Monday, July 31, 2023

June-July 2023 …Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord

June-July 2023 …Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today… ~ Exodus 14:13a 

The young students of the IBBM-Tepic children’s church memorized this verse last week as we finished a six-week segment of a series called Paths of Faith. For the past 26 weeks, we’ve been studying the panorama of the entire Bible which will take over 3 ½ years to complete. The children learned that Moses bravely spoke these words on the brink of crossing the Red Sea. God had divinely designated, preserved, and prepared Moses during the course of 80 difficult years as he was crowned prince, turned patriot and fled for his life to Midian as a refugee. Every student in the class has learned the keywords from the sequence of events in Genesis and Exodus – creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, covenant, chosen people, cruelty, and crossing. But of greater importance is that the children are learning to apply these true Bible stories that were designed by the divine Author to be examples for His followers today. God called Moses to be their liberator, and under his leadership, two million chosen people escaped from Egypt after God’s mighty, saving hand repeatedly and conclusively defied their useless gods. He gave His people three important things to do in the face of their urgent, humanly impossible obstacles: the Red Sea, the hostile desert terrain that flanked them on both sides and the approaching murderous Egyptian army. He orders: 1. Don’t be afraid, 2. Be still, and 3. Prepare to watch the Lord’s miraculous salvation. 

This course of action is exactly what God expects from all His followers as He performs the task of rescuing and saving. It applied to the chosen people fleeing Egypt, and it applies to His chosen ones today. 

The past two months in Tepic
have held some seemingly unbearable situations that are purposely designed opportunities to obey this biblical mandate.
After the long-anticipated OANSA fair in which the children enjoyed the fruits of their year of labor, IBBM-Tepic hosted our annual ladies’ retreat. The theme this year was “Transformed.” We marveled at the power and handiwork of the Creator as He alone works His metamorphosis and transformation in the lives of His children, and we contemplated the fact that sometimes that process is long and painful. 

No sooner was the retreat over than a couple of our sisters experienced graphic examples of that process in their own lives. 

After years of begging God for his salvation, Romy’s unbelieving husband died, rejecting the Savior until the end of his life. Noemí, the mother of two young daughters, was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. Both are clinging to the truth that the very dark transforming moment for the caterpillar which seems to be the end of its world, is actually the light-filled moment that, for the butterfly, is the beginning of true transformation. Both sisters are gripping Moses’ admonition: Don’t be afraid. Be still. And see the Lord’s salvation. 

Thirteen years ago, Isidro, a much-loved, dedicated, and faithful worker and leader in the Huichol church in the village of Zapote de Picachos, died unexpectedly leaving fatherless his little family with four young children. Fourteen-year-old Secundino, the oldest, went to work to support his mother, Hortensia, his sisters, Elvira and Alma Luz, and his younger brother, Isidro, Jr.   

Praise God that Isidro’s son, Secundino, heard the Gospel as a child and responded to it. As one of God’s chosen people, his Heavenly Father saw to it that, though overwhelming and seemingly impossible circumstances surrounded Secundino, he had nothing to fear. He stood firmly as God sent leaders, teachers, and mentors his way. He finished the OANSA program, hiding texts from God’s Word in his heart, and now he’s one of the OANSA leaders. He worked alongside the men at the Zapote church in every project they pursued. The year after his daddy died, a team from NVBC, my sending church in Phoenix, planned a project to place a cement OANSA game court in Secundino’s village. What a project!
Kenny, the concrete foreman from Phoenix, took Secundino under his wing, and they worked together dumping heavy wheelbarrow loads of cement, filling in the forms until the job was complete. Secundino learned to play the violin and formed a singing group they call, “The Gospel Four.” They provided some of the music at the Huichol youth camp in April. This past month, the group traveled to Tepic one weekend to lead us at IBBM in singing praises, Huichol-style. That harmonious, joyful noise was music to our Father’s ears and ours. Who knew that a little Huichol kid named Secundino would be rescued so spectacularly from the enemy’s devious clutches as he is vying for control of the kingdom? His Father knew, for sure.
Secundino learned to obey Moses’ God-given exhortation to Fear not, Stand firm, and he has Seen with eyes of faith, the Lord’s rescuing salvation.

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