Saturday, June 22, 2013

Village Work and Sports Camp

Hey everyone,
This past week was pretty great!  I am just so amazed with all the awesome opportunities that God has been giving us. There have been so many open doors, it is so apparernt that God is working! This week, I spent my days working in our village and in the evening we had a church from North Carolina come down for the week. They put on a sports camp in the village for the local children as well as children from the surrounding villages. But, more about that later! 

First, let's go back to last Sunday! We went to a new church that is near the villages that my team is working in. It is a great church, and since it was Father's day, we had a special Father's day message. Speaking of Father's day, Happy Father's day and Happy Birthday to my older brother Scotty! If you're reading this, I tried calling you, but you didn't answer! :(

Now for the village. This past week we didn't spend as much time as we usually do in our village because we were helping out in the sports camp, but we still had some great stuff happen. We went back to visit our lady friend in the village. She welcomed us into her house and was ready to help us with the back-translation. This time she even had her bible ready! She has been a really great help! Please pray for for the opportunity for us to have a spiritual conversation with her so that we can share the gospel. We'll be visiting her again next week! While we were walking in the village, a local shop-keeper called us over and asked what we were doing, and where we were going. She invited us into her shop and we explained the project. She began to ask us questions about the bible. She has a lot of religious beliefs that are not biblical once so ever, so we tried our best to explain the gospel to her. She is an older woman and we plan on talking with her again soon. Please pray for her as well. 

Here's a a great story from the week! Bailey and I were exploring our village one day and for some reason we decided to hike up a mountain in the village. When we getting close to the top, a young couple stopped us and asked if we needed any help. We told them that we were looking for someone who speaks the native language, and we explained the project to them. They were very nice, and told us they would take us to their grandfather who has a very strong knowledge of the native tongue. But first, they needed to feed their goats. The next thing we knew, we were inside a stable playing with a bunch of baby goats! Then, they walked with us down the mountain to their grandfather's house! We sat down and had a conversation with the older man. It was very apparent that he is a very religious man. He was telling us about how he used to go to mass every Sunday, and how he doesn't drink anymore, and that he prays his rosary. He also told us about his saints that he worships. He is especially devout to one saint in particular, Peter. We went back to visit him the next day, and he was waiting for us for our next conversation. This time, we told him about a story from his personal bible that goes like this:

In Acts chapter 10 there was a man named Cornelius. He was a very religious, devout, God-fearing man. He gave generously to the needy and he prayed regulary. However, as religious as this man was, he did not know about Jesus. As "good" of a person that he was, he did not have salvation. So, God sent Peter to tell Cornelius about the good news of Jesus the Messiah. When Cornelius first met Peter, he fell down before him in reverence, but Peter told him, "Stand up, I am only a man myself."

Using this story that we read to him out of his very own bible, we were able to explain to him that being religious will not save you. We are all sinners no matter how good a person may be, we ALL fall short of the glory of God. But, that is why God sent Jesus to die and caused him to be raised from the dead so that we may be saved. We can have salvation through Jesus, and through Jesus alone. We also explained that Peter was just a man who followed Jesus. He is not a god himself, and should not be worshipped. Peter himself told Cornelius that he is merely a man. After sharing this with our friