The last month has sure been a busy one for us. We arrive at the middle of April exhausted, yet very blessed at the same time - a feeling I'm sure many people in ministry can identify with!
The month of March began with our trip back to the States for the Global Impact Celebration at Millbrook Baptist Church, one of our supporting churches, in Aiken, SC. That week was certainly one of the most refreshing and encouraging times we've had since beginning the process of getting onto the mission field in October of 2008. Its only equal would be Cornerstone's Missions Conference in 2009, but Abby and I weren't able to attend that together.
In my last post, I wrote "Abby and I will get to minister with the young married's class throughout the conference." But after being there, I'm not sure if that was the case or not. I certainly hope that we were able to minister to them, but I must say that it was they who were a ministry to us. We not only spent a good amount of time with them as a group, but also individually with several different couples within the class. And at the end of the week, they presented us with an enormous amount of gifts, ministry supplies, and financial support that help us for a long time to come! We can't thank them enough and are grateful to God for people like them who support and care for us.
We then returned to Mexico, this time with Abby's brother, Bradley. He is coming down here to work with us for several months because he believes that the Lord is also leading him to be a full-time missionary. It has been really neat already to see him seek the Lord's will and begin being involved in the ministry. He has a real heart for children and a desire to meet the needs of people around us in any way he can. I know that the Lord will use him in a mighty way. Please keep him in your prayers as you pray for us too, that he'll keep picking up the language and being able to impact others.
Just a side note: The Lord orchestrated one of His special "coincidences" in our lives on our trip back. This requires a lot more information and a little more waiting, but we will certainly share the amazing details of this unfolding story later.
The week we got back, we immediately had a group from Oklahoma come to work with us for a week. The group of about 10 people comprised a youth pastor, several teenagers, and another adult sponsor. We kept busy with doing village evangelism, gospel films, one-on-one witnessing, blowing up balloons, feeding children, and handing out tracts during the week. Then we took the last day to drive south, relax, visit a beach, and go snorkeling. It was a neat time to meet new people and see them involved in missions work.
After the group left we had a few days to pack before our two-week trip to Chiapas. This trip had several purposes. 1. Vicki's spring break for Easter weekend gave us the perfect chance to drive to Chiapas to visit her grandparents (Devora's family) who live in Chiapas. 2. Knowing that Abby, Brad, and I are here to see Mexico and learn the needs of the different areas, Ricardo and Devora wanted to give us the grand tour of Mexico's poorest state so that we could conocer those places. 3. Salvador Chiñas, a.k.a."the Crazy Doc", of Oaxaca had been in Cancun and needed a ride back to his work area in Chiapas. 4. Several Mexican missionaries who live and work in Chiapas were holding a series of youth and children's meetings in various mountain villages, so we went along to give away backpacks filled with gifts. The trip was very long and at times very hard, but we were able to learn a lot along the way and see some beautiful sights, too. This trip also requires a lot more information that I'll leave for more in-depth individual posts.
So now we're back in Cancun, catching our breath and waiting for the next time to go-go-go! We never know when it will be...