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Today was yet another great day in Santa Cruz . The rain and temperature were a bit challenging but God yet again showed out!
We started the day by driving in rain and on very muddy roads. Imagine mud riding on 4 wheelers in Mississippi and you now get the picture. We arrived safely to the poorest area we had been to. The pastor greeted us and I introduced myself to his precious wife. She told me how sorry and ashamed she was for the North Americans to hold a medical clinic in their home. I reassured her we were honored to be able to help their people. It reminded me of the story of the widow and the mite who had little but gave EVERYTHING she had. This is exactly what these people did for us.
When we arrived it was cold and raining. The pastor was so upset that he had worked so hard to tell everyone we would be there and no one had come out in the bad weather. We prayed for him and that God would yet again let us see His power in this day. We missed the pastor for a while and we think he left to go out and tell the people we were there. Little by little people started to come. We ended up seeing about 120 people with around 28 professions of faith. Needless to say the pastor was encouraged and had the biggest smile on his face when we left.
Every mission trip has its WOW moments but this particular one has had multiple….from holding sweet babies while moms were being cared for to sharing the gospel with my translator, the list goes on and on. I thank you Fairview Baptist Church for supporting missions and praying for us as we GO. Please continue to keep us in yours prayers. We have a free day tomorrow and start our journey home early Saturday. Being a mom and getting to have your entire family together on mission is truly one of the greatest blessings I have been given.
Also, on a side note…..We turned the buses into an eye clinic and also spiritual counseling. I will say leading the eye team I had the “finest” office for the day. We were much warmer than the others.
Bring the Rain, Bring the People!
This morning I started the team off by sharing a devotion. For the past two days, Terry has prepared us of potential rain starting today and lasting through tomorrow with much lower temperatures. My devotion consisted of the song from Mercy me, Bring the Rain! I told the team that regardless of our circumstances today or in life, Jesus… BRING THE RAIN if it brings YOU Glory! And guess what? He did just that! He brought the rain but also provided us a local church members home to set up clinic, so we were out of the elements. And of course, He brought us the people that needed care, both spiritually and physically! This awesome team truly felt the Holy Spirit today, as we saw 168 people in clinic today and brought 90 people to salvation! What a day!
There have been very sick people with some very serious health issues in clinic, which also led to a very emotional day. Terry treated a blind man, Kelly shared and witness to a 12 year old girl that feared pregnancy after two previous abortions, and Rusty met a mother that was searching all over South America for the answer to her two son’s muscular degeneration syndrome. Rusty confirmed the diagnosis and had to inform the mother that her son’s would eventually die from this disease. Both were under 12 years old! The mother began to weep and sob with grief. But after hearing devastating news, the Mom and sons received the GOOD NEWS and are now true believers! Rusty also counseled with a man with a recent amputation and a serious wound infection. He was so sad over the fact he could no longer work his cattle and was wanting another opinion regarding further amputation. I watched while Rusty poured his heart out sharing with this man how to trust in his local physician and mostly to trust in God for healing, just as his own family has faced recently. Rusty committed to pray for this precious believer and the man also promised to pray for Rusty! Needless to say, all that witness these things, were a MESS! He may bring the rain, but it doesn’t really matter if we continue to give HIM all the Glory and trust HIS plan! The stories are endless and each member of this team can share how God has showed up and showed out this week. And…it’s not over!
It is also Friendship Day in Bolivia! The local church people provided us with snacks and cake after clinic today to celebrate!
Please continue to pray that God leads the people to us tomorrow that need us most! We appreciate such an awesome body of Christ that we call Fairview!
Love you all,
PS – Have I mentioned that I am the ONLY nurse here with 3 American Physicians, 2 Bolivian Physicians, 1 American Dentist and 2 Bolivian Dentist! Where are you Danielle? I need you sister! haha Pray for me!
Greeting from Bolivia! We had an incredible day on the mission field yesterday. With 37 commitments, I thought that today couldn’t possibly be better. BUT NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF OUR GOD! One particular commitment stood out the most to me today. A young mother with a crying infant on her hip and a toddler at her knee hurriedly sat with medicine in one hand and babies in the other. My first thought was…God, she really doesn’t have time to listen me, much less make any decision for herself. BUT NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF OUR GOD!
As my interpreter, Alfonso, and I began to share with her, her youngest child fell fast asleep in her arms and her two year old settled beside her to eat candy. Peace overcame this situation! She now had time to listen! Praise God! So I asked, ” If you died today, where would you go?” Her response was, “Hell.” I told hold her, “Let’s change that today!” Alfonso and I shared with her the plan of salvation. Then the question…Do you accept this free gift of salvation? The answer was a resounding and heart felt…YES! I asked her to repeat back to me what this meant to her , and I could tell she now had an understanding of what salvation meant! Praise God, again! The next step was to tell her the importance of sharing the gospel with others, especially her family. I explained to her about the great commission and that that was why I was here. I gave her an evangiCARD, that looked like the evangiCUBE that I had shared with her. We hugged and said a tearful but happy, “Adios!” BUT NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF OUR GOD!
It is rare in life that you get to see an immediate return on your investments, but with God ANYTHING is possible! Within 30-45 minutes, she was back. At first I wondered what we had forgotten, but I soon realized that the children she had an hour ago were not with her, but in their place was a child about 8 years old. He sat down before me, and I noticed the evangiCARD was in his hand. His mother began to explain that she went straight home and did exactly what I told her to do, share her faith with her family. She had shared it with her son. She then asked If I would share it with her son, too. In my best kindergarten teacher words, I shared the gospel with him. I wish I could say that he made a decision to accept Christ at that moment, but God wasn’t ready yet. I told his Mom how proud of her I was for being obedient, and immediately sharing her faith.
It was an honor to be in service to our King today! So many lives here were won for His kingdom over the past two days, and I rejoice that we have the opportunity to do it again tomorrow. And so do you! You don’t have to be in a foreign country to share your faith! Just like this obedient mom, begin in your home. Venture out to you friends, next! And then go into the world! Jesus gave us the great commission: ” Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Greetings from Bolivia
We left the church parking lot Saturday at 9:30 after a prayer and drove to Atlanta. From there we flew to Miami and then all night to Santa Cruz, Bolivia arriving at 6AM. The next 2 1/2 hours were spent in line at Customs but thankfully all of our suitcases loaded with medicines, eye glasses, candy and toys passed inspection. A short bus ride to the hotel later , we ate a late breakfast and crashed for a nap. Sunday night we worshipped with our translators at a local church and really felt the presence of God!
Monday morning we took a one hour bus ride to the true “end of the road.” What we found was a barn with a thatched roof, 4 poles with a tarp loosely tied over, and a smiling local pastor with several church members who welcomed us. Thirty minutes later we had converted it to an eye, dental and medical clinic with a spiritual counseling center to boot!
We saw a lot today: from Pam Foster somehow getting an IV started on a very sick dehydrated lady…to an old man getting new eye glasses and being able to read his Bible for the first time in several years to watching my daughter Lily share the Gospel and lead a lady to Christ!!
The wind blew long and hard all day….Everything got covered with dust! The banana I ate for a snack was “crunchy” from all the dust……But I remembered from Acts how the Holy Spirit descended with a mighty rushing wind…..And His power was definitely there today! In all we had 37 professions of faith today!! Continue to pray for us as we do His work here.
Love in Christ, Rusty