Does it seem surreal to anyone else that I am writing an update about June, 2013? That means we are officially more than halfway through this year. If the second half is as busy as the first half (which it is scheduled to be, according to our Google calendar), this year will be over before we know it. This realization causes me to be very aware of the quickly passing days, and how much there is to be done in each one of those days. I've recently read something that encouraged me to be more deliberate with my time, and not take for granted these moments on the mission field. I wanted to share it with you.
We have only the time allotted by God, and none of us knows when it will run out. Every Christian life runs by His divine timetable and against His divine clock. We do not know how long He will hold open the door of a given opportunity or of our entire time of service. “Be careful how you walk,” Paul counsels, “not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). God gives us many things without limit – His love, His grace, and many others. But His gift of time is strictly measured. - John MacArthur
The arrival of June also brought the arrival of some very special people. This team was quite different from the ones we usually have, as it was a family! Not just any family, but one that I have known and loved for many years. In last month's report I mentioned briefly that our plans for this team changed with the arrival of hurricane Barbara. Instead of a medical trip to Tojolobal, their trip became one of disaster relief down on the coast! Dr. Murphy's medical expertise was put to good use there! Meanwhile, Mrs. Murphy, Christina, Caroline, Nathan and Bonnie assisted with patients, cooked and served meals, had Bible film showings at night, distributed clothing and supplies, witnessed, and generally just made themselves available to serve. Their week here went by so fast. I usually find myself wishing for more time with our teams, and that was certainly true in this case.
Before Nathan and the team left for the coastal villages, we put out a call for help on Facebook. You, our friends and supporters, responded so generously! Thanks to your giving, Nathan ended up needing to make a second trip just to deliver the rest of the supplies we purchased with your gifts! Between these two trips to the coast 11 people professed new faith in Christ and we plugged them in with local churches for continued discipleship.
The middle of June gave us a few days to recover from the first team, lay ground work for our July team, and prepare for the 2nd June team. Nathan also spent a couple days helping some friends of ours move. Enrique and Maricruz are from here in San C ristobal. They have been working with a local church for years, and Enrique is an associate pastor there. The church recently asked them to move to a small town a couple hours away, to begin a new church. Please pray for them as they settle into their new home and surroundings, and begin their ne w ministry. It's not an easy place to live in, and starting a church from scratch will be a challenge as well. We know they would appreciate any prayer and support you can offer!
Our 2nd June team was here in Mexico for 7 days, and in the jungle for 6 of those! They went to 3 different Ch'ol villages… one being a brand new village that we had not worked in before. They distributed water filters, installed ecostoves, and ran children's programs. This team had a beautiful heart for work and people, and their drama presentation was very well done. Todd’s Gospel presentation was simple but held both adults and children’s attention quite well! The people loved their evening “shows” and we had really great feedback. We are looking forward to seeing more of this team in the future!
Our next team will be here tomorrow. Please keep us in your prayers... for physical issues, especially. A few things have come up recently that we are unsure how to deal with, given the poor healthcare here in Chiapas.
With love and appreciation,
(For Nathan, Cloe, Gabi, Brennah, and William too!)