For some reason, my brain writes blog posts in the horizontal, in the dark, before I fall asleep at night. It’s like my way of processing life. The problem is, I’m usually too out of it to actually record any of those 11 pm bursts of brilliancy. So, while I’m still semi cognizant, here’s a bit of life on paper.
It somehow seems like months, maybe years ago we had our yearly Bible conference over New Years. When you’ve changed focus and location, it seems like the rest of the world sort of fades into this hazy mirage sparkling somewhere out on the horizon. I mention the conference though because it’s important in some respects to our current situation.
For about a year, David and I have wondered where the Lord would guide us to next. We had two or three places in mind but while it’s not like doors were necessarily shut in our faces, they weren’t exactly wide open either. So we just waited. We continued working as we had been, helping mostly in Emiliano Zapata, watching the little assembly grow, seeing the believers develop, carefully stepping back more and more and more until really, we were just regular attendees. In November, contact was made with a family in Oaxaca and we made our first visit here in December, which you can read about in Magdalena Apasco . It started to make sense why no other doors had opened. And, as we looked around the assembly in Zapata and watched as the men completely organized and ran the conference, we saw there was no reason why we couldn’t be gone for a month. It would be best, really for them, if we weren’t around. Give them some more space to spread their wings in the Lord’s strength.
So we came back. And we brought sweaters and jackets this time because this family from Campeche is finding the mountain air pretty chilly. At home, I often start my day with a glass of cold water with a lime squeezed in and some cold yogurt. Here? If I can stop shivering enough to make some tea or hot chocolate, that’s what I do. We even bought an overpriced load of firewood from the landlady to cut the early morning chill. Unfortunately that meager load only lasted like four days, so we’re back to huddling under blankets until the sun starts to shine.
We arrived a little over a week ago, to what I can only suppose to be the devil’s chagrin. He worked pretty hard to make sure we couldn’t come. Out of two vehicles, both were in the shop, useless with mechanical problems up to about a day before we were scheduled to travel. The one we had planned to take, a diesel van with a huge trunk that never, ever has mechanical problems, of course became impossible to repair within the week. Our promises to the kids that they could bring bikes and a box of toys were revoked with not a little bit of pain. Thankfully our smaller vehicle made it, just in time (thank the Lord) and our plans held through. He made sure there were just enough little problems at home and around to keep us stressed and worried. He made sure there were enough discouraged believers to make us doubt and second guess our decisions. He hates the gospel. There’s no doubt about that.
And the devil wasn’t happy just to keep us on edge either. Nooo…..he’s been quite busy this month. He watched the family here in Magdalena, looking for ways to discourage them as well. He’s hit them this way and that, bringing problems and complications to disrupt their peace and joy.
It’s never easy to fight a spiritual battle yourself but in many ways I find it harder to watch others, especially new believers, be put to the test. It’s tough to have to just stand by and watch and pray and hope upon hope that they’ll come through.
Sharing the gospel is hard work everywhere. Mexico is no exception. Sometimes, we’re under the impression that here you simply start preaching and with a grand magnetic force, humans just appear out of nowhere. Not the case. Not here nor anywhere.
Before we ever arrived, the C family invited many of their friends, neighbors and families to come to the meetings. The truth is, of the few who came for the first time, only one came back. We have distributed many texts and calendars, we’ve knocked on doors and invited strangers. And no, there is no line up to get in to the meeting place.
I’ll tell you what there is, though. There’s a group of people who have had it with religion. All they want is Christ. There’s a group who is thirsting after God’s Word, after changed lives, after the reality of true Christianity. Some are saved, some are not, some maybe need some clarification. It doesn’t matter how many there are. Each individual is an eternal treasure of incalculable worth. We are grateful to God for one man so far who has professed salvation in Christ.
There are a few different families who have asked for the gospel meetings to be held in their homes, so Lord willing, we’ll be a week in each place. Last night we started at the second home, a family fairly distantly related to the C’s.
Some interesting things about Oaxaca:
- The state’s southern coast is along the same fault line as California. There was actually an earthquake during meeting the other night.
- Everybody here….everybody….loves eating grasshoppers. David eats them in tacos. I just can’t.
- Because of its elevation and dry climate, central Oaxaca is significantly cooler than Campeche, even though we are farther south.
- 500 years before Christ, the Zapoteco civilization thrived here, growing cotton among other things.
- The famous Benito Juarez is from this state in Mexico.
I’m not so into update posts as storytelling, but will definitely try to keep you updated on how things are going. We’re incredibly grateful for all your prayers. Prayers for the people here that are believers, prayers for the gospel to flourish, prayers for ourselves, prayers for our kids as they tag along with us on our journey through life.