Friday, August 29, 2014

Libertad church

I found some random pics from April and wanted to share. I love our church family!

Magdaly and Elena. Please keep Elena in your prayers as she lost her husband, Sergio, to cancer last December and has been a difficult year for her.

The Hidalgo family.. missing a few more

I rarely take my camera to church, so when I do I like to try and get Ricky preaching but it turned out blurry! Maybe next time I can get a better shot.

Every last Sunday of the month we share breakfast together before church starts. It's a good time to fellowship together!

After breakfast worship time.

Some of the worship team

Cusco update

Cutting trees in Cusco

The "legal issue" is resolved, the determination was that the claim was unprecedented, which we already knew. So, we have begun clearing the land and cutting the eucalyptus trees. I wish I could be there to see it, but these are the photos that Jorge shared with us!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

thoughts about burden and my heavy heart

Having a heavy heart or a burden does not mean my trust in God falters. Just because I share my heart about my journey does not make me weak. It does not mean I am discouraged or down. When the world is going through times as these... when my fellow brothers are being persecuted... when my friends are hurting... when other missionaries are suffering... when my own life experiences pain or frustration... it does not mean that my hope is gone. It is in times as these that my hope is fanned into a flame of trust and faith in our GOD who can save us. Our Lord who already saved us. We do not despair during difficult times! Yes, we face them. I face them. Our world is not perfect and I cannot pretend things are perfect in our lives as servants of God. And times like these should not be kept quiet. We share in the burdens of our friends and fellow servants. Their pain becomes ours, we weep with those who weep. But we also rejoice with those who rejoice. And we rejoice also because of the sunshine that comes after the rain!

During times as these, is when our eyes are looking upon our Creator, when we can be SURE that He is capable of answering the tough questions. I will not be intimidated or silenced into superficiality. Life is hard. Yes. But life is LIFE and it is GOOD! God is good, all the time. And our hope is always in Him. Jesus is our hope and with Him we are able to carry the burdens of this world, and are able to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us.

Amen for that. And blessed be those who are persecuted for His names' sake. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied!

Matthew 5:1-10 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. By Handlettering

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

our family, August 2014

It's still winter, but the trees are beginning to flower. It's as if they have been just anxiously awaiting the time to appear again that they can't contain themselves. Spring won't be here for several more weeks, but please don't tell the trees.

In July, Ricky got to go to Cusco to receive a mission team from Washington. They planned to do the ground breaking on the church's land there; with tree cutting, digging and constructing a retaining wall. But we've discovered over the years that some things just don't go as planned, and the enemy likes to mess things up as much as he can. In the days before the team arrived, the trees were about to be cut and the hired workers were on site, when some men showed up and started throwing rocks at them, and soon physically pushed them off the land. These men are family of the previous land owner. While they have no legal rights over the land, they have gotten the previous owner and the land itself entangled in a little legal mess where it may take some time to get fixed. It's all somewhat frustrating but God is in control, and for that we are patient and waiting to see how this will get resolved.

So the team couldn't do construction, but they did a lot of other things and their trip was a blessing to the locals and the church there. Please keep praying for Jorge. The enemy has tried to get Jorge in a place of isolation and discouragement. We know the brothers and sisters in the church are growing, but there is a lack of service among the brethren, which leaves Jorge alone doing most of the work. Ricky and I know how hard that is because we spent many years alone in the work in Cusco as well. We prayed for help. We still pray. Please pray for a missionary couple to commit to serving in Cusco alongside of Jorge and Janet. They need it, really. And even more than we did because we were already experienced and both of us had more than a decade walking with God before leaving for the missions field. With physical, emotional and spiritual support on a daily basis, Jorge and Janet could grow and accomplish so much in their service. The church could get back to a place where it is flourishing. They could have all the tools they need to pastor and encourage growth in the church. Please pray for them and with us. And besides, who wouldn't want to serve God in an amazing place like Cusco? Why is it that it's so easy for others to abandon our brothers there?

While Ricky was in Peru, I was at home here in Chile with the three lil ones, wishing time would go by fast because we miss him when he's gone! We filled our days with school and keeping indoors during the cold, rainy days and even managed to spend a few days at the beach. I drove there for the first time alone with the kids and managed to not get lost or pulled over. I did have to take a detour because my exit was blocked by road construction. But with only 15 minutes out of my way, we got back in the right direction. It was a beautiful few days we could spend with my parents in law and sister in law and her two boys. 

Now that August is here, the 2nd semester of school has started. I can't believe Isabella is half way through first grade and I am fighting against feeling the pressure of completing certain things. I know learning in children is constant and that her schooling doesn't magically stop when the school year is over. She is doing really fantastic though. A few areas are harder than others for her, but I have to remember that she is learning everything in two languages. Reading has been the hardest. She is doing consistently better, reading in both English and Spanish. We are proud of her! Milan and Mateo are having fun in "school" too. Milan is starting to read and says it's his favorite part of school. 

I've been fighting loneliness and pressure (self-induced perhaps) of being "pastor's wife". It's different than it was in Cusco, where we brought Christ to people and led them spiritually. We were like parents to them. Whereas here, we are leading a church that is already founded and with believers who, many of which, have walked with God for decades already. Also, I'm learning about Chilean culture first hand. It may be hard to believe since Ricky is Chilean and we've visited numerous times before our move, but I am experiencing culture shock!

Thankfully Jesus is constant in His love and grace. He is still Lord whether in Peru or Chile, or whether in wealth or want. We can put our trust in him because He is trustworthy!