time changes really throws me off!!). About a day or two later we will take a 6 hour truck ride to a huge lake and then hop in a dugout canoe. This canoe will take us 3 hours away from shore to the shore of Chambri Island. We will then proceed to hike 6 hours to the Chambri village. Chambri village will act as our home base but we will often set out on 2-3 hour hikes to surrounding villages. The names of these villages are: Womboom, Yimbe Yimbe, Changrimen, and other various villages. A church has been established among the Chambri and if you want to hear the story of how God accomplished that then you can go to toeverytribe.com and listen to David Sitton's sermon spoken at Piper's conference. It will bless your socks off. You will also hear the story of a woman named Prisca. Prisca is from the Womboom village. Her village is hostile to the gospel. She is unable to live in her village any more because of the persecution due to her faith in Jesus. She is the only believer from that tribe so they are still unreached. Pray that God would open up doors for His power to be shown as the all powerful God that He is. Pray that God opens their eyes to the lie they believe according to Romans 1 and that God would shine the light of the glorious gospel in their hearts!! Yimbe Yimbe has one believer that I know of named Lawrence. He reads his bible daily...like...all day long...and he never even learned how to read!! God taught him!! He has one amputated leg and he sits in his hut all day long reading his bible and singing the few songs he knows and praying that God would save his people. You can join Lawrence in his prayers for his people's salvation!! The Changrimen are a reached tribe as well, as far as I know. I am not sure how 'reached' though. Well, Lord willing we will return to the states March 10th and I hope to get a newsletter update out to you guys soon after my return. I am sure I will have many stories to tell!! Thank you again for all your prayers and support. Once again, the prayer requests are:

  • physical strength to make it to the people we desire to share the gospel with
  • unity among the church in Chambri
  • Prisca's strength and provision
  • Salvation for Womboom
  • Strength for Lawrence to press on in prayer for his people's salvation
  • The salvation of the Yimbe Yimbe tribe
  • Salvation for more people in the Changrimen tribe
  • Strengthening for the believers among all these tribes and for a desire to take the gospel to their own village neighbors!!

Keep in mind, as you pray, the beautiful promise of Revelation 7:9-12

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from EVERY NATION, FROM ALL TRIBES AND PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

You are praying for your brothers and sisters who will one day stand with you before the throne of God and we will sing together to our great God and King who is the Lamb and our salvation! Praise the Father above who has given us His great mercy and grace and provided for us His very self as our reward...He could give us nothing better. Praise Him!!

Philippians 1:27...Cara

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Good Life

So many great things have gone on lately that I want to tell you all about!! First of all (yes, first of all!!) we went to a bible study at Christie's Java Loft two Mondays ago. It was led by a senior in high school named Daniel Cepeda. His sister was there named Sara and a few other high schoolers. It was more an open discussion bible study so Chris, Kirby, and I threw in our two cents every once in awhile. It was such a blessing and a joy to me to see high schoolers breaking open the word together and meditating on it! Daniel's father is the preacher at FBC Los Fresnos so we attended the church the following Sunday. We met Daniel's parents, Robert and Diana, and talked with them a bit. We attended the bible study again this past Monday night and it ended up being just me and Chris, Daniel and Sara. We had such sweet fellowship! Later we received an email from Robert Cepeda saying how Daniel and Sara came home with huge smiles on their faces and said that they had fellowship like they have been craving for and hadn't had in a long time and that it was nice to be fed for once (all glory to God). Please pray for Daniel and Sara. There aren't many believers at Los Fresnos High School and they are pouring themselves out daily into the lives of the other students at school and the youth at the church and even the children and aren't being fed much. We are excited about this opportunity to be used by God in this community and in the lives of Daniel and Sara. Daniel wants to go to medical school in the long run and Sara, a sophomore in high school, wants to go to ANGELO STATE UNIVERSITY!! They actually know Kevin Kirkland with Katalyst ministries and Ornan's Floor!! I am trying to get Daniel to go to ASU as well. You can be praying for God to show him where he needs to go.

