Friday, May 30, 2014

May almost June post!!


                                                              30 May 2014

To Everyone,

As the rainy season has started here, it’s always a chance to venture out on foot!  At times it appears as though it will rain very heavy and we only get a sprinkle.  Other times, it doesn’t look promising for rain and it will pour!  I do enjoy this time of year here.  Soon the mountains will return to being lush and green with waterfalls at every turn – a feast for our eyes for sure. 

I have recently moved to a new location, which I am thoroughly enjoying.  I am closer to the center of town and also closer to Aposento so I am walking everywhere (thus my preoccupation for the rain!).   I was a bit unnerved the other morning, as I was walking in the kitchen *note without my glasses*.  I saw what appeared to be a piece of grass on the floor (I should have known because there is no grass around my house) and was going to move it with my flip flop...and it moved by itself!  It was a small scorpion, luckily small enough it had received a dose of the poison that the fumigator sprays so it moved very slowly.  So it met it's demise that morning.  Needless to say I am not walking around barefooted!

As life is always a bouquet of change, we have had several changes here also.  In the small church of El Limón, Siberia, the elderly lady who lived next to the church has passed away.  She was I believe 96 years old.  We held her funeral in the church there; the street view of the church with the newly painted name is now displayed on my f/book page. 





We continue to travel to El Limón each Wednesday to visit people there and to visit and eat with Yeyo (Siberia’s husband).  We also have services in the church at 4pm in the afternoon.  We are praying for this pueblo and church in seeking God’s will there.  All in His time. 

As we travel outside of Autlán each week, we continue to be guided to different people to visit.  For example in Casimiro Castillo, each Thursday we visit with Maria.  She is a aunt of a family here in Autlán.  She is a sweet little lady of 95 years.  We took the attached picture a couple of weeks ago.  We are a bit concerned, as we visited with her yesterday and she was very ill. 



We have visited her for several weeks – yesterday thankfully her son was with her.  Thus God provided him time to hear the plan of salvation and the love that God has for each of us.  Also how the world pulls at each of us to 'join in' with the rest of the world which isn’t how God wants us to live.  I think this pull is something that we all feel daily in our lives.   Please help us pray for Maria and her son, Salvaldor.  

With our several Bible studies in Spanish, we have also started an English class at Aposento.  We have a lot of laughs, and I’m hoping everyone is learning at the same time!   I am also having to search for rules in English – something we take for granted as English speakers.  With a couple of other English classes during the week, I am able to keep up my English rather well.  Though I must admit sometimes I can’t think of a word in English!  Hmmm

With the weekend upon us all, I pray that each of you will find yourselves in church on Sunday.  What a wonderful way to start off the week, in the Lord’s house giving Him praise.  For He is the only one that deserves this praise – as only with His love, was Christ sent to die on the cross to pay in full for our sins.  To think that He wants to share with us His Heaven for eternity – just think of it!  What if He didn't want us there?  But He does and we can be there forever if only we place our faith in Him.  The One True Savior of the world. 

God Bless each of you,

Deb

If anyone has questions or thoughts, please email me privately at debduncan00@gmail.com




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring in México


                                         5 April 2014

All,

Hoping you are all in the middle of Springtime wherever you may be!  Below is a picture of a tree that blooms here during Spring.  




 The name of the tree is Primavera which translates to Spring (the season).  I took this picture looking out of the window of the gym. 
The second picture is taken from the apartment complex where I live.  Curious there is nothing else on these trees but yellow blossoms! 

It’s neat as we travel through the mountains seeing everything dead or dying due to the dry season.  And here and there, you will see this brilliant yellow tree that is blooming just for us!



We are enjoying warmer days here, as well as warmer nights.  It is a welcome item when the wind starts blowing in the afternoon as that gives us a breeze to cool off a bit. 

