Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 17 - a couple more stories from 20 years ago

So continuing from yesterday. I was on a mission trip to a small village in northern Mexico.   We were doing lots of  fellowship with the moms and the kids who came to the Vacation Bible School program.  We had outdoor activities like bubbles, balls, jump ropes and a parachute.  And we got to speak with many of the women - a few who could speak English.  This was an eye opener for me in so many ways.  First of all, these people LOVE their children.  The children were all clean and neat, even though they did not have new clothes (in most cases), they had on their best for us.  You could tell that the children had a wonderful relationship with all of these women.  This sweet little baby's name was Pearl Jasmine.  I got to talking to her mother when I asked her name.  She told me that it was unusual for a baby to have a name before they turned 1.  Usually their "naming" ceremony happened on their first birthday.  The reason for this was that many, many times the children didn't survive infancy.  It was easier to lose a child that did not have a name.  This mother had gone against the norm and named this baby because she believed that Jesus was taking care of her.  We also heard a sad story that 6 years earlier they had experienced a bacteria in their water reservoir and many of the children under 6 had died.  There were far fewer kids between 6 and 12 than there should have been and this was the reason.  Wow, we are so removed from this kind of thing in our comfy life in the United States.  It was a sobering reality for these people and experiencing it in a small way, changed how I looked at my own life.  I remember Pearl Jasmine's mother and her resolve to trust totally in Jesus.  What a testimony that is.

Then there is this testimony of multiplication......  The majority of the food for the team came with us on that bus.  We ate lots of peanut butter and jelly.  And a lot of canned food.  On the final night in the town we prepared a meal for all of the people from the church who had hosted us in their homes and also all of the elders of the church.  Many, many people turned up at the church for this meal.  As a matter of fact, the people just kept coming down the road.  It became very clear that we would not have enough food to feed everyone.  We told all of the kids to wait to eat until given permission and then we prayed over the pots of food.  We had several large cans of Spaghetti pasta "0's" that we had not intended to use that night, that were opened and heated.  And the people ate.  And the team ate.  ALL of the people ate.  And that pot of pasta was about 1/3 full at the end of the night.  It was a multiplication miracle.  I don't think I appreciated the scope of this miracle until after we were home from this trip.  I know that this miracle happened because I held the spoon in that pot and scooped out plates of food for people.  Yes, it was an amazing testimony of the provision of Jesus.  And it was also an expression of Jesus' great love for these people. I later found out that this kind of multiplication of food happened often on these mission trips.  It was certainly the first time I had ever seen and experienced this.

I was greatly blessed and changed by this trip so long ago.  Thinking about this trip has made me remember that I have so much to be grateful for.  And I am reminded that Jesus is faithful and He cares for and provides for His people. 

Jesus, thank you so much for who you are.  You are an amazing God who provides for all of our needs.  You cover us with your love,  you empower us with your faith and strength and you do miraculous things every day!  Holy Spirit, thank you for prompting me to share these stories each day.  What a great blessing it has been for me to remember your faithfulness and goodness to me.  Again, bless the people in this town in Mexico and remind them of your love.  Amen

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