It is crazy for me to think that our first year on the mission field is over and gone. All I can say is – WOW! Over the year of 2011 we have experienced so many new things. We have learned a new language (almost)… learned a new way of cooking, eating and shopping… we have experienced winter without heat and summer without AC… we have delivered our 2nd son in a foreign country (and by we I mean ME –MaryJ)… we have “parented” 40+ different children… experienced the joy of picking cactus needles out of countless hands, legs, arms, and backsides… we have been arrested and placed in a Mexican jail (and by we I mean Nathan of course;)… we have lived through a tropical diseases (typhoid fever)…we have received thousands of hugs and kisses…we have started new small groups…learned the joys of Mexican plumbing…and of course our faith and trust in God has grown in indescribable ways!! But Sunday night at our New Year’s church service I was reminded once again the main reason that God has called us to be missionaries.
Sunday night we had our service a little different than normal. We read different verses in the Bible about the ways that God helps His children – through provision, spiritual growth, answered prayers, etc. Then for each topic we gave time for people to share a personal testimony regarding it. I want to share a couple of my favorites:
– In regards to God’s provision: “This year God provided me with a home to live in and food that I can eat.” From Genaro, 8 yrs old, who was placed at the childrens home back in August.
– In regards to answered prayer: “Since I was saved this year I have been praying that I would get to see my little sister, Joanna, once again. Then, the week before Christmas, God brought Joanna here to the childrens home to live!” From Gabi, 15 yrs old, placed at the childrens home back in April.
It really blessed my heart hearing all the ways that God takes care of His children. But that’s not all. When I was driving the bus route to drop people off after church I was talking with a lady that was a first time visitor. She said she really enjoyed the service and couldn’t wait to come back on Tuesday night for Women’s class. Then she asked me the question that broke my heart. She asked if there was any way she could buy a Bible from me because she had never had one of her own. Of course I told her I would bring one that she could have to the womens class, but I was astounded, once again. Here is a woman in her late 30s that is begging for a Bible, and how I was raised we had an extra Bible in almost every room of our house. It happens all the time here, to meet people that have never been able to read the Bible, or have never heard the gospel. I am just so thankful that God has chosen to use us in His work of bringing the message of salvation to people who have never heard.
We are so looking forward to 2012 and all of the new places and faces that God will be showing us. Thank you so much all of our faithful supporters, both in prayer and financially. May you all have an amazing 2012 worshipping our Lord and Savior!
Nathan, Mary, Sam and Jack