New week and time for a new update. :) No pictures this post (a bit boring, huh?). I think I do have a few new pics on our camera, but often I take the time to upload the pictures and then run out of time to write. And I feel like chatting :)
Here on the home front, there hasn't been much you'd want to see anyways. The stomach flu hit several of the children. And, wow, what a bad one it has been! I don't think I've ever seen a bug last this long. Eliseo started with it last week, Monday. He was throwing up everything. We took him to the doctor, Wednesday, as we were concerned about him getting dehydrated. They gave him a shot for nausea, told us that this virus is going around, to keep doing what we were doing, and keep an close eye on him. He threw up everyday that week. Yesterday was the first day he kept everything down. Poor little guy! He looked so sweet and miserable and how my heart went out to him. It made me think of the compassion God has for us as His children.
A couple days later, Samuel and Nehemiah got sick. By the end of the week, several others were not feeling well. Thankfully, the older ones didn't seem to get hit as hard, or they handled it better. Yesterday morning, I woke up to Noah saying, "Mommy, Josiah threw up."
The good news...he threw up in the bowl. The bad news...he accidentally spilled the bowl all over his bed, pillow, pj's, and toys.
So, needless to say, most of the week I spent cleaning, comforting, washing, cuddling, and praying.
No complaining. We had such a healthy winter, and yesterday was the first Sunday I haven't been able to go to church in months.
Obviously, there is much to not like about the stomach flu. But I decided to think about what I do like...LOTS of extra down time to just hold/love/pray for my children, gave me renewed appreciation for my washing machine, gave me a great excuse to use pine-sol all day long (I LOVE pine-sol!!), gave the sick-one's brothers and sisters opportunities to serve/care for them and just spend time visiting together, and when all is said and done, it always gives me a new appreciation for the days when we are all healthy!
On a much more pleasant note, today is Eliseo's 3rd Birthday!!! We love that little guy sooooo much! Yesterday, he wasn't too excited about being 3 because he's really enjoyed being 2 with little Samuel the past month. But seeing his special birthday breakfast cereal and hearing about cake/pizza/presents, he changed his mind and thinks 3 is the best!
Sweet, sweet Eliseo. Laid back, loves to hug/kiss/cuddle/touch, sensitive, and loving. I'm so thankful he's feeling better for his special day! He's got most every older lady at church as in love with him as he is with them. Gotta keep that boy from gettin' too spoiled! :) Kind of hard with his own little group of Grandma's :) Can't imagine life without him. Little brother to 10 and big brother to 1. And he takes that big brother role very seriously.
"Come on, Baby Samuel! Let's go!"
"I can help you, Baby Samuel."
"No Baby Samuel, you can't do that."
"It's okay Baby Samuel (hug and kiss)".
I love watching them! Samuel's so much more independent and strong willed; Eliseo so much more sensitive and laid back. Yet when Samuel's around, Eliseo seems to know little brother needs him, and he takes that responsibility very seriously. :)
Our home served as both a hospital and a hotel last week. A baptist church in Loreto brought a group down and stayed with us until Saturday evening. The sickies were set up in the back of the house and the front of our house was arranged with air mattresses/luggage as we were able to open up our home to these dear families. The pastor's wife gave a couple of classes to the ladies in our church on teaching Sunday School to Children. She brought lots of illustrations, was so very practical and did an excellent job! We have so many children that want to come to church with us, and their parents want them to go, but usually do not come with them. We love being able to share the gospel each week with the children in our town, loving on them, getting to know them and their families, so we can help them in any way we can.
It was a long but wonderful weekend! Lots of laughter, teaching, fellowship, eating, and children playing.
It looks like the Lord has opened the door and answered a prayer in regards to our church building. We've been renting the building where we are currently meeting for about 3 years now. As the church continues to grow, we are running out of space. The hurricane that went through 2 years ago blew down a couple of rooms too, which has made it difficult for us to have classes for the many children.
Often times, new people will come, but entering into an already overly crowded building, they feel uncomfortable and we are always trying to make sure everyone has a seat.
So Daniel has been praying for quite some time about what the Lord would have us to do. We looked into buying property and praying about the Lord providing for us to build, but that door didn't seem to be open at this time. Daniel spent several hours going around town looking at different buildings that would be suitable to rent, but nothing worked out. While waiting, we have tried to do the best with what we have and have thought of many creative ideas :)
Last week, Daniel took me out to lunch and we were eating in front of a big, abandoned building. I asked Daniel about it and the owner of the place we were eating told Daniel who the owner was. Daniel knew her, so he went to talk with her last week. The building is a mess, needs a lot of clean up, and doesn't have much of a roof (Hurricane Jimena :) ). But it is very spacious with a big back yard area with a very good size main room and several smaller rooms around it. The owner plans to someday tear down that building and build a hotel on the property, but in the mean time, if Daniel and our church can make it usable, she will loan us the building for free for at least a year. She would like someone to occupy the building as abandoned buildings are targets for vandalism and while it isn't really suitable to rent in it's current condition, she will just let us use it while we fix it up as the need be. Everyone is so excited about this! We have our first all church work day there this Thursday and hope to be moved in by the end of the month! Thanking the Lord for his direction and provision!
Thoughts from my Heart
So thankful for God's Word! The Lord has shown me how very important it is to continually renew my mind with truth. I was struggling with one particular area over the past month and continually praying about it not knowing what to do. As I was cleaning/pine-sol-ing everything yesterday, a verse came to my mind...A double minded man is unstable in all his ways! That verse is in James, but I haven't read James in quite some time and it just so clearly came to my mind. I had told Daniel recently that I felt that this issue was even keeping me from having power in my prayers, but didn't know what to do. As I pondered that verse, the Lord said to my heart, "This is what your problem is!" I instantly felt convicted and as I continued to think, the next part of that passage entered my mind, "Let not that man think he shall receive anything from the Lord". I had been wavering back and forth on something because I had let my mind wander from the truth of God's Word and was leaning on my own understanding.
Do you know what is just the most wonderful thing ever? The forgiveness of our Lord! How we may fail, but the Lord instantly forgives and wipes us completely clean as soon as we ask! There is no more loss of fellowship from that moment forth. God doesn't hold us in "probation" mode or make us earn back that sweet communion we are privileged to have. It is instantly granted as soon as we confess our sin to Him! I love it!!
Well, I'm sure I've chit chatted enough! Excited about our upcoming furlough...hoping to post the first half of our schedule here this week. Looking forward to meeting so many!
Enjoy this wonderful day the Lord has made and continually walk in His Truth!