We are so excited to announce that we have a new truck! We asked you all to pray for one last month and God answered our prayers with a much newer and nicer vehicle than we had ever hoped to buy. This 2010 Toyota Hilux has enough power to climb mountains and enough storage to hold supplies or a dozen or so extra people. It also gets much better gas mileage than our old Landcruiser. We can't hardly believe it ourselves yet and feel extremely grateful for this blessing.
"...For your Father knows what you need before you even ask Him." Matthew 6:8
Living in an agricultural community, we find ourselves looking at the year in terms of seed time or harvest and rain or drought instead of by normal seasons. February is the culmination of several months of harvest and when the farmers earn their living. It is also when the church earns it's income for the coming year. The local farmers bring their first-fruits to the church to sell and the women all help to cook a feast for days. The harvest isn't guaranteed each year. It depends on the weather patterns and it is not taken for granted.
The farmers also know the urgency when the time comes to pick the fruit. Everyone stops what they are doing and helps with this important work. It's easy to see why Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God in these same terms. We are so thankful to be surrounded by and working beside so many willing laborers in this work. The Summit Church was visiting this past week during our harvest festival preparations. They not only helped with the physical harvest of fruit, but also with the outreach opportunities at Bethania and in each of Bethania's 3 new church plants.
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. — Luke 10:2
We are excited to announce a new outreach opportunity at Iglesia Bethania to new mothers. Kathy, Paola, and Stacy are teaching the women about proper nutrition, doctor consultations, and how to care for themselves and their babies with a balance of exercise and rest. We serve nutritious snacks, offer yoga classes, and do a Bible study together as well.
Doctor Daniel Bryan was visiting last week and he was able to let the pregnant mothers listen to their babies' heartbeats for the first time. He was also able to examine several infants and put their mothers' minds at ease.
There are so many strange medical misconceptions associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and infants and we hope to help these women sort out fact from fiction. Our prayer is that there will be more healthy babies and Christ-centered families in our community.
The 2017 school year has begun and preschool is back in session. This means that there are about 30 new families connecting with us for the first time. We held a special event for the moms of the preschoolers on Valentine's Day.
The women from The Summit Church shared their testimonies, taught a craft, and we all ate chocolate and laughed together. Please pray for these new families and the church's influence in their lives over the coming year.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13-14
The men from The Summit Church worked together all last week to build tables for the feeding center. They worked alongside of Cory's students and got to form lasting relationships with the guys.
Just yesterday we went up to the mountains of Boaco to teach some classes and visit with Maria and her girls. We were all a bit nervous to see if they were still healthy and happy, but we had nothing to worry about. They are all doing really well. Maria has gained even more weight and it climbing up and down the hills she lives on to attend church regularly. The pastor's wife checks in on her frequently too. The girls are all attending the one room school house and continuing their studies.
I asked Maria about her husband, who was out working in the fields at the time. Her face lit up and she smiled so big. He has recently become a Christian, been baptized, and is being discipled by the pastor. Everyone in Boaco believes it is a miracle that Maria is healthy again. But the way that God healed her family and brought them back together is also a miracle and just as amazing.