What an amazing change God has made in me over the last 10 months. It was last July, just after I got back from our youth group trip to Mexico, that I began to pray about coming back here to Mexico to serve God full-time. It was last July that I started seriously working on my Spanish. It was last July that I talked to Brother Randy about coming here to serve with him. At that time I told him that I wanted to come back as soon as I knew Spanish well enough to preach without an interpreter. Well that time has come, so I need all of your prayers!
Yesterday afternoon, Pastor Jose Luis came up to me just before the evening service. At first, he scared me to death! He came bouncing up 5 minutes before the service, as if he'd been looking for me, and says, "Ready?" "Am I ready for what?" "To preach tonight." "What? I'm preaching tonight?" "Yeah!" "Right now?!?" "Yes. Don't you remember we talked about it two weeks ago?" I got really worried. We HAD talked about it two weeks ago, but I'd tried to tell him I need some more time to prepare my sermon in Spanish. Maybe he didn't understand me! At first, I thought he was joking - he's always messing around with people like that. But then Pepo and Keko were there saying the same thing. "Are you serious? I didn't know I was preaching tonight." Keko says, "Yeah, you said you were going to." Pepo says, "Just preach what you did in Sunday School this morning." They were all just staring at me, wondering why I didn't remember. "Well, I guess I could preach that again." Then he got his big ole' smile again and said, "Ah, don't believe that! I'm just kidding!" I was like, "Oh, Brother, you scared me!" He just cracked up laughing!
Then he asked me if I can preach in two weeks for the afternoon service. Next week, Brother Randy is preaching in the morning and Brother Mike in the afternoon. Then the week after, somebody will be preaching in the morning and then I preach in the afternoon. That is the next to last Sunday before I head home to Illinois. God's timing is perfect. So, this is it...
This is what I've been preparing for during the last 10 months. Of course, I'm really nervous, but not as nervous as I would be if I hadn't been able to teach the youth in Spanish for the past 6 weeks. God has constantly been reminding me that it is HIS message and I am just His messenger. He has spoken through me to the teens. He spoke through me to Marina. So I know He will speak through me again. But I did want to write this to all of you to update you and ask for your prayers. I will be preaching on "The Ministry of Reconciliation" from II Corinthians 5:18-21.
I miss you all and can't wait to catch up with you again! Dios les bendiga!