Thursday, February 18, 2010

People Get Ready!

This week has been all about getting ready. We have laughed, we have sighed, I have messed up...Loren has laughed..ha! I have learned a bunch.

I have changed the oil in 2 vehicles, changed an oil filter, cleaned an air filter, bought a new part for a speedometor, fixed an air conditioner, used an air compressor, bought tons of food for the next three teams (of which you can not buy all in one place so this is at least a two day job), baked and frozen 6 lasangas (spinach and hamburger), 6 dozen brownies (plain and walnut), made several dozen hamburger paties, oh yes and I have packed...packed...and packed....packed food, packed utensils, packed supplies, and packed a gazillon medicines that were all labeled in Spanish. It has been great! Okay, so Loren sorta helped with all the vehicle stuff..he he!

This is what the Lord has been teaching me this week:

My entire focus this week has been about getting ready. We have thought about all the things that the teams for the next few weeks are going to need. We have made sure that we have done what needed to get done... regardless of all the other things going on. Some things we wanted to do have had to wait to ensure that what these people needed to have...they have. We have waited in lines, spent $200 on a part for a vehicle that is smaller than my pinki finger, separated pills for like ever, been to the bank several times, to every store in a 50 mile radius, I have sat in the car for hours waiting....AND it has all been just fine. I am not for one minute complaining. I am so blessed to be here. To be getting ready for teams to come in and to tell people the good news! I have just been thinking over what I have been doing this week and the Lord has been teaching me alot through it. So, I thought I would share it with you.

People get ready....JESUS is coming!!! Do we really fully wrap our heads around that? I always start humming the song when I think about it. Yes, it is a wonderful, amazing, imaginable thing.......but wait!!!!!....what about my cousin? What about my favorite professor? What about my friend and my neighboor? What about all the nations who have yet to hear? Do we understand that Hell is real?

¨He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power...¨ (2 Thessolonians 1:8-9)

I have heard it said, ¨That is just a fear thing, people are just trying to scare me into believing¨ I always think to myself...darn right you should be scared...Hell is a real place...its eternal damnation. But in truth, why should they believe in Hell if they are lost? They are lost, they don´t believe in God, Heaven or Hell. WE as the believers are the ones who have to believe it, to live it, to know is real, all of it, and we have to get ready. We have to do what God is calling us to do to make sure the people have what they need to get ready! We HAVE to share the gospel with PEOPLE. How else are they going to get ready for when Jesus returns? If I have to wait in line to talk to them or If I have to bake brownies for them or If I have to invite them over for Lasanga so I can tell them then okay, let´s get them ready. Oh, God forgive me for not telling more people that You ARE real...that You are the living God and Your word is truth.

One of the days this week Loren was needing to run some errands and he asked me and Carolina (a young girl staying here to help me with Spanish) if we would like to go to the movie instead of waiting in the car for several more hours while he finished a few more things. Well, of course, we jumped on that. It was going to be just watch whatever happened to be about to start at the movie at that time. Well it was Percy Jackson...and something else that goes along with that title that I can´t remember.

We watched the movie which is about the greek gods and their demi-god children and it was an entertaining youthful type of show. Then it came to the scene where Percy and his friends travel to Hell to find Hades. As it showed the flamming scences of Hell with souls crying out in agony I thought Oh God, please help. This isn´t even a glimpse of true Hell and the agony of that place. Give us more time, God Please,You alone are mighty to save! The movie went on but my mind stopped there. I couldn´t get over the fact that to so many people this was just a movie. Hell, Heaven, God it was just a movie.

I wanted to scream and say no, this is real. God is alive. You will be judged. We all will be judged. You don´t get another have to decide before you die. God is waiting for you with open arms. It doesn´t matter what you have done or how bad you have been. Jesus died for you and He is waiting with open arms. Yes, you may be unsure. Yes, you may have doubts and you may not understand everything and that is okay. Pray to Him and ask Him about your doubts. Ask Him to show you truth and He will. He says seek and you will find me.

But wait, How can people seek when no one has ever asked them about where they will spend eternity...or maybe they have...surely someone has. Oh God help!

People Get Ready...Jesus IS Coming!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Taking care of things!

God shows his glory to us in so many different ways. One of those ways is by taking care of things as only he can!

I have posted before about Elmer, a 19 year old that lives with Loren and Karen. Elmer has been given so much. Where he is from most kids go to school until about the 5th or 6th grade. Elmer moved in with Loren and Karen so that he would be able to finish high school. This is a huge oppurtountiy for him. He lives here for free and is able to get a start at a good job. However, he is sortof lazy, all talk, and has proven himself untrustworthy. He doesn't really realize how good he has it (of course I didn't realize how good I had it either growing up and often acted just like him-thankyou for your grace God)!

