Monday, January 29, 2018

The Lord Has Delivered Us!

The Lord Has Delivered Us!   (by Chris)

We arrived at our San Vicente Ministry Center (yes, a rented house, but hey!) a few weeks ago, and after opening it up and settling in, we realize... “WOW! We haven’t been robbed here in over a year! Guess the security bars and doors made a big difference! Way to go, Lord!”

A year ago, we were at a difficult point... what to do? Installing security was going to be expensive... would the owner go along? Adjust the rent if we pay? What about the enormous amount of time to do this installation?

For us, the words in Obadiah 1:5 were not IF but WHEN... “If (when!) thieves came to you, if (when!) robbers in the night— oh, what a disaster awaits you!— would they not steal only as much as they wanted?” We felt like the Israelites in Joel 1:4, “What the locust swarm has left, the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left, the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left, other locusts[a] have eaten.” Getting robbed, and robbed, and robbed again was not do-able for us long-range.

The LORD worked it out. Julio and crew did a fantastic job, designing security measures adapted to the styles of robbery in the Village (no kidding!) and installing them in a brilliant way. The rental Owner worked out the issues of rent-credit. It took two months of hard work back in 2016-17, but we secured the Ministry Center from most forms of robbery. Thanks to SO many of you, our Partner-Team, who re-supplied us after the robberies, did fund-raising to pay for the security measures, and SO much ‘stay strong!’ encouragement... thanks, team!

Now, January 2018, we feel like the Joel Chapter TWO bit: ““I (the LORD am) repay(ing) you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm” (verse 25).

When we recognized that it had been a YEAR without robbery... we stopped and gave HONOR to the AWESOME GOD we serve, for His Mercies are new every morning!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Praying for a Higher Level of Protection


Praying for a Higher Level of Protection

Hello from our Influenza-ravaged household!

For the third year in a row, the large area of over 6 million people that we live and work in has been hit hard by the influenza season. Greater San Diego has 3.5 million peeps, Baja Norte Mexico... which includes Ensenada and the village we work in, San Vicente, has confirmed 2.5 million souls. A combination of dense population, friendly winter weather (cool but not ‘stay home and don’t go out’) and punchy viruses have meant for thousands and thousands of people affected by winter colds and flu. Each of the public health administrations in San Diego and Mexico have declared the level of Influenza as epidemic each year.

Lori and I have, for the last 3 years, been hit hard by the yearly Influenza epidemics here. This year was no exception; December was marked with some serious home-sick days, and the lingering coughs are still hanging on. We end up ‘down with the bug’ for a couple of weeks each year.

Yes, we have had to slow up or postpone some ministry activities due to illness.

I’ve been studying the maskil Psalm 88, where the writer... David’s lead-worshipper Hamen... in a time of intense sickness and suffering;
            13 But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
            14 Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?” (Psalm 88: 13-14)

Have you ever been lying on the couch, super-sick with a flu, with coughing/fever/body aches, unable to get much done... and prayed that Psalm 88 prayer? I sure have been there... recently...

Why? Why our annual ‘down-sick’ battles? Regardless of all the precautions we take (first to get flu vaccines each year, vitamin and diet regimens, vigorous hand-washing, etc.), being ‘in ministry’ means working closely with people... and people easily share the viruses they are fighting themselves. Also, ministry means a great deal of hard schedules, travelling and activities. This means a great deal of expended energy in long, tiring days, and it also means being with a lot of people, all of whom have viruses to share.

SO, dear friends, join us as we are praying for a higher level of protection from these regular, seasonal, debilitating illnesses that we keep fighting. These past few years, the coughing lasts for a couple of months, regardless of the talented doctor’s interventions.

‘Higher Level of Protection’... please, PLEASE, Lord, we are a bit sick-and-tired of feeling so sick-and-tired...


(pic credit: ‘The Right Hand of God Protecting’ by Jean Fouquet, circa 1455, Illuminated Manuscript, in the Robert Lehman Collection, 1975)