That is the answer to the following question....What did you do this past weekend?
Yup! Life is not boring in the Navarrete family. God is so good and faithful and powerful and kind to us! We are so blessed to be hosting and ministering with a missionary team from Shelby Road Baptist Church! We are amazed by their love and firm desire to serve our Lord in ANY way this week. I do not need to tell you that "the easy thing" to do would be to say "Swine flu? WE ARE OUT OF HERE!" All of our plans for this week have been turned upside-down and inside-out! They have inspired us beyond words to keep on keepin' on! They have touched live for Christ in ways they will never know or understand.
Yup! As we ate dinner today a brother-in-Christ casually asked, "Did you feel the earthquake?" We all said, "When?" He said, "Today around 11AM!" I laughed and said "Right." Then others proceeded to say it was true. I guess all the excitement of watching Antonio and five guys from Shelby Road run and oh and ah at Home Depot this morning kept me too busy to feel it. Jokes aside we are all fine and in the palm of our mighty Lord's hand.
We were blessed on Thursday to be able to rent a bigger place to worship! I will post a picture soon! I am waiting until the Shelby Road Crew and our church family are done fixing it up.
I know I have written alot but want to share another perspective of this weekend.
Excerpt from teammate Bethany Dean's blog:
I just wanted to write a quick note to give you all an update on the situation here in Mexico City with the swine flu. To begin, I cannot even put into words the immense blessings the Lord has showered on me and all of us here the past few days! What could have been one of the most frightening or scary times here has become one of the weeks I know I will recall in the future as a week of AMAZING grace, protection, and blessings in our lives! Praise God for his ever-faithful presence in our lives. He is our rock, our refuge, our protection, our help in time of need!
On Friday we began to receive updates and news alerts and many began to enter a stage of panic. All public schools and many public/gov´t offices have been closed/suspended until May 6. The church I am supporting in ministry in Atizapan decided to cancel all of the weekend´s activities, even church, because the news was declaring that no large groups should meet anywhere. That same day my teammates Antonio and Diana Navarrete welcomed a group of 15 from Michigan. They are a group who has been here before and have a real heart and love for the churches and people here. Their attitude was like a breath of fresh air, as they reminded us that God has control of it all and they are here at this time, in this moment and still desire to minister to the people here! After consulting with our team leader, the Navarrete´s decided to continue the week´s schedule more or less as planned. We have only had to cancel a few activities, like playing sports in big groups and having kids ministries in the parks.
Saturday we awoke with "muchas ganas" (very excited and ready) to begin the week of serving. We had an AMAZING day, enjoying sharing youth group and a couples meeting with the group of americans. Their attitude has been so amazing through this time. Thankfully, nobody has gotten sick or even had any signs of being sick. On Sunday we had church service, and I was able to attend in Las Trojes, since the church in Atizapan had suspended their service. What a blessing it turned out to be. As many of you know, I worked in Las Trojes my first year. It was sooooooooo great to see the people and familiar faces again. I felt overwhelmed with emotion to greet and hug the people who were very special to me during the year I was privileged to serve there. We sang songs and were in the service and it was so refreshing to hear them sing with all their hearts, see Antonio directing the music with such passion for singing to God, and also hear a great sermon. Both Kurt and I were able to help with translating testimonies and the sermon. Afterwards we shared a meal with the team at a nearby restuarant and then headed back to the church to take part in the religious wedding cermemony of Cirenia and her husband. This alone was a blessing beyond all others that I have experienced! In the morning after church Cirenia came to greet me and said " you remember me, right???" I looked at her and with much embarrassment said, "No I´m sorry, you´re going to have to help me out on this one!" She said, "you don´t remember me but I am here and I have the Lord in my heart because of you." I was really puzzled at this point, and just kept listening. It turns out that two years ago, one rainy Sunday afternoon, I had gone to her house to give her a tract and paper advertising our church´s VBS program. Her kids really wanted to attend, despite her reluctancy, so she let them go. They were my students that week, and went home so enthused and talking to their mom about King David who had the heart of God (the VBS theme). More than half a year later, I was out with several girl friends on Valentine´s day and decided to go to a park to have a picnic. There, two male police officers tried to make me pay them a bribe to enter the always free park. When I refused, they were a bit annoyed. I went on with the day and thought nothing more of the moment. Another female police officer was present, and it was Cirenia. When the two male police vowed they would harm me and my friends in revenge for us not paying their bribe, she came to my defense, remembering me from the day I had given her a tract and VBS info. She said, don´t hurt her she is a Bible teacher and helped my children! Months later, Cirenia was in a deep, dark time in her life, and decided to find that same paper I had given her, with the address of the church. She went for help ,where she found Antonio and Diana and they began counseling her and her family. Now, two years later, we were able to sit and participate in the official wedding of her and her husband! After accepting Christ, they knew they needed to be officially married before God. I sat in awe of how God intricately weaves our lifes and uses every small detail that we may have categorized as just another mindless moment in our lives! I am only thankful that God found it in his grace to use me in this way. Today, the influenza continues, and we will continue working with necessary precautions being taken. Unfortunately, there are no facemasks city-wide! But we are being told that there is more than enough medicine to treat anyone who gets sick. Please continue praying for us as we minister. We know that God is protecting us, as always. Psalm 46 which was the center of yesterday´s message, reminds of us God´s protection and how he is dealing with all of this! It may take us by suprise that an epidemic decides to break out, but God is for sure in complete control!
1God is our refuge and strength,A very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should changeAnd though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3Though its waters roar and foam,Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
5God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;God will help her when morning dawns.
6The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;He raised His voice, the earth melted. 7The LORD of hosts is with us;The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
8Come, behold the works of the LORD,Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;He burns the chariots with fire.
10"Cease striving and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
11The LORD of hosts is with us;The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.