Another event I desire to tell you about is our recent day trip to Las Igarias (Not sure of the spelling on that one!!). There were two churches in this fish town in the Mezquital region and two pastors. One pastor recently passed away (September), brother Fausto, and we wanted to go and find the people of his congregation or his family members to strengthen and encourage them. We saw the building in which they meet and we found his house but were unable to talk to anyone who was a believer there. We did find out from a local that the deceased pastor's family had moved to another city. So we set out to find the pastor of the other church in town, brother Hacinto. Keep in mind this town is on the gulf coast with one paved road that runs from the main towns in Mexico all the way through and just stops at the water. It is destitute for about an hour until you reach this gulf town which is small and the houses are made of plywood and whatnot. Well, we came upon the other church building and there was a small playground out front. Quickly the kids gathered in the play yard. I practiced what spanish I know with the kids and got a soccer game of keep away going. Mexicans vs. Americans is how it played out! It was so much fun!! Meanwhile, David Sitton with our translator Irion talked with one of the members of the church. He told our team that the pastor was in Matamoros at this time. I am not completely sure as to how the conversation unfolded because I was too busy playing soccer with the kiddos!! So precious!! So, please pray for the believers in Las Igarias. Pray that they would be strengthened and that they would grow up in their salvation and take the gospel to the rest of the Laguna Madre, just south of Brownsville.

To my supporters: I want you to know that you are a precious partner with me in the gospel. I am so humbled to think that I could not be here without the support I have received from my family and friends and I realize how you all are my partners in getting the gospel to the nations. Thank you for honoring God with what He has blessed you with and sharing it with me that I can go and do these things of which I get great joy!! I hope to keep you informed of the things God does so that you too may have joy and give glory to God!! And most of all I desire that you partner with me in prayer. Oh that we would invade the throne room of God for the saving of the nations TOGETHER! SIDE BY SIDE let us strive in sharing the gospel!! I pray for you often and I pray that you too would live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel! I love you all and I thank you all for your prayers and support!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Destination: CPCP!!

Well friends and family...I made it to the CPCP and I can't tell you how amazing it is. I didn't know it was possible for every desire of your heart to be fulfilled in one place at one time. God never ceases to amaze me!! Well, the first week has been filled with learning systematic theology, english bible study methods, how to go about raising prayer and financial support in a God honoring and Christ centered way, and various other things such as filling out burial forms!! David Sitton has spoken various times this week on missions and prayer and fasting and we look forward to the lesson on spiritual warfare from one who has "been there and done that!"

Kirby and I set out to find a coffee shop/cafe in Los Fresnos and God led us to a place called Christie's Java Loft just several blocks away from the apartments. We went in to check it out and she said there was going to be a show that night starting at 8. Kirby and I decided we would come back then. We weren't sure what to expect but knew it would be GMT either way. GMT stands for "Good missionary training." To our great joy we found out that Christie is a believer. She just opened this shop two weeks ago and and has until the end of the month to make $4,000 to stay open. I plan on drinking a lot of coffee and eating a lot of sandwiches from her shop!! The bands that played that night were clearly not believers and I asked Christie if she knew anything more about them concerning being believers. She said No but that is why I opened this shop! Her vision for that shop is to reach out to the LOST!! How great!! That night there were so many lost people there and we were able to meet several of the band members and their friends. Kirby, Chris, and I found ourselves praying fervently that night for what God would do in that place. Also, Christie meets in a missionaries home for church on sunday and we plan on joining her next week in that. I am so excited about what God is doing here in Los Fresnos!

For all those who have supported me financially and in prayer I want to say THANK YOU! God is very much at work here and your gifts and prayers are so much a part of advancing God's kingdom of light into the dark world. I thank God for people like you who support me first of all in prayer because without it we have no power in advancing God's kingdom and secondly financially as well because plane tickets do cost money! Thank you so much! I look forward to informing you all on exciting stories of what God is doing!! I love you all!!

PS Mom you have to come back and visit because Christie makes MUDSLIDES!! Kirby and I had one and it was mm, mm, good!! Lick your LIPS good!! :)