Day: September 4, 2010

…’It is not in me’  (Job 28:14)

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I remember saying one Summer, “What I really need is a trip to the ocean.”
So I went to the beach, but the ocean seemed to say, “It is not in me!” The
ocean did not do for me what I thought it would. Then I said, “Perhaps the
mountains will provide the rest I need.” I went to the mountains, and when I
awoke the first morning, I gazed at the magnificent mountain I had so long
to see. But the sight did not satisfy, and the mountain said, “It is not in
me!”

What I really needed was the deep ocean of God’s love, and the high mountain
of His truth within me. His wisdom had depth and heights that neither the
ocean nor the mountains could contain and that could not be compared with
jewels, gold, or precious stones. Christ is wisdom and He is our deepest
need. Our inner restlessness can only be pacified by the revelation of His
eternal friendship and love for us. Margaret Bottome  (a well known writer).

It has been so very hot and so very humid, but it is also so amazingly
beautiful right now. And as Francis Bacon said, “Prosperity is not without
many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.”
Blessed is the person who understands God’s plan of ups and downs, who knows
that our earthly stay requires some “bread of adversity and water of
affliction.”

Sweet are the uses of adversity, which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
wears yet a precious jewel in his head” William Shakespeare

Thus every setback must be judged in the light of how it affects us.
Whatever our troubles are, they will pass. And just as the Winter beautifies
the spring, so adversity will sweeten our prosperity.

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Yesterday in our women’s Bible study in Navojoa (first Friday of the month),
I got to meet this lady named Gabriela (picture above right). She lives next
door to Viviana’s house (young pregnant girl picture above middle with her
mother), where we hold the Bible studies outside under a tree. Gabriela had
really loud music playing so I figured I would ask her if she could turn it
down. I went and introduced myself to her and invited her to join us next
door for a Bible study. She was very nice and pleasant and told me she would
attend next time I come since she was doing laundry at the moment and had
other things to do. I found out she has 8 children (two of them already
married) and two grandchildren. Then she told me of her 6 year old son
(picture above sleeping), José María, and asked me to come and see him. The
umbilical cord was tied around his neck when he was born and that caused him
severe brain damage, she said, also heart problems. He has had a heart
surgery already. She sometimes takes him to Hermosillo (our state capital)
for therapy, she told me, but many times she is not able to.

We have only gone to this neighborhood three times, but we have already seen
the devastating effects of lives lived without Jesus. The second time we
went there we saw a group of High schoolers in their uniforms gathering
empty bottles of ‘Cahuamas’ (a big dark glass bottle of bear one can
exchange when buying more), the girls got out of a car to gather the bottles
from this car driven by a boy and other boys were in the car as well. I don
t live in the city so those sights are foreign to me. But it has become more
and more common to see girls drinking, as before was not as common.

Rafaela, Viviana’s mother, asked me to come and share with the rest of the
family, she said they need to hear the Word too. I told her I would come
when she gathers her family and it is convenient for them. I love that scene
in Acts chapter 10 where Peter is summoned by a centurion named Cornelius
because he wants to hear the Word. We read that he called together his
relatives and close friends while he waited for Peter to arrive. Please keep
these people in your prayers.

I was talking to Rochelle last night and asking her what she thought could
be done for this little boy. She was telling me how he would need intense
therapy and lots of efforts from the mother. This morning, while in
devotions, we were talking about the city of Jericho. Before the Israelites
entered the promised land, Moses told them that they were about to cross the
Jordan river, to dispossess nations which were greater and stronger than
themselves, with large cities having walls that reached, as it were, to the
sky (Deut. 9:1). Jericho was indeed heavily fortified. Jericho was
surrounded by a great earthen rampart, or embankment, with a stone retaining
wall at its base. The retaining wall, I read, was some four to five meters
(12-15 feet) high. On top of that was a mud brick wall two meters (six feet)
thick and about six to eight meters (20-26 feet) high. At the crest of the
embankment was a similar mud brick wall whose base was roughly 14 meters (46
feet) above the ground level outside the retaining wall. This is what loomed
high above the Israelites as they marched around the city each day for seven
days. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for the Israelites to penetrate
the impregnable bastion of Jericho.

So, in other words, what we were talking about this morning was how those
things that seem so impossible for us, the situations we encounter–poverty,
sickness, hopelessness, ignorance, drunkenness, etc.–seem to us like the
impregnable walls of Jericho, yet the Bible tells us that, “…with men this
is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). There
are so many things that seem so impossible to me, so helpless…For those of
you that know Doña Florencia, we visited her yesterday. Oh! The helplessness
we feel when we see her and her family! Mónica looks like death, a walking
skeleton. Carmen’s husband just died a few days ago. He was a hopeless drunk
so sad. Gloria was there too. Flor is back from Baja California and she
seemed fine together with her daughter Flor. They said they would come for
Communion Sunday tomorrow.
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PRAYER RESQUESTS:]

Please continue to pray for us. We will have baptisms tomorrow, Lord willing
Pray for Marilú as she starts a new life in Montana. I was thinking this
morning her greatest challenge won’t be the MT weather, as she dislikes cold
weather very much, but the fact of having to live in such close proximity
with another human being. Married life is never boring, that’s for sure!
Continuing with the thick walls theme, pray for Jesús (Dulce’s brother), as
we seek for a way to instill in him the habit of learning, could someone do
that?  Pray for Christian parents in our congregation to want to be
responsible for the education of their children, for them to be examples to
them. Another yet very thick wall, pray for Elyott, Marilú’s brother,
following instructions is not something he desires to do. YES, WE SO NEED
WISDOM!!!
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Daniel’s perspective: I was once chastised by a brother for wearing too
many hats. I wonder what he would say if he saw me today. Back then, I don’t
think that he was right…now I wonder! I have now taken up welding and it’s
because of a need to weld tables for the aquaponics project, where we are
trying to raise fish and vegetables to eat and to give away. (I wish my
niece Crystal was here to teach me welding!) So far we would have been
better off just going to the grocery store!

Right now we are down to a pretty small crew and there are so many different
areas on the ranch that need to be tended to and at the same time, the most
important thing of all are the Bible studies. It’s easy to get spread too
thin and to not be as effective as I would like to be. (When am I ever?) But
at the same time, I continually thank the Lord for my Mom who taught me to
work. (I wish that I could have gotten a little more from the welder,
electrician and the body worker), but I have the most important thing, the
desire to do a good job and the knowledge that where there is a will, there
is a way. Please pray that the Lord would help us to keep focused on Him and
that we wouldn’t get off on any rabbit trails. We are seeing the believers
growing and what a pleasure to watch the Lord using them to reach others!
The one thing that I don’t want to change is seeking after the Lord. Like
Paul said: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one
thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to
those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the
upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). I like the
simplicity of having “one” thing to do!

Remember that Jesus is coming soon and that He is bringing His reward for us
with Him. Also remember this: “And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

God bless you all,

Daniel & Ana

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“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24)

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Yes, Marilú looked radiant on her wedding day!

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All was ready on time…

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A new chapter begins!

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They’re in love!

I am so thankful for all the help we had from so many different wonderful people, especially all the girls here in the house, they worked non-stop to have everything ready on time. Special thanks to our friends the Nauerts too!

We love you all,

Daniel & Ana