I just got done doing my devotions and I was so convicted that I thought I would share. I was reading Mark 6 where the people of Nazareth refuse to believe. Jesus had gone back to his hometown, along with his disciples, to teach in the synagogue. The people began to question Jesus and even took offense at him. The verse that really stuck out to me is verse (6:5), “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” Jesus had the ability to perform awesome miracles right in front of their eyes, but he chose not to because of their pride and unbelief.
I think I sometimes have a bit of pride and unbelief myself. Growing up in a society where everything is so easy creates a sense of security and faith in material things, not God. For example, when you are sick you go to the doctor, when you are depressed you see a counselor, when need money you take out a loan, and the list goes on. However, living here has opened my eyes a bit. If you are among the poorest of the poor you can’t go the doctor or a counselor, and you certainly can’t take out a loan from the bank. So what do they rely on? Well, if they are a Christian, they rely solely on Jesus to meet their every need. And for Jesus to meet your every need requires faith. Faith that he will heal you from your sickness and depression, faith that he will give you exactly what you need, and faith that He truly does have your best interest at heart. These people have no lack of faith. In fact, faith in Jesus is all they have.
Just last night Chad and I were talking about the subject of faith. He told me a story he heard from Jonathan, who is a young man in our church. Jonathan had met a woman at his work and the woman told him that her daughter was very sick. Jonathan told the woman that he would pray for her and assured her that her daughter would be healed. Later that day ,Jonathan got word from the daughter of the woman and she told him that she had, in fact, been healed! Do you think there was any lack of faith in that whole scenario? If there were, Jesus may not have been able to do the miracle that he did for that girl.
I’ve had a difficult time adjusting to my new life as a missionary wife and mommy. I love it here and know this is where we belong, but I struggle daily asking God to just let me have joy in this place. I wonder if I will ever speak the language. I wonder if I will ever have real friendships. I wonder if I am really being useful in this ministry. Maybe what I need to do is already thank God for giving these things to me, having faith that He will give me the desires of my heart. One things for sure, I never want God to be amazed at my lack of faith.
Last week I spent three or four days in a sort of melancholy. This doesn’t happen to me very often but there are times where the realities of life hurt my heart.
I read the news of some old friends whose young son has been battling cancer for the last year. They were optimistic heading into his MRI appointment but the results were not good. The cancer is growing and spreading. They have exhausted all options and there are no more treatments to try. Me duele el corazón.
Bladimir is the foster son of Alvin and Nelly (the directors of our ministry). They have had him since he was around 16 months old and he is now 13. We have grown to love Bladi. He is an outgoing young man and loves our son Asher and Asher loves him. Bladi calls him his hermanito (little brother). But Bladi has been a naughty boy lately. He has been lieing, not doing what he is told, and stealing money. This has actually been going on for a while but what changed recently is that discipline no longer seemed to work to correct his behavior. So Alvin brought Bladimir to a home for boys called 21 de Octubre (21st of October) for a period of discipline. He will probably be here for 2 months. This is a government facility for boys. Most of the boys are there for bad behavior.
Last Wednesday Trina, Asher, and I went to 21 de Octubre to visit Bladi. The boy we saw was not the happy, out going boy we know. Instead we saw a very sad little boy. He gave all of us big hugs and cried most of the time we were there. I told Bladi that we loved him. I told him that in this life there are two paths and we have a choice to make: we can either choose the things of this world or the things of God. Then we prayed with him. Asher sat on his lap and gave him a big hug. In all we spent about a half hour with Bladi. Tears streamed out of his eyes most of the time. It was all I could do to keep the tears from streaming out of mine. Me duele el corazón.
There are lots of things that hurt my heart. Especially in this place. Some days I feel bruised and sensitive. Pain, other people’s pain, causes such a deep ache I feel as though I might break. Out of it comes a deep longing for God. God show me what it means. What is all the suffering for? This was my cry when I read these words:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
I bath in these words. One day God will dwell with man and there will be no more distance. One day this will all be done. There will be no more pain. No more abandoned children. No more exploited children. No more children with tumors in their brain. Until then we walk through dark places. But even in the dark places there is light.
Just the 5 of us on a hike we took up to a mountain with a beautiful view of the city.
WOW! It has been a busy, yet rewarding, couple of weeks. I will do my best to fill you in on what we’ve been up to. We were blessed to have family visit us for Christmas. Chad’s sister, Tanya, and her husband Brian were here the week of Christmas. We had a wonderful time together and were even able to show them much of our ministry. One area of ministry that touched us all the most was the Hospital Maternity Ward. I could write a book on this one specific ministry, and you would be brought to tears. Perhaps another time. For now, I will just fill you in on what we did. In the weeks before their arrival, Tanya had been collecting several baby items such as onesies, blankets, and hats to distribute to the new mothers and their babies. As we sat down and tied some bundles of these items with ribbon, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to all who contributed to this ministry. Because of your generosity, over 100 babies got to go home clothed and snuggled in a blanket. Thank you Brian and Tanya for collecting these items. And thank you to all who donated those items!
Back Home For A Bit
Asher's cousins were more than thrilled to see him. Look at them all just watch him!
As some of you know, we made a last minute trip back home to Washington over the new year. Many people have been wondering, “why the quick trip home?” Well, because we are not Honduran residents, we are required to leave the country every 90 days. And it’s not just a skip, a jump, and a hop either. We have to go two countries over from Honduras, so just crossing the border won’t work. We had originally planned to go to Houston (in January), where they have a Honduran Embassy, to try and get our Honduran residency. Our tickets were bought and we had even planned on meeting our parents there for a visit. However, Chad did some research and discovered that we didn’t even have to go to the embassy but only send in some paperwork to Olympia. Included in that paperwork were our birth certificates and marriage license, which we didn’t have with us..another reason for the trip home. So since we had to leave the country anyway AND we needed some paperwork, it only made sense to come back home. Of course seeing our families was a huge blessing and the best part of the trip for me!
These girls are a reminder of why we are here.
This Is Where We’re Supposed To Be
Chad and I both mentioned how weird, yet how normal, it felt to be back home in Lynden. It was like we never even left. We had such a great time with family, and it was so nice to just take a break from our hectic lives in Honduras. It felt different to leave Asher while I went and ran errands. I am so used to taking him with me everywhere. But it sure was nice to have some mommy breaks while back home. As we were on the plane, we talked about how surreal it was that while in Lynden, we had a whole other life in Honduras; and that as wonderful as it was back home, we did feel something missing. I guess that is God’s way of reminding us that this is where we are supposed to be. He has work for us to complete here and we will do what He wants us to do.
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