Well, on Tuesday morning about 1:30am I awoke to the sound of Elmer banging on the hall door. It scared me at 1st because I wasn't sure if someone was in the house or what? We keep the hall door locked in the evening. I soon realized that Elmer was crying out in pain. I opened the door and found him laying on the floor with his hands and feet cramping and his arms wrapped around his stomach. He was sweating profusely and moaning in pain. I ran and got Loren. We both figured it was an appendicitis.

Loren an Karen live off the normal streets of Nicaragua so to call and ambulance would take forever and they might not even find the house. So, Loren loaded Elmer into his vehicle and took off for the hospital. Elmer's family lives 4-5 hours away (and you have to take a boat for the 1st part) and they have no phone. So, there was no next of kin. Loren started praying about where to take Elmer. There is a local hosptial but it is pretty rough here. He decided instead to take him to the Baptist Hospital here in Managua. He wasn't sure if they would treat him without a next of kin. However, they were willing to treat Elmer if Loren gave them his credit card. So, of course Loren was that or let Elmer die. They rushed Elmer back to surgery and took his appendix out. There was no infection and the appendix had not burst. He was out of surgery by about 5:00am Tuesday morning and doing well. We went back and forth from the hospital for a few days but Elmer is home now and healing up very well.

Okay so here is some Glory to God taking care of things stuff:

1. Elmer usually stays at the house to watch over things while we all go out with teams. We are usually gone a week at a time an he is here alone. Glory to God that we were here. Elmer would have died had we not been.

2. The hopstial was willing to treat him and quickly! That is not always the case here. This prevented a possiblity of his appendix rupturing and causing blood posioning or infection.

3. Are you ready for this?
Loren and I were talking after the surgery and I said..."so what happens? Elmer has no insurance and his family can't pay." Loren said, "well, it will just be on me personally. I gave them my credit card. I prayed about where to take him so we shall see"

The next day Serhio was at the hosptial watching over Elmer when we got there. (Serhio is an amazing man of God. He has worked with Loren for years and he will be the one to take over when Loren and Karen leave in August. God has called him to this work here in his own country and it is awesome to go out with him. I trust him completely and we can't even talk to each other because he speaks very little English and I speak very little Spanish...ha!) Anyways Serhio has worked with and knows alot of people in this country. He told Loren, "let me go and talk with some people here at the hosptial and see what can be done." Loren was hoping for maybe a 20% discount or something. Serhio comes back about an hour later and says...."It is taken care of." ALL OF IT. The hospital is covering the bill completly because Elmer is a pastor's son. I just turned and looked out the window and grinned. Yep, this is God in his infinite glory just taking care of things!

So, keep praying for Elmer and his healing, but most of all pray for his salvation. God has a purpose for this young guy and I pray that his eyes will be opened. Many people in this country die of an appendicitis. Pray that Elmer will be saved and bear much fruit because apart from God we can do nothing!

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Open Doors!

Well, I have been hear a little over a month now. One thing that I have been reflective about is the people that I see each day. Many have been such a blessing as they have offered us food or drink in the different places we go. Many have warm smiles or curious looks. However, yesterday there was a man (not sure how old, but he was young, 24??) and he was stumbling around in the middle of the street. He could barely walk he was so high on something. It is common to see people all in the streets as you drive...many in a similar condition to this man. However, I caught a glimpse of this guys face...we made eye contact. Wow, I thought, what a terrible existance. He had no hope in his eyes. He looked de-humanized.

It was just a moment, a glance, and we were gone. I wondered where he stumbled off to. Then I started thinking...why are there so many people here like this...what has happened here?

But then I remembered that here people live with open doors! You see their lives, their days, their hours! Many live in wood or cardboard homes and they all theyd do in them is sleep. All other hours of the day they "live" outside for all to see.

HHHmmm, I wonder what we would see in the U.S. if there were no doors? If we could see inside people's homes to see daily life. Would we see people self-medicating? Would we see hoplessness? Would we see hunger, thirst, anger, pain? What would people see if they had a window seat view into my life up to this point?

"And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd" (Mark 6:34)

"When he saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary (harassed, helpless) and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36)

No matter where we go in this world there will sheep be, scatterd without a shepherd. They are there living right down the road from you; they work next to you; they pass by you walking through the store....

God, open the doors that we may see, open our ears that we may hear and have compassion! We have to share the good news...we have to give hope...we have to open our doors! In His great mercy He has given us hope!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1: 3-5)

As a believer, do you remember life and what it was like before you heard the good news of the gospel? Do you remember trying to do life on your own...