Thursday, October 01, 2020

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~Philippians 1:6

God doesn’t walk away bored and leave stuff incomplete. Like a giant puzzle, He puts together the lives of those united with Christ by grace through faith, transforming each piece and placing it in its proper place, in His time. Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture, and sometimes the pieces don’t seem to fit. One thing is sure, He holds the box in His hand, He knows when and where each piece will be set, and He knows exactly what the finished product will look like. He will complete what He began, perfectly. 

The past two months have been filled with numerous bits and pieces that are being placed in a perfect masterpiece that only the Omniscient Designer would know how to coordinate. In the midst of a confusing time, Jeremiah asked God to pick up the pieces of his life and put him back together again; He would get the honor and praise. We know just how Jeremiah felt. 
First, thank you for praying for little David, my grandson, who received his bone marrow transplant in Seattle. He passed the 100-day post-op follow-up period and was to have been back in Phoenix by now, but he is hospitalized again with complications. This piece of the puzzle is not fitting into place as we had hoped and expected. His other grandmother, Lorie, has joined the family, and I am back in Phoenix helping out with homeschooling for other grandkids while awaiting the green flag to return to Mexico. The latest US Embassy advisory calls for avoiding travel to most of Mexico, including the state of Nayarit. People are still asked to stay home for all non-essential activity. Meanwhile, I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve, constant online connection and interaction with our family in Mexico, and for God’s sovereign open and closed doors.

Along with this puzzle piece that is hard to place, comes a very encouraging one that seems to have jumped into its spot! Check out this article that tells that though we “can’t pinpoint exactly which Bible was translated into its 700th language,” it’s quite possible it was our Huichol version! The 700 translations make God’s Word accessible in the heart languages of 5.7 billion people! There are days we are tempted to lose sight of the big picture, days that seem like the box is full of fragmented pieces that don’t seem to fit anywhere. This is not one of those!

Another encouraging piece firmly in its place is that the Tepic Church (IBBM-Tepic) just transmitted its 27th live-streamed Sunday service since the lockdown. In the process, the electrical wiring to the entire church had to be replaced, so the past four weeks were transmitted from my house across the street. Not a single service was missed; not a single piece came up missing from the divine puzzle, and His workmanship is beautiful! 

 In addition, Project Classrooms is continuing slowly, but surely, as God provides resources for materials. The towers and formwork are in place awaiting the concrete that will be both, the roof for floor one, and the floor for the upper story. Speaking of puzzles, this kind of construction is a real brainteaser for sure! How thankful we are that God has provided a bunch of pieces that will fit together for its intended purpose, and the classrooms will serve to help prepare the next generation! 

As for the next generation, another piece to this puzzle that has fallen into place even when the way seems unclear, is the IBBM-Tepic youth group. They have named themselves “Dunamis,” a perfect term from Greek used 120 times in the New Testament to describe God’s power to transform and use every fragmented piece in the box. The leaders are from the group itself, valuable pieces whose lives have been made meaningful and powerful as they have been taught, mentored, and discipled to use their various shapes, colors, and gifts to serve. Some of those over-achiever, hyper-active, leader-type pieces are the brains and drive behind the technical production of live streaming made possible on a super-tight budget at IBBM-Tepic. They meet virtually, every Saturday evening, dreaming up a creative weekly theme to present Bible truths dynamically to the group at large, and there are more students checking in and being directed to Jesus than ever. 

Jonatán (Pastor Martín’s oldest son) and Paulina are two of those key leaders at IBBM-Tepic. They will be married in November, though the big celebration they had planned has to be canceled due to the lockdown. It is nothing short of miraculous to witness their trust in God’s piece-placing in their lives as they share the Gospel, set an example to everyone around of the real purpose for their upcoming marriage, and prepare to unite efforts in modeling the relationship of our Savior with His bride. God still holds the box in His hand, He has known all along when and where each piece will be set, and He still knows exactly what the finished product will look like. It will be a magnificent display of His artistry and for His glory in those with whom He began a good work and continues to fit together perfectly. He will bring His work to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 


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