Stretched and Blessed

Well, my husband did it again. He came home with a proposition that would stretch all of us, but that none of us could refuse. Every Monday evening, Erik takes a couple guys from the local youth group with him to a rancho that’s 45 minutes away. Our family goes out together to two other ranchos, but this is a special opportunity for Erik to really journey with some guys and disciple them. Apparently one of the guys in particular had been bugging Erik for weeks, asking him if we would put on a week long mission for some of the local teens. They would stay in the mission house with us for the week and we would run it like a normal mission group doing work projects, home visits to the shut-ins, and going out to the ranchos at night.   Erik hesitated initially because we had done this last year and it was a challenge. Last year some friends of ours were in charge of the youth group, and they were able to stay at the mission house and chaperone the group. This year they are no longer in charge of the youth group, and we would be the only adults to chaperone and run things. Pepito practically begged Erik to do it, and so, he brought the proposal to the team.

We had a team meeting Monday night, discussing all the potential blessings and challenges of it, and ultimately we all agreed that we needed to say yes. It would be the following Monday through Friday and we would ask all of the Mexican missionaries to help with cooking meals. (At least we had a weeks’ warning…with the Smell Like the Sheep project it was the next day!)

So the following Monday, 16 teens moved into our house to experience mission life in their own community. We had morning prayer every day before breakfast. We worked on repairing a chapel in the rancho that the Schumanns visit weekly. We visited the home bound. We went to ranchos in the evenings. And we did a Kerygma Series of talks at night after we got back from the ranchos. The teens helped with household chores, babysitting, shopping and cooking, and shared their testimonies in the ranchos.

praying

It turned out to be an exhausting and trying week, but one filled with beautiful moments of grace. There were several times that we had to sit everyone down and talk to them about the importance of respect and obedience and following rules (after we caught a couple of the guys sneaking into the girls room after lights out). And there were moments that were so encouraging, like when on a home visit, all of the teens brought their Bibles and read a Scripture passage and shared what God was saying to them through it. And when we had a time of Praise and Worship at the end of our Kerygma talks and the teens were really entering in and opening up to the Holy Spirit. It was also a huge blessing to have all of the Mexican missionaries pitching in and helping to cook all the meals for the group. We saw God really unifying us in the work of serving these teens.

Another added excitement to the week happened Wednesday when Francisca showed up in the morning needing to go to the hospital because she was starting to have signs of labor and she’s only 7 months pregnant. We dropped her and her oldest daughter off at the hospital and told her we would watch the younger two girls at the mission house while she saw the doctor. A couple hours later Chemo, her husband, showed up saying they were taking her to the hospital in Saltillo in an ambulance and they thought she was going to have the baby that day. I told him we would take care of the kids while they were gone and I would try to make it to Saltillo as soon as I could, to be with Francisca. (She had asked me or Natalia to be with her during labor, only to find out later that in the public hospitals they don’t allow anyone to be with you, not even your husband.)

Thankfully one of the Mexican missionaries was at the house helping for lunch and called some of the kids’ aunts to see if they would be able to watch the kids since we were in the middle of our mission week, and they agreed to. So I was just praying and waiting to get a call saying that Francisca had had the baby, when there was a knock at the door and it was Francisca! They had given her about 5 prescriptions to treat a bad UTI and to stop the contractions and had put her on bed rest for 3 days.

After some discussion, we decided to have Francisca stay at the mission house so she could really rest, and we could make sure she took all of the medications at the right times, and Chemo stayed at home with the kids. So from Wednesday to Saturday, Francisca stayed in bed, praying, watching cartoon Bible stories and learning how to pray the rosary. While the group went on home visits one morning, Natalia stayed back to spend some time reading through the Bible stories of each mystery and teaching her what prayers to say on which beads.

group

By the end of the week we were all exhausted, but God had opened our eyes a little bit more to see the needs of the people around us. The teens here in General Cepeda are so hungry for love and so in need of the truth. And because Francisca cannot read, the only way she will learn more about Jesus who loves her so dearly, is if someone will take the time to tell her about Him. We saw once again that when we step out of our own comfort zone and allow Him to stretch us, He shows up, moves powerfully and blesses our sacrifices.

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~ by martinsonmission on August 17, 2015.

2 Responses to “Stretched and Blessed”

  1. Dear Erik and Bridget,

    Your blogs touch my heart, to say the least! God is working in a mighty way with your team and I’m so excited to get to share in it, even for a short time. Love and prayers for all of you, Mom(my) XOXOxoxoxo

  2. Hi Brigid, my sister wants to know if you can also use bridesmaids’ dresses, yearbooks, and I know you can use her wedding dress. Please let me know. -Linda

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