A hard week
This past week has been a bit difficult for me. Back in April, we sent out a prayer letter with a request for healing for a dear brother and pastor in Autlan who had inoperable lung cancer. Over the past few months, Luis was waiting to die. He had pain in the right side of his chest where the cancer, but was controlling the pain with morphine. I spent at least couple of months I visited him weekly, just sitting with him and talking for over hour each time. The last time I visited him in his home, he said he had tremendous pain through out the night and finally went to sleep at 6 AM. Towards the end of our time together it was clear, he was exhausted, falling asleep in the middle of sentences. I prayed again for healing but for God's will to be done. I came home and told Jessie, it wouldn't be long. Sadly, I was right. Last week, they admitted Luis into a local hospital to make sure he was comfortable. With this type of cancer, he had little use of one of his lungs and partial use of the other. It was hard for him to breath. On Thursday last week, I went to visit him there at the hospital. He was awake but weak. I was able to pray with him and his family. I said I would be back the next day to offer any help I could. Friday morning, when I arrived, they had sedated him due to boughs of coughing fits. I sat and talked with his wife, just hoping to pass some of the time during these final moments. His breathing was labored while he was sleeping. I prayed again with his wife and one of his sons. I left late morning. By 3 PM he was gone. As a family we were celebrating Thanksgiving, but had to change our plans to attend the funeral. Friday evening the funeral started at 9 PM. Some of the extended family are Christians but about half are Catholics. But being that Luis's wife Soyla was able to decided before hand what she wanted for the service, there were three different services for the funeral. The first started at 9 PM on Friday evening. The second at 11 AM on Saturday. Then one final one at 4 PM, then everyone travel to the cemetery for his burial. At each service the gospel was preached. I was asked to pray at the end of the first service. I shared Philippians 1:21 " For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Luis had gained eternity with Jesus. Before sharing this, I counted 12 pastors from Autlan and surrounding areas. He was a brother in Christ. I will miss him dearly. But as believers, we do not mourn the same as unbelievers. Our hope is in Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is our treasure. We continue to pray for Luis's family members, those who are saved and those who are not that they would come to salvation. Please pray with us.
What a mess
One the very necessary things in life is your wallet. You don't fully grasp as how important it is until you don't have it. Not only bank cards but a Minnesota licence is hard to get replaced when you live over 2000 miles away. I drove on my scooter from a local restaurant where I had lunch with a gentleman of the church. I checked my wallet to see if I had change just before taking off back home. Upon arriving home, I reached to my back pocket to where it is suppose to go and it was not there. For men, it is a normal thing to have. Everyday you start your day after getting dressed by making sure you have your keys, watch and wallet on you, so you can get to work. To find one of these items not there, your stomach sinks. Then your mind races to think about when you last remember having it. I drove all the way back to the restaurant with no luck. It was gone! Now to call the bank to get cancel the cards that were there and have new ones sent all the way to Mexico. This is not an easy task when you are dealing with a phone service that is not the most reliable as we have come to find out on long distance phone calls. So after 4 hours of being on the phone, I am now done with making all the necessary phone calls. Hopefully, the cards won't be "lost" in the mail. I even have a snowbird packet coming to replace my Minnesota driver's licence. It is not like I need it being in Mexico but having it as a from of ID, often comes in handy. If I present it here, often times they accept it. Actually when I asked someone about us ever getting into an accident, our US licences would be more valid, (not sure what that actually means?) Knowing the system of getting your licence here is much less work. You have to answer 10 questions. That's it. Then they check your paperwork and then they give you a driver's licence.
Needless to say, it is frustrating to have to replace all the important things you carry with you on a daily basis. I have learned my lesson on riding my scooter that is for sure. Making sure everything is secure and with no possibility of falling out, I will be more vigilant it checking. Now to prepare for youth group in an hour. Hope your day is going well.