Yesterday was one of those days. We have been dreading it for months as we have been preparing for Chavo, Vicente and Barbara to leave for bible school at our mission in Tecate, Mexico near Tijuana. The day finally came where we would say our goodbyes and not see them for months. These young people have been a part of our church for the last 3 years. They have been involved in various ministries here in Autlan. It is sad to see them go. But we know that it is what God has for them as each one of them is needing biblical training for the ministry. The came by and said goodbye. We prayed and hugged them goodbye. Our heart are heavy. Not that we don't support their obedience to what God is calling them to do, but it is the time we will miss them at church or the coffee house. Chavo was one who could always make you laugh as well as be ready to serve at moments notice. Vicente has a heart to worship and Barbara has a heart for kids ministry. Each one has been gifted in different areas but all of them need that rich biblical teaching that bring maturity. We have been so blessed to be a part of God's plan for their lives. Now we shall wait and see what else God has in store for them as they follow Him in obedience.
Praying for Vicente, Chavo and Barbara as they go to Bible school.
Ok, I must first say that these days are running like the wind, away from us. We can believe that it is almost September already. We are now in our second week of school for the girls. As an outsider watching my precious wife try to teach three different grades of schooling, the first week was tough, yet she conquered. She is now getting the swing of it.
This past Sunday was the last Sunday Vicente, Chavo and Barbara were going to be at La Roca church as they are all now leaving this Saturday for our mission base in Tecate, Mexico to attend bible school. We as a church prayed them out. This is a huge change for us as they all three were so involved in the church as well as the coffee house. They will be missed that is for sure. With them leaving, there will be holes to be filled. We are praying that God would fill those holes and needs with those He wants to use.
This week we helped our friends Juan and Erika get to Guadalajara for some doctor's appointments for their son Samuel, who hit his head two times at the beginning of June that caused bleeding in his brain. These appointments were to recheck and see if any long term damage had been done from these falls. Praise the Lord, it was all good news. Samuel has no lasting effects of those falls! We were blessed to be able to help this family get the news they needed to give them peace about their son. They had two days of appointments. We stayed in a hotel for the night. It was a quick trip but much needed for Juan and Erika.
Check out time was at noon and Juan and Erika were at their appointment at 9 AM. So Jessie and I needed to get their stuff packed up. This hotel was not the newest of hotels. What I mean by this is that there was a weight limit on the elevators. Not a big deal but our two families couldn't ride the elevator together. We were on the 11th floor so stairs were out of the question. So when I went down to the front desk to get into their room, a gentleman accompanied me in the elevator to open the door. As we rode up, all was fine until we got to about the 10 or 11 floor. All of sudden the elevator started going back down. It wasn't that fast but fast enough that the guy started to crack open the door. We started seeing the floors pass by us. So he ended up opening the door about 3 inches. It stopped between 4 and 5. He had a radio so he started calling other workers as held the door open. He wasn't sure if it would have continued to fall if he let the doors close. So he waited until the guys were on the four floor. He then pushed the button for the 4th floor. He closed the door a bit but then opened it back up. Two other guys opened the forth floor doors and told us get off. The elevator was about 2 feet above to forth floor when I stepped off. The guy behind hopped off as well. The doors closed and I don't know what happened to it. They just acted like everything was normal. The guy continued with me to the 11 floor on the other elevator and open the door. That was all. No apology or no explanation. The guy who was with me said it was strange and that it never happened to him before. Thank goodness it was only me and not any of the kids or Jessie. In the middle of it, you think to yourself "Is this really happening? I feel like I am in a movie." Praise the Lord, nothing did happen and I am still alive to tell about it.
Yesterday, as I mention in my previous post, I met with a man by the name of Alonzo. It was one of this moments as you hear the history of his life, how God is beginning to stir his heart and he is realizing there is more to life than just being happy. I was encouraged by just taking time to listen to his life story. He is at a place right now where he is receiving everything he hears during church. He has so much to learn but you can see the truth is beginning to set him free. If you would stand with me in pray for his salvation, I would greatly appreciate it. It is clear to me that Alonzo is on the right track. There are still things that God needs to work out in his life but he is open to the gospel. My desire is to see more people like him who are hungry for the word.
The majority of the painting done at La Roca.
I got done yesterday with the majority of the painting at La Roca. Now on to the trim. This can be the most time consuming as there are so many different little areas we need to paint. We are happy with how the colors are turning out. It will be nice to have it all done. Slow and steady is the key here.
This morning I am meeting with a man whose name is Alonzo. He has been coming to La Roca church over the past few months with his girl friend who grown up in the Christian church. Today, I am really going to see where he is at spiritually. From what I have heard before is that he has never really thought about religion much just that his family is Catholics. I have spoken with him on several occasions at church which is good but never getting really deep into spiritual conversations. My prayer is today, I would bring him closer to Christ. He is a police officer and body guard for the president of Autlan. Not an easy job that is for sure.
Over the last month we have had some work done on the house. The first couple of days the gentleman would politely ask me to drive him to his other work site where he would get things such as different tools or scaffolding. I was happy to help but after the work was done for the most part, instead of taking all of his things back he just left them. We have been done for over a week now with the work that was done and yet he hasn't come back for them. I guess he just figures that when he needs them he knows where they are and can get them. It is an aspect I think that comes from the people not having sufficient vehicle to carry everything. On a daily basis, the guy would come to our house on a bike. Every time at lunch time (2 PM) he would take off on his bike and be back around two hours later. I guess if you don't need a truck then why have one?
This past Saturday night we were invited to come to a praise night that some youth were putting on. There were over 6 different churches that came. It was cool to see the different churches come with praise songs that everyone would sing. It was truly a blessing to see over 80 people there. My prayer is that God would continue to bring unity among the churches in Autlan. This is definitely a step in the right directions. One of the churches ended up coming with their youth group to La Roca on Sunday evening as well. We didn't having anything to do with them prior to this night of praise. It is encouraging to see this type of thing happen here as there less than 10 christian churches here in Autlan.