We are now almost to the end of four weeks of meetings and the time has flown by. We are thankful to report that attendance continues between 8-12 adults and older teens each night plus children. We continue to get new folks coming by which is encouraging as well.
We were especially thrilled this past week when we went by to visit a barber who has come every night since the second night of the meetings. Sammy Cain walked into his barbershop and gave him a text and invite during the distribution. Jesús began to seek God when family problems developed in his life four years ago. A little over a year ago, he was working in Yuma (he is a US Resident) and he had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with a breathing problem. He said he really thought he was going to die but he had no confidence he was going to go to heaven. From a child he had questioned Catholic teaching and practices finding them inconsistent with the Bible. The first few weeks of the meetings he commented repeatedly that the gospel we were preaching was Biblical. One night during a meeting, he read 1 John 5:13 and suddenly he realized that he knew that the Lord Jesus had paid for his sins and that he was going to heaven because “These things were written.” We asked him if he had peace. He replied, “Paz en abundancia – peace in abundance.” We thank God for his clarity. His brother and sister have also come to the meetings and his brother Angel is listening particularly well and we hope to try and visit him today.
Jorge the man who got saved the other week continues to do well. The night before last, he came over to the apartment and told us his life’s story of the depths of vice and sin from which the Lord saved him. It brought tears to our eyes as he magnified the grace of God that had brought him out of such an awful existence and that had spared his life from the violent death that is so common in this country. His wife, Nora, has come to two meetings and is quite interested. She works evenings so it makes it hard for her to come to the meetings. Those who were at Seed Sowers might recognize her as she works as a waitress at the taco stand El Chipilón where we ate a couple of times. They have four little children and Jorge would deeply appreciate your prayers for the salvation of his wife.
The enemy has been clearly at work as last week several women who had been coming regularly suddenly stopped. They were avoiding us when we went by for visits and we eventually heard what happened. Several pastors have prohibited people who go to their churches from coming to the meetings. One pastor offered to have for them, but one lady declined as she told him that people just sleep when he preaches (ouch). Nevertheless, these men hold real power over folks threatening them with public humiliation if they disobey. Yesterday, one of the ladies opened up to tell us more details and has asked for a week to let things calm down before she starts again. Kati is a very sincere lady but feeling great pressure from friends in her church. We can only pray for her and for others in this very critical crossroads.
Dan and I greatly appreciate the prayers of each one for the meetings here in SLRC that God will preserve those who have professed to be saved and work in many more hearts and lives. We pray that there will be many more Lydia like cases in SLRC, “Whose heart the Lord opened.”
Also, Tim is down in Veracruz, where he has been speaking with John N. Here's a little update from there:
There have been 2 saved so far in the series, I believe. Marta, a student is quite joyful in her new-found salvation. She was mentioning to Rebekah that there have been changes in her life already that she wasn't really thinking about, just happening on their own. When her friends want to go out somewhere and she suggests something else, they look at her like she's going nuts.
Lucio, from Cotaxtla says he's gotten God's salvation as well. He is quite influential in his community and could have a real impact as far as the spread of the gospel is concerned. We continue to pray for Aida, his wife, that she too, would soon come to know the Saviour as her own.
Your prayers for these efforts would be greatly appreciated!
Here is one of our silly kitties. I had forgotten how funny kittens can be, and he has been great comic relief. The female has actually been at the vet's for the last few days, hopefully finding out what is the matter with her poor tummy.
Here are a couple pic's from the children's meeting in Tirocapes two weeks ago. This is Alejandro and Jairo leading the singing:
Daniel and Tiberio teaching the verse:
I totally missed getting pictures of the lesson, and some others helping out - it went quite well, and there were a good number of children out for the lesson. Mark and Brenda Bachert will be with us for the weekend, and Mark will be teaching the lesson on Saturday.
The other morning I came into Vivian's room and found this:
I think there were about 6 tissues left in the box!!
Here are two of my sweet girls doing the dishes:
I couldn't get this picture to go correctly - it was either sideways one way or the other. An attempt at creativity on my part for lunch - peanut butter and honey sandwiches - personalized!
Last Saturday we went to Miranda's 4th birthday party - here's the birthday girl:
Kyla and Vivian playing "meeting" =)
The girls have been wanting a chance to sleep with me in my bed. It's not something we've ever done, except one other time when Tim was away. Yesterday morning we were reading a book, and the mom and daughters had a "camp out" in the living room while the dad and brothers were away one night. The girls on the floor, and the mom on the lazyboy. I thought I could likely handle sleeping on the couch for a night, and suggested it to our girls, who thought it was a great idea! We were invited to the Cain's for lunch, and then we asked if Evelyn could camp out with us, so she came and joined the fun too! We brought down pillows, comforters and all the extra blankets we could find, and the girls had a blast playing in it all before we had anything set up for sleeping. Here's Eva underneath a pile:Mika:Shaelyn:Kyla:
Vivian, watching the chaos from her highchair:
Next they took turns jumping into the pile:
Finally, time to settle on down. We read several books, and the lights went off around 840pm or so. I put Vivian up in her bed, then talked to Tim for a bit on the phone. When I came downstairs just before 9pm, at least 2 were already asleep. I settled in on the couch, and it wasn't too many minutes later until we were All asleep!! It was a pretty good night, and the girls woke up around 7am!
The other night, before Tim left for Veracruz, I kept Kyla and Vivian home from meeting because of Vivi's cold. While I was trying to catch up on a few emails, Kyla decided it was time for supper. She went to the cupboards and pulled out: apple sauce, potato chips, cookies, 2 bowls and 2 spoons! =) She's quite a helper, that girl!
I wanted to mention too, a few more books we had received for Christmas that are really neat. These ones were from my brother and his wife, Jeff and Marianne:
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker
Because I Love You by Max Lucado
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
Tim's brother and his wife, Mark and Rebekah, also got us a very special book - it's a photo book of our week-long holiday together this past summer at the cottage. They had done one other one in 2008, and it's pages are coming out it's been "read" so often. This one may get the same amount of use - it's so nice!
Okay, that's it, I think, with just this video left. Kyla "sings" in a language I don't quite understand - sometimes I can hear Spanish words, and sometimes English words, but most of them are made up. Vivian also "sings". Whenever she has a book in her hand, she thinks it is a hymnbook, and sings with gusto! I got some of it on video yesterday! =)