I have debated way to long as to whether or not I should blog about recent events that have occurred here in Bachiniva. However that quickly changed as I spoke with my dad this morning. I was reminded that we are the body of Christ. We are a family. We are to bear one another’s burdens. We are to pray for each other. We are to rejoice with one another. We are to comfort one another with the comfort we ourselves have received.
So, in light of those wonderful truths, why wouldn’t I share with you all some difficulties we are facing here in Mexico and ask for you to fervently pray with us AND for us?
Over the past 3 weeks there has been an incredible increase in the drug cartel violence in our area. What appears to be happening is that two rival drug lords are fighting for our area. The individuals who currently control our town are trying to defend it against a new drug lord and his men who are coming from a town about an hour away.
There has been 3 major shootouts thus far, last night being the most recent one. Pastor Luis called last night to inform me that the fighting had begun again and was very close to the orphanage. As I walked around our property to double check doors and gates, I heard the barrage of gun shots. The Military AND State Police have now made their presence at the spot where these battles keep taking place. They cancelled school on Monday and again today. Obviously there is much gossip and talk about exactly what is happening, how many have been killed, what is coming next, etc.
As I stood outside briefly listening to things taking place, I could feel the fear quickly approaching. However as soon as I began to pray and cry out to the Lord, His peace, which surpasses ALL understanding, flooded my mind. As I walked through the building and the children’s rooms, praying for them as they quietly slept, I was greatly reminded of the power of prayer AND the verse that is painted above Ayantus bed.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety (Ps 4:8).
Either we believe the truths that we read about, sing about, prayer about and hear about at church…OR…we don’t. Either we believe that the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS makes us dwell in safety, that He is with us WHEREVER we go and He promises to NEVER leave us nor forsake us. This is where, as my dad put it this morning, the rubber hits the road.
I must admit, after the second shooting, this past Saturday, I was ready to pack, get Jackie and Ayantu and head back to the states until things cooled down. But then I began to think about our 16 children here at the Casa, and then our staff and volunteers, and then our church family here in Bachiniva. What about them? Who don’t have the blessing of going to the states? I knew immediately the Lord was telling us to stay put, to trust in Him alone for our safety and protection, and watch the things He will do in light of the situation.
Gracias A Dios we are all safe at the moment. The children are doing fine, most of them, oblivious to the things taking place. Probably because they have seen or dealt with this type of thing most of their lives.
Tonight at church we will be dedicating time to pray, worship and seek the Lord for courage, strength and comfort in these times. Many of the people in church are fearful as well as the whole town. What a great opportunity to be apart of what we see in Matthew…
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
Honestly, my heart has been breaking for these cartel members, many of them as young as teenagers, who are lost and in need of hope. As I was driving back down from El Paso on Saturday and passed probably 30 cartel members, waiting in the brush, guns drawn, for whatever was coming down the road, I began praying for them. One young man in particular looked like he was 17, maybe 18 years old. He was totally pale and looked so scared, even as he stood there holding a giant gun, waiting for whatever was going to happen, to happen.
You all have blessed us SO MUCH over the past 4 years with your prayers and support. We ask now, more then ever, that you join us in fervent prayer during these times.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).