Not where the heart is. It’s not where I think I belong, nor where I want to be, nor where my deceptive heart tells me I should or could be. Home is where God’s heart is. Home is found in the center of God’s indefectible will.
I don’t even know where my heart is anymore. It’s fragmented across the south of Mexico, from the island of Tris to the city of Cancún, to a Mayan village in the Yucatán, to a town in Quintana Roo, to our little jungle ranch off the beach. And now, another piece has been claimed by a mountain town in the center of Oaxaca. Oh, how glad I am to have followed God’s heart instead of my own!
That’s why, as of yesterday, we officially became residents of Magdalena Apasco. Oh, it’s been quite the week. Actually, quite the month but that’s beside the point. This was basically the only house for rent in all Magdalena. It’s exactly what we needed. A spacious covered patio/garage for meetings, a couple bedrooms and basic living quarters. We got the keys on Tuesday and spent the next few days running into the city and meeting up with local carpenters to get the place furnished and liveable before our booking at the air bnb was up.
Of course, all our wordly goods and stuff of life you collect over time is back in Zapata. I’m choosing to not think about it. There, the walls are filled memories, not just useless decorations. There are pictures up to remind us of people, places and experiences that have enriched our lives. Everything on those walls has a purpose. Here, the walls are blank, painted the typical melon of a newer construction. They hold nothing but the conversations they’ve heard for the last week.
Sister, don’t forget my wife is bringing you all dinner today.
Here, keep this sweet bread for your breakfast.
I’ll bring back your laundry cleaned and folded tomorrow.
You know we’re just up the street if you need anything.
You don’t have much here, keep this pot and containers for the kitchen.
We all decided to come clean up the yard together so the kids have a nice place to play.
And on and on and on.
Really, we’re just being spoiled by God’s beautiful people.
We try to say thank you. All they say is, “no, thank you for having come to Magdalena.”
To which all I can say is that it’s a privilege and a joy to be here. It’s always worth it to say yes to God.
We had our first baptisms last Sunday, up in a natural spring fed pool. The sisters have been organizing refreshments after every meeting and they also decided to serve us all a meal after the baptisms. (I have absolutely nothing to do with any of it. It’s not in my job description as a missionary wife to tell women twice my age how and when to serve coffee. It comes from their hearts, done in their way, according to their culture.) It was a truly wonderful day. We can sense the Lord working to consolidate the group, their bonds of fellowship growing deeper and deeper with each meeting. These are times when the Lord is working and one simply feels like a little pawn on His giant board of life on earth.
Tomorrow, Sunday, will be the second Lord’s Day we hold a ministry meeting in the morning. It’s good for everyone to start learning to set apart the first day of the week for the Lord.
You know, sometimes I’ve heard missionaries complaining about going weeks and weeks without celebrating the Lord’s Supper. That it’s so discouraging to not remember the Lord. That they feel so alone without it.
Several have kindly commented they appreciate my honesty, so here you go. Out in the field, doing pioneer work, I don’t miss the Lord’s Supper. Not at all. Instead, every Sunday morning as I watch people trusting Christ, as baptisms are held, as believers grow and are filled with wonder at the glories in God’s Word, I am filled with excitement. How selfish for me to want to be somewhere else, breaking bread in a 100 year old local church when here (!!!) some day so, so soon they’ll be remembering the Lord for the first time. Oh, the privilege to not break bread for a little time so that a new group can begin to break bread until He comes! There is absolutely nothing discouraging about it.
This week has been a bit crazy with moving and settling in to the new place, but next week we’ll be back to door to door and visiting. Thank you again so much, from the bottom of our hearts, for your interest, care and prayers. We’re working together and it’s been wonderful.