Sunday, September 01, 2019

July/August 2019 Don't give up. God remembers, and He is fair.

July/August 2019

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name. Hebrews 6:10a

Many of the early Jewish Christians were suffering and losing their perspective as a result; they were tempted to give up and go back to their old way of life. The God-inspired writer of Hebrews admonishes them to be diligent, not apathetic; hopeful, not insecure; and not to give up, but to be persistent to the end, because God is fair, and He remembers…today and forever. This bimester has been chock-full of evidence that in the midst of suffering and weariness, God is just, and He remembers, always.
 David’s saga continues; he still has aggressive cancer that has invaded the inner parts of his brain and one of his kidneys. When he had his brain biopsy last month, the neurologist recommended a lobectomy, saying that the area of his brain that controls speech was necrotic (dead). Jake and Kiki refused to authorize it. The Dr. said that David would likely never speak again after the surgery. God has remembered and performed yet another miracle. He came out of the biopsy, minus a portion of his cranium that was replaced with a metal plate, but with his brain intact. The leukemia in his brain was confirmed. Two days later, he said his name and asked for a red popsicle, and two days after that, he was discharged to his home with a protocol for more IV and oral chemo, not to cure the cancer, but to keep it a bay while we wait for the brain lesions from the surgery to heal, and for his big experimental CAR-T treatment in Philadelphia (that DOES have the possibility of beating the cancer …once again!). He is in uncharted territory, but Jacob and Kiki insist that God is faithful. David hasn’t got a single rogue cell in his body that God did not put there. His story has been used to share the Gospel with countless people, the world over. I absolutely HATE seeing my little grandkid suffer so much all of his life, but I agree that his cancer is not something to waste; it has a purpose. Of course, we hope that this new, improved version of CAR-T will eradicate the cancer once and for all. He’s an amazing kid. He got the violin he’s been wishing for on his 8th birthday last month. What’s next?  God remembers.

God has remembered María as she wisely invested valuable time during her childhood, taking advantage of what He placed in her hands and the intelligence He gave her. She played her final recital at the Nayarit School of Music (ESM) from which she has graduated with excellence and received her technical degree as a professional musician. María has already been using the reward for her diligence to continue serving God and His people with greater capacity and with her whole heart as an important part of the IBBM-Tepic worship team! It seems like she started just yesterday, but years of daily discipline and sacrificial study have passed since she received the flute God provided for her. (A big thank-you to those who helped work that out! God remembers!) María is one of nine IBBM-Tepic young people who have finished the rigorous course at the ESM and are now using their talent to serve. There are eight others who are following their example, currently studying their assorted instruments.

God remembers Zapote de Picachos. They were displaced from their village by the government and deprived of their meeting place. They have been persecuted mercilessly, bitten by rattlesnakes, stung by scorpions, and suffered illness and death; yet, they are generous, joyful, hard-working, persistent, and faithful. They are dedicated to teaching the Truth to their children; they have more children in their OANSA club than their mother-club in Tepic! They constantly look for opportunities to share the Gospel with mountain villages beyond theirs. Is it any wonder they have completely outgrown the marvelous meeting place God phenomenally provided them 13 years ago? Every Zapote family has given a liberal offering. Each member has presented him/herself as a living sacrifice to serve. Every man has worked diligently and in unity to knock out walls, repurpose old bricks, and rebuild to more than twice the size. They know and live the hallmark of active, true faith that is Christian love in the power of the Spirit. And God has remembered them. They also know that nothing can be done solo, and they are grateful for the team of people, many of whom they don’t even know, who have participated in purchasing building materials and paying for their crazy-difficult transport from Tepic to the river, up-river by boat, and up to the village on their backs. The daunting task was completed on August 17. God remembers.