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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
Looking down at my watch and then back at my boarding pass it became clear that we would not be making our connecting flight. The first leg of our journey home had been delayed 30 minutes due to air traffic. After sitting on the tarmac for two hours our group had accepted the fact that we would probably remain in East Asia for a little while longer. After landing and sprinting through the terminal we arrived at the check-in counter as our plane ride back to the states had just taken off. Disappointed but determined that God was not done with us yet our leaders quickly sprung into action securing us the next available flights and a place to sleep for two more nights. What impressed me the most was how our group responded to the adversity. No complaint was heard, rather quite the contrary. A buzz rang out among the group that since we would remain here for another two days it would give us a chance to visit the Great Wall. It was also spoken that maybe God wasn’t quite finished with us in East Asia yet. What a perfect way to end the trip. The opportunity to see one of the seven wonders of the world, and to continue to show God’s love in East Asia. I don’t even know where to begin my story of what God has done through and within our group on this trip. I know personally that these past 10 days have been an opportunity to refocus and shed distractions that so easily entangle us in everyday life. Just before I left for China, one of my best friends Tyson Lee, shared a verse with me that has become my life verse during this trip. It’s found in Acts 20:24. Luke writes “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” These past 10 days has allowed me to focus in on the most important task and calling of being a believer, sharing the good news of Jesus. I can’t thank my parents, the Fairview family, and our entire team for their love and support during this trip. The opportunity to be the hands and feet is something that I encourage everyone who has the chance to go and do. God will show up and use you and you will be blessed in so many ways. Thank you again to the Fairview family for the support you give to mission teams, which allow us to spread the good news to people groups who have never heard the gospel.
““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The week has flown by and we are preparing to leave this wonderful place and these beautiful people. I can’t speak about their attitudes day in and day out; their life is hard. They are poor. They are not lazy. In fact they may work harder than most of us. They are just very poor. But I do know that when we show up they are happy. They are also grateful. They enjoy the smallest gift. A Lifesaver candy will bring a smile and a “gracias” and the gift of a home overwhelms them. They are poor, so they cherish the smallest things. This is also a lesson in spiritual poverty. This week has impressed upon me, perhaps more than any other time I remember, the beauty of being “poor in spirit.” When we realize that we are spiritually impoverished, that we have nothing, and are nothing without Christ, our entire attitude changes. We become grateful and overwhelmed by the amazing grace of our God and cherish the spiritual blessings we enjoy from Him. In fact, the kingdom of heaven opens up to us. This week, in the midst of their material poverty, some came to understand their spiritual poverty and gave their lives to Christ…families changed forever. They have inherited the kingdom of heaven and are rich beyond any measure. We will see each other in eternity and enjoy fellowship with them and the Lord forever. Spiritual poverty knows no social or economic boundaries. Without Christ we are all spiritually poor. Our pride and self-sufficiency keep us from realize it, but we should always be aware of our spiritual need. When we are, when we acknowledge our poverty, then Christ opens up to us all the riches in glory. What a great week. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The week has flown by and we are preparing to leave this wonderful place and these beautiful people. I can’t speak about their attitudes day in and day out; their life is hard. They are poor. They are not lazy. In fact they may work harder than most of us. They are just very poor. But I do know that when we show up they are happy. They are also grateful. They enjoy the smallest gift. A Lifesaver candy will bring a smile and a “gracias” and the gift of a home overwhelms them. They are poor, so they cherish the smallest things. This is also a lesson in spiritual poverty. This week has impressed upon me, perhaps more than any other time I remember, the beauty of being “poor in spirit.” When we realize that we are spiritually impoverished, that we have nothing, and are nothing without Christ, our entire attitude changes. We become grateful and overwhelmed by the amazing grace of our God and cherish the spiritual blessings we enjoy from Him. In fact, the kingdom of heaven opens up to us. This week, in the midst of their material poverty, some came to understand their spiritual poverty and gave their lives to Christ…families changed forever. They have inherited the kingdom of heaven and are rich beyond any measure. We will see each other in eternity and enjoy fellowship with them and the Lord forever. Spiritual poverty knows no social or economic boundaries. Without Christ we are all spiritually poor. Our pride and self-sufficiency keep us from realize it, but we should always be aware of our spiritual need. When we are, when we acknowledge our poverty, then Christ opens up to us all the riches in glory. What a great week. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Bro. Kevin Jenkins
Today was another blessed day as we dedicated the 10 homes that God had allowed us to build- these homes are gifts from God, we were only used as instruments to bring glory to God. My heart was heavy as the bittersweet time came for us to leave our new found friends- our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I know tonight my family will be safe in the confines of our home; they will be enjoying a good meal, watching their favorite television shows, texting or playing on their computers as they enjoy the comforts of our home. I wonder what will my new family here in Guatemala be doing as the sun goes down and darkness falls over their mountain homes? I can find comfort in knowing they will be sheltered from the elements and weather- no, they will not be watching TV or playing on a computer, but they will be at peace because God will be right there holding them in His loving arms.
As our week comes to an end, I can say I have been brought to my knees and have been humbled by my Creator.
What a week we have had. It has been another awesome experience and each day brings new blessings. We have built houses, a Sunday school room, a storage closet, and participated in a food distribution but none of these compares to the relationships that have been built. In Christian love there is no language barrier. I am so thankful for new friendships as well as continued relationships.
Never in a million years would I have expected to enjoy a baby shower. We came all the way to Guatemala and participated in a baby shower! What a blessing. Mike and Tatti are expecting their second child; an understood impossibility a year ago. The look on their face when they entered the room was such a blessing and a wonderful conclusion to a great week. In our culture an expecting mother will have multiple baby showers. Tatti has never had one and has never dressed their first born in anything but seconds. In what we take for granted in our society brought so much joy not only to Tatti and Mike but to the team as well. Who new? A baby shower can be an awesome experience.
What a wonderful day God gave us today. God gave the crops here in Guatemala a much needed rain and He gave me the greatest of blessings! God allowed me to serve the sweetest and dearest children- I was able to serve them lunch, paint their little fingernails (yes- paint their fingernails) and love on them and the greatest joy of all was they loved on me. And of course, we jumped rope. These children are so tender and precious. Their beautiful eyes and smiles break any communication barrier that we have- God is good! As I have texted back and forwards with my family this week, I have tried to remind them how good and how truly blessed God has been to us. Aside from the birth of my children, grandchildren and great granddaughter, this mission trip has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. I came here unprepared, not knowing what was in store for me, but the relationships with the children today has opened my eyes as to why I should be here. We all should reflect every day, every hour, every minute, every second on just how blessed our families really are and thank God unceasingly.
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
And we are all God’s children!
God is good! What a great day we had in the village. Today we were working on a house and Roger offered a child a jump rope. I smiled and said, “Roger, I’m not sure he know what that is.” Without missing a beat Roger took the jump rope to show him how its done. He taught a child to jump rope; however, he showed us how to be the hands and the feet of Christ. I am thankful for humble hearts that are willing to do whatever it takes. God is good!
Please pray for our team. We finish up our projects tomorrow and prepare for the home dedications on Saturday. We will be sharing the Gospel with forty families with the hopes of planting a new church in the community.
This year I had the opportunity to bring four of my seniors that I teach at my school to Guatemala. It has been a real blessing for me to watch God work in them this week from building houses to leading backyard Bible club to building relationships. God has also been working in me while I’ve been here as well. God has humbled me as I get to know these families that I’m building houses for. They have so little and yet are happy with the smallest of things. Their smile is contageous. It’s something that always stays with me until I return. I love the people of Guatemala and thank God for the every opportunity He gives me to return.