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 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.

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.

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!


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!!


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
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!