I don’t know if this video will play properly or not, but we will give it a shot! I was so excited to see those two buses roll in–the first time we’ve not traveled together on a joint trip–and I missed my man! 😉
The cook team had gone down 2 days early to purchase the food and supplies for the week and generally get set up. We had MIRACLE number ONE at the airport in Bolivia when we landed. Always there is several of us who have to have our bags searched and questioned. SOMEONE was praying us through–God gave us ALL green lights! Meaning–no one had to be searched! Wow! That is a first!
Floyd Aycock, VP of Focus Forward Ministries, headed up the first team and we had a great couple of days. Figuring out the grocery store was quite an experience. Imagine if you will, looking for the things you normally buy…and you can’t read Spanish…and there are not pictures on most of it to hint at the contents….well, that was US! But it was a lot of fun trying.
We had to go back the second day–and I thought we were at the same grocery store–so when I asked for bacon from the meat counter and the lady told me they didn’t have any–and I said to my friend and translator, Fabyana, “I got it right here yesterday”, the lady gave some sort of hand signal to say I might be a bit loco. We laughed. It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t understand her that day or I might have had my feelings hurt….naw. I wouldn’t have. It’s all a learning process and I will be GLAD when we are fully funded so that language school can begin! I saw how incredibly necessary it is to know the language and more of the culture to be able to share the Gospel….not to mention buy bacon.
We were blessed to have the absolutely best team. As I’ve gone back over the pictures–all the work going on–and all the smiles and laughter! It was truly beautiful. And to watch as Bro. Harold Thurmond shared with the children, as well as adults–I got the feeling that they were as interested in what he had to say as I was. The two translators that were helping the evangelism team, I believe got as big a kick out of him as anyone. 83 years old…and still going strong on a mission trip. They were hard to keep up with! Truly a beautiful couple–we were honored to have them (even though I was a bit worried in the beginning–I soon saw he had more energy than I did!). I learned some valuable things–watching him share the love of Christ with the people in the village.
Kay King was another one that just blessed my heart as she shared the salvation cards and bracelets with those they passed on the slippery dirt roads, or in their yards. If they came to their home and no one came out, they simply came back later–or the next day! They didn’t give up. I loved being with them! I hope to share another trip with them one day–they are truly amazing people.
I won’t talk about everyone tonight–but I have to say this, my biggest surprise was found in a new friend, Carolyn McAllister. She had me laughing while we were filling in the bricks with cement by hand and slapping on the mud for the next layer of bricks…so much laughter in fact that Jeff thought we were playing and not working. Of course we were working! Laughter and a wonderful spirit of unity is exactly what kept things rolling along at such a good pace. Even when things were hindered because the supplies and materials were not there as normal-there was a lighthearted–“get-er-done” kind of attitude that just made the work lighter.
I’ve been sick since we returned–my first cold in 2 years and I have felt bad, fevered, achy, and generally in a fog. I am praying it passes soon–for it was even hard to pray this morning during devotion. You probably never get like that–but I do. So since the creative juices aren’t flowing as they do sometimes, I will keep this blog short. I want to encourage you–if you want to go on a mission trip for one week–and have your eyes and heart opened, your life changed and challenged to get closer to God–contact us via facebook or email. The FFM website is here.
There were several key things that happened this past week, I hope to unfold for you soon, but the second miracle is needing to be shared. Floyd’s team was working on the set up and Pablo Morales, Architect for the church project, came driving up pretty fast–(not entirely uncommon), he quickly came and got Floyd to go with him. We automatically began to pray in our hearts–not knowing exactly what was going on but knowing it was medical (or at least strongly believing it was) and that it was serious. Soon they came back and Pablo called for me to come to the truck. He said, “Angie, would you pray?” Immediately I gathered the team and called for April. I cannot explain this now, but I had a reason for calling her. Not just because she’s a nurse–but because I felt led that she needed to be the one to lead us in prayer over the man named, “Renay”.
Renay had saw one area that needed attention on the roof of the church and proceeded to tend it–then somehow lost his balance and fell from the roof to the ground onto one foot and his knee hit his head. That’s kind of hard to picture I am sure, but as he was rubbing his jaw and head, I figured he somehow jarred every bone. Okay–the ankle was swollen already when we saw him–but the thing that I remembered was a flashback from one of my cousin’s uncle’s who fell from a roof onto his feet and crushed both his heels and ankles. This was what I felt may have happened in my “non-medically-trained” opinion. We don’t know. THIS we do know, prayer was heard. There was NOT a broken bone, but a bad sprain when they got the test results at the hospital later. Our team prayed for him off and on all night. The man was the son of a pastor in another city. I don’t know if he was living for God or if he was a prodigal. I do know this–God knew everything about the situation. So, when you pray, pray for a man named Renay. God knows who he is and where he is…and he saw the tears falling from his eyes while we prayed.
Friend, I don’t know where you are in Christ tonight–but know this: this world is much bigger than you think. And God wants us to all do our part to reach it in all the ways that we possibly can. A week long mission trip is one way–praying, sending and going are other ways. Pray and ask God to open your eyes and heart to the world around you. You mission field is in your own back yard. Down the road from your home… perhaps your first mission trip is to go to your neighbors house and ask them, as Bro. Harold did each person he met, “Is there anything we can pray with you about”?
Where you have arrived–is wherever you are right now. Make a difference.