It is always fun to receive packages and stuff from back home when there is a chance to send things with people traveling, so this week when our missions pastor and two other ladies from our home church came for the meetings we had, it was a great opportunity for us to get some care packages. Most of what we got was our own stuff, two suitcases and one duffelbag's worth of stuff we'd left behind for someone to bring when there was a chance. I asked a friend to buy me a few things, a couple pairs of new jeans for me, some scrapbook paper, a microscope for Micah's birthday (shhhh! don't tell!) and some other little things. Miguel asked for some special theft-deterrent lug nuts for the van tires and a bicycle pump. My mom was also able to send a few things, including a small suitcase with my sewing machine (that I really didn't expect to get until next year sometime!), a few things we'd left behind at her house and some candy corn!
So even though none of what we got was particularly a surprise, it was still pretty exciting and felt a bit like Christmas! (Now I am thinking about the group coming from Arkansas next week and thinking I should ask them to bring some peanut butter...LOL!) One of the things I was most excited to see was the rest of my shoes...I have been living with just four pairs of shoes since August and that was getting old.
The other thing that really made my day was finding the blade attachment and blending cup for my hand blender! We thought we'd lost it on the road somewhere since we had the rest of it, but those two pieces were nowhere to be found. Come to find out, Miguel had packed them in one of these suitcases to come later...and then forgot all about it. So now all the pieces are back together and I am happy.
And God really showed up in a huge way this week during all of our meetings...it was just an amazing time of fellowship and planning, I continue to be so excited and thankful to be a part of what God is doing here. It was such a blessing to see a diverse group of people come together in humility and of one heart, seeking only God's will for the future of this ministry. And we continue to be blessed, encouraged and empowered by a leadership whose desire is to serve us by participating together with us in all of these decisions and not just tell us what to do and how to do it. I just can't tell you how much of a blessing that is! Our missions pastor even commented on this, mentioning how impressed he has been this week with the quality of leadership that he sees in Tim and Andres...that is a huge confirmation that we are in the right place!
There was a bit of unwanted excitement this week, however, when Jojo got lost in the park! Losing a child is never a fun thing, but we're so thankful for God's protection of Jojo...it was quite obvious that He was taking care of our son. Selene, a friend of ours, and her two daughters were taking care of the kids for us on Thursday. I had gone to pick them up around 1 p.m. but they weren't at home. Since I knew that they didn't have a car, I figured that they had walked to a park or somewhere in the neighborhood. I sat and waited for a while, but then the thought occurred to me to try to find a pay phone and give Selene a call on her cell phone. I drove down the street and asked a shop owner where I could find a phone, and he told me that there was a pay phone that accepted coins right across from his store. I talked to Selene and she said they were in the park and I understood that I would go down to the main entrance and pick them up. So I drove the five blocks or so to the park and began looking for them there. I spotted them a ways off, but it looked like they were leaving the park through another entrance and I wasn't able to catch up with them.
So I got back in the van and drove back up to wait for them at their house. As I was parking, I noticed Jojo up on the main street waiting to cross and assumed that the whole group was right behind him. Imagine my surprise when he told me he had come back from the park alone and that he didn't know where Selene and the rest of them were! I immediately drove back down to the pay phone to call Selene because I figured that she was probably frantic by that time and I was right, she was. It took them a while to get home, but when they did, Selene was so upset, she just broke down and cried for a long time at the thought of nearly having lost one of my children! I know that it was a very serious thing to almost have lost Jojo, but I think I was more affected by her emotions...I felt so sorry that she had to go through that experience. I know exactly what she was going through since we've been there, done that!
I think she was afraid that I would be upset with her, but I reassured her that I was not...I told her of the many other times we've 'lost' Jojo. The reality is that if any one of our kids is to get lost, it would be Jojo; it has always been that way. And I recounted to her the ways that God had worked...I had come to pick them up at just the right time, God showed me the pay phone (I don't usually use pay phones!) and if I had not come back from the park when I did, Jojo would not have known how to find their house...as he made his way back from the park, he didn't know where to go, but when he saw me drive by on the way back from the park, he followed me. And God protected Jojo from getting snatched by someone along the way.
So on top of fervently praising God for watching out for Jojo, we're now teaching all the kids our address and phone number in case that ever happens again! I also realized we need to reteach Survival Skills 101 (as in when you realize you have gotten separated from your group stay where you are until someone comes back for you or go find a policeman). Jojo told me that he thought that they had forgotten about him...as if that could ever happen, so he just took matters into his own hands! I have told him many times since, that we will never forget about him, ever...we might accidentally leave him somewhere, but we will always go back for him...
In other news, on Thursday night Miguel and Micah went up to the mountains in the northern part of the state to go to a camp for Totonac young people. What a great opportunity for Miguel to serve, to make contacts with others working with this people group, and to have some fun time with Micah! In the meantime, the rest of us have crashed here at home...it's been a long week with a lot of action, it's just nice to sit around and not have too much to do. They will be back on Monday, if all goes as planned.
I am quite proud of myself since I've done a lot of driving while Miguel has been gone...I took Tim and Andres out to a mall for supper on Thursday night and then yesterday I was able to take them to the bus station. I am able to find my way around now in various parts of the city with the help of our handy Guia Roji (literally, the Red Guide, a brand of road and city maps) and that feels good. Driving here is always an adventure, but so far so good...
So that's the news from this week...I am off to go indulge in some more coffee and a good book...