Tuesday, April 27, 2010

" Whenever you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." Isaiah 43:2,3.

We are so grateful to the LORD our God, who kept and protected David. Duane and I have agreed that seeing David lying unconscious, with his motorcycle on top of him, was probably one of the worst moments in all of our years as parents. And traveling to the City in the dark, trying to keep David from slipping back into unconsciousness, holding him as he vomited over and over again (a "danger"sign after a head injury) was one of the most frightening moments of my life. I knew that the emergency room staff was very concerned as well. But once again, God was faithful and so very good to us! David is completely back to normal.

Friday Duane and I were invited to attend a retreat with a group of pastors from Esquintla. Pastor Phil came, working with fellow missionaries, Don and Barb Castelbaum, and spoke to a group of about 50 about being a father to the church. It was excellent and really good to get to know Don and Barb. We flew back in to Canilla early Saturday morning for a very busy day of clinic. Duane flew back into the City with a woman who we think was having a heart attack. We spent many hours ministering physically and spiritually to a woman from one of the villages. She lost her husband 8 months ago when he took "veneno" (rat poisoning) and killed himself. It is fairly common here...for men here to commit suicide in this way. He left her with 4 young children and no way to feed them. She weighed about 70 pounds and unless God intervenes, those children will lose their mother as well. Please pray that she not only recovers physically but accepts the salvation that Jesus offers as well.

Sunday we were greeted by the one hundred people who had come for clinic the week before (when we were in the hospital with David). They all had their numbers and then those who came for a normal day of clinic as well. So we saw probably close to 150 people. I was thankful for the help of Jason (a visiting nurse practitioner) and Sally. She and her husband have come to live and work alongside of us for an indefinite period of time. They have been a huge blessing to us! And of course, I am so thankful to have Katie back. I realized during her time off after the birth of Anna, how much I have learned to depend on her. And I have learned as well the truth in the scripture that says that God will not send us more than we can endure. We were able to see all of those people and we hope that no one left without feeling better...whether from the medicine that they received or the prayers spoken over them.

We will fly out to San Pedro on Thursday for a day of clinic. It is so hot here, I cannot imagine how hot it will be there but weather permiting, we will go. One of the local volcanos has erupted a large cloud of dust and may make it impossible to fly for a while. Please pray, once again, that eyes will be opened to see the love of Jesus.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

home safe and sound

again, thanks to everyone for all their prayers... david was released from the hospital today at 1:00 with a complete recovery of his memory and all four arrived safely home at around 3:00 . again, we find all we can do is thank our Father for His constant grace and mercy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


if you read the post below, thank you for your prayers, and here is a follow up. everyone made it to the hospital in the city safely, and it looks like david has a concussion, a broken nose, and some bruises from the fall... his memory seems to be improving, but we are still praying for a full recovery. the doctors say that everything looks okay, but they would like to keep him overnight and all day tomorrow to monitor him. thank you so much for your prayers.

please pray

i am writing this on saturday night... coming up from the river about 1 hour ago, david fell on his bike and hit his head on some rocks. he does not look like he broke anything (other than maybe his nose) and he is currently conscious, although he does not remember anything. we are guessing that at the least he is suffering from a concussion. duane, leslie, david and joe all flew into guatemala city to a hospital there and are in the air right now. we ask for your prayers right now... for safety during the flight, david's safety and health, and peace and clarity of mind for duane and leslie. thank you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grace in all things...

One of the things I learned long ago, working as a nurse in the pediatric ICU, is that it is easy to build walls around your heart...walls of protection against the pain of watching children and parents suffer. But I also learned that once those walls are there, you become hardened to the suffering and you can no longer feel the compassion of God - either flowing to you or through you to others. I remember the days of asking God to make my heart soft again, to make me compassionate again. And He did.

It is a temptation once again, to build those walls, as I spend yet another sleepless night, remembering the faces and conversations that I have had in the last few weeks with people who are desperate. They are desperate because they are running out of food, and there is no work and no rain. Food prices are soaring as corn becomes more scarce. So they come asking, many times begging for food. Now, I know that some needs are not really legitimate...but many others are - and how do I know? And how do I tell people about a God who loves and cares for them and then say "no, I can't help you." So "I earnestly ask for your prayers..." (Psalm 38:22). Pray that our hearts remain soft, that we have discernment to judge rightly the need, that we manage the resources that we are given wisely, and that we can effectively share the love of God.

Not everything has been difficult. The arrival of our son Ryan, his wife Katie and our two grandsons has brought us much joy. How blessed we are to have all three of our grandchildren so close! One of my favorite quotes is from a man named Graham Cooke. He talks a lot about the kindness of God to us each day - but that we have to look for that kindness. He says, "God always gives us grace - some days it is grace to enjoy, other days it is grace to endure." How true....