“Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:1-2). We are far from angels, but I was honored to be accepted into the homes of so many believers and non-believers today, and to see God’s commands being lived out.
We began our day with a delicious buffet breakfast. Carmalyn then nourished our souls with a wonderful devotion. Today the team was split into two groups so that we could visit more people. As we traveled up the mountain we passed many children heading to school and adults going to work. Even though the location and language is different, the needs of all people are the same. Not money or even health, but a heart surrendered to God.
We traveled up the mountain for quite a while, over rutted roads and passed dust coated trees and homes. My group’s first visit was with a man who for 7 years had been so depressed and anxious he developed a phobia of leaving his home. He could not even travel down the mountain to the church he taught in. I was encouraged that though his mind told him daily to give up hope, he preserved and God healed him of his phobia. This man once again leads his church. For anyone who has ever dealt with depression, it can sometimes seem that there is no end in sight, no hope for mental healing. Yet, God is with us always. On a side note, it happened to be one of his daughters’ ninth birthday and we got to sing and play with her before moving on. The teams then came back together for a quick sandwich lunch before heading out again, this time together.
Our next visit was with a girl of 17 and her mother and sister. This young woman suffers from an unknown disease but one that resembles crippling arthritis. She is nearly completely bedridden and often in pain. Her mother continues to pray for healing for her daughter even though the father tells her to give up hope. She refuses to lose faith, not necessarily for healing, but in God’s sovereignty. At one point she even said, “I will continue to serve God even if my daughter dies.” This small family worked together to support one another. Even the younger sister, the only family member who could read, would read to her mother and sister from the Bible. What a beautiful display of love, trust, and obedience to God.
From there we visited the family of our translator and mission partner, Miguel. We spent some time speaking with his mother and sister and playing with two of his nephews. When we finished there we went down the road a ways to a woman who though is not a Christian, continues to open the door to the missionary groups that have come to see her over the years. Even though this visit ended the same as many before, her rejecting Christ, I was encouraged that she allowed us to speak with her and that one of her adult daughters was at home to hear about God. This reminded me that God seeks us even when we are not seeking Him, that no matter how long it takes for us to realize and accept God’s love, He is always offering it.
At this time we made our way back to the hotel for an early dinner of quesadillas and papas fritas, french fries, yum! We then headed into a town nearby to participate in a church serve. Jill bravely shared her testimony, Savannah expertly told the story of the Woman at the Well, and David wonderfully preached on how our emotions are tied to the things we devote ourselves to and how God should be our one and only devotion.
It was a long, dusty, beautiful day. We surely rejoiced and where glad in it. Please continue to pray for our team as we set out for another day of mission work. Pray that God will allow us to be encouragement to the believers we meet and use use for His will to be done. Also pray that God will open the hearts of the nonbelievers we encounter today. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.
Grace be with you,