The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of being-on-the-go, ministering and pouring out, and it's been great. We left Kansas City February 4th with our first stop at the Midwest Minister's Fellowship conference where we were challenged by John Wiley of River of Refuge in KC, reminding us to look for the Lazarus at our gate.
Who is that person in need, right in front of you everyday? Who does God want you to reach out to? Look. Tell God what you see, and then listen for His response.
Next, it was onward to the streets of New Orleans where we served with a team of 26 on the annual Mardi Gras Outreach, headed up by Pastor Dave Hopkins of Full Faith City Church. This was our sixth year serving with this team. Every year we come away feeling like we couldn't possibly experience a more unified group of like-spirited people, or witness God moving and touching lives any more powerfully, but once again, God proved Himself awesome, giving each team member multiple divine appointments and opportunities to minister His love and mercy on the streets.
One very memorable sight was seeing grandfatherly, silver-haired men standing down the middle of Bourbon Street wearing bright red sweatshirts that simply said, "Jesus". As we approached they smiled kindly and simply asked… How you doin' tonight?" As we prayer-walked the vilest street in the French Quarter, these men stood confident, peacefully representing Christ in spite of a local ordinance that threatened jail for religious talk on Bourbon Street from 6:00pm to 6:00am.
We arrived back home in the Petén last Sunday evening. The eight hour bus ride up from Guatemala City was interesting, and a little claustrophobic! There were curtains over all the windows, but we shoved them back – in spite of curious stares -- and enjoyed Guatemala's beautiful and diverse terrain, complete with cactuses and native pines -- reminiscent of the Sierras, but with a mysterious twist.
We gave a gospel comic book to a restless five year old boy in the seat ahead of us, and he talked our leg off the last couple of hours of the trip.
Ahhh, home at last! Our apartment was in good shape: no geckos; no live creepies or crawlies; just a lot of gritty dust and a broken bathroom pipe. (???) That didn't stop us. We jumped right in, beat the rugs, re-washed all the dishes and utensils, mopped the floors, did some coz-y-fying of living space and sopped up the bathroom leak with every available dry towel until the plumber came a couple of days later. Victory!
So, now we're back in stride and here's what's coming up:
- Rod is prepping for two in-coming construction teams over the next 3-4 weeks.
- De will be working with Tim Spurrier to coordinate the expansion of prosthetic outreach services. There's some exciting things happening with that, and more info to come.
- Opportunities to share His love and extend His presence through worship and the word!
We are so blessed by each of you – known and anonymous – who have responded so generously and lovingly to God's heart for the people of the Petén. Thank you for your continued faithful support and for letting us be your hands and feet to represent Christ's love in action.
Rod & De Ishmael
- Please continue to pray for Doris's completed healing.
- Pray for God's Holy Spirit to flood the hearts and lives of each believer working in and through Hospital Shalom, so that nothing impedes what He desires to accomplish.
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