Dear friends, mission partners, brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are forever grateful for your support through giving and praying. May the Lord bless you for your acts of love and service through supporting this ministry. We have some important prayer requests for our family and ask you to please join us in praying for the following needs. We have no doubt that the Lord has heard your prayers in the past to help us, provide for us and protect us. Those who pray for and give to missions play a role just as important as the missionary on the field. We are thankful for you.
Concerning our family:
First, we ask that you pray for Christen. She has had health issues for a while now. She is on blood pressure meds, but her hair has been falling out quite a bit and consistently, she is also still having some skin issues. At first the symptoms seemed minor, but the fact that they have persisted for so long does cause some concern. It may be the water, it may be stress, or a combination of both. It may even be something else. We are having the underground cistern cleaned, but if the water coming in is contaminated it will just get dirty again.
We were recently at the city’s water department here and they are having some people come to check things out sometime next week. The water usually looks clean but has come out very dirty several times, and doesn’t smell quite right. It even has come out brown on several occasions. The woman we spoke to actually said they have seen this before. Although we don’t drink that water, we use it to bathe and wash with which could potentially make us sick. Christen did have parasites and a bacteria a couple of months ago. Please pray that we would finally get her some relief from those symptoms that seem to continue lingering. Her immune system seems to be weaker than the rest of ours since she seems to be the one who has been most affected. Other than that she is ok, but we need and hope to get her healthy and the water issue resolved quickly. Please pray. This brings us to our next prayer request.
Please pray for Yeison. He has been displaying some behavior issues at school. We have had several meetings already with some of the counselors from the school and are having some recommended tests run. He recently had an electroencephalogram. They recommended and MRI as well. He seems very bright and speaks English and Spanish well, but there are a couple of things that concern us. Please pray for that.
We have been told that there are some conditions that can show signs at 6 or 7 years of age that could be rooted in trauma suffered at birth, the first few months of life or even from when he was still in the womb if the mother had an excessively stressful pregnancy. With his mother’s mental condition and quality of life, I do wonder. I’m not sure what to think about all of this, but we want to do everything we possibly can to help him and already have several appointments coming up for several different things. . If any of our supporters or friends back home reading this have knowledge and experience with children with special needs, would love to hear from you. Prayers are appreciated.
Apart from the behavior issue, we also went to the first appointment to begin the process for the surgery on his legs. A few things have to happen before that, but at least we have the ball rolling now. Please pray for Yeison during this process.
Please also pray for our family and for provision. Even though we have insurance now, with 3 or 4 appointments a week between both issues, it can easily be an extra couple of hundred bucks a week which adds up fast, and some things are still not covered. Christen will also be needing to get some more tests run soon. I am having some trouble concentrating and very foggy minded and even my vision has not been the best lately, so I will need to get that checked out for that. My workload has increased between teaching, studying, editing and writing for different things. You can see how having difficulty with concentration would cause me some concern. Needless to say, we will be spending a lot of time and money at the several appointments we have in the near future . Prayers and any help financially at all is very appreciated.
All of these things do bring along with them some stress and concern to be honest. But we are trusting the Lord. Personally, He has taught me (and still is teaching me) to rest in Him more and more. You can read something I recently wrote on suffering on this website. If you scroll down underneath this newsletter, you will see the English and Spanish versions of that article titled “The Father of Mercies and Comforter in Our Afflictions” or simply click here.
Pastor Victor and I recently taught on evangelism at the church in Hato Mayor. I am working on developing it into a 2-3 day workshop as a BCMS effort to share with other local churches that may need some help or encouragement in this area.
I am also regularly sharing the Gospel with children and youth at the school and had the opportunity to sit down and explain the gospel to two other English teachers last week. Please pray for the Lord to use us there so that some may come to repentance and faith for God’s glory. It is a VERY Catholic environment, but by God’s grace they seem to like us and have given us a lot of freedom to share. Many are just flat out curious about us and see us as different (apart from being foreigners). Most of my English lessons have some teachings from Scripture where I use short texts that lead into explanations of God’s truth and the Gospel. Pray for the seeds being sown there with students and teachers.
Next week we will finally be doing the medical outreach we have mentioned in past updates. This will be held in three different locations, the church of Hato Mayor, the school of San Lucas and Piedra Gorda where Yeison is from. Please pray for us, our efforts and the workers helping us. Pray for the opportunities to preach Christ and to glorify our Father in heaven though service to the suffering.
We help people because of Christ, we wish for them to see Christ in us and see love in our acts of service towards them. But we also help them simply because well…they need it. A duty is put upon us as Christians to help the needy and glorify God by reflecting His generous and loving nature in being a merciful and giving people. The Bible has countless examples of God commanding His people to help the poor, widows, and orphans. But, many times as humans we make some good sounding excuses and label them as rational and logical reasons. Praise God that Christ did not make such excuses as we sometimes do in order to not help others, but He freely gave Himself in service, even unto death on the cross, though He knows what is in man. He showed us what it meant to humbly serve others, yes even those we would consider undeserving. It is interesting how we as humans even often come up with plenty of reasons why it would be “unwise” to be generous to people.
There is a very good article by Matt Perman with notes from a classic sermon by Jonathan Edwards on Christian Charity that you can read by clicking here. I have recommended books like “When Helping Hurts” in the past, and it makes sense it really does. The book makes some valid points that raises concerns. But it is often difficult when using only the Scriptures (which are our supreme authority and rule of faith) to come to the same conclusions about generosity and helping the poor, as reasonable and logical as they may sound. I think we often get it backwards. Not everything we read in Scripture is exactly logical and it is often contrary to the current of the world we live in. To live by faith and not by sight, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, the list goes on and on.
The Bible says…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding,”
It doesn’t say..
“Trust in your own understanding with all your heart, and do not rely on the Lord.”
And though many would hate to admit it, that is often what we do.
I am in no way discarding the need to be reasonable and prudent in our thinking and planning, but we must spend more time in the Word to better know when those moments are or we will always live solely according to our understanding. Otherwise we will be inconsistent and contradict ourselves as we profess one thing , but then live and think as many do, like practical atheists. May the Lord give us grace to live more according to His Word, even if the world ( and sadly, even many in the church) see it as foolish and craziness. Pray.