My week felt fairly centered on Steph. The baby comes sometime next month, so we’re not that very far from deliverance. Steph has had her best pregnancy yet in many ways, but this week the emotions hit her and were somewhat more than she could handle for a bit.
I blame it on Cusco. China invited Steph to go to Cusco for a day, and Steph enjoyed herself, but the day after and ever since, she’s been not her best self. The same thing happened about several weeks ago when she went to Cusco. So, with those two data points, I think we can safely say that Cusco is bad for Steph.
With the help of the ladies, I’ve been keeping the house work under control, giving Steph time to recuperate. That means that not many things got scratched off my own list, but that’s the nice thing about lists—they’ll keep until next week. It was hard for me to see Caleb out making progress on the plumbing while I was hanging out wash, but at the same time, I’m glad for the ability to do that.
We enjoyed another instruction class with Alicia. Thank you for praying. She seemed much more at ease and was able to open up and seemed to understand the lesson, which was on salvation. She also shared about her own history with the church. She said that she realizes that all these years she’s been so close to truth, but she never fully understood what it meant to surrender all to Jesus. She said each week she discovers more that she is lacking, so she spends her weekdays studying the Bible to verify what we discuss in class, and the Spirit shows her that these things are true.
This week she wanted to spend time making restitution in some relationships, especially with her children. One of the relationships is especially difficult and some very harsh words have been spoken, but she went on Thursday to ask forgiveness and to make an attempt at repairing the relationship. Continue praying for her as she tries to put into practice what she is learning.
Cristina did attend prayer meeting again this week. We are working through a book on the ordinances of the church, and she finds it all very new and enlightening, yet at the same time it is hard to reconcile with her upbringing under a very different perspective. I keep encouraging us all to hold the Bible as the final authority. It doesn’t matter so much what happened in history in the various arms of the so-called church. What matters is who we are today in the light of God’s Word, for that’s the only measure God will use to judge us.
Rafael brought his mom to the Friday study this week. The lesson talked about the personal testimony of the Christian. I gave everyone an opportunity to share, and it was encouraging to hear everyone’s story. I shared, then Steph, Leonela, Esmeralda, Caleb, and Belinda. Elisabet and Rafael both shared how they have come to know Jesus through our testimony, which is a sobering truth.
Something Rafael shared was interesting to hear. He said that before, they felt they needed to go to Mass and to say their Hail, Mary’s and so on out of obligation and a fearful hope that it was enough to please God and to cover for their sins, but now he sees that he wants a new life that is pure all the time. He doesn’t want to be a sinner Monday through Saturday only to make confession on Sunday; he wants to learn to really know Jesus.
Elisabet cried a lot. I’m not sure why, but I assume that she sees the relationship we have with the Lord, and she wants that same thing. She said something she’s said before, and Rafael echoed it, “Don’t give up on us. We will get there eventually.” Keep praying for their salvation.
It was interesting to watch Maritza’s responses. This was likely the only Bible study she’s been in. I’m not sure how many times I asked in our study, “What does the Bible say?” I felt it was critical that she understand that we are not some fringe group who is following a man or a church. We are disciples of Jesus who obey His Word. She followed closely everything that was said and seemed to ingest it.
Do you all remember when we prayed for a miracle that God would save Maritza’s life, and He chose to heal her aneurysm? Rafael pointed it out in our study how it was a miracle that his mom could be with him at that moment. He said, “If I told my friends that I was spending my Friday nights doing this, they would laugh at me. But this matters, and we don’t want anything to get in the way of learning about God, no matter who laughs at us.” His mom was nodding and frowning, almost as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing yet realizing what her son said was true. May God use that study as a seed in her heart.
Dane, Abbey, and I made breakfast this morning, the traditional pancakes. Then I oversaw the Saturday cleaning in between moments of studying. Our six-year-old has recently become more dishonest. He’s always been a bit sly and quiet, but he’s taken it to the next level. This week has been a rough time for him with both Daddy and the school teachers cracking down on any hint of dishonesty. That meant that I had to check every job that I gave him today and then follow through on discipline for anything not done in integrity.
That doesn’t make for the best studying, but we do what we can. I’m certainly glad for the opportunity to train my children to love God, but it does take time. I should be finishing my studying now, but my mind felt so distracted and disjointed that I decided to write instead. That usually gives me some clarity though I’m not leaving in everything I wrote! Sometimes I almost forget this isn’t my private diary.
Thank you for your support, as always. I especially thank you for your prayers. I am convinced that we cannot do this work without prayer.
And thank you to my friend who called me out of the blue this afternoon. You had heard how full my week was and decided to check in on me, and I’m afraid that I just unloaded without much of a filter. Thanks for listening and understanding and caring. I’ll give you a call soon to check in on your life and give you a chance to talk. 😉