Tuesday, January 28, 2014

nothing besides Jesus

myself and others are hungry, hungry and waiting for what we think will satisfy.
i know how i appear, i know my poorness and that i am broken.
i know that i am in need.
Dirty and desperate.
We have been eating trash... but trash is not all i've ever known. At one time i knew life, i knew bread without blemish. Somehow i ended up here. Somehow i settled for this.
Moldy and stale bread has "filled" our bellies.
As i wiped left over trash crumbs off of my face i saw someone a few feet away. He'd always been there but i was now again taking notice of Him. He was different but familiar, Beauty. His eyes burned with love. Love that was kind, not arrogant or rude. In His hand He showed us a single loaf of bread and offered it. Not the kind we've been used to consuming, but bread that i once knew, the bread i've tasted before. Bread without blemish, without dirt... and certainly not someone elses leftovers. I knew right away that which He offered was more than bread, it was freedom. It seemed that no one took the free gift. They hardly saw Him still fighting over the trash. The pile of trash. i knew we had been shoveling in emptiness and never truly content. i walked over closer to Him. i looked into His eyes and wanted all that He offered. He saw and knew the battle i was in and His arms stretched out to me further. His eyes filled with tears of compassion. Still allowing me to choose. And i did. my eyes filling with water i turned back to the others and sat, continuing to eat trash... sobbing the whole time. 
And the One, He was still there. His arms open and He never moved.

I believe God showed me this to tell me that I am/have been settling for trash. The trash of this world or trash that I think will fill me... when there is something better.  There is much more He has more for us. He is offering whole, overflowing life. Not at all easy, but the simple way. But we have to decide to reach out and take it. Forget all that we've known, forget all that we are comfortable with. While seeing this scene I was bawling,  I was crying confused and still do when I think about this. Why do I not take what was obviously better, what was obviously good and true?  Only He can satisfy this hunger. Truly only He has all we need.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

open doors

1/15 Wednesday 11:43am

Today we had our first "C day" of the session, tests on the vocabulary, verbs, and grammar of three lessons. Also today at 1pm here on the base will be the first ever Mexican Sign Language class, taught by me and my assistant/friend Genna Cragoe.

As much as I would love to move on to a new place and quickly get to where I thought I needed to be (Queretaro), God is patiently teaching me and showing me otherwise. I could so easily look to where I think I need to be and completely miss all that He wants to do in and through me now, where I am. I wonder how many times I will have to remember that He is in the process! I try to get ahead most times and I feel He is like "Hey! Where are you going? I'm back here and want to teach you."

Let me back up a little...
So I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago before the December break knowing one thing God is calling me to right now. Working on Mexican Sign Language and the Deaf culture with the people here on base and in town in order to reach the Deaf. I can bring two things that can change the lives of the Deaf that have yet to communicate and understand. I bring Mexican Sign Language in order to help them understand and be understood and Jesus, who saved them. I cannot get up and leave knowing these things are here for me to do.

I dont have to be in it alone. God gave me this vision of teaching the Bible student from the base. After they've learned MSL and once they are done here they'll be able to branch out to many more places to reach the Deaf. Using the Bible School to teach and equip passionate Mexicans to go out and use the language (and maybe along the way teach it to more people and share the Gospel) is where I feel God is calling me right now. They each go back to their hometowns regularly to use what they know from all of their Bible classes and, I hope, from the MSL class as well. From any given town Deaf people may be found and it is exciting to see an opportunity for people to reach out to them.

So Genna convinced me last Friday to go talk to a few people and share the idea with them ASAP before this new year of students began. We rushed over fist to Dave Nelsons house, the Director and teacher of the Spanish School and shared the idea. He loved and thought it was a great opportunity. He then helped explain it to his neighbor Chely who is one of the directors of the Bible School. She too liked the idea but had to talk with her husband, Chavy (the Director of the Bible School), then he would get back to me. I had to wait the entire weekend, then Monday morning I had the opportunity to share the vision again with Chavy. It was then he let me know the next day at 1pm I would be able to share with all of the Bible students and if I could get students to sign up then I could teach the class as a vocation. And I did, 5 students signed up which is more than I thought would. The students school session goes until August... which means I too will be here, teaching them until then. Wednesday, today I will teach the first class 1pm-3pm with Genna. I am feeling amazed and fully shocked that this door is wide open but I am excited to see what God does from here.

Thursday 1/16

We had the class yesterday and it was great! We taught the ABS's and practiced them to different music beats, slow, faster, and double time. Some of the students had a difficult time with the hand shapes, but for the most part they got it. They learned numbers 1-10 and a few greetings. With some extra time remaining we practiced facial expressions and finger spelling basic words.
I had a lot of fun and I know they enjoyed it also, because after class they kept throwing the signs up to people and each other around the dining hall. Nelsy, one of the Deaf women in town, was there selling her items and a few of the students right away went up to her trying to communicate. I thought this was awesome! No one told them to try to talk with her, they did it on their own with joy.

In class today we reviewed from yesterday, taught personal and possessive pronouns, and animal vocabulary. Both Genna and I were surprised to see how well they remembered the alphabet.  For the weekend their homework is to go up to five people asking to finger spell their own name and finger spell the others name... we'll see how this goes!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

first days

4 de enero 2014 7pm
-same smell, that I had so quickly gotten used to
-same woman making announcements resounding throughout the town
-same “pichichis” (bird like duck animals) outside our home
-same warmth
I remember how foreign it all was in August when I showed up at these strange peoples home, how great it feels this time around.  I feel as If I was gone 3 months instead of 3 weeks. The walk to the beach never felt so good. I am thankful for this opportunity, to return and continue here. I never thought I’d be in Oaxaca or content in a small farmer/fishermen town. I guess that all changes when its right where God has you and wants you. I never thought I’d be content in a place like this. I was wrong. I loved being away these 3 weeks celebrating life with my family, mourning the death of a loved one, laughing together and crying together but I know this is right. I get to trust in God for all He is doing in each of us whether we see it or not.

5 de enero 2014 9am
Well hey
I’ve been up, throwing up all morning. I can’t hold anything down. I tried to sip different liquids but my body is in REJECT mode. Maybe it was the torta I ate, or some bad water I drank… who knows. Today I’m going to take it easy and skip the Sunday service here in town. Tomorrow is school, thank you Jesus this happened today! Jesus heal me, from the inside out.

6 de enero 2014 5:42am
Hello there…
Yesterday was quite a day. My family left for church and I stayed in bed. It really went downhill once they arrived home again.
I was lying in bed and the girls knocked on the house front door. I sprang up and rushed to open the door not realizing how bad that action is when you’ve been lying for a few hours. Let me tell you, I hadn’t eaten or drunken since the day before. All that I tried to drink only came back up, so I was very dry and dehydrated. So I opened the door for them then felt nauseous and ran for the bathroom. After some time in there I stood up and was losing my balance. I held onto the bathroom sink trying not to fall over. All of a sudden my hearing was gone and my eye sight was going. I saw black cloudiness filling my vision and a blurry brightness… I don’t know if that makes sense but that’s what was happening. I remember staring at myself in the mirror so frightened. I became dizzier and somehow wobbled over to the shower. I held onto the walls, at least tried to, and then all I remember was my head banging around. It felt as if I was in a box, but a concrete box and someone was shaking it around, me getting slammed. I remember thinking “What is going on” and “I can’t see anything but I can feel it all”. I stood up, opened the door and called out to the girls, Dana and Tali. Julio and Delia were outside. I walked down the hall trying not to fall over feeling like I could puke and with blurry vision and hardly any hearing. I was praying for the right communication in Spanish… that was the last thing I wanted to worry about, but God put the right words in my head and somehow they formed. I said “I can’t hear, I can’t see, I fell down” and I asked them “where are your parents? I need them.” The girls rushed out to the front porch while I tried to keep my balance holding onto a wall.
After that everything moved so quickly. Delia right away started to pray over me and I remember hearing her tell Dana to hurry and do things. Perhaps they saw the look on my face because they ran to bring me a bowl and right then I (sorry) puked.  Someone then held onto me and directed me straight outside and into their car. Delia put some kind of liquid on the back of my neck. While driving down the road my vision and hearing came back. I know for sure that the breeze at the window felt great and refreshing.  Julio drove to the Nurses house looking for help; we then were told to meet her at the Clinic where she could help. I think we were all very frightened. Apparently my heart rate was too low and was in need of an IV. The nurse, Laura, had to find a good spot which was difficult; my veins could not be found easily. We tried one spot but it didn’t work then then another and thank God it worked. It was in the moments looking for my veins praying for my blood and worried it would not work that Laura asked me which name of God was tattooed on my wrist. El Roi. God of seeing, how easily I had forgotten. He sees me, in this situation where I am at, He has compassion. I can trust Him. That was all that I needed. After a few hours I was still very weak but much much better. Still even this morning easily lightheaded and nausea. I’ve only been drinking water and Electrolit, I can’t eat much… I had 5 salty crackers and have a whole bag I am hoping to nibble on throughout the day.
Well that’s what I’ve been up to since yesterday. Today we have school. I am praying for healing. As much as I don’t like this, at all, I feel God is with me each step and even though I was “dry” thirsty and hungry. The IV helped my body out but it was a good picture for me I felt that He was/is filling me up. He is doing a new thing. I know He is using everything, every situation to teach me. I can trust and cling to Him through it all.