Sharing the love of Jesus
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11
What a huge blessing to know that the Lord Almighty is with us, that the God of Jacob is our fortress! The word fortress means “a fortified place; a stronghold; especially: a large and permanent fortification”. It is a refuge and a place we can go to when we need security or protection. God is always with us and watches over us, no matter where we go!
At the end of last month we took a short trip to Los Quiotes, a small village near Ciudad Victoria, with Pastor Benito and his wife Paty. They started a small mission church there many years ago, so we wanted to go visit and encourage the people. Thanks to the generous donation by our brother Quentin, we were able to take some rice, beans, flour, oil, and sugar to hand out to the families after a short service. We had suitcases of clothes and also made sure to bring plenty of treats for the kids, too! Benito and Eleazar went to the nearest town and were able to buy a piñata for the kids to break as well. We bought some chicken and fixings to grill out at one of the homes after the service so we could enjoy some fellowship. We had a great time and I (Drisana) enjoyed getting to know everyone, as this was my first trip down.
At the beginning of the month we took another trip down to Veracruz with the group from Port Lavaca, TX. We visited the small town of Tecolutla on the coast to see the church Pastor Nathan and Eleazar will be preaching in when we return in April. We met the pastor’s husband, who showed us the church and shared that unfortunately they have a very hard time getting people to church this time of year. Tecolutla relies mostly on tourism, so when people travel there during the winter, to be on the beach, the locals prefer to go and sell their products instead of going to church. We drove to the beach and saw that even though it was fairly cool out, there were still lots of tourists all along the beach, and witnessed many local people selling almost anything you could imagine. We’ll be praying that God will bring conviction into their hearts and provide renewed passion for the pastors to continue in the mission God gave them.
We also visited Pastor Rene’s daughter, Noemi, who had surgery on her arm the day after we arrived. (Pastor Rene is the leader of missions who pastors the church in Cabellal.) Many prayers were lifted up for her and thanks to God, everything came out very well! Her Mom said that Noemi told her not to worry, that God would take care of her. Hours after she came out of surgery, she said she still didn’t even feel any pain! Her Mom just cried hearing the great faith that her daughter has in God and the great mercy He showed toward her.
Sunday we visited the church in Cabellal to see the progress on the addition and to share an encouraging word with the people. Pastor Nathan talked about when Jesus was asked what we must do to do the work of God (John 6:28-29). He said we must obey God and Jesus, who was sent by God. Obedience to God’s will in our lives is extremely important, it’s also how we show Him we love Him. We then prayed for multiple people and everyone was healed! One man was healed of constant back pain, which had afflicted him for five years! Praise God! Another person had been suffering from leg pain, who was instantly healed by the power of God. The faith is always so encouraging in their church!
We headed to the church, “The Upper Room” for their afternoon service once we arrived back in Papantla. Pastor Nathan preached on Mark 11:23, which says, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” We must believe and not doubt that with God’s power nothing is impossible. Again, many people came forward and received healing. One woman even said she was healed before we prayed for her! She was kneeling at the altar when Eleazar told her to stand up so we could pray for her. He asked what was wrong and she said, “Well, I HAD pain in my back, but…it’s gone!” What a mighty God we serve! Another woman had pain in her wrists that God instantly healed as well. Two kids came forward, separately, and Pastor Nathan used them as an example to people, that children usually cry when they come into the presence of God because their spirits are more sensitive. First, the pastor’s daughter came up and said she hasn’t been able to sleep. Before getting two words out she started crying and crying. God tells us to have faith like a child because they aren’t hard to convince, they have such great trust in God and believe He can do anything! Next, a little boy came forward and he also began to cry as soon as he started telling us that his throat was hurting him pretty badly. As soon as we prayed, he said all the pain was gone! He swallowed saliva and said he didn’t feel a thing! God is so awesome! And what a testimony to those of us who are adults. We can learn a lesson or two from these young children!
We also got to enjoy a rewarding “fun day” rafting the river Filobobos in Tlapoyacan, Veracruz. It was a reminder of the creative beauty of our Creator, who designed such an exquisitely gorgeous world! We are so blessed to know and be loved by this beautiful Author of life.
A little neighbor girl came by a few weeks ago and we saw that she only had a pair of big, black boots for school. Eleazar asked what size shoe she wears, and we were able to buy her a new pair of shoes for school. She is very shy, but she said that she liked them. :-) It’s little things like these that add such a joy into the work we do!
We dropped by the clinic, Casa Bugambilia, to visit Daniel and the other patients, and to pick up some crutches for Mauricia, who unfortunately fell and broke her knee. :-( Two of the older patients, Cheli and Melquiades, recently passed away, so Daniel was a little sad. But he said he is doing well and is now able to roll himself all the way down the street to the fruit stand! Seeing these people always reminds us just how blessed we are. Simply being able to get up and walk around is an ability that many people don’t have. We need to be thankful everyday for the blessings God gives us to see, hear, walk, talk, etc. It’s important to be thankful at all times!
Finally, we visited the YDC the other day to find that there are only two left, Juan and Armando, as Eric left a couple weeks ago while we were in Veracruz. Juan also told us that his birthday was on the 6th but no one came to visit him. We promised him we’d return the following day with a cake to celebrate with him. Eleazar also read Psalm 146, which talks about setting prisoners free. We talked about how people can be free while in prison, and others can be imprisoned even though they are on the outside. They are in a spiritual prison, and only God can free them. God is the one who frees us of our spiritual bondage, even if we are in a physical prison. We prayed for them and reminded Juan we’d be back with a cake the next day. We asked our friend Karla to make one, and she actually made a cheesecake with chocolate strawberries! Juan thought we weren’t going to come, because we were a little late, but he was very grateful and we were able to use it as an example of the importance of our words. We need to be men and women of our word, if not, we won’t mean very much. It’s important to follow through with what we say we will do. Please keep praying for these young men! It’s very easy while they’re locked up to say they’re going to change once they get out, but it’s a very different situation when they actually leave. Pray that God will work on their hearts and draw them to Him and give them the resolve to reject the temptation when they are back outside.
Eleazar will be preaching tomorrow, so we ask for your prayers, that God will use him in a great way and that He will open the hearts of the people who will be receiving the Word. Also, we are planning to open a restaurant here at our house (downstairs) and ask that you please pray for God’s provision. We have a couple of items, but we still have a lot of work to do on the house and a few other appliances to purchase. Our hopes are to get it up and running so that some day soon we can provide jobs for kids who leave the YDC or for others we know without jobs. If you would like to help us with this project, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or send us a Facebook message. Thank you! We greatly appreciate all of you! Blessings.
Eleazar “Z” and Drisana