Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lessons Through Curveballs

Recently our family has had to make a detour from our ministry in Mexico back to the US. We needed to get something checked out by the doctors in America. The timing wasn't great because we were just getting settled in and used to everyday conversations in Spanish, but hey, when there is a problem in the family you do what you have to do.

This little adventure has provided a tremendous opportunity for our family to trust in God and recognize just how much we really need him.  Without going into all the details here, let me assure you that the way things have worked out are not at all what we expected. I'm sure the same thing is true for most of you as well. How many times do you think you are going east when God sends you to the west?

For me this has been a good opportunity to be reminded that He is the potter and I am merely the clay. In Romans 9:21 the apostle Paul uses this metaphor to tell us that God is the one who will determine how, when and where we are used. One person may be given a special assignment while another a seemingly ordinary responsibility. Whichever it is, it is His decision.

Our family is pleased and honored to be able to serve God wherever in the world He has us. Dealing with the curveballs helps me remember that it is the Lord who is in control and not me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Navidad en Mexico

Carrie got her unspoken prayer request: to be settled in our new home baking Christmas cookies to share!  We were even able to host an open house on Christmas Day at our place.  We just couldn’t serve coffee since the Keurig broke in shipment (No!).

We couldn't have made it to Puebla at a better time with the schools closed and everyone focused on their own family time.  God put us in a position where we had no choice but to settle in and try to get out as a family of four to start learning the culture.  We’ve been worshiping with Comunidad Bíblia, a church Aaron has visited several times in the past. He was blessed to be asked to preach the Sunday after Christmas on Isaiah 9; ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God…”
Mi Casa es Tu Casa
A thousand thanks (Mil Gracias) to Kevin and Andrea Bult for helping us rent our place, learn how to get around, and set things up when we first got to Mexico.  We've also learned to lean into God as we try to use basic Spanish to complete the 101 house projects.

Our new home sat empty for many years and the upstairs is kind of like an unfinished concrete box.   But for the cost of some elbow grease, we have a home in our price range with lots of space for hosting when you come visit (hint, hint).  If you’ve ever seen an episode of International House Hunters, you know that it's necessary to purchase a lot of things that are standard in the U.S.  There were no closets, shelves, appliances or even kitchen cabinets. This house is perfect for our needs and will serve the ministry well once we finish language school. If you squint you can see Jon and Aaron on the roof trying to find the water shutoff valve when the sink broke :)

Meeting Our Teams
The holidays gave us two perfect opportunities to meet our Mexico extended ‘families.’  On the 31st we drove close to the Volkswagen plant to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a houseful of  Camino Global missionaries.  Our kids have quickly taken to their new Camino primos (cousins).

On the Southern Baptist side, we were invited to meet our International Mission Board (IMB) teammates to celebrate Three Kings Day.  Anthony Conners read Matthew 2 where an angel tells Joseph to flee Egypt with baby Jesus.  Per tradition, the 15 of us took turns slicing through a circle of bread searching for a plastic baby Jesus.  If you find the baby you "get" to the make the tamales and serve them at your house 28 days later.

Prayer Requests
  1. School for the kids -  We talked to lots of people and prayed a whole bunch about this. In the end we decided to send them to a small Christian school called El Shaddai. The school has about 20 Mexican kids who are practicing their English with Jon and Jackie and teaching them Spanish at the same time. So far so good! The kids have come home each day saying how much they love it.
  2. Language school for mom and dad - We have driven down to our language school (Spanish Institute of Puebla), met the director, and taken the placement exam. We will be starting in about a week and a half. We can't wait to be better communicators with our new neighbors.
  3. Our new house - There are lots of projects to be done. Pray that we would have patience, be able to communicate with the workers and be a good example of the Gospel. Please pray that we can get a security system installed soon.
  4. Our waiter  - Jackie and Aaron went out for a daddy-daughter date and met a man who lived in the US for several years. He was very excited to hear about our ministry here and said that we would like to start studying the Bible with Aaron. Please pray that he follows up and that the Gospel can be clearly communicated.
Special Gift Needed! – we are praying that some people will step up to help us add more security to the house including electric fencing and an alarm system.  A couple weeks ago a plumber had has truck broken into while parked in front of our home for just 15 minutes, so a little more security system would be nice!  If you could help with some of these unexpected household expenses we would greatly appreciate it. You can click here...