Sunday, June 30, 2013

May/June 2013 …The Lord’s mercies… are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

May/June 2013
 …The Lord’s mercies… are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  Lam. 3:22, 23

Yesterday’s dreams have become today’s realities.  We thank Him for His faithfulness in the past; we thank Him for His promised faithfulness in the future. There are way too many of those “realities” to mention in this short update, but enjoy thanking Him for the following few:

We are grateful for your prayers for our little boy named David.  He has tested well enough to begin the third phase of chemotherapy (Delayed Intensification, the most brutal of all) for his leukemia. That protocol begins today, July 1, and consists of 56 days of constant bombardment alternating 9 different chemicals, some of which are known to cause very serious side effects. We are praying that this news will not distract us from the truth that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind, and that as a result of the gift of David’s cancer, his Creator will be constantly glorified. Great is His faithfulness.

Rebeca and María

As I mentioned in the previous prayer update, flutes and all other non-piano instruments are out of my league. Though I know nothing about them except that I like the sound that they make, I had no doubt that God had a perfect solution for Rebeca and María.  I never imagined caring friends would rally to the cause so vigorously and sacrificially to make this dream a reality. 
Rebeca and María had committed themselves to pray every day after I sent out the letter, that God would provide just what they need. The donated instruments are so beautiful; it makes me wish I played the flute! Their faith has grown, and so has mine. Isn't it amazing to watch how God uses the "family" to get His plan accomplished...and to be a part of it all? Great is His faithfulness.
So far every music student from the IBBM-Tepic church has diligently worked to learn to play his or her instrument with the goal in mind of serving in the church…not a single deserter! All of them passed their final exams at the Escuela Superior de Música last week. Their work, discipline and great effort is admirable and an amazing testimony!  See their performances here (some from not-so-flattering angles):

José López and Joe Grimes
Joe and Barbara Grimes 1959
The first week of June, we celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the dedication service for the multi-purpose auditorium at the Huichol village of La Bendición. It was a big deal with lots of music, spicy food with hand-flapped tortillas, and messages by pastors Martín, Nacho and several Huichol pastors. When Benjamín asked me to share something, I hobbled to the platform with the 2nd of my sprained ankles this year and could hardly hold back the tears as I looked out over that sea of wide-eyed, smiling brothers and sisters. I told them I wasn’t going to preach; they know I don’t do that, but I did have something very important to share with them. I drew attention to my sprained ankle supported by its all-too-familiar brace. I shared that I’ve found firsthand what happens when one member of the body doesn’t function as it should.  The whole body hurts as a result, and other parts need to compensate.  I reminded them of what a wonderful celebration this was and that just one year ago, their beloved Joe Grimes, Huichol Bible translator, was there celebrating with us.  They all nodded and an affirming buzz rippled across the congregation. Most of them knew that he was facing open-heart surgery for aortic valve replacement and that his wife, Barbara, had just recently suffered a debilitating stroke.  I asked them to stand to their feet and lift their hand if they were willing to commit to join me in praying every day for Joe and Barbara as his surgery was scheduled for the following Friday.  Just happened to have my camera with me! 
La Bendición

The surgery was successful; please join with us in praying for Joe and Barbara’s continued recuperation.  We’re scheduled to have another Old Testament translation workshop after the rainy season is over.  We’d love for Joe to be here for that.  Great is His faithfulness.

Nicolasa and "Second" Samuel
Just for fun: Nicolasa, Pastor Refugio’s wife, just had their 4th baby the week of the anniversary celebration.  After they had their 2 girls, they prayed and asked God to please give them a son. The day after he was born in 2008, the year after they left Guásima del Caimán because of extreme persecution, to establish the village and church of La Bendición, I went to help them through the hospital red tape.  Refugio asked me to name their new little boy.  I told them the OT story of Hannah and suggested Samuel. Now they wanted to know what to name this little boy. I told them to ask Samuel. They said they already had; he suggested “Second Samuel”!  That little 5-year-old is going to be just as sharp as his daddy!  Wish we could have him on the translation team! Great is His faithfulness.