We had an amazing week with Pastor Rich and the group he brought with him from his church in Idaho.
Anytime we know a group or family is coming to visit, we are all VERY excited. The children will ask me for days (or months), "How many more days until so and so gets here?"
We had a list of names of those who would be on this mission's trip team and the children each chose a couple of them to pray for each day. Three of the main things we prayed for were that the group wouldn't get sick, would be a blessing to our family and the people here, and that we would be able to be a blessing to them.
The Lord answered each of those prayers!
We love it when people come to see the work here. We highly encourage anybody who has never seen the mission's field in another country to go and "look unto the fields." A day before they were to arrive, Daniel went to talk to the owners of the restaurant next to our church. They have 3 bathrooms/showers there that they rent out. Since we only have 1 bathroom at the church, Daniel went to rent the extra ones. He then found out that their water tank had been destroyed in the hurricane and they did not have enough available water to rent them. Last time a group from this church came, they got "Montezuma's Revenge" and if it hadn't been for those extra bathroom's we'd rented, they would have been in BIG trouble! :) So when Daniel called and told me the situation, I thought, "Well, we've been really praying they won't get sick this time. I guess the Lord knows they won't need the extra bathrooms."
This group came, stayed at our church building, slept on the floor, ate what we eat each day, worked along side us, began early and finished very late, and had such servant's hearts and sweet spirits the entire time.
Brother Steve came with his wife, Tricia. She is pregnant with their 5th little one and I so enjoyed having her here one day as I homeschooled the children. What a joy to visit and fellowship with her. My boys loved her husband. He was such a humble, servant and what a good example to them. Brother Steve who is an a/c man and several other men came to put air conditioning into our home. I still can't believe it! To be honest, we feel so undeserving and overly blessed. How it touched our hearts to see this team's and church's love for the Lord and our family and just to see them invest so much into us. I can't imagine it being cool inside this summer or there not being hundreds of flies inside from having the doors and windows open all day. I remember when Daniel's uncle's church fixed the a/c in our van; there is still not a day that we use it that I don't thank the Lord for that blessing. I remember the summers of not using our van because it was just too hot for the childen, so how I appreciated what they gave! And I can't tell you how often Daniel and I thank the Lord for providing a home for us here; again, I remember living in a travel trailer or at our church building and so how much I appreciate the blessing of having a home! And I know that every day this summer that we use the air, we will be sooo thankful.
How wonderful it is to have the close love and bond of being together in Christ. We only spent a few days with these ones who came, but in that time, how our hearts were knit together in love for them. We shed tears as they left, Daniel and I shed tears together as we drove back home and reflected on their time here, our children shed tears or at least some quivering lips as they tried to be brave knowing it would be a long time before they'd see them again. At breakfast this morning, we all talked about each one who came...
Dana's joy and love; Lisa's sincere, sensitive, sweet spirit; Amanda and Courtney's help with Susannah and on my bus route; Cassie's beautiful voice and the blessing those songs were to the people in our church; Jennifer, Brittney, and Miquelena's willingness to come and their help playing with the children and helping care for them when I had to go to the doctor; Ashely's sweet smile and love for the Lord; Brother Steve's and Tricia's humility and servant's hearts; Brother Daniel's good name (ha!) and his hard work along side Brother Steve; Brother Mike's hard work and kind spirit even admist a sinus infection; Brother Dave's tender heart and kindness; Freddy just being Freddy...being brave enough to make this his second trip here and making everything fun; Joel's humor and kind spirit; and Pastor Rich's love for the Lord, for his people, for the ministry, and for our family.
What a blessing they were to our church! What a blessing they were to our family! And how our hearts overflowed with joy and thanks to the Lord as we heard their testimonies of what the Lord had done in their lives during there time here.
It's been a long, tiring, full, yet wonderful week. Today it was so good to rest, reflect, hold our children, watch them play, talk together, and look forward to another week to work together for our Lord. Wherever God has called you right now, may you allow Him to use your life to reach others for Him!