Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Bible and God's Faithfulness

The other day I (finally) accepted the fact that my long-time study Bible needed to be replaced: the binding has come apart, pages have been detached, and Proverbs and Isaiah have become almost unreadable:

My parents gave me this Bible around my 18th birthday. The black leather cover was impeccable, the gold lining on the pages was shiny, and the cover fit perfectly.

At that time, I had not yet traveled outside of the U.S. and Canada or gone on any mission trips, I didn't have a boyfriend, and I hadn't taken any linguistics courses. I did know that I wanted to serve in some kind of mission work, that I felt increasingly drawn to Latin America, and that this new Bible was more than a kind gift - it was my guide for whatever the future held.

Twelve years later, this Bible is marked and underlined, and the cover bulges with prayer cards, pictures, cards and notes, notecards with verses, bookmarks, and more. (There is also a mosquito who met its demise somewhere in Psalm 119.) Here are just a few:

I have taken this Bible with me to 13 countries and on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, pick-up truck beds, canoes, and the back of a burro climbing a mountain path. With adventures, transitions, new roommates, and good-byes, it has represented God's faithfulness and that His Word is unchangingly true, His presence unendingly constant, and His message deeply needed at any time, in any culture, and in any circumstance - whether accompanied by optimism and a morning cup of coffee, or questions and Kleenex (actually, a roll of toilet paper in most places!) in the middle of a sleepless night.

I have tucked away evidences of God's faithfulness in this Bible that remind me of His good gifts and prevailing purposes:
  • A tiny hand-sewn Cuban flag.
  • A stand-by plane ticket that gave me the last available seat just in time.
  • Notes from linguistics students from Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil and Peru, some of whom are now learning Hindi, Mandarin, and Nahuatl as they serve around the world.
  • Small cards from unforgettable people who have hosted me and welcomed me into their communities in Mayan towns in Guatemala, or in capital cities.
I am thankful for God's Word in my language and for how He has taught and guided me in the midst of adventures, uncertainties, and changes. I am equally burdened for those who have not yet heard and believed His Word, and for those who are like the Ethiopian in Acts 8 and are waiting for someone to help them understand, grow, and make disciples of others.

Here is my new Bible:

See how the pages are clean and intact? (And I doubt there are any mosquitoes trapped inside yet.)

I am looking forward to the next leg of the journey.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Do You Think of Washington?

"What do you think of Washington?" Many people have asked Fernando this question, usually followed by, "Isn't it beautiful?" This makes us smile because it happens frequently and because we truly are enjoying summertime here. This is what we have been up to:

We've been seeing friends and supporters in the area, learning about how they are doing and how we can pray for them. In turn, we get to tell them about testimonies from Honduras, challenges and needs there, and how to pray and help. Thank you to all who have taken us out or invited us to your homes for meals!

After visiting a friend in Bellevue, we stopped at Coulon Park on Lake Washington.

With my long-time friend, Heather, at Kerry Park in Seattle.

We spent a weekend in Bellingham, where I attended college. It was fun to show Fernando around and spend time with friends. We went to church with some friends, and the pastor invited us to give a presentation this fall about our ministry. Hearing about how our friends are actively involved in their churches and community encouraged us, as well.

Spending the evening at Boulevard Park.

We spoke at a church in Tacoma that partnered with me when I was with Wycliffe and has prayed for me during the past seven years. We appreciated the warm welcome and the pastor's encouragement during this time of support-raising.

We visited a Garifuna congregation in the Burien area. It was beautiful to worship with Garifuna brothers and sisters in Washington, learn about how the church began, eat a great home-cooked meal, talk to people in Garifuna, and meet relatives of good friends in Honduras. The pastor has invited Fernando to preach there sometime this fall, so we are looking forward to seeing them again.

Worshipping at the Garifuna church (video).
To celebrate Fernando's and my parents' birthdays, my grandma and aunt came over for dinner and cake. Here is Fernando with his gift, a Seattle Sounders soccer jersey:
Our baby is growing well, and the second trimester is going great. A close friend of mine is expecting her baby next month, so my mom convinced us to take this picture together at her baby shower:
Here are some prayer requests and upcoming activities:
  • Fernando's citizenship application is being processed. Please pray for everything to go quickly and smoothly in the coming weeks, as we wait to find out when he will be interviewed.
  • Praise God for several people who have responded to God's leading to be monthly financial partners. This a huge answer to prayer! Please pray for our monthly support level to increase (we are at almost 50%).
  • The Hispanic congregation at my home church, Grace Community, offered to help us hold a fundraiser dinner; proceeds will go to special ministry projects. The ladies will make a traditional Latino dinner, and we will give a bilingual presentation with pictures, videos, and testimonies. It should be a fun event! We are so thankful for their willingness to help in this way! It will be held Friday, September 6, at 7:00 P.M. **Contact me via email, Facebook, phone, or the comment section of this blog for more details and/or to RSVP.** Please pray that God will be glorified and bless those who are making this possible!
  • Pray for us as we prepare to share with churches, community groups, and youth groups in the coming weeks. We plan to spend a weekend in Spokane next month, so **let us know if you or anybody in that area would like to get together!**
Thank you for visiting our blog and praying for us!
P.S. What do you think of Washington? If you don't know yet, you should come visit! :)