It has been two weeks since I sent out our blog post regarding the things taking place here in our town with the drug cartels.  As you know I was hesitant at first to share with you all, not quite sure what the response would be.  However, through you're outpouring of prayers, words of encouragement, scripture verses and support, it confirmed all the more how vital, important and special the body of Christ is.  We received more emails, texts, phone calls and messages from this blog post then any others in the past.  Many of you thanked us for sharing what’s been taking place and how it has encouraged and strengthened you as well.

So, thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts.  I am convinced all the more about the power of prayer, intercession and encouraging one another.

Many of you have recently asked for an update regarding the situation.

Soon after sending out that initial post, 2 weeks ago, things actually escalated to an all time high.  Small battles continued to take place and there were talks of something “big” that was coming.  It seemed like more and more “soldiers” or cartel members were flooding into Bachiniva.  Reports at one point said that there were 200 in town.

On March 20th I sent out an email to our immediate family letting them know what had taken place over the weekend.  Here is the email below...

“Hola family, just wanted to give you an update on what’s going on down here.  Unfortunately things escalated to an all time high yesterday (Sunday the 19th).  People believe it was the big battle that everyone was anticipating.  There were major shootouts in towns about 25 minutes away.  One of our workers and I stood outside our building and watched truck after truck race by our property full of armed men ready for battle.  I shared with most of you that Jackie and the ladies from our church were at a women’s event in a nearby town when the fighting started. Thankfully they all were okay and made it back home safely.  However, the fighting continued into the night and a bit this morning (Monday).

News reports are saying that amongst the numerous that were killed, one of those was the rival drug cartel leader, who has been trying to take over Bachiniva.  This of course is bringing some peace to people here in town, but worries others as most likely someone will rise up to take the fallen leaders place.  They also confiscated 17 abandoned trucks all over the towns that were left behind by cartel members.

Patrols are still taking place in our town as they are looking for someone/some people, no one really knows exactly who. The children continue to not have school due to cancelled classes.  

In light of all this, we are encouraged, as well as our staff, the children and other people here in town.  We know our hope and protection lays in the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Last night, as we were laying in bed, I read Joshua chapter 1 to Jackie as she was falling asleep.  Multiple times, the Lord speaks for his people to be strong and courageous, for the He is with us.  What comfort and perfect words to fall asleep to.

Thanks so much for the prayers and we ask that you continue to pray fervently.

Jason, Jackie, Ayantu + Erasmo, Juan, Maria Ana, Carolina, Luis, Jesus, Jorge, Osvaldo, Sandra, Idaly, Natalia, Gladys, Valeria, Edgar and Angel

The days following Sunday’s battle seemed as if everything had completely turned back to normal.  It was almost eery a little bit, as if nothing had happened.  Patrols, checkpoints, random stops and the presence of armed men seemed to fade away.  School for the children resumed and it was back to the daily routine for everyone in town.

Was it because the other team was defeated?  Of their leader was killed? Or the calm before another storm?  Or simply God’s hand intervening on behalf of the prayers of His children.  Some would say it was because of the first two.  However, we know that our God who is ever present with us, had His mighty hand upon his people and this town.  Thank you Jesus!

Please continue to pray alongside us each and every day as we don't worry about tomorrow, but focus on the day at hand!

"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up,lest you dash your foot against a stone" (Psalm 91:11-12).


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