Sorry we haven’t been keeping his more updated, but we have been pushing pretty hard each day. Our typical day starts at 5:30am wakeup, then breakfast, personal devotional time, getting ready for the day, and then on the road by 6:30am. By the time we get back, eat supper, and share together in evening worship, we all tend to crash in bed. Yesterday we left here at 6:30am, got back at 8:30pm and still had to eat dinner! So… typing time has been minimal! Today however we have some time, so I will try give an update.
The village we were building in was an hour and a half drive towards the “coast”. For the past three days we have been building 5 homes there. Yesterday was the final day, and we spent part of the day building and most of the day praying. As each family receives their house, there is a wonderful celebration that takes place as gifts are given and words of gratitude are shared. Then Dan, Hermano Jesus, and Darvi share the gospel message with the family. While this is going on, the rest of the teams gather around the houses and sing, read scripture, and pray for the family within, the team that built the house, and those sharing the gospel within. During our time yesterday 3 of the 5 families received or rededicated their lives to Christ! It was a wonderful, tear filled time of celebration. For the 2 families that were resistant, we leave the village hopeful that seeds have been planted and Christ has been shared.
I have to confess though that yesterday when the family whose home Caleb and I worked on chose not to receive Christ, it was hard. Harder on me than I expected. I know we are here to plant seeds… not always to reap a harvest… but still it was hard. They were so close… willing to acknowledge who Jesus was and is, willing to say many true words about Jesus, but not willing to submit their entire lives to Him in love. I think this was so hard because I sometimes see the same thing with many in the U.S. … we know the right words, are willng to say certain and even believe certain things… but some just will not submit and turn their lives completely over to Christ. I guess people are the same everywhere, and we all can find lots of excuses that justify our decision to not give everything over to God.
There are so many ways that I see parallels between the work that we do here and the work that needs to be done in West Michigan. So many live with “some” knowledge of Christ, and so many are willing to go through the motions of being a devoted follower of Jesus, but so many also put up walls on certain areas of their lives that they keep “off limits” to God. I guess we all do this in ways at times, and we need to all be constantly asking ourselves if there are idols or places of fear or control that we are not willing to give up. Going away to a distant place, living among a different culture, sometimes helps us see our own culture more clearly. For this, among many other things, I am immensely grateful for this experience. I pray that God will continue to use this in all our lives when we go home, and that what we do here will help us to make a difference “back there”.
Keep praying for us… we will keep praying for you. Know that whereever we are, and whatever we are doing, it is God’s will that we ALL be on a MISSION for Him.