It’s my birthday today. It is fun to look back on my last year and reflect on how much has occurred. At this time, two years ago, I was in the hospital recovering from the 5 plates placed in my neck,. And then six weeks later, I was recovering from two more surgeries performed on my lower back. Fun. Fun.
Last year we were still finding our way here in Mexico. We were just about to start the Las Fincas project and I believe I was about to preach my first sermon in over 8 years. I blew it mightily by the way. I had Chin Chem (something like poison ivy but only 100 times stronger) and within seconds at the pulpit my eyes swelled up, so much so, that I couldn’t read my notes. So I just prayed and sat back down in the pew. That was one for the record books.
Fast forward to today, we finished the first project, became the head gringo volunteers at the orphanage, I preach weekly at our new church plant, Gia heads up the 8-12 year old youth group. Every Wednesday, I train two Mexican pastors for our new Spanish service set for September. We have a new building that can host mission teams and long term volunteers. God is growing our church daily. I am amazed. Honestly, for the first 7 months I was happy to work in the jungle chopping stuff. I still do that but God has pulled me out of my inner and outer hermit.
It has not been easy: The poison tree experiences, the moto accident, the feeling of being alone here without a home church loving on us -praying for us, the question of, “Is this what we are called to do?” The financial struggles, so many other little things..though to be honest..they are all little things in God’s eyes. I just forget that a lot. And through all these things, God is doing a great work in us, so that we may do a great work for Him.
The easy part..we are called to be here. I did not have a passion for Him in the States. I sat in the pew, bored to death. I did not have a role to play in His service. No one wanted me. All my fault it is true. We had a team here last week. I told them, “This is not your mission field, it is our’s. This is our home, our responsibility. This mission week here in Cozumel is just training ground. Your mission field is when you get home.” For me, I had to come and make Mexico my home, not for a week, or a month..but for as long as God will allow. If we have to leave here, my prayer is that I do not sink into a passionless existence again. I cannot sit on the sidelines anymore, playing church not living church. I do not want to lose my friendship with Christ once again. So, here we are, serving in our little way.
If you would like to come for a training mission, we are here. As you make plans for future service projects, please think of us. There are a myriad of needs here and it’s a pretty special place to help.
Aloha ke Akua Via con Dios
In His Service