“A man’s heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). This has been quite the busy and crazy week. This verse in Proverbs has really become evident and true this week, with all the events that have taken place.
Monday started with the wonderful opportunity to bring Pancho’s mom, to Chihuahua to visit her son for the first time since the surgery. What an emotional and powerful day it was. My daughter was especially excited to go to “Cheezwahwah” as she calls it. She spent the morning making Pancho’s “get well” card, full of colors and stickers.
The hospital is very strict in regards to visitors, only allowing a few to pass at a time. Nieves went up first and we were hoping that Antu would be able to go as well to deliver her picture. Unfortunately they don’t allow kids in the recovery rooms. Nieves took her picture and promised he would give it to Pancho. After he left, I looked at my little girl and saw the tears begin to form in her eyes. I picked her up and asked what was wrong, “I’m sad...they won’t let me see Pancho daddy...” I held her tight as we walked, and talked and cried...and I promised her that Pancho would see her picture and know that she wanted to come visit.
Pastor Luis and I went to visit him next. There was our brother, alive, awake and excited to see us. As I mentioned before, the doctors had thought that he would barely be able to talk, however that wasn’t the case. Pancho was speaking in full sentences and praising the Lord for that. Pastor Luis leaned over to give him a hug and Pancho began to weep. Of course, I started to tear up as I watched my uncle hold this frail, weak and crying man, and begin to pray over him. It was a wonderful 10 minutes as we rejoiced with this dear family. As we were leaving, I had to take a picture of what stood tall on the table tray behind me, directly facing Pancho’s bed...Antu’s beautiful “get well” card
We had a lot to do Wednesday to finish getting ready for the team. We had a quick meeting at the Vargas house...talking about our day and continual plans for the team coming on Friday. That was interrupted by Nieves’ text from Sabrina...letting us know that they had just released Pancho and he was ready to come home. So, i found myself back in the van with Nieves, driving to Chihuahua to bring our brother home. God has continued to answer the prayers of his saints, for this brother. We also found out that God lowered the cost of his surgery and hospital stay from 20,000 pesos ($1600) to 365 pesos ($30)...WOW!
Thursday morning came early for Pastor Luis, Kim and myself, as we departed for El Paso to meet the incoming missions team. Calvary Chapel Northwest, in Bellingham WA, sent 6 brothers and 2 sisters who arrived safely Friday afternoon. They have been praying, fasting, believing and trusting that God will do great things on this missions trip. Our goal is to paint the inside of the orphanage. Lots of planning and preparation has taken place, to get things ready for this big project. Paint is ridiculously expensive down in Mexico and they estimated cost was atleast $2300 for the paint. God had a different plan and we are rejoicing about that. A brother at Calvary Chapel Northwest, has a company that knows a guy who knows a guy, who ended up getting us all the paint we needed for $909. Not only that, but after sharing with the Sherman Williams guys, what the paint was for and what we were doing down in Mexico, they gave us a bunch of free stuff...WOW!
We had no problems getting across the border with the team and paint...and they have safely arrived in Bachiniva. However, for myself, I am back here in El Paso. My grandmother, who lives in Las Vegas, went home to be with the Lord early yesterday morning. The last hours of her life were very painful and difficult. Everyone was praying that the Lord would just take her home. I woke up yesterday morning to a text message from my mom, saying...“IT IS FINISHED...grandma is dancing with Jesus! No more pain, no more sorrow!”
God worked things out in a way that both the team will be greatly taken care of in Mexico, and I will be able to join my siblings and family, in Vegas for the memorial service. I arrive back in El Paso, at 11:55 PM Tuesday night, and then will head back down to Bachiniva early Wednesday morning.
As I sit here at Starbucks, trying to take in the madness of this past week...God continues to give that great “peace which surpasses all understanding.” Last week, I had everything planned out the way I thought it should go this week, yet that was completely turned upside down. And God has a wonderful plan in it. We must never lose sight of His ways being better then our ways. No matter what happens, it happens for a reason and God ordained purpose.
Please pray for the missions team and the painting project. They desire to complete it but are completely open to any other plans the Lord might have. Please pray for Pancho for a speedy and quick recovery, and, that the cancer will not return. Please pray for my siblings and I as we travel to Vegas. We are trusting that the service will be a Christ centered time and encouragement to all who come. Please pray for my wife and daughter as we are apart for 4 more additional days. Thank you very much!
“...and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).