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We Have Arrived - Yet Not Fully

Well, we have been here for a few days now. I have to say. I think we really, really love it here. Today was a complete God sighting. I don’t know if it was the combination of the beauty and the fact that life seems to slow down a little bit here but His presence really hit me. Granted, we have only been here a few days but it already feels like home and I can only see the heart growing more attached.

The trip was quite grueling. The first set back was when we found out 2 hrs. before we were supposed to leave for the airport that we could only have 40 lbs. in each of our bags instead of 50, so we had to get rid of 110 lbs. worth of stuff. It does also seem like a long trip, all things considered, coming from Wisconsin. Our plane departed at 4:00 am, it was supposed to depart at 1:00 am. We slept on the airport floor for a few hrs. I was told I was snoring quite loud. It is funny because I would say I didn’t even fall asleep.

We showed up in Guatemala City at 11:40. It was quite the God thing when we arrived, we were escorted around the immigration area where they check bags and you declare what you are bringing in. This is quite the thing, when you consider we had a lot of medicine, cases of books and many other things that could have caused quite the hiccup. We were amazed when this happened. Surely God was working.

We then had about a 7hr. drive on the winding mountain roads. We stopped in Xela to get some remaining supplies. How we could get that much in a vehicle is beyond me. I guess we could have adapted to the most common local practice of tying things on the roof. The kids did really well, as there was not a lot of sleep gotten in the couple days of traveling. We arrived in Comi about 11:00 pm and immediately hit the sack after digging out some blankets.

There has been a very warm welcome. We are probably staying in the nicest casa (house) in Comi. We might even be in the aldea of Agua Tibia, I am not sure, there is a sign with that name on it, right across from the bridge by our place.It is about a 2 mile walk into town. We have made the jaunt into town quite a few times already. Once for drinking water – yeah, that was a workout. It’s probably good that our house is so nice. We even have free alarm clocks. They have a corn crushing machine right across from our house that they start using at first light, as well as the numerous chickens that like to declare it is day break.

Everybody has been quite gracious in making sure we have everything. Although, I think we would have made due no matter what. I am told it is quite unusual to have a house with full electric and full running water. At least 90% of those in Comi do not have this and is completely unheard of in the outlying aldeas.

There is a Laundromat very close to us. Women wake up sometimes as early as 3:00 am and hike many miles to ensure a spot at the pilas to wash their clothes because the aldeas they are coming from do not have running water and never will. The aldeas they are coming from are higher in the mountains than any available springs.Nevaeh has had new friends over the last couple days, she is learning how to play futbol. Although I think Kennedy might enjoy it just as much as Nevaeh.

We have a pool by our house that they fill up with water and leave filled up for a few days before it gets to dirty. Nevaeh was swimming in it and a Mam lady walked by dressed in full Mam attire. She was carrying a baby one her back and a big bundle on her head. And she couldn’t help but to keep turning to look at Nevaeh, like she was the strangest thing she had ever seen. How she could keep that stuff on her head from falling is beyond me, even with her head turning while carrying a baby one her back – to me this out of the ordinary and it is funny because she thinks that same thing when she sees us.

Becky and Kennedy might be helping to teach English at a school pretty soon and we will be getting involved in a local church shortly. We are supposed to meet with the leaders on Sunday afternoon. This is very exciting. I think they are as excited to have us here, as we are to be here.

This is such a blessing because this is the reason we came here.Our whole goal of being here is the gospel and what better way than to come alongside, lift up, strengthen, be a part of a Church already here. I do not believe there is ministry apart from the local church. So, if you want to be in ministry, either get involved in a church or plant a church but this I feel, is like a fast track to the people with the gospel. There have been inroads made. We in no way want to oppose, undermine or be a hindrance to the ministry already here, so we are joining with. I think it is so stupid when ministries and missionaries and churches compete with each other.

Don’t get me wrong there is much heresy. But wherever we agree on the great truths of the gospel (salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone on the authority of scripture alone, to the glory of God alone) let us join hands and strengthen what remains, and where there is cause to fight for truth, let us do so in a way that shines light on and clarifies the gospel all the more and in no way hinders it.

My wife and I were just talking about how inadequate we feel. What do we have to offer. Yet, at the same time, we are so thankful for the opportunity. God’s truth hit me very hard this morning during my morning meditations, what perfect timing.I have to remember, when we attempt to do His will, our only hope, and it is a great hope, is His grace.“For of His fullness we have received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16)

Literally, “grace instead of grace” or “grace following grace” or “grace heaped upon grace”. For daily need there is daily grace, for sudden need, sudden grace: for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. Salvation is by grace alone and living the Christian life is by grace alone.It is our only hope, the promise that where there is grace for salvation there is always more grace for living and living my friends, is where we find the ministry of our lives.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,When our strength has failed ere the day is half done; When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father’s full giving is only begun. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power has no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again. (Annie Johnson Flint)

In the midst of it all, we must not forget, to slow down, and take it all in. The most honoring things we can do for God is enjoy Him and rely upon Him.

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