We continue to travel outside of Autlán three days each week.  Over the past few months, we have come upon several accidents on the mountain roads that we travel.  We are never able to actually see the vehicle, as it has gone over the edge of the road and down the side of the mountain.  The most recent was this past Monday; in which we later found out that the two people inside the vehicle were killed.  The police or ambulance driver contacts a flat bed tow truck to pull the vehicle back up to the road.  This keeps our prayers for safe travels in the fore fronts of our minds for sure.  Thursday, we all felt very blessed as we returned from Casimiro in my Jeep.  It had leaked out the power steering fluid (unknown to us) and was making a horrific noise at every turn (of which there are many on these winding roads).  When we returned safely to Autlán, Pastor Leonel helped me check the level (there was no fluid within the container). We purchased a bottle of fluid and added fluid to the container so I could drive it safely home.  Then yesterday morning, I added more fluid so I could drive it to the mechanic.  We are so blessed to have God’s hand cover us in these situations.  I’m going to take Pastor Leonel’s suggestion and make an emergency kit for the Jeep.  Oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid and coolant will be placed in this travel box. The wise words of someone who has traveled through these mountains many times!

I’ve included the below photos of our second meeting in the church at El Limón.  The elderly couple on the far left live next to the church building.  The first time we had services here, she cried and cried.  Though she isn’t able to speak very much, we knew she was overcome with emotions at being able to meet here for the first time.  Since they live next door, they have watched this building come together over a period of several years.







We are praying that God will show us when (and how) it is time to build the church, member wise. 

One thing I am learning very well as things occur here:  everything occurs in God’s time.  As I had just gotten the Jeep out of the shop a couple of days ago, I pondered why this second item of the steering wheel fluid occurred.  As God would have it, yesterday morning when I took the Jeep to the mechanic, I had to wait a bit for  him to arrive.  As I waited, I started talking with the mechanic’s Mom to whom I have spoken with casually before.  We ended up having a serious conversation about God’s love for each of us, and His plan of salvation.  I asked her if she has the assurance that when she dies she will go to Heaven.  Her response was that yes, she believes in God, and that she knows that Christ died on the cross for our sins and resurrected in three days.  She hopes that she will go to Heaven.  Sadly this is the response for many people here.  There is always this hope.  I was able to tell her that I am secure in the knowledge that I will go to Heaven for eternity – and was able to explain to her why.  I think this is the entire reason that God had the fluid leak occur.  His plan was to take me to the mechanic shop on this very morning, and that she would be there so we could speak of His plan for each of us and His desire to have a true relationship with each of us. 

I continue to have several Bible studies weekly in Spanish, which helps me increase my vocabulary.  As I add these new words to my growing list of new words, this in turn means more studying of Spanish.   It seems to be a continuous cycle.  As my Spanish grows, so do my friendships here with various people.  I am learning so much about myself and about other people around me.  God is truly growing me each and every day. 

I hope each of you has a blessed week, and you can answer without a doubt that you too have such a relationship with Christ that you know you will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  Without a doubt – it’s a wonderful feeling to have!!

Praying for each of you that will read this update, thank you for allowing me to share my life here with each of you.

In His Hands,

Deb

Monday, March 3, 2014

Missions update - March!


                    3 March 2014


After seeing so many pictures of snow in Texas, along with cold temperatures, it almost makes me cold!  For us here in Autlán, the days are in the upper 80s to lower 90s.  The nights are still cool, in the upper 50s, which makes it nice sleeping weather.  As we travel to Casimiro Castillo and Villa de Purificación during the week, it is even warmer and more humid there. 

I want to provide an update on the newsletter sent in January regarding the church building in El Limón.  Through donations received, we were able to purchase paint for the inside and outside of the building. We have had a couple of paint days, with one more paint day needed for the door and windows. We hope to have the first service Wednesday in this building.  A day to celebrate for sure! 







I hope to have pictures to provide in my next update as we begin to meet in this building.  We are still lacking the tile for the floor and chairs.  We are certain God will provide these in His timeframe. 


I am still waiting for my Visa to be approved; so continued prayers for this are greatly appreciated! 

