What do you do when people hurt you and offend you? Forgive. And what do you do when people take things from you? Forgive. How do you explain to your children why someone stole from you? The only explanation is...Forgive.
We were recently out on a shopping expedition and the backpack we use for the kids was stolen. It wouldn't have been quite so bad if I had not put my wallet and phone in there! It is hard to describe that sinking feeling I felt the moment I realized the backpack was gone! But I want to tell you how good and gracious our loving Heavenly Father is......After about 3 hours of explaining everything to the restaurant manager, the security team, and the police - we were more than ready to go home! He sent us such kind people to help us - even the Commanding Officer at the police station took time to play with the children and their balloon!
In my mind, I continue to think, "If I had just done this, or that, or.....the list goes on! But I remember what Psalm 18:30 says, "As for God, his way is perfect..." He allowed this to happen to us. Why? To teach us. To teach us to be more careful, to teach us to trust Him more, to teach us to draw closer to Him and stay close to Him, and to teach us the wonderful blessing of seeing His hand in it all. We are so blessed. We are all safe - everything that was taken can be replaced. He even sent strangers on the train on the way home to show us His marvelous love and comfort. They had no idea what we had just experienced, but they showed us kindness - a simple thing - just a seat on the train...but at that moment - it was a place of refuge, a place of comfort, a hug from my Heavenly Father! Hebrews 13:2 says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." I don't know if angels look like Peruvians, but I know that those dear Peruvians were sent from God Himself to be a blessing and a help to me and my family! What a blessing it was to be able to say to the people who came to our aid, "We love Peru. We love the Peruvian people. We are here to stay." We explained to Martha and Ian that we must forgive those people who did wrong to us. We now have the joy of praying for the salvation of their souls. We don't know who they are, but God does.
Speaking of souls that God knows, there is a new name written in Heaven this week. This past Saturday I got to lead Jenny to the Lord! She is 14 years old and her mom, Yudy, is Deaf. As fas as I know, Jenny is the first person I've led to the Lord completely in Spanish - with no help except from the Lord!
And one more thing....I am now casi (almost) Peruvian (...if I could just get that Spanish down pat...)! My visa to stay in the country has been approved! Please pray as we wait for Matt's and the kids' visas to be approved. Have a blessed weekend!