Sunday, February 1, 2015

When the Rewards Come

Last week was a rewarding week. Along with the team from Hinton Alliance, we went to work in Zapote. We had two houses to build in three days. The first house was full of rocks and we thought that there was no way we would get two houses done because the digging took so long on the first.  By the end of the first day all that we had done was to set all of the support posts. While some of us went to that house a second day, 2 others went with Rudy to the second house to begin tear down and digging to prepare that lot for building. That was when the fun began.

The second lot had rocks but that was of little consequence. It also had numerous boulders that were 2 to 3' in diameter. They must have weighed a ton each. Kelvin and Rudy spent the whole day there digging around one that could not stay if we were going to build on this tiny lot. When we came from the first house at 3:30 to help them, they were trying to move it out of a
2 1/2' deep hole with large breaker bars. We strapped it with a tow strap and pulled while they pried. after about 10 more minutes, we had it moved 20' and out of the way.

When we went back the next day we encountered many more of these massive boulders. We tried for a couple of hours to move them but eventually realized that we would never finish the house if we continued this effort. The decision was made to bring in several truck loads of dirt to level the lot. While some did that, others began building. even though we had such a late start, I am happy to say that at 6 o'clock Wednesday evening we finished and dedicated it also. These accomplishments were rewarding but there was something else that was the highlight of the week for me.

Before we began the first house, Pastor Jose Louis told us the story of the family that we were working to help. The mother was a widow with four daughters. One had a young son that also stayed with them. One of the daughters is wanting to study accounting but needed to work and save money so she could go to school. This is an uncommon thing in this remote village. Last year, she did not go to school but when to work in Peten,  a northern department 12 hours away by bus so she could save money for school. Around Christmas time, she was robbed and severely beaten. All of the money she had saved was robbed and she was in very bad shape for over two weeks. She still has the remnants of scars and swelling in her face.

Milvia, the girl that was attacked and robbed.

When she came home, the family called Pastor Jose Louis to come pray for her even though they were not part of the Church. As he ministered to the family, The Holy Spirit moved. As a result of all of this, 17 people in this family surrendered their lives to Jesus. There was a transformation. The girl that was beaten seemed to be at peace. She did not seem at all anxious around us strangers and was helpful and talkative. You could tell God was at work in her life healing and restoring all that the enemy had tried to steal. I think every one of us also felt like we were suppose to be part of the restoration process. While we never give money to the families we serve, we all felt the prompting of God to give to her. In order to preserve the ministry and not create unrealistic expectations, we gave it to Pastor Jose Louis to give it at the right time. She has now left to return to work and is still planning on going to school next year. Please keep this family in your prayers.

It is stories like this that make this whole experience worth it. When we get to see the love of Jesus flow into people's lives as a result of the ministry that the work makes possible, joy is natural. I feel so blessed to be part of a ministry that keeps men like Pastor Jose Louis in the field. He is able to minister in ways that would not be possible without the resources that come and allow the love of God to be seen in tangible ways. Thank you for your support and prayers. This story is part of of what you all make possible.