Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mountain Moments

Our weekly Bible studies are going well.  We only have a few more weeks to teach before taking time off for our Stateside Assignment so we are trying to get to a good stopping point.  It is hard to think about being away for a while.  Each group has plans to continue to meet throughout our time of being away.  We are praying that it will be a great time of growth for each of them and that the work and leaders would continue to mature.   Would you join us in praying for that? 

The construction on the new church building in Nearar is progressing well. They will soon begin putting on the roof.  We do not know when the whole project will be complete or when the group will start meeting there.  It should be while we are away and even though that saddens us to know we might not be there initially it will be good for the locals to step up and get it going.

the construction in Nearar

We have had four straight weeks of heavy thunderstorms on Thursday afternoons.  That kept us from going to Bible study one week and then a protest by a group of locals had the road blocked and prevented us from going another week.  Add in the week that David was in Mexico and that made three weeks in a row to miss the Muyurco study.  They met in our absence but we were sure wanting to get there.  On our last Thursday there before this happened I took this video of the locusts that we could hear as we hiked the trail to the house where we meet.  It was so loud!

I joked that they were calling the rains and sure enough just as we finished our Bible study and began to hike back to the car the rains came down hard.  The mountain roads quickly turn into rushing rivers as the water comes down.  It makes for dangerous travel.

On this particular Thursday afternoon we were trying to get back down the mountain in the rainstorm and came across a tree that had fallen over the road.  It was getting dark and we had to get down the mountain soon.  That meant David had to get out in the rain and try to move that tree by himself.  Poor thing!  He got soaked but was able to move it enough for us to squeeze by.  The locals have since told us we should always travel with a machete in our car.  It would have come in handy for David to move that tree.  We just never think of things like that. ha 

David moving the tree out of the road.  You can see him in the center wearing orange.

As if our afternoon/ evening had not been adventurous enough we got home and found our dining room flooded with water that had come in the window.  And, the power was out!  We worked hard using flashlights to get the water mopped up and the floor dry.  The power stayed out until late the next afternoon.  That made for a long hot night and following day. We ended up moving a mattress into the dining room under the front window because it was the coolest place in the house.  David and the boys slept there that night.  The boys loved it!

camping out in the kitchen on a hot, powerless night
What a fun memory for them!

During those three weeks that we had not been able to be at our Thursday Bible study the group had continued to meet.  During that time two new families joined the group.  One of those families lives in a neighboring village. This past Thursday our group traveled together to that village and had a service in their home.  There were 25 of us that went and shared there.  The sun was shining the whole time up until about 10 minutes before we were ready to start.  Then, out of no where, a huge thunderstorm passed through.  It rained hard for several minutes and then moved on.  We were able to start the service and had about an hour of music, sharing, and praying before David got up to preach.  Just as he began to share another storm passed through.  It rained so hard!  He continued to teach but it was very difficult to hear.  Once the service ended we had to wait another 15-20 minutes for the rain to slack off enough for us to hike back to the car.  In spite of all of this we still had a great time there.  The family was very encouraged by the service and the love that the group showed to them.

the boys hiking to Bible study last Thursday afternoon near the village of El Limon

some of the group gathered around under this thatched roof trying to stay dry as we waited for the rains to pass

When it was over we took as many of them home as we could.

It was quite an adventurous ride coming down that mountain in the rain.  There were a lot of gasps but also a lot of giggles.

Here are some videos I took of us driving down.  

At one point the water was rushing over the road and we were stopped for about 30 minutes waiting to see if it was safe to pass.  Eventually another vehicle came from the other direction and after waiting it out a while he decided to cross.  When we saw him pass safely we continued on ourselves.

It was dark before we got down the mountain and I was pretty nervous but we made it home safely.  Much to our surprise it had not rained a single drop in town but started soon after we returned home.  The power stayed on this time though so we rejoiced.  We were wet, muddy, tired, and hungry but glad to be safely back at home.

This will be the norm for the next several months as the rainy season is just getting started.  We only have a few more weeks left to travel up and down those roads before our break and ask for your prayers for traveling safety.  Pray more though that those weeks would be productive weeks of sharing the gospel.  Pray that God would use us greatly over the next month as we travel and teach each week.

It is exciting to look back over this last three year term and see where the work was when we began this term compared to where the work is today.  It has come a long way in three years.  As we look to close out this term we are praising the Lord for the progress we have been able to see.  Thank you for how you have faithfully prayed for these villages over the past several years!  Your prayers have made a difference and God has answered them in many ways.  Thank you for praying!

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