We have arrived back home!
What a ride. A third of the way through our adventure back across the states, Elda and I sensed a need to skip our remaining visits with friends and head back to NY as soon as possible. Upon arrival, I managed to pack roughly 4 1/2 boxes before coming down with the infamous Covid. Two days later, Elda had proof that I really do like to share.
Thankfully, we both recovered and were able to complete the task at hand. And miracle of miracles, we both tested negative a few weeks later and were able to fly home and embark on this next chapter!!! WOOHOO!
BACK ON THE FARM…
Elda and I are settling back into life. She has several clients coming in for massage, the kids return next week for Rhythmic Movement Therapy class, Bible Study breakfast is scheduled for the Mennonite women next week and new weekly prayer meetings are set up with a friend. (For those of you that haven't had the privilege to meet Elda in person, let's just say she likes to hit the ground running.) I’m enjoying being… uhhh domestic? I cook, I clean, I wash clothes... I draw up blueprints for various woodworking projects I’ve always wanted to build. And I pray. It has been such a gift to have a week to ease back into a new normal.
Oh yes, and more chickens are coming!
BLOWING UP ON THE RECOVERY-SIDE
CENTRAL - We were able to return to Hedges this week and start up Celebrate Recovery with a new group of men. (If you that missed previous updates, Hedges is a recovery house for men coming out of addiction of all kinds – drugs, alcohol, sex, etc..) Many from the last group already left the program, but this new batch seems to have a bit of desperation, which is a gift. As many of you know, not everyone that asks for help is ready to receive it or do what is necessary to deal with the root beneath the behavior. These guys have potential, though.
NORTHERN - One of Elda’s previous CR graduates started a group up north in Orange Walk and has been asking for help. Before we left for the states, this man had asked Elda to come start the group, but during our month away he took the initiative and started it himself. We are incredibly excited to come alongside this new group and Elda is very proud of this young man!
SOUTHERN - The San Juan church where the youth attend is spending a week in prayer and fasting, seeking God. (These are the Spanish youth that do outreaches to the youth in a neighboring Creole community.) Next week, we hope to begin a CR group just for the leaders to help bring unity, healing and an example of group study. These kids have hearts of gold.
MUSINGS FROM THE ‘RONA
Laying in bed for ten days gave me quite a unique opportunity to question all my life choices. (Namely, giving up everything familiar and moving to a foreign country horrified by the very disease I was flattened by.)
I tried to think about it logically…you know, be reasonable. FAIL.
I tried to be optimistic and spiritual about it all. EPIC FAIL.
Then I began to realize (with a little reminder from Elda) that maybe God was at work in the unexpected.
“Dismantling” was the word that kept coming to mind – dismantling expectations, dreams, perceptions, even my sense of self. There I was, incapacitated, more obstinate than usual and impotent to do what needed to be done. My lovely veneer was cracking and I didn’t like what was peeking out – vulnerable, weak, scared, irritable and oh so very proud. I didn’t want help. I wanted to be able to “do” the things. Oh dear... haven't we crossed this bridge?!?
Yet through the fog, I still had a deep sense to put one shaky foot in front of the other. I began to rest a little more each day in the reality that God is the source of all I need and long for. He is the Kind One, the Able One. He is the “Christian-ness” I lack. He is gentleness when all I feel is the violence of my own will wanting to lash out at the impossibility around me. And He is worthy to be trusted with my whole self. I told Elda that if this whole last month was so I could come a little closer to the place of just resting in Who He is, then it’s been a gift.
More and more each day I realize that we’re really nothing special. And that’s just lovely. In fact, it's a relief. I mean to Him, yes, we are His precious children, but I’m no more qualified than you to be frolicking through the coconut trees. We are each invited into this dance of Life in Him, loving and leaning on Him through each moment, allowing Him full access to our hands and feet to reach out and love those in front of us. Friend, can I invite you to remember His beauty afresh today and lose all your disappointments and failures in the awareness of His sufficiency?
I love this quote from Brother Lawrence,
The presence of God is the concentration of the soul’s attention on God, remembering that He is always present.”
Would you be willing to take a moment and let the awareness of His nearness wash over you? He loves you dearly.
Please pray for each of the Celebrate Recovery groups, the leaders and the men attending. Most of the men have wives and children that need a real, godly man in their lives.
I am in the process of trying to apply for a visa (work or volunteer). Right now I just have a 30 day visitor visa. Please pray that all the details get worked out.
Elda and I are still recovering, physically. We would like prayer for stamina and strength!
We want to thank everyone that has contributed to our financial needs. We are so humbled by your generosity and willingness to participate in this work with us. In the states, we were given enough funds to visit all the Celebrate Recovery groups for the next couple months, even with the increase in gas prices! We are also beginning to set aside money for a vehicle. Once we have a reliable vehicle for travel, we hope to begin building out a mobile medical clinic and then a therapy-oriented playground for the children that receive trauma therapy. If you would like to support us, Here is a link to PayPal.
Grateful for each and every one of you!