"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). It hard to believe that our time here in the states has come to an end. After 6 weeks of traveling, visiting family and friends, sharing and teaching at churches and lots of meetings, we have begun our trip home. We left Washington early Wednesday morning and made it safely to Boise. Thursday, God cleared the roads and skies to allow us to arrive in Utah without any problems. Friday we headed out to Farmington New Mexico, and then arrived in El Paso on Saturday. It was a long 4 days, 7 states and 1800 miles of driving, but we made it and everyone did a great job (especially Antu).
Although the past month has flown by, it has been an incredibly rich and blessed time. Once again God has shown His faithfulness and hand of provision...which causes us to be all the more THANKFUL for who He is and what He continues to do!
Not only were we able to come back up to Washington, to be with our family, friends and home church, but we also had the opportunity to travel to Utah, Oregon and Florida. As we prepare to open the doors of the children’t home, God has raised up more churches and supporters to come alongside us in prayer, encouragement and financial support. One of the things I never grow tired of doing, is sharing the story. The most amazing thing of all, regarding the past year and a half, is that God has been doing it. All of the answered prayers, provision, donations, open doors, even great trials that we have walked victorious in, all point to the Lord, to whom He is due credit.
We read in Psalm 84:11...”For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
I love the part of that verse that says, “...no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” God wants to provide for and take care of us. That’s His promise and commitment to us. Our part, is simply to walk uprightly and place our faith and trust in Him. Keeping in mind that it might not look like what we think we need...but EVERYTHING that God knows we need.
There were a few things, that I felt we needed, for the ministry down in Bachiniva, that I had been praying on. One was a van and the other was a new computer. As we prepare to receive children, we needed another vehicle that could accommodate more then 3 people (our truck), so we began to pray. My computer, is 7 years old and on its last leg, so we began to pray. We were looking at the finances and seeing if we could somehow budget both of these, and then the Lord provided.
A family donated a beautiful, comfortable, 2004 Honda Odyssey Mini Van. And then, our supporting church and friends, from Del Ray Florida, took up a love offering and it was exactly enough to get a new computer. I wasn’t expecting that at all, but my pastor friend, Daniel, was believing in faith that God would bring the right amount of money....which He did. Both Jackie and I were completely blown away, “...no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Our beautiful new van...
Thank you Redemption church for my new computer...
Some of our supporters in Utah went above and beyond and blessed us and the ministry with “buckets of joy”. This was an idea that I had, similar to Operation Christmas Child, that could bring supplies and toys to those in need. Having gone up to the mountains to visit the 5 children, and seeing how much buckets are used, we thought it would be a great idea. I shared that briefly with our friends in Utah, and they took it from there. 20 buckets were put together to bless those in need and it was a beautiful sight to see. I am already thinking about and looking forward to next year, and how we might get other churches involved to turn that 20 buckets into 200 buckets.
Another donation came in, that was, perhaps, more meaningful to me, more so then the van and the new macbook pro. I had to opportunity to teach at Calvary Chapel South, in Kent, for their student ministries. Having been a youth pastor for so many years, I was eagerly looking forward to it. After the service, I was talking with one young girl in the back, and she was sharing how the message had spoken to her heart. She then asked if we took donations, and handed me a crumpled up $5 bill. She was very specific that this would go to the children’s home and ministry down in Mexico. I was incredibly touched by that, I think perhaps, being a little overwhelmed by all of the things that God had provided thus far, a van, computer, etc, and now a $5 bill. I’m assuming if this gal is like the majority of the youth I ministered to, she doesn’t personally have a lot of money. Yet, in that moment, it was as if she was giving everything she had from her heart, or at least that’s what it felt like to me. Remember Jesus talked about something similar....
“Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 4:3-4).
That brings us to today, and our final travel day down to Bachiniva. Both our van and truck are loaded with supplies, buckets, presents, donations, etc. We are trusting and praying for safe crossing, as we are in need of getting our vehicles permitted, visas, and declaring our goods. We are very thankful that Pastor Luis and Kim will be meeting us to help us get across. As always, we trust and believe in the Lord, that He will guide our every step and get us home safely. Home, yes we are definitely ready to be back down in our lovely little town of Bachiniva!
Our ever growing family...my two brothers (Joey and Jeremy) and their families are missing!
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).