Time truly does fly when you're having fun! As I write this it is nearing one year since Brad and I flew to Mexico to find a place for our family to live, and in the blink of an eye, it seems, we are back. Although our time in Reynosa was shorter than we would have thought, we know that the Lord has led us home. Some of His reasoning is clear to us now, but we know some will not be revealed until later.
I know that my words here could never convey all that the Lord showed us and taught us during our time in Mexico. I cannot begin to share the multitude of blessings He bestowed on us. But that won't stop me from trying.
When God called us to this mission, we had grand ideas of the ways He would use us to further the Kingdom. We dreamed of the ways that we could help orphaned children and bring lost Mexicans to a saving knowledge of Christ. We hoped for changes in our family and growth in our faith. We wondered if God would lead us to yet other foreign mission fields.
What we didn't imagine is that we were selling our God short. We were keeping Him in a box. You would think that by this time in our journey of faith, we would know Him better than that. Yet, much like the Israelites in the desert, we so easily forget what Yahweh is capable of. Not only did He do all that we hoped and imagined, He did SO MUCH more! God didn't just take us out of our country, He took us out of our boxes. He grew us in ways we didn't realize we needed to grow. Over the months since we left NC we've talked often about the "surprise blessings". Brad and I agree that, hands down, time was the most surprising and most precious blessing we received. Being back in NC for just four weeks, I already long for the Mexican pace of life. The extra time and the slow pace we were allowed in Mexico not only caused us to rethink the "Great American Race" we were so accustomed to. It also brought our family together for a time of regrowth. God gave us time away from all that normally fights for our time and attention. We spent quality time together as a family daily. Even more importantly, we spent quality time with the Lord and in His Word daily.
Another result of the extra time and the slower pace is that Brad and I were able to realize a long-time dream. We've written a book! Wow, that's the first time I've written that! Neither of us have ever considered ourselves gifted writers. Nevertheless, God has given us both a longing to write a book that would point others to Him. Thanks be to Him, we have co-authored a book entitled Your Last Breath. We are in the process now of having it published and we are just so excited! We'll keep everyone posted concerning the release and other details. In the meantime, we covet your prayers. Please pray that we would be led by the Lord and that He would give us favor in the publishing process.
Leaving Reynosa was bittersweet for our family. Although we know it is God's will and we are thrilled to be back with family and friends, saying "Hasta Luego" to our friends in Mexico was very hard. I tell everyone that I would have brought all 56 children back with me if I could and I truly mean that. But we have great peace knowing they are being cared for by men and women who are the hands and feet of God.
The week before we departed for NC ,our friends at the Children's Home gave us a going away party. One thing we learned about the Mexican culture is that they LOVE to honor people and make them feel special. When you are the "honored guest" at a Mexican fiesta they go all out for you. Our farewell fiesta was no exception. The House Parents and the children from each individual "casa" put on their own presentation for us. Some sang, some did drama, all made us cry! We were once again reminded of the love of God as these special people poured it out to us.
I have posted several pictures from our last week in Reynosa that will speak for themselves. But let me close by saying thank you all for your prayers and support of our family over the last year or so. Please continue to lift us up as we strive to do His will and to share the Love of Christ with all. FYI: Brad is now working for our church in a lay minister capacity. We are thrilled for the opportunities that the Lord is giving us to serve him.