What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nice in the wilderness,
and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me;
for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,
more than over the ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:4-7
This verse has come to my mind so many times in the last week. First I read it in my personal devotions one morning and was abundantly blessed and challenged. Sometimes you wonder if you are making a difference in their lives and then the Lord sends this blessed reminder that the angels rejoice over the one that repents. I was reminded by a the father of one of my friends & a pastor from my home area that those that fall away are not rejecting me. They are rejecting the Lord. We are just His laborers and so often we forget that. Then Brother Wendell Heatwole used this passage in his message on the first evening of revival meetings as He was explaining the love of the Lord. I was blessed to be at the service and look forward to attending several more before the week is over. Lastly – but most important, we rejoiced to hear of another soul that has committed her life to the Lord. The lady is pictured to the right with her father after her graduation this past November and lives in La Palmerita. Her name is Mirrna and at the current time is living with a man that has also been attending church and has recently accepted the Lord as well. We had been visiting her when we would go to La Palmerita on Tuesdays and Laura decided to approach her to see if she wanted to study and find out if she is a Christian. She told Laura that she had just recently accepted the Lord one day while reading the Bible. They desire to be married. Please pray for Randy & Laura as they counsel with them and pray for Laura & I as we begin studying with her on Tuesdays and as we relate to her as sisters in the faith.
And since we are talking about a new spiritual birth, I would like to announce a newphysical birth. We, of course ask that you pray for the mother. Her name is Yamileth and is not a Christian. She at one time had accepted, but has fallen away and has not been living victoriously. Please pray that the she might realize her need of the Lord and His strength to raise her daughter. Tuesday, a week ago, when we arrived in La Palmerita, her mother stopped us and asked us if we would be able to take Yamileth to Malpaisillo to the clinic, as she had been to the local clinic and they told her to go to Malpaisillo. We quick went and canceled classes for the day, because we weren’t sure when we would return. We returned to her house and waited about 15-30 minutes until Yamileth and her mother were ready to go. We took her to Malpaisillo and dropped her off because she still had a little bit to go. We returned to Malpaisillo the following morning and found out that she had been transferred to Leon around 8:30-9:00 on Tuesday evening. We went to Leon for the night and Thursday morning we tried to find them in the hospital in Leon, but without success. Thursday night we received a call from her mother wanting us to pick them up, but when we arrived, we found out that the nurses were refusing to release the baby, because the night air could make her sick. Friday morning we made a trip to Leon and waited for them to come from Leon in the bus. We waited for close to an hour before they arrived and had to make a stop at the clinic and also at Terminal to buy some things before we headed back to La Palmerita. Yamileth had a little girl early Wednesday morning. At the current time, she weighs about 6 pounds and her name is Belkyn Vanessa.
We once again have a “big snake” story; however I will immediately comfort those of you who remember the story of the boa that was killed almost 2 years ago and was cooked and the staff attempted to eat it. We DID NOT eat this snake! I am not a fan of snakes, and definitely not a fan of eating them. We killed this on Friday afternoon. We had just returned from taking the neighbor ladies to La Fuente and we had dropped them off at our gate, as they said that they would walk home. However, they very quickly changed their mind when they saw this snake in the road. They told Virginia to drive over it with the truck, which she did several times until Laura arrived with the machete. Virginia parked on top of it while Laura proceeded to cut off the head. It is guessed to have been close to 8-feet and we think it was a boa constrictor. It was nice and fat and had appeared to have just eaten something, whether it was a chicken we don’t really know, as none of us had the nerve to get it open. That is the closest I have been to a boa and I still am convinced that I don’t like snakes! That was enough of excitement for a while. I don’t look forward to seeing another one anytime soon.
Once again our Wednesday evening children’s class is quite small. At the current time, we only have about 10-15 boys coming and it is usually some of the same boys each night. Sunday mornings are usually anywhere from 5-10 children and can sometimes vary from Sunday to Sunday. The picture to the right is the Sunday morning class. Tonight I had to wonder if I was getting anywhere with the children. It took a while to get them settled down and then only about half of them really paid any attention to the class. I don’t like to bribe them to make them behave, but sometimes that is the only thing that will calm them down. If they know that they won’t receive anything after class if they misbehave, they can be such little angels, but then sometimes that doesn’t even help.
Below is a collage of snapshots that were taken in the last week. Some of the people may be familiar faces, but others may be new faces. The lady in the top right is Sylvia and with her is her growing son. He is getting so big, but it seems like just yesterday when he was born. Sylvia is not married, but lives with a young man named Pablo. Pablo used to attend church very faithfully until he went north and found a girlfriend. Once he returned from the north, he stop coming to church. However on Sunday Sylvia was there and tonight both Pablo & Sylvia came to church. The center picture is 3 little children from the clan, known as the “ratas” or thieves of La Palmerita. They showed up after church on Sunday because they wanted some pictures taken. The top left is Yorbin and he is the son of Lidia. Lidia accepted the Lord at revival meetings in July 2010, but at times it seemed like she could care less about studying and growing in the Lord. I was blessed and once again encouraged as I sat in on her class on Tuesday as she asked for prayer, because she realized that she has failed as a Christian and desires to grow more like her Savior. She is still living with her man – Casimiro. Please pray for us as we relate to her and instruct her in the Christian walk. The man in the lower left is Cidiaco. Up until November, he had been living with Maria. They had a child together that is now about 2 or 3. His name is Franklin and he appears to possibly have cerebral palsy. However he has never been tested so that may not be an accurate diagnosis. Franklin can’t stand on his own and is very floppy and doesn’t talk. Cidiaco has a tendency to be drunk and Maria finally had enough of it and went north the end of last year. On Tuesday while we were in La Palmerita, he appeared up at Johana’s house and one of her boys took this picture. He was actually sober that day, which I believe was the first time I have ever seen him sober. I have seen him passed out, stone drunk on the ground so many times. The little boy on the bottom right is Juancito, one of Johana’s boys. We stopped in to see her when we went to La Palmerita on Tuesday. She is not a happy woman. She was at church last Wednesday night, but has not returned again. I just ask that you would say a special prayer for each of these people in the coming week.
I think I shall draw this to a close. Thank you for your prayers! We feel them as we work with people from day to day. God bless you all as you strive to spread His Word in your own special way.
Until the next time, Andrea
PS. As mentioned in the last update, I plan to visit PA in April. However I wrote the one date wrong. It is April 20th to May 3rd. I look forward to seeing some on you then!