I have come to be truly conscious of my vanity here in Reynosa. Today as I took my second shower in cold water (since there is no warm water available at our camp); cleaned the dirt off my hands before eating some tamales our gracious hosts served with wet wipes from my car; used an outhouse as it was the only ‘bathroom’ available at the church we visited – I realized how truly blessed I am to have running water, toilets that flush, sinks with soap to clean my hands before eating, etc, etc.
In America, many of us take these ‘necessities’ for granted, while in the areas we’ve ministered to here in Mexico, these ‘necessities’ would be considered luxuries. How many people are there in Fayetteville or Northwest Arkansas living in such conditions? We don’t see them, but I’m sure they’re around.
Written By Lisa Turner
This is our second day into what’s been a great experience. I didn’t get to go with the team yesterday because Whitney was sick and I was the logical choice to stay behind with her. But I had a great time playing jump rope and “football” with Pedro’s kids. From what Pedro told me later, they seemed to enjoy it, too.
This morning I got up earlier than the rest of the gang and joined Joyce who had already been up for an hour or so. We had a good talk. We both are feeling stirred by this “mission” experience. I was feeling much like I did on previous short excursions to India – like a fish back in water. My comment to Joyce was as follows: “I heard someone on the radio this week say that happy people are folks who are doing what they love to do – what would be a hobby for them – and getting paid to do it. I’d be doing what I’ve love to do anyway and hopefully have my needs met in the process.” Joyce felt much the same way. Since college she’s wanted to serve in a mission context but concluded when she married me that God was likely closing that door for her. We both feel quite strong that God may have such an immersion (long term) missions experience in His “cards” for us.
During our morning run, we ran the entire length (2.5 miles and back) of the housing development that adjoins the campground. As we were running, the Holy Spirit was just bombarding me with “a vision” and strategy for planting a church in this community. He even gave me a name for it: the church in _____ (name of the community which I can’t remember at the moment). The whole time I was talking about it, my heart was “burning within me”. I told Joyce I’d commit to learning Spanish this year if I could be part of the team that would come in a year to launch it. As I’m rehearsing in my mind right now what I want to share with the team later, my eyes are welling up with tears of excitement.
None of us ever fully understand what God works the way he does. Who knows? Maybe this little moment of “inspiration” could be the start of the advance of His Kingdom into this little corner of the world’s darkness. Pedro says there are tons of “internationals” moving to Reynosa because of the businesses here. Maybe we could work into our long range plan – ISCA – Reynosa!
Written By Clark Lasse
Within minutes of arriving at our first site, I realized that interacting with children that didn’t speak the same language would be more difficult than I thought. Before attempting to communicate with the children, my brother came up to me and said, “We all laugh in the same language.” Not only was that pretty funny, but it inspired me to play with the kids. God taught me on the first day that even if you can’t understand each other, people can be brought together in Christ to learn about Him. Through every struggle and obstacle that we have faced and will face, God has been and will be with us through His blessings and provisions of friendship and family on this trip.
Written By Kailey Miller
Today we visited a church that was located in a very rural, farming community. The team did a VBS type program for them featuring a puppet show, a craft, a Bible story and recreation. About an hour into the program the children and most of our adults were outside the sanctuary playing and having a great time. I decided to look for some of the women and so I stepped back into the sanctuary. A few seconds later Joyce Lasse joined me inside the room. We found all the ladies inside sharing with our interpreter, Pedro, who is also a Pastor. While they all spoke in spanish, I was riveted to them, hearing them tell Pedro about their trials. In what little spanish I do know, I could tell that he was telling the plan of salvation to a couple of the ladies, and sharing about matrimony with a couple more. One lady in particular was having a very difficult time and while Joyce went to sit by her and comfort her while she softly cried, I asked Pedro to share with the ladies that while we may look different and speak different, we all have similiar problems in life and that as sisters in Christ we must shoulder each others burdens.
Those ladies were doing an excellent job of sharing each others burdens that day, and after we prayed with them I hope they feel like we truly do care what they’re going through. Later while sharing a meal with them, a few of our ladies gathered around a sweet woman named Juanita, and we prayed over her and whatever life situations had brought her to such sorrow that day. Pedro explained that we wanted to pray for her and encourage her, which is hopefully what we did. I know she couldn’t understand what we were saying, but I truly hope she felt our love. I ask that you too pray for these women, living, raising children, and worshiping God in conditions that we would find difficult. Ask for the salvation of them and their husbands (some married, some not) and their children.
I need to mention that Pedro is bringing a Couples & Families Conference to them on January 26th. Please pray for this opportunity to be widely attended.
Written By Lisa Turner