As I reread my blog post from January, it seems God is answering my prayer request.  I had noted that I was praying for God to change me.  And change I am experiencing and feeling.  At times, it isn’t comfortable; at times it is outright painful!  However, we must rest assured that when we are in His hands that His changes are for our own good.  And all for His glory.  Imagining myself to be that clay that I spoke of, if the clay could talk, as it was being molded and remolded, ouch!  That hurts!  Or, hey that tickles!  Or oh God, please not another change, I was just getting comfy the way I was…I fear at times that is our lives.  We don’t want to feel the changes; we are comfy with our lives in the world that we have built around ourselves.  However – if God is not happy with our lives, then how much are our lives really worth?  I’m wondering if sometimes this is why people don’t want to give their lives to Christ.  We understand that changes will come – and the changes may be uncomfortable; painful at times; and will cause us to think of ourselves in a different light.  To give ourselves completely to Christ is the one thing that God desires.  Christ paid the price for our sins.  Think of the changes that Christ went through for us – from Heaven to Earth to live among humans as selfish as we are. To the cross in the cruelest death imaginable (even in today’s terms of death); to die completely alone as God could not see all the sins heaped upon His son. However Christ also looked forward to being reunited with His Father upon His resurrection.  Looking forward to our uniting with our Father – what a day that will be!!  We have only to place our trust and faith in Christ.  The rest, well, it’s really not that painful to make the needed adjustments and changes in our lives.  To feel the deep-rooted joy and peace is something beyond words.  I pray each of you has this peace – if not I pray you will ask Christ to rule in your lives.  Yes, you will change – however in the hands of the Master Potter, His desire is not to harm you.  It is to make you into a better vessel.  His desire for each of us.  His purpose for each of us. I pray you will ask Him today to take control of your life.  To change you to a better vessel.  To mold you in His capable hands.    

Que Dios les bendiga!

Deb

Prayer requests:
-El Limón church: monies and workers to purchase/place the floor tiles; chairs – praises for the monies for the paint!!
-Visa approval by the authorities
-each of us to ask God to make the changes in our lives as He desires

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 2014 - Happy New Year!



                              21 January 2014

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season, as we are well into our way of the New Year 2014.  May the memories you have of the last month of 2013 be grand memories for you and your families and friends to cherish from this moment forward. 

As I have returned from Texas, and get settled in, my schedule also seems to be settling in some.  A few things have changed, as I think they will always be changing.  One of the huge praises we have is the near completion of the church in El Limón.  As noted in previous updates, we have had two separate groups of workers there in the past few months.  Below is the updated picture of the front of the church building:




Below is the side of the building that faces the street.  The building is appx 25’x25’. 

We now lack painting the outside and inside (something we will do ourselves), tile for the concrete floor inside, chairs and a pedestal for the pulpit.  We are very happy to see this work being completed, though at this time we are waiting for God’s timing with the funding to complete the remaining items.  All in His time for sure. 

We continue to travel outside of Autlán three times each week.  Since the first of December, sadly there have been three people pass away.  Two people here in Autlán that we visited many times; the third person lived in Casimiro Castillo that we have also visited many times.  It’s always a blessing when we can watch God’s hand as He moves us from house to house to share His word and worship songs with each household – then to find out that someone has passed away, there is always the hope that they found the one True Living Christ while they were still here on earth.

A new item is that my lawyer in Guadalajara is working on acquiring my residency visa for México.  This will allow me to pay a one-time fee, which will allow me to cross the border as often as I want from now on.  I think it may provide me other ‘rights’ though at this time the main concern is to get this visa in my hands. 

There is a song that we sing often, Barro en Tus Manos (clay in your hands) that keeps going through my mind today.  My prayers lately have been for God, through His Holy Spirit that is within me, to change me.  To mold me as God wants me to be, as He is the Master Potter.  Just imagine God molding us to be beautiful clay items for His service.  Whether to carry water, cook in (see to the side for my bean pot), put beautiful flowers in for hummingbirds and butterflies to enjoy – or perhaps just a beautiful pot totally for the eye of the beholder.  We are just that – clay in His hands once we give our lives totally to Him.  This is something He will not force upon us.  It’s our decision totally.

As I visited with a lady this morning, in a totally random manner, though I know it was God that was pulling me to her store to talk to her, I’m reminded that we are here to serve the Master – in a way that only He knows what He wants us to be.  And where He wants us to be.  And what He wants us to do.  Are you where He wants you to be?  If not, have you asked Him to help you find out where you should be, what you should be doing?  He will certainly tell you – we have only to ask.  “Ask and you shall receive” Ask Him – see what’s in store for you!  What sort of piece of pottery are you to be that only He can mold you in to? 

I hope each of you asks the question then accepts the answer (and the challenge as there will be some challenges along the way).  God – what is Your purpose for my life?

That you each have a great remainder of the week –

Deb

Prayer requests:
Church completion in El Limón – workers and monies
Visa – monies and approval by the authorities
For each of you to find your way to the Master Potter and your place in this world