“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” – C.S. Lewis
Most days, by the time we get the kids to bed around 8 in the evening, I am absolutely dragging. We wake up at 5:30 to get them ready for school, start our first “bus route” by 6:40, and then I start my day at 7:00 working on current projects. By evening, I can get really tired. If you read Eric’s blog post last week, you got a glimpse into the “March Madness” we have been experiencing not only in March but all year so far at the Children’s Home.
Aside from hosting more teams so far in 2017 than we did in all of 2016 in Santiago, I have personally overseen many construction projects on the property. In 2017, we built a woodworking shop, a wash area, 2 car ports, finished our purified water project, built a soccer field, and are now finishing our church. On top of starting a sewing class, launching the medical clinic, starting Celebrate Recovery at Ministerio Vida, and building their new ministry house outside of Tela, we have been staying very busy out here in Santiago. And on top of that, we are raising the 3 children God has placed in our home, with a 4th on the way. I do not say all this to boast, or complain at all. I would just like to give some perspective into the last 3 months.
Recently, I was talking with a member of one of our teams, and she asked me “Chris, how do you stay going with all that you all do?” At the moment, I laughed and said, “Only through God’s grace and Mountain Dew!” Though I feel my answer was spot on, the question has resonated with me since. If we are honest, being a missionary in a foreign country is hard. Besides the obvious differences from serving the Lord stateside, if you are truly listening and following His calling, then He is going to keep you really busy. If I am honest, if we’re all honest, that can be exhausting.
It is true what I said though. What keeps me going each day is His grace. For me, there are two things that give me renewed strength each day, each week, and each month. First is resting in Him and spending time with Him to be refilled, and the second is seeing the miracles He is doing in our every day lives through us. When I was in Bible College, in one of my earliest classes, we defined miracles as God acting in an extraordinary way in our ordinary physical world. And seeing that now here in Santiago pushes me closer to Him.
There is a precious little girl from our area named Nallely. She has one leg that is several inches shorter than the other. She has to climb up and down a mountain every day to go to school. Through God’s grace, we were able to identify her need through a recent medical brigade, and God is providing the help she needs to change her life through a local physical therapy center and people interested in changing her life. That is a miracle.
This year I have started teaching Celebrate Recovery at Ministerio Vida, a rehabilitation center for homeless men. One man left after 2 months in the program because he didn’t like the idea of dealing with his problems through Celebrate Recovery. But he returned 4 days later because he knew he had to face his sins in order to change. That is a miracle.
At Ministerio Vida, we have been working on building them a new house with a great pace this year. We were stopped for about 2 weeks due to lack of funds when out of nowhere the pastor received a letter from the owners of the current house they rent saying they needed to be out by November because they had sold the land. After fervent prayer, God has brought in enough money in one week to finish the walls, roof, floors and more! That is a miracle.
A few weeks ago we had a sewing clinic for ladies in our community. Each day, they had a Bible lesson before they had their class. At the end of the week, several ladies started coming to our church for the first time and are still attending faithfully every week. Last week, the husband of one of our sewing clinic ladies came with her and felt convicted to give his life to the Lord and was saved. That is a miracle.
These are just a few of the examples of God’s faithfulness to us that we have witnessed here in Santiago. As Lewis’s quote points out, miracles are God’s constant confirmation in daily life of His over all promise. That He is here, that He loves us, cares for us, and is faithful to His children. 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Through His faithfulness, we are given the strength and energy we need each day, to press on while singing His praise. No matter how tired I get, He gives me the strength to carry on!
In Christ’s love,