Sunday, January 16, 2011

My father, who was part Native American, always told me, "You can't really understand someone unless you have walked a mile in their moccasins." I always think of that here. There are so many times that I try to squeeze into the shoes of people here - to try and understand what they are thinking, how they make some of the decisions that they do. One of the hardest things for me to understand is why so many young people want to leave their homes to travel to the US illegally, making a very long, costly and dangerous trip - much of it on foot through the desert areas of Mexico. Why do young people who are equipped here to make a living here want to work in the US - many times in factories doing the least desirable work, living in the slum areas of large cities? I used to be very vocal, expressing my opinions about why they should not do leave. On one occasion we had a young man stay in the clinic overnight until we could take him into the hospital the next morning (he had broken his leg). He was so disappointed because he was scheduled to leave in the next week for the US. He had borrowed his Q40,000 (about $5000) to pay for his illegal transportation across the border. We talked for a long time and I tried to convince him of the foolishness of his decision. At one point, he looked at me and said, "How can you ever understand? You have never had to go without food, you have never felt hunger, you have never had to make the decision to not take your child to the hospital because you could not pay for the trip to get there." In that moment, I realized that he was right...I could never squeeze myself into his shoes. I have always had options. Here, young people have basically one career choice. If they are fortunate enough to be able to get an education, they are almost always trained to be teachers - whether they want to teach or not. And when they leave school, the jobs that are available are controlled by politics and money. Those who can pay the bribe required to those who hire, are the ones who will work. And even if they are able to work, they will never earn enough to buy property or build a home for themselves. As I was praying this morning for two young men who came yesterday to tell us that they were leaving, I was reminded of the scripture in Hosea which says, "...I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way."(Hosea 2:6) Hosea's point of course, was that in those times when there seem to be no options, when our paths appear blocked, He is the way out. But it requires trust in a God that we cannot see. Please pray for these two young men, men of God whose paths are blocked on every side. Pray that they can see God in this difficult time - that instead of feeling hemmed in by circumstances, that they see that they are hemmed in by God. "Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain." (Psalm 133:4-5) Pray that they will understand that true security is only found in by being in the center of God's will for our lives.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I thought it would be good to update you on several of the families that I have written about. Remember the mom who was pregnant with triplets? She did go to the hospital and waited there until the babies were big enough. They did a C-section when she was about 34 weeks and all three babies did really well. They are home and came this last week to the clinic in San Andres for formula. They are beautiful and their parents are taking such good care of them!

And remember the baby with pneumonia that I wrote about a few weeks ago whose parent would not take her into the hospital? We prayed for her and sent her home. Honestly, my faith was pretty small and I expected to hear that she had died...she was so sick. But Tomas took their phone number and called them a few days later. She was not only alive but well! All the honor belongs to God!!!

For those of you who were praying for the pastor's meeting this 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!