Monday, May 27, 2013

Laughing 'til we cry!

I wish you could have been with us on the train the other night!  It really was hilarious!  The train was that meant Martha and Ian were both sitting on my lap!  In order to help them stay occupied, I started singing with them.  We were singing in Spanish, and it is so funny, yet so precious to hear Martha singing away in Spanish.  Naturally Ian follows her example!  So we were singing, and the two ladies standing in front of us, got tickled at hearing Martha sing!  They giggled, which made me giggle, too!  I didn't mean too, but it just happened.  Because I started giggling, Martha stopped singing and so did Ian!  I wanted Martha and Ian to learn to keep singing - no matter what, so I kept on singing!  Well, the pair of sillies decided to start humming instead of singing!  I tickled Martha's ribs, and she started laughing, which in turn caused Ian to starting laughing!  Before I knew it, both the kids and I were laughing as hard as we could for no apparent reason!  Here we were sitting (rather uncomfortably, I might add) on a crowded train laughing until the tears started streaming down!
Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:  but a broken spirit drieth the bones."  Our laughter was infectious!  As I sat there laughing, with tears running down my cheeks, I could hear others laughing also.  It was like a ripple effect - we started laughing and soon all those around us were laughing with us!  Matt was standing, but couldn't really see us from where he was standing.  He heard the laughter, but had no way of knowing what was so hilarious!  It was a blessing to see my children causing happiness in the lives of others.  Without realizing it, they overcame a hurdle, and soon they were back to singing instead of just humming!
As I write this, I can see those dear Peruvians in my mind - laughing with us!  What a precious memory I now have, and what a precious gift we were able to give to the people around us - the gift of joy and laughter!  It makes me think of that kid's song based on Nehemiah 8:10b - "...for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Steps of Obedience and Faith

As some of you may know, we had our first Wednesday night service with the Deaf in Callao this past Wednesday.  There were so many people praying, and God graciously answered those prayers!  
We started the service at 7 with just our family and the Pastor's family from the Hearing church.....but no Deaf.  Every buzz of the front entrance bell sent Matt flying to the door!  About 7:30 we had one Deaf man, Coco.  We were grateful for the one and continued with the service.  When I brought the kids back from the bathroom, I saw that Irene had arrived.  About 5 minutes later, Raul came in with two friends!  Then about 10 minutes later, Josimar, a young man, came in....he had also brought a friend!  God gave us 7 Deaf for our first Wednesday!  Omar, one of the men that came with Raul, is a fisherman.  He told us that he can only come to church on Wednesdays!  Do you ever think about all the wonderful things God does for us and has in store for us when we take those steps of obedience and faith?
We finished the service about 8:30...a little later than we had planned, but God was in control of it all!  I think the Deaf were surprised that we were going to go back to Villa El Salvador that was getting late!  After explaining to them that I had to teach school the next day, they understood and walked with us back up to the corner where we get on the combi (small bus).  On the way to the corner, someone suggested Coca-Cola and a snack!  (I love Deaf culture!)  So we all went to a small store and had Coca-Cola and crackers!  (My kids were so happy!!)  The Deaf wouldn't let us pay!  What fun we had sitting around talking and laughing together.  How I treasure those moments!  We felt so incredibly honored to be invited into and have a part in their world!
When we were finished, we continued on to the corner.  I thought about how God promises to protect us.  I thought about how the center of His will is the safest place in the world to be, no matter what the circumstances are.  I felt like crying tears of joy as I thought about His tender care of His servants.  How strange it must have seemed to see a white family walking down the street with a group of Peruvians - all our hands going as fast as possible as we talked in true Deaf style!!  But God showed me something precious that night - yes, God did set His angels 'round about us...and those angels were Deaf!  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just Being Mommy

What a joy and blessing it is to be "Mommy"!  Yes, some moments don't seem to be quite as joyful and blessed as others, but I am thankful that God has allowed me to be "Mommy" to those two little kiddos crowded together in that swing!  
For me, Mother's Day is a bittersweet day.  I am so thankful to have had a Mom who raised me to serve the Lord, but oh, how I miss her!  I am grateful to serve the Lord with my family.  It is a joy and blessing to see my children learning to trust the Lord and serve Him!
Sundays are always busy days for us, but this past Sunday was a special kind of busy!  We got to spend most of the day with the dear Deaf of Callao - how precious they all are!  I cried so many tears of joy on Sunday, that finally Jazmin (a 15 year old Deaf girl) finally asked me why I was crying!  I tried to explain that those tears were tears of joy, but I don't know how successful I was in convincing her!  One of the Sunday School classes in the Hearing Church sang a song in sign language.  It was so beautiful, and just made the tears stream down my face.  Then I happened to glance at Irene - she was crying too, and that just added to my own tears of happiness!  Irene's grandson was one of the children signing.  
The Hearing Church gave all the moms a teacup.  Well, those of you who know me, know that teacup has now been converted into a coffee cup!  Isn't it beautiful? 
Everyone keeps asking, "So what did Matt and the kids get you for Mother's Day?"  I can proudly and gratefully say, "They gave me time."  They gave me that most precious of all gifts....Time.  They gave me time to spend with them as a family, serving our Lord together.  They gave me time to "Just be Mommy."  They gave me something that can never be wrapped in a box or put into a card.  They gave me precious memories of our time spent together as a family.  Happy Mother's Day! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How far would you go?

Recently, we had the privilege of going to Irene's house.  Who is Irene?  She is a dear, saved, Deaf lady, who is faithful not only to her church, but most importantly, to her Saviour.  It was Irene's birthday, and she had invited us and many of her Deaf friends to celebrate with her.  For her, it was not just her birthday, but an opportunity to present salvation to her friends.
I was so humbled when I saw her house.  Then the Lord reminded me of the blessing of Irene's faithfulness.  I thought about how far she lived from the church, and how long it took her to get to church every Sunday.  Yet, she is there every Sunday!  The Lord then asked me, "How far would you go?"
While I was meditating on that question, the Lord showed me that He wasn't just talking about the distance a person lives from the church.  I thought about how my parents always made the sacrifice to go to church - even when it meant driving 30 minutes to 1 hour just to get to church.
But then the Lord asked me again, "How far would you go?"  I began to see what the Lord was saying..."How far would I go to reach someone with the Gospel?"  What sacrifices could I make so that a soul would be saved and a life changed?  Am I willing to step into the uncomfortable unknown - just to reach a person for Christ?  How far did Christ go?  
 This picture is a picture of Rosa (in the orange shirt) with Olga and Irene.  Rosa knows very little signs, yet she has a soul that Jesus died for...a soul that deserves the opportunity to hear the Gospel in a way she can understand.  How precious to see Irene and Olga witnessing to Rosa!  She is getting closer and closer to salvation - praise the Lord!  We look forward to the day when she understands and puts her faith and trust completely in the Saviour!
As we left Irene's house that day, I looked around me....myriads of thoughts crowding my mind.  Then I saw something that just made my heart break.  I saw two Mormon "missionaries" walking down the street.  My heart broke as I thought of the strong-hold the Deceiver has in that particular area - the cults are already there, but where are those with the Truth of God's wonderful plan of Salvation?   Once again, I felt ashamed.  The cults are willing to go as far as they can to reach people.  I have the truth.  Again I heard the Lord asking, "How far would you go?  To a far-away land?  To another town?  To my next-door neighbor?  How far would you go?"