I can’t tell you how good it feels to be home here in Bachiniva.  It was so wonderful to be with our church family (and our dog) again.  We arrived safely in Bachiniva around 4:00 PM on Wednesday.  Unfortunately there was no power and no water.  Not the best welcome home present, however, it didn’t change our excitement of being here, and, thankfully the Lord turned things back on just in time for church and soup kitchen. Our trip back down went smoothly, other then the part where they wouldn’t allow me to permit the truck.  As an American, you are allowed to have one vehicle under your name. So, Jackie was going to permit the van and I would permit the truck.  Because I didn’t have my actual “temporary residence” card, they would not allow me to get a permit.  We tried for probably 45 minutes, talking, asking, pleading and praying that they might allow that permit to come through.  Without that permit, we would have to drive back to El Paso, drop off the truck, unload everything in the van so that the 5 of us could fit.  And then, at some point, drive back up to El Paso to get the truck, permit it and cross all of our stuff.  This sounded like a long exhausting process that I did not want to do.  Even after calling the immigration office in Chihuahua, who had my card right there, they said it was not possible for me to cross the truck.

I was about to loose the whole “no hay problema” mentality, when someone came up with the idea of Pastor Luis crossing it.  Although, he has a vehicle under his name, they were going to give him a temporary, 3 day permit.  This would allow us to cross both vehicles, drive to Chihuahua to pick up my residence card and then head back up to the border to cancel Luis’ permit and then put it in my name.  Sounds confusing huh?  Welcome to living in Mexico!

No sooner had we arrived in Bachiniva and unpacked, I found myself in the truck again with my cousin Nieves, early Thursday morning, driving to Chihuahua.  We picked up my new visa card, my other cousin Becky and then drove back up to the border.  Thankfully, everything worked out.  I was able to get the truck permitted, I now have my residence card, and God is good.  Because it was so late, we stayed the night in El Paso and then drove back down to Bachiniva Friday morning!

I'm official...

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As most of you heard, Pancho went home to be with the Lord a week ago.  Pancho had a long, hard fought battle with cancer, that finally overtook him.  I got a call while driving through Moab, Utah, that Pancho was being rushed to the hospital.  He was not doing good at all and having trouble breathing.  The cancer had come back stronger then before and was taking over his throat and lungs.  The doctors did their best to get a breathing tube in Pancho, but because the tumor was so large, Pancho took his last breath and then slipped into the presence of the Lord.

There is nothing really easy about death.  Although we know that Pancho is worshipping Jesus, cancer free and and no longer suffering, it is still difficult.  I miss my friend Pancho and I wish so badly I could have said goodbye to him.  I’m so thankful that the Monday before we left for the states, I was able to spend one last time with him.  I gave Pancho a ride to the medical clinic in Bachiniva.  It was only a short 10 minutes or so, but I will treasure that last ride we had together.  Over the past year, we’ve taken a lot of drives together, to Cuahtemoc, Chihuahua, hospitals, etc, for treatment.  I learned a lot from that brother and was greatly encouraged of a man that fought the good fight and finished strong.  I was able to hug him and pray with him one last time, that Monday morning, trusting and believing not just for a healing, but for the Lord’s will to be done and Pancho to be strengthened through this.  We were both comforted by the words of Jesus, spoken to Paul in 2 Corinthians...

“And Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness...” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

On Wednesday, as we led worship, I thought of Pancho.  I thought of his favorite song, “Levanto Mis Manos” and the times he would lift his feeble hands in worshipping his Savior.  Although Pancho wasn’t there on Wednesday to worship with us, he was most definitely worshipping in an even greater way...with the Heavenly hosts bowed before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, crying Santo, Santo, Santo (Holy, Holy, Holy).

Please continue praying for Pancho’s family, especially his wife Sabrina.  She does not know the Lord and is hurting greatly.  Both Kim and I have had a chance to encourage her and will continue to do so, Lord willing.  Sabrina needs Jesus, He is the only one that can fill that hole and void she has now.  She is very thankful and wanted me to let you all know how grateful she is for all the prayers for Pancho as well as financial donations.

Pancho's last meal before his throat surgery...

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Pancho and Sabrina...

IMG_6456My friend after his surgery...

IMG_6467Prayer and worship at Pancho's house...

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Pancho's baptism...

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"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

 


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