Monday, January 27, 2014

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20)

As God is moving here, this verse keeps coming to my mind. He is literally doing more than we imagined. What kind of God is this that we serve, that can surpass our most creative thoughts?

Let me start with updates for the school. While we began with what I can now call a simple idea for an auxiliary nursing school, we currently have four schools rolled into one. The first is, in fact, an auxiliary nursing program. But when God does something, he doesn’t do it half way. Doors have now opened to do a pre-medicine bachelor degree program, a professional nursing school program, and an English school all beginning in February. I’ll go ahead and say it for you: holy cow. Not only this, but He dropped the Walton’s (a South African missionary couple) in our laps that have helped us through the whole thing. They have had much experience with opening schools in Guatemala, so their help has been invaluable. While God lined up everything, the truth is we had to fight hard for this school; praying and fasting, talking to people and meeting with people. But fighting is good. Sometimes, when you decide to respond to God’s call, you have to kick the doors down. And he delights in that.

The plans for the hospital are still progressing. While there are so many variables and unknowns, we are forced to take things day by day. Give us this day our daily bread, right? Isn’t that how Jesus teaches us to pray? So now we are just focusing on the next right thing. Once He provides the funding for the property, we will move. Until then, we wait on his timing and strive to be good stewards of what we have.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

Meanwhile, I’m noticing more than ever the spiritual needs of the people in the places we serve. So many are so separated from God. It really nails down and simplifies the reason we are all here: so that the people of Guatemala might know Jesus. There is just an abundance of spiritual darkness in Chumisa, the village where we do monthly clinics. One known witchdoctor came in for a consult last week, but I could only think of the condition of his heart. I have so many times felt compassion for the people here, particularly for their physical and emotional hardships. But a person’s spiritual life completely surpasses all things. So when I started imagining a life without Jesus, I just felt broken for him. Now that I know Jesus, I know I can’t do my life without Him. And this is what I desire so much for these people that I have come to love. My hope lies in the promise of Isaiah 55:11, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” God knows exactly what He’s doing, and nothing is too big or small for Him. May we continue to wholly place our trust in Him every single day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014...We know that this will be a year of change - and lots of it! And we are excited about what the Lord has in store for us!

We are frantically working to prepare a place for all the visitors coming this year. At the end of the month we will have 25 guests coming from all over and staying for various amounts of time. The "back house" is coming along...just not as quickly as we would like. Things like windows and cabinets have to all be made by hand - can't just run to Home Depot! Duane is usually up and out working by 5am. Once that is even semi-livable, we will move our family back there in order to give guests our home. The doctors who come will get a feel for living here with their small children, learn some Spanish, and hopefully will hear from the Lord!

The school opening has been delayed by government bureaucracy but we are hoping for a resolution today. The teachers have arrived and are helping in clinics and in preparation of the physical structure until the government releases the curriculum to us. Please pray that all the road blocks would be removed quickly! Along with the nursing school, we will begin to teach English classes. When we began to talk about the school, we realized that many people had a desire learn English and at the same time, the Lord sent three young women who have a desire to teach! Amazing how His timing is always perfect!

The hospital plans have been submitted to the government. There are 4 stages of approval that we must pass.... 1 down, and 3 to go. Nothing happens within government offices for pretty much the entire month of December but things are up and running again, so we are hoping that the process will speed up. One never knows with the government however - here or anywhere. So we wait, trusting again that His timing is perfect.

Amid all the change, clinics continue to be busy. Many of the men have left to work on the coast so women struggle alone to care for and provide food for their children. They come with their sick little ones or their complicated pregnancies. Those who need to go to the hospital in Quiche will not go now because they cannot without their husbands approval. Who will care for the other children? And how will they pay for the trip there? So we place each one into the hands of the only One who can ultimately heal and save, and we trust....

So trust seems to be the recurring theme as we enter into this new year. I am sure that it is the same in your life as well. We trust in His provision - financially, all ways.
Isaiah 26:3 says "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." May your mind (and ours) be securely fixed upon Him!