We are only three weeks into our Back2Back summer schedule of groups, but I feel like so much has happened we just had to send a little update to bring you all up to speed.
In order to keep it brief, I will just hit the highlights.
Our summer started off with a women’s group from a church in Michigan, which just happens to be my Grandma’s church. It was a great week of ministry that was challenging but unhindered by the 6 straight days of rain that ended up turning in to Hurricane Andrea.
There was a lot of flooding and most days we were soaking wet from morning till night, but God did some amazing things in the lives of the kids we serve and in the hearts of the women who came to serve alongside of us.
The second week, we had a college team from Horizon Church in Cincinnati. It was a unique group in that several of these students were searching for God and still working through questions of faith.
It was a blessing to be able to watch how God showed himself to this group of students through a week filled with concrete, paint, dirt, playing with kids in the streets and the small groups and ministry of their Pastor, Amy Rudge and her fiance, Steve.
At the end of the week, Amy told us that 5 of the students had accepted Jesus as their Savior!
During this week, we were also able to celebrate three birthdays of some of our precious girls at San Jose. Jiromi, Jimena and Perla all had birthdays in June so we had a big birthday party.
Along with games and presents, we (staff, interns and the group) also made lists for each of the girls and we all took turns telling the girls out loud what our favorite thing about them was and then we wrote it down.
I also got a wonderful fathers day present, as did all of the Back2Back staff men, from Dalila’s three children. All three of her kids wrote us letters for Father’s Day thanking us for being father figures in their lives. It was a wonderful reminder of why we are here and I thank God for the tender hearts of these three beautiful kids!
Also, this was the week that my issues with sickness continued. For the last two months it has been one thing after another starting with a parasite in April and the latest of which, I just received test results back today from, was Mono.
So three days after I began the symptoms of Mono, was the day our third group of the summer arrived. A rambunctious group of 18 high schoolers and four chaperones.
I was exhausted and looking at a week of long days and nights ahead and after we got them settled in on Saturday night, I was going to go home and try to sleep. But, I ended up sticking around for worship that first night and man am I glad I did. I had just been tested for Mono two days earlier and had swollen lymph nodes, a throat infection that wouldn’t go away and was dizzy, and exhausted, but during worship that night, God healed me of all of it. COMPLETELY!!!
By the time I got home, my lymph nodes had started to go back to normal, my throat swelling was down and I wasn’t dizzy anymore.
The next morning, I woke up and was 100% healthy and have been since, even while getting my test results back today saying I have mono.
What a start to a great week where God healing me of mono was minor in comparison to what he had planned for the kids on the trip.
God took 18 kids that were mostly strangers when they arrived, several of which were going through horendous situations in life and had been through terrible things back home, and unified them completely under the cross of Jesus.
By the end of the week, they were worshipping Jesus arm in arm, wandering around the room during worship praying for each other in groups. We had 6 kids give their lives to Jesus and get baptized at the beach yesterday!
PRAISE THE LORD!
Often times it can be easy to get caught up in the ministry that we are doing here to the kids and people of Mexico and forget that God also has us here to be a witness to those that come down on trips.
The last three weeks have been some of the most difficult, exhausting, trying weeks of my life, but they have also been some of the most blessed, fruitful and joyful.
I thank God for the opportunity to witness the amazing work of his love in the hearts of his children and can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store for us, for the kids and families we serve here, and for those who are on their way here to serve with us.
To God be the Glory!