Tuesday, February 01, 2022

December 2021/January 2022 "All the days ordained for me were written in your book..." Psalm 139:16

 December 2021/January 2022

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; all the days ordained for me were written in your book when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16

One thing is sure, our Father’s purpose transcends the dates that we humans have established; His plans never have been subject to them. First, the uncertainty of 2019 spilled over into 2020, then 2021 emerged, and now we have hurdled into 2022. Still, the “normalcy” we had expected is out of reach. We most certainly are not in control, nevertheless, these days were recorded in His book before days even existed. By faith, we can be confident that regardless of the circumstances, this year is just what He ordered. Despite the constant roller coaster of government restrictions and unexpected changes in plans, the past two months in Tepic are proof positive that we can trust that His thoughts and ways are not ours. They are positively higher than ours. 

After such a long time of government prohibition, what a treat it was for the ladies from IBBM-Tepic to get together to celebrate Christmas. As I prepared the lesson for our study time, I found myself jumping straight to Matthew 1:18, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was…” I had to question, “Wait! Since all Scripture is inspired, why did I automatically skip over the first 17 verses?” Genealogies! That’s why! No thanks! Oh, but Matthew takes us to the Hope of Christmas in Jesus’s family tree. 

The wonder of Christmas is that Jesus, the redeeming Son of God, left His perfect place in Heaven to enter this broken and wounded world as a human baby. Even more amazing is that the hurting and broken are found right there in Jesus’s very own family tree — the real Christmas tree. And five of those hurting and broken ancestors of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary, are women…and not all those girls are Jewish, and every single one lugged heavy “baggage.” That scandalous baggage required scandalous grace! Not one of us had control over the family we were born into…but every one of us is invited to belong to a new family, His family, and a new identity in Him.” 

The following Sunday, Huichol Pastor José López stopped in for a visit at IBBM-Tepic. The family at the Tepic church loves him and his Huichol brothers and sisters. We love sharing with them and hearing his testimony of how God has been blessing faithful efforts in multiple villages in the Sierra Madre during these “abnormal” days that the Omnipotent has ordained and recorded in His book before the beginning of time. The pandemic has had little effect on the resilient Huichol community, mostly the bother of using face masks whenever they come to town! José asked for prayer for the Christmastime mission outreaches that he and leaders from other village churches would be combining efforts to perform. In his group, José and nine others traveled those treacherous roads in the back of a pickup truck to Codorniz and San Andrés, more remote villages in the mountains, to disciple and share the Good News of the rescue mission of the Greatest Christmas Gift ever.

At long last, the government gave the green light to begin our OANSA club meetings on January 15.  The cheers the kids gave in church when they heard the announcement were exhilarating! No sooner did we make the announcement, and yet another wave of contagion hit suspending all public classes for children. A few of the leaders were infected, including Jonatán and Pau, our new OANSA commanders, and we were forced to postpone again.  Finally, last week, we had our first meeting after nearly two years. We weren’t allowed to transport kids from other neighborhoods, and our game time had to be in the church yard, but at least it’s a start. 
Please pray with us that we will be able to continue the IBBM-Tepic church children’s outreach. Every young teacher, musician, and leader we have has gone through the ranks of OANSA before they became Leaders in Training then graduated to the positions they fill with such excellence. 
These days also have been ordained and written in His book. We trust our Omniscient Father for wisdom for carrying out His plan, and we thank you for praying with us


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