Day 2- Posted by Brad
Where do I begin? Wow, what a day. It feels like we have been here a week. So much has happened. First of all, I began the day with my annual COLD shower. Remember the ice crystals from 2 years ago? Well, they were in full force today. The owner of the hotel said they had a new automatic heating system. I don’t know where they put it, but it was not there this morning. But, at least I was fully awake!
We usually have breakfast at the hotel. We sat down at 7:30 and began a devotional. Chris spoke on patience and taking on the easy yoke of Christ. About 8:00, we were wondering where the breakfast was. Chris found out the cook was sick. The owner of the hotel felt bad and sent us to a local restaurant. Chris was getting an instant opportunity to have an easy spirit. He has this ol thing he does when he knows he has made someone mad. He looks at them and blows them a kiss, as if to say, “I know you are really mad…but I love you!” He says it always makes them more mad. Well, as we were driving away to the restaurant, Chris looked over and the woman who owns the hotel blew Chris as kiss. Just like he does to others! He laughed out loud. Thank you Jesus for humbling him so quickly.
John and Rick finally made it. Long journey to get here, but we are thankful they arrived safely. Their bags made it as well. Blessing!
After a delicious breakfast, we headed to our first home visit. It was with a family we built a porch for last year. The mom was so sweet and thankful. Her daughter is working hard in school. But, her 13 year old son had to quit school to work to earn money. He works 7 days a week carrying very heavy items. He earns 25 Q (2.50 a day). He would like to go to school, but they need the money. He also would like to go to church, but he cannot take a day from working. I told him how proud I was of him doing the honorable thing by supporting his mom. But, he needs to make sure his relationship with Christ is solid. Pastor Juan had said last night his goal this year is to have 50 young people give their lives to Christ. Well, after today, he only needs 49 more. Chris spoke to this young man for a long time. He asked him if he makes important decisions every day. He said yes. Chris said, this is the most important decision he could make. The boy truly opened up. I am so happy for him, as well as his family. They are still in the difficult position with school and work. But, he is on a good road. By the way, the Mom is the woman on the left side of the picture. So tiny. Such a HUGE heart for God!!!
We then went to Vivian’s house. She is Pastor Juan’s cousin. She had a violent husband who was a drug addict. To save her life, she had to run from the town where they lived. They are now here. She has 3 young kids. Actually, two young, and one baby (more in a minute). She is also the one Chris has selected to run the chicken business. We are going to build a chicken coup and give her 50 chickens. They will already be laying eggs, so instant income. We talked with her at length about the opportunity that lies ahead. In Chris’s enthusiasm, he threw himself down on the bed and screamed loudly. What he did not realize was that her 1-1/2 year old was asleep on the bed. What a way to wake up! Crazy, screaming man! The baby handled it well (She didn’t handle me holding her at church later in the night. She wanted her Mama).
We then went to Berta’s house. If you remember, she is the wife of Luis. He is the alcoholic man who Terry spent so much time talking to. Bad news is that Luis is still drinking and has become much more violent. Good news is, Berta is a very strong woman with some very smart kids. The older son is doing great in school. In fact, he was selected to go to a school that only chooses the best students. She also has a 13 year old daughter who was incredibly smart as well. She was also chosen. They are struggling financially. We took up an offering to pay for the uniforms and fees they need to pay for the special school. Berta was so pleased.
We then went to church. Today was Pastor Juan’s church anniversary. 21 years as a church, 14 years as the pastor. It was an awesome time. So many faces we recognize. The music was amazing. They even had the Americans raising their hands and jumping up and down. I told John Mitchell that I don’t think I had ever jumped in church before (and may not again). But, it was a special time. A young man named Manolo made some very powerful videos. One was about the dangers of young people using drugs. Kind of scary, but effective. The other was highlighting a camp for young people. He has some incredible audio visual skills. I am glad he is using them.
We were able to spend a lot of time talking to old friends. Blanca was there with her girls. So good to see them. Many of the people we have worked with over the years were there. We had a delicious chicken dinner. A lot of eating, talking and drinking coffee. I did want to include a picture for my daughter Sarah. Two of Blanca’s daughters were wearing shoes that Sarah would love to have. So, Sarah….these pictures are for you!
It has been a long day, and my head is tired. So many happy times today. But, it is time to sleep.
We will build the house tomorrow. Juanito says it will only take 2 hours, but I think he is waaaayy off. We will see.
Thank you for your prayers. Everyone is doing well. We love you!
Dios te Bendiga,