I think most people can look back and remember one or two people who really impacted their lives. Something about that person makes them memorable. Often times, that person has impacted many more people as well. For me, it’s a woman named Lucy. More about her in a little bit.
We started our morning with Eddie’s devotion. He read David’s praise and prayer of thanksgiving from 1 Chronicles 29:10-13. Eddie spoke about letting go of fear and trusting God with our lives, as all things are in His Hands. We spoke about how each one of us have a role to play in God’s plans. I especially like from verse 11:
Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.
God is over ALL things. We trusted that He was going to be with us today as we visited families!
Our first stop was to see Yohanna. I met Yohanna 12 years ago. Her mom is Luki, the woman who was run over by a car a long time ago and considered dead. The ambulance drivers had covered Luki with a sheet and were waiting for the coroner to officially pronounce her dead. She began to mover her fingers. They jumped up and threw her in the ambulance and drove her to the hospital. Amazing woman…tough as nails! That should give you a glimpse into her resilience. Her daughter Yohanna is 24 now. She looks up to Chris as her dad, as he has been there in her life since she was a little girl. Yohanna recently got married to a boy named Diego. They are living in Diego’s mom’s house right now…as Yohanna is pregnant! Wow!!! She looks great. She is due in March. We wanted to get to know Diego better and discover where he is in relationship with Jesus. He is new to faith and is still discovering what that means. In the end, I am happy for Yohanna. I do think she has a difficult road ahead. She had been studying to become a social worker. While she took the semester off, I do think she will go back. Her younger brother David was there. He is super bright and loves computers and robots. He is a senior in high school and wants to go to College next year to study robotics. It was a good visit.
We then went to go visit Lucy. She has never been married and suffers from extreme arthritis and pain in her knees and legs. Chris and Donna have known her for a long time. She goes to a clinic to get shots for her knees. While she is there, she shares the Gospel with the other patients. She is so encouraging. Anyone who visits Lucy knows that she loves Jesus. And, she loves to sing hymns about him. So, very quickly, Chris said, “We should sing.” Lucy agreed. Chris said we should sing a certain song he knows. She said, no, we will sing a different song first. What else can you do than agree? So, she and Chris began to sing. Very quickly, Eddie began to sing. He said he grew up singing several of the songs, and it brought back many memories. After singing MANY songs, she was done. We were all standing in amazement at this woman’s faith. No matter what we brought up, she would direct it back to Jesus. She has a simple faith that makes me want to grow deeper in my own faith. Here is a woman that has every reason to complain yet doesn’t at all. We have been paying Bethel to fix her house to be a little more comfortable. They are installing a new sidewalk, a new gate, bathroom and handrail going down her steps. We are all drawn to her faith. Lucy is so amazing! It’s easy to love her.
We then went to our annual pilgrimage to Pollo Campero. Man, it was good to be in there! We need one in Louisville.
We then went to the Bethel wheelchair shop. This is where the morning devotion came alive for me. Juanito from Bethel was at Lucy’s digging a trench for sewer pipe, and Mike was building the handrail. In the wheelchair shop there are so many people filling their roles God has provided for them. We are members of the body of Christ. We each have a specific role. God just wants us to trust Him and leave the success or failure to Him. And, if God is in it, nothing is truly a failure.
We then did our last home visit of the day. Eddie and Tim worked with Emily and Chris while Ray, Ben and I installed a stove. For those who think I don’t work and only go around taking pictures, you are mistaken. I survived the stove install. and had the dirt and grime to show it!
The dad was originally an alcoholic and the mom saw how the kids were watching him. She told him that he needed to stop for their future and setting an example. And, he listened and stopped. I have to give her so much credit for having confidence to set her husband straight. Chris asked her where she was in her walk with God. She said she needed rejuvenation. They have not been to church in 8 months. Chris asked for the salvation bracelets that had been made by the children at First Baptist Murray. As he went bead by bead to explain the colors, the oldest three kids were really paying attention as they seemed to know the meaning already. The family had a small family Bible. The son got the Bible out and he read several verses. The oldest son and two oldest girls prayed to receive God’s salvation. Just after the three oldest kids gave their lives to Jesus, Tim noticed that a little ray of sun was coming through a hole in the wall. It was shining on the heart of one of the girls. Tim told Chris to point to her and see that the light is already pouring into her heart.
Chris asked her why they did not go to church. She said they had gotten out of the practice and her husband did not go. Chris said that since she had asked him to stop drinking, and he listened, maybe he would listen again and go to church. Our kids are always watching. They know what is true in your life, and what is for show.
It was interesting how the mom’s face changed as we prepared to leave. She had been very stoic during the visit. Tim brought stocking hats with him (Rick Fulton trained him well). As Tim gave the hats and the kids tried them on, the whole family began to giggle with excitement. They really needed these hats. By the time we got out to the van to get clothes to fit them, the mom was smiling so much.
As we were leaving, I noticed a dog. It looked very scared and thin. Believe me, I learned my lesson many years ago with Rambo, the dog who desperately wanted to eat me as we built a house. I took a picture as we walked by. I asked the dog’s name. They said, “Chalupa”. We all laughed. I’m not sure why they chose that name. When I think of a chalupa, I think of Taco Bell. It’s a hard life for so many in Guatemala…including animals.
We then headed home to get cleaned up and go to the men’s Bible study. We started off with my favorite song, Alabare. When the men all sing together, it truly brings joy to my heart. Very powerful. Tim shared some thoughts on faith. Many men gave their thoughts about what faith is and what it looks like in our lives. The coolest part was the first dad we worked with on the trip was Rojelio. He has there tonight. He just gave his life to Christ on Sunday. It was great seeing him there already.
This week has truly been amazing so far. I thank God for all the decisions to follow Him that people have made. I pray for their hearts and minds.
Tomorrow is our house building day. It will be rewarding but tiring. Please pray for our team.