Thursday, December 15, 2011
Because virtually all of the villages that we planned to visit speak Quiche and very little Spanish, we needed not only English to Spanish translators but also Spanish to Quiche translators as there are very few people who can translate from Quiche to English. So we traveled with a group of over 35 each day....slightly overwhelming logistics - for me anyway. We went to three different villages in five days, treated around 1200 people, planted seeds of the Gospel in each heart and prayed for most.
On Thursday Little Ethan Aaron (Katie and Aaron's second child) made his entrance into the world. Duane and I flew them into the City early in the morning for the birth. Our daughters, Hannah and Rachel, stepped in to prepare and serve breakfast and get the team up to Cruz Chich. Thanks to God's grace, Ethan was born without problems and we were all home in the afternoon, just in time to get dinner ready for the team.
Even as I write, I am overwhelmed by God's grace to us. There was not a moment when we did not feel this completely "unmerited divine assistance." Our prayer is that each one who was touched last week - whether team member or patient - felt a touch from God and was changed in some way by His power and love. Because that's what it's all about.....
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God." 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always
having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
We said goodbye to Dr. Sherwood and his wife Areli this month. Dr. Sherwood came faithfully every week for two years to help in our clinic here in Canilla. He is currently in Mexico with Areli's family but will return to the US in December. You can follow them at MissionaryDoc.com In his place, Dra. Lindsy has come. She recently graduated from medical school here in Guatemala. She is gentle and very kind and we are grateful for her help each week. Her husband Paul will join her when he graduates as well in January.
Our son Ryan, his wife Katie and our two grandsons Jacob and Joshua left as well this month. They have returned to Illinois and are seeking God's plan for their future. They have left a huge hole not just in the ministry but mostly in my heart. Pray for them if you think of it. Waiting on God is not easy...
Katie Shaw (our son Aaron's wife) is starting her eighth month of pregnancy. Little Ethan will arrive late in November. Please pray for a safe and easy delivery...not in the plane this time as is what nearly happened with Anna! I try not to think too much about clinics without her help. I have e learned that God, in his great faithfulness, always supplies all that we need, just at the time when we need it.
Guatemala passed through the first phase of presidential election this month as well. The second phase will be in November. We had several municipal buildings burned in our area as voters expressed their discontentment with results. Fortunately we had no deaths...at least not in our local area. Living as foreigners, in a country where violence is so close to the surface, is a little nerve wracking at times...especially in election times.
As changing circumstances swirl all around me, and I stress about the future, I find myself looking more and more to the Rock of my salvation. He alone is that safe and secure place where I can find rest for my soul, and my emotions. All else is "shifting sand"....
Psalm 62:2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation: he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Monday, September 12, 2011
All week we asked ourselves why? What could we have done differently? We have all had sleepless nights. I would like to say that we have had a revelation that has helped us understand. All we know is that HE is sovereign - He knows the beginning from the end, He understands all of our human suffering. And we trust Him - even when circumstances are impossible to understand.
It has always been a dream of ours to open an acute care center - where we could have someone here 24 hours a day to provide care. As I was talking our children though all of this by phone on Sunday, Ryan kept saying with such anguish, "what else can we do Mom?" Unfortunately, for Alex, there was nothing else that we could do. We do not have a hospital, I am not a physician.We do not want it to happen again though. So we are once again asking the Lord to send all that we need to that - physical and financial help.
Show me your way, O Lord
Teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
For you are the God of my salvation;
On you I wait all the day.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for you.
Friday, September 2, 2011
do not work. Two Tuesdays ago in Chiminisijuan, we had 11 children from the same village who all had pneumonia and were so sick. We always ask mom's to take their little ones into the hospital knowing that, especially there, that they probably won't go. So we give them oral medications and pray for them and send them on their way. Rarely do we know what happens to them.
This Tuesday was no different. As Armando and Bob were praying with the people, I noticed a little girl who was breathing about 60 times a minute and appeared to not have enough strength to hold her head up. We brought her in right away and put on the oximeter (a little machine which reads out the oxygen level). Paula was reading in the 60's (normal is above 90). We asked her mom if we could take her into the hospital - but she would not go. Her husband died 7 months ago and Paula was the youngest of 6 other children. There was no one to care for the other children. I cannot explain the sense of helplessness that we felt as we watched this little one struggle to breathe. Kim (a visiting nurse practitioner) and I agreed that we would try to get some IV fluids going and give her the strongest antibiotic that I have through her veins. And we all started praying and didn't stop until she left. She was so weak that she didn't even cry when we started her IV. Over the course of about 2 hours, her oxygen levels gradually dropped down into the 40's. Kim and I agreed that it would be better for her to die at home than in the clinic. We gave mom a bag of food and drove her as far as we could with the 4-wheeler and said good-bye. Under normal conditions, there is no way that she should have lived. But today Tomas called with the good...no, amazing...news that she was "doing well"!!! Now we pray that her mother - who is not a believer - will understand what a miracle God has done!
I will sing about the LORD's faithful love forever;
With my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
For I will declare, "Faithful love is built up forever;
You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens." Psalm 89:1,2
Saturday, August 20, 2011
There is a lot of need in Cruz Chich - lots of folks with hypertension and diabetes. We continue to see mostly adults. I know that they do not trust us yet with their children. They are still testing us, waiting to see what we will do....waiting to see if we will snatch away their children to eat them or make soap out of them. I know that sounds so ludicrous but it is a common thought among the indigenous. It began during the war and has continued in these remote areas. Interestingly, it is the same rumor that the Nazis spread about the Jews before and during World War II. The enemy has no new tricks...just the same old lies. So we wait and continue to love and serve these people whom I have grown to love so much...trusting that God will open their eyes and their hearts to Himself.
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14
Monday, August 8, 2011
Tomas called last week and asked if he could bring Jeremiah in because he was sick. He arrived in record time (it is normally a three hour walk) and he was pretty sick with pneumonia. It was late in the evening so we put him on oxygen and decided to keep him here for the night...which means that I did not get much sleep. He was still sick in the morning and I told Tomas that we really needed to send him on to the hospital in Quiche. I am not qualified to care for children that sick without a physician's input. But Tomas has been around enough in the clinics to see God miraculously heal children on many occasions. So when I told him that he just looked at me and said, "No mi Hermana (my sister) I don't want to take him to the hospital. I feel peace with him here. I know he will get better care here than in the hospital." Now, I know that he did not say that because we can actually give better care - but that we will pray and love him. So, he stayed for three days. It is more than a little unnerving in the middle of the night watching him struggle to breath with his oxygen levels dropping. But Saturday afternoon, after 2 sleepless nights and countless prayers, we turned off the oxygen, watched him for a few hours and then sent him home. His parents cried tears of gratitude to our God who cares for and heals His little ones.
He is faithful!
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26
Monday, July 25, 2011
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
Every Sunday in San Andres, we have women who come at the end of our day - when we are tired and ready to go home. We call them "the stragglers". I have learned that many times they are the ones who come for prayer. Yesterday, two women came who I remembered from some months ago. They had come asking for food. They told me similar stories of their lives married to men who drink too much and cannot care for their families. They told me about how there was no food in the house, about men who were angry and violent toward them and their children. We of course, gave them a small bag of food. But more importantly, we talked with them about a God who sees and hears the cry of His children, who had seen the injustice in their lives. As we prayed for them they both cried tears of anguish and pain. We promised to continue to pray for their husbands - that the Lord would open their eyes and soften their hearts to Jesus. I always write down the names of husbands or other family members and take them home to add to my prayer list. So yesterday when they came, they told us about how, since we prayed, their husbands had stopped drinking and how their homes had changed. They - along with another friend that they brought with them - expressed a desire to accept the Lord as their Savior. Their husbands however, had said that they could not until the men had (women are not allowed to lead...in anything here). But they asked that we write down all the names of their family members that we could continue to pray for them.
It is not uncommon for women to come and say that they want to have a relationship with Jesus but that their husbands will not let them. Indignation always rises within me when I hear that. But I have learned that this is how this culture is and to ask a woman to defy her husband only creates confusion. So we pray for a heart change in her husband and we encourage women to begin to pray themselves, for their husbands. Often, we have to clarify that to pray for her husband doesn't mean that she can pray that the Lord will stike her husband dead! So many times we have seen the Lord begin to move in the hearts of these men and as a result, entire families come to Jesus. He truly is "near to those who call upon Him..."
Friday, July 8, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This week we did an additional clinic in Cruz Chich. This was our third trip out to this very large, very needy village. We had to limit our numbers to 100 and turned many away...which I do not like to do. In our past visits, we have mainly seen men - which I have learned is their way of "checking us out". When we talked with the community leaders a couple of weeks ago, I told them that we would really like to see their wives and children as well - that we would not steal away their children - which is a common belief here. I guess they believed me because we saw lots of children this time, and more women. Little Diego broke my heart. I knew his mom from previous visits to the clinic in Canilla. Diego had a high fever when he was a few months old and was left with brain damage. He could not sit or hold his head up at that time - which was several years ago. We helped her with milk and some very basic physical therapy. She had seven other children at that time and in the four years that have passed since then, she has had two other babies. Diego is five now and weighed 13 pounds on Friday. Mom gives him just two bottles of corn "atol" (corn meal, sugar and water) each day. He is starving - literally - to death. This is so often what happens to children like Diego who are unable to help themselves. There is no help for these families so these imperfect children are left on the floor, being fed when they cry and nothing more. Diego's dad drinks alot and is angry and abusive. When we prayed for Diego, his mom cried huge sobs of grief. I cannot imagine how difficult her life must be. Please remember this family in your prayers for only "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Thank you for your prayers for the men as they traveled through Mexico. Everyone is home safely and we are grateful for God's protection and provision.
We will host a team of high school students from Houston in the next week. Please pray for their safety and health...and more than anything that they encounter God and grow in their relationships with Him in the time away from their culture. Thanks for standing with us!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
We would like to ask you this morning and for the next couple days to join us in prayer for the two men, Byron and Edwin, who are driving our trucks down through Mexico, and our good friend Martin, who is driving one of his own trucks down through Mexico. Martin crossed the border into Mexico a couple of days ago, and our two trucks crossed this morning.
Please pray for favor, that God's protection will be over them, that the trucks will remain in working order, and that they will not confront situations where their integrity is at stake (bribes and such).
Thank you for your prayers, and God bless you all today!
Friday, May 20, 2011
It was good day of "sowing seeds". Hearing the good news about Jesus is a relatively new event there. One woman who came a month ago, came again this time. She felt much better with the tylenol that we had given her but her headaches persist once the medication's effect wears off. We talked to her a little more about her life here as her headaches appeared to be from stress. It seems that her husband has been in the US for 14 years and has another family there. She is raising her two children alone and living with her inlaws - who talk with their son each week about his new family. So many women have similar stories. We talked to her about the love of Jesus and how although it seems that her husband has rejected her, Jesus never will. We asked her if we could pray with her but her response was, "Next time maybe." She left smiling though and I think she'll be back.
I hope you enjoy the pictures. Rachel is getting quite good with her camera...not that I am biased or anything!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I was so scared to take our children through Mexico. We had been told about bandits and hazards all the way through. I remember sitting in line to cross the border, crying...telling the Lord that I didn't think I had enough strength to do this thing that He was asking of us. Our little Rachel was only 3. But as I was crying to God, Duane and the boys were talking to the man who was in the truck in front of us. There were only three of us in the line and this was the route that led not just through Mexico but all the way down to South America. As Duane asked this gentleman where he was going, I listened from the back of the bus and was amazed to hear that he was going to the very same town that we were going to in the same department of Guatemala! The man, Martin, started to cry as the Lord touched him. He said in his broken English that he knew that he needed to help us get to Guatemala. And help us he did! He helped us navigate the paperwork and legalities of crossing the border and he showed us the way to go. When there were bandits ahead, he knew and would tell us that we needed to stop. When we had an accident that totaled the truck we were driving, he was right there, calling all of his friends who came from all over. They fixed the truck so that we could continue...in one day! At the border of Guatemala, we got separated and did not see him for many months. I truly thought he was an angel that the Lord had sent to help us! Now we know that he is a very good friend who has helped us so many times, in so many ways in our twelve years here.
It is Martin who will be driving the trucks through Mexico for us now. Please remember to pray for him as he makes this long and now, very dangerous trip through Mexico. He will fly into the US in the morning and will hopefully get to Guatemala by the end of the month.
"The Lord your God, who goes before you. He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes." Deuteronomy 1:30
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Although Duane and Joseph tried to get on the same flight as the Allison's with their buddy passes, they could not. They did get out this morning however. Joseph is ready to take his final exam for his private pilot's license and Duane wants to get the load of equipment that has been donated a little more organized. We are hopeful that we will be able to get that load down sometime this spring. I tend to get pretty whinny without my husband so pray with me that they will get home quickly.
We had an interesting morning in clinic today. After we finished with our normal patients, we were asked to do a home visit for a young man who had had an "ataque" (seizure) earlier in the day. As we walked into the house, the odor was overwhelming and an older woman was hidden behind the door, next to this young man's bed. She was vigorously rubbing his legs and feet and intermittently spitting....on him. As we tried to figure out what had happened to him, she continued and gradually moved up from his feet until she got to his face. She would spit into her hand and then rub it on his face. I soon realized that she was chewing up garlic and rubbing that on him. Then she changed and began to use "Kofal" which is a menthol rub. I was told later that whole process was to ward off evil spirits. As it turned out, he probably did not have a seizure but only passed out. He had recently returned from the "coast" where men go to cut sugar cane. It is horribly difficult work...working in hot, humid conditions, in the sun all day, cutting sugar cane with a machete. Often men take "pills" to make them work faster and harder so that they can earn more money. That, in addition to the fact that he had not eaten for 12 hours, probably caused him to faint. Just when I think I have seen it all..... So we prayed for him and trust that the Lord will touch this family.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
We have not mentioned going out to the Zona Reina recently because... we have not gone. Just before Christmas the president declared that part of the country "under a state of siege" and sent the military out to protect the local people there. Apparently the drug cartels are crossing the Mexican borders and coming in, stealing land and killing those who get in their way. Any planes coming in or going out are suspect and we have been advised to wait until things settle down. That along with the murder of two men here in Canilla - gunned down by the Zetas, has made us pray for protection more faithfully. We are very grateful that the Lord has placed people in our lives who care about us and who give us wise counsel about what is really happening. As outsiders, it would be so easy to stumble into danger without really understanding what is happening.
We are not afraid. As cliche as it sounds, we know that there is not a safer place to be than in the center of God's will. As the news blasts disaster and unrest in all the world, I pray that you have the peace of knowing that you are right where God wants you today.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
For those of you who were praying for the pastor's meeting this week...it went really well. We were able to serve about 35 pastors and their wives a lunch of fish and steak (favorites here) and afterward we had a time of worship, teaching and prayer. Before it was over, several of the pastors had recommitted to meet and pray together monthly. It was a privilege for us to be able to serve in this way! Thanks so much for your prayers!