1 Peter 4:10

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

when God fills in the gaps

Often - and I do mean often - I feel like I am barely getting by.
You know, that you are doing so many things that you are doing little well.
Well, every since my friend Virginia passed away, my efforts towards the deaf women's retreat have been half hearted.
She was my co-conspirator - ya know?

Enough people wanted the women's deaf retreat to happen that I quite literally trudged on. This time planning with a co-missionary interpreter, Yesenia. She also is a mother to three young boys. So between that mother and this one, I'd say our planning and organization could best be described as "winged".

But you know, God filled in every gap where we missed it . . . . the speaker, Yamile Grey, was a deaf, on-fire, spirited Colombian who really really had a heart for these ladies.
We had 7 women come - so including us (Yamile, Yesenia and myself) we were 11. That is Grrreat, really!

The place right on the ocean was beautiful, and God really anointed the classes.
It was thrown together, but came out beautifully.

One special note, back when Virginia and I were first planning this we had said that if we could get a church to sponsor it we'd like to surprise all the ladies to a fancy dinner since our theme was "Come dine with Me."

After she passed away I was able to get that sponsoring so then my next task was to find a restaurant to take them to. I was blessed to be able to work a deal with what in downtown Ensenada is considered one of the more fancy-er places to eat "El Rey Sol". French/Mexican cuisine and french decor - The women LOVED IT! They said they felt like queens!

They kept taking pictures of the entrees as they came in.

I took a moment and pointed out that this is exactly what Virginia had hoped for them. And although we wish she where here with us, we knew she was at a banquet much finer than this . . .

Yesenia said "Thanks for making us cry, Michelle"

It was a blessed time.

Now for pictures!

There is one picture thrown in here of a close up of me - very non-flattering - it is a shot of an allergic reaction I had to who-knows-what that made my eyes swell up. The picture is actually of me doing better, but you can still see the puffiness . . .
And the baby is mine. The only guy allowed on this trip because he's still nursing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

From the Pastor

Dear Friends,

First and foremost I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the great support in both monetary form and in the much desired prayer! And also the support via the kind words, your comfort, your shows of your care for me, this ministry and my family . . .

The time from when my beloved Virginia got sick until her death was a mere 56 days.

On December 14 she went to bed with a very bad head ache. At about 8:30 the next morning, December 15th, after a restless night where the head ache did not go away, she was making her way to the bathroom and fell unconscious.

My family, my friends, my church and several different groups help me to pay for the medical cost and other expenses. Virginia’s mother came to stay by Virginia’s side and help care for her.

During this time there was a man who came by selling tamales. He is a regular to our door, coming every Saturday, and a Christian too. We’d communicate by writing our messages back and forth – but he had an interest in learning sign, so Virginia and I would teach him some sign language whenever he came by.

He was able to share with Virginia’s mother about Jesus. Since she does not know sign, our attempts had fallen . . . well - on deaf ears, or more accurately, a deaf heart. It had been a long time prayer of Virginia’s for her salvation, and this man was able to lead her to Christ! When I told Virginia about this, at that time Virginia was able to sign with one hand, and she said “No, you lie!” When I assured her I was not, Virginia was so happy!

Then my daughter had her 6th birthday January 15th, and we carried the cake into the room where Virginia was and showed her the cake, and blew it out with our little family crowded around Virginia’s bed.

Also my wife had her birthday on the 31st of January. It was amazing to see how many friends came, both hearing and deaf! Our home was PACKED with well wishers! Unfortunately, she was in a great deal of pain. 4 days later she spiked a high fever and was vomiting. It was now the 4th of February and we took her to the general hospital.

Oh! so many things went wrong at this point . . . and as she worsened we had her moved, with Rancho Sordo Mudo’s director Luke Everett’s help, to a private hospital where she would get better care. That was Thursday afternoon. On Saturday the 9th of February she died.

We would have celebrated 9 years of marriage on the 20th of February.