“When life give you lemons, make lemonade!” Familiar words… ones which a new daily reality gives us fresh opportunity to apply in walking with the Lord. Uncertainty and doubt are a natural response to major upheavals in life’s expectations… but in what context do we choose to place them? For the believer in Jesus, our hope remains firmly rooted in a Sovereign Savior – one with power unthreatened by any disease, whose love is clearly demonstrated through Calvary, and whose life is eternally ours… not in distant future alone, but now – today! When the questions of our moments are juxtaposed with the answers of eternal truth – who our God is, and who He has made us to be! – suddenly these ‘trials we endure for a little while’ (I Peter 1:3-6) fade as we ‘keep our eyes on Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:1-3), allowing us to “experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand,” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Here in Las Moras, our plans for this season of life were as completely upended as everyone else’s. In a world of social distancing and self-quarantine, bringing construction work teams from high-density population centers into an isolated mountain community was no longer a concept worth considering… and yet, all the work the teams had wanted to do remained undone! Well… if no expert workers would be able to come help us, Pete and I decided to push the project forward as best we could anyway. Without work teams, we would fall back on teamwork! Here’s a glimpse of how our efforts panned out.
Earlier this month, Pete and I took a week to work on roofing our house’s front porch. This was one of four major projects needing done before our move-in date… along with pantry shelves, pressurized water, and one bathroom. (Many other projects still need work as well, but are either smaller or can be delayed!) We faced a few true challenges, including concrete drill bits burning themselves out with inexplicable speed! However, God always provided what was needed in order to finish well. The above photo shows the result: a sturdy rain shield which will keep rain off the front door, and allow a place for outdoor fellowship during the wettest part of the year.
Last week, we returned to tackle the pantry project – converting an empty room into a place ready to storing five months’ worth of groceries! We planned space for a pair of chest fridge/freezers, and considered how to properly support an elevated one (along with suspended shelves we want to load quite fully!). A lot of the work was ‘customized’ due to the realities of imperfect walls and floors – it turns out that adobe isn’t a precision building material! – yet this work too came out solid and functional. Minor cosmetic imperfections stand as tribute to the efforts of less-experienced craftsmen, yet I believe I can safely speak for Pete when I say we are both highly content with the product of our labor.
These past few years have been busy, nearly beyond belief! We have faced widely varied challenges – logistical, cultural emotional, health, linguistic, and spiritual. We have faced delays. Trips have been canceled… then rescheduled, then canceled again. Desk work has piled up, gotten complicated, and become overwhelming. The number of new skills we need to learn multiplied faster than we could count! God has been so gracious to us in the midst of these things… not least of which by surrounding us with partners in the Gospel like each of you!
As we have focused on the work before us, it has been hard to find the time to say ‘thank you’ to you – our faithful intercessors, generous donors, wise counselors, and gentle encouragers – in the ways we want to say it, and ways we have done before. These are patterns to which we hope and expect to return… but in this very busy, extended season of transition, you have stood by us – continuing to uphold us in the goal of seeing God’s Name glorified among the Nahuatl!
For every text or email checking in on us… for each request for prayer… for every dollar sacrificed to meet a need out here… we are grateful. Thank you, so very much, for continuing to partner with us in this ministry. We love each of you – may the Lord bless you for the faithful loving-kindness you have shown us!
- We have an amazing team of partners… here in the village, surrounding us in Mexico, and each of you!
- God has granted us a great sense of peace in life in Las Moras… many challenges remain, but we are truly at rest here.
- Connections with neighbors continue to grow, COVID-19 restrictions notwithstanding, and we have increasing chances to practically serve them.
How to Pray:
- God’s provision for the specific, imposing challenges in our rainy-season resupply/furnishing efforts.
- God’s wisdom as we begin the work of rescheduling work teams to finish off this phase of construction, and move forward into full-time culture and language learning!
- God’s protection for us on the mountain roads when we are free to brave them, and in the village when rainy season makes emergency travel more challenging.