I walked into that confession as the hemorrhaging woman, frustrated and discouraged. I still often feel like the hemorrhaging woman. I am beaten down by the burdens of this year and am waiting and reaching out for Christ to walk by. But, I also know that Christ used that encounter with Fr. Gabriel to continue to heal me, encourage me and bring me life. That encounter gave me the hope I needed to believe that Christ can heal, is healing, and will heal me.
Do I recognize God when he interrupts my day or am I walking around with a senseless, darkened mind unable to accord him glory or thank him for the unexpected? Now I see more clearly the Good News which I am called to share: God has a plan even amid the unexpected and interruptions.
Yes, our passports are itching to be stamped—they haven’t been opened for over a year now! I dream of being on one of the hundreds of flights that pass over my head every day, or of going out and finding a local homeless person just to be able to say I talked to a stranger. But this is my personal sacrifice, one that the Lord has placed on me.
We have seen firsthand the unfolding of a place where heaven meets earth. Hours upon hours of sweaty labor has groomed the grounds, torn out whatever was rotten, and renovated the interior and exterior of the buildings. Shelves have been cleared and equipment has been put back in proper order.
If I were to be honest, I would have to admit that sometimes it is very hard to walk, as Simon of Cyrene did, carrying someone else’s burden so that they can move forward. He did not even want to help! I admit I have felt that too! However, in the end I know that this cross is the path to salvation, and not just for me, but others as well.
Madanm Silfiz was in the worst situation of anyone we have taken in. We found her living in a hut in the jungle alone. She laid in her bed all day due to being blind, not being able to walk, and having no wheelchair or crutches to help her. There was a nearby family that would check on her, give her food occasionally, and sometimes bathe her, but this family didn’t have much patience or love for Madanm Silfiz.
As a mother guiding my children as missionaries, I want to help my children claim ministries of their own. We were called as a family into missions, but not every member of my family feels passionate, excited, or gifted to be in foreign missions. For example, we get a lot of knocks at our door; the extroverts excitedly answer, while the introverts are more hesitant.
We threw everything in the car—sleeping bags, water, food, a whole bunch of chips and cookies—and headed for the mountains. Though our general destination was only 15 miles away, we drove for about 80 minutes—60 of those being on a windy dirt road. As we ascended into the mountains, we had no exact idea of where we would stay.
Peru shut down fast. With less than 24 hours notice, all flights in or out of the country were cancelled and everyone was ordered to stay home. In the cities, the quarantine and nightly curfew were being enforced by police and military.
Starting ministry in a new mission post takes time to build relationships, determine where the needs are, and find how our family can best serve. We were just beginning to discover some of this when the stay-at-home order hit, preventing us from meeting anyone else.
The Holy Spirit inspired us to give away crucifixes as tangible expressions of Jesus’ love for us. We searched and searched, and eventually found a little shop in a faraway town that sells religious items.
Isaura asked me what the Resurrection was. Angela and I looked at each other shocked, realizing that this couple, who had a large image of Jesus’ Cross on a poster above their table, had never heard of the Resurrection. The Resurrection changes everything, and this man was about to die without knowing about it.
God is so good! He has given us this place for people who otherwise have no one to care for them, and we are able to care for them not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
Ecuador. What a beautiful, raw, and wild mission post this is! A good two hours from the nearest city, you find yourself in a community of around 100 people…
When we talked about whether we would stay [in Peru] during this time or try to get back to the States, Robert and I were both on the same page. God, in His mercy, gave us clarity and peace about staying and continuing to serve the people—our own friends and neighbors—during this difficult time of uncertainty for many.
Yes, the Lord was definitely calling us to New Zealand. But when would we go? And how? Then more confusion, doubt, and suffering struck with the coronavirus. New Zealand closed its borders.
They call it Kilómetro 64, just known by the nearest kilometer marker on the highway where this dusty village sits, next to a long line of windmills, directly under major, humming power lines, in middle of the Mexican desert.
One night we offered to pray over people after a Scripture reading gathering. A lady asked to be prayed over for abdominal pain that she had suffered with for years. We all laid hands upon her, and begged for the Lord to heal her of pain and in all aspects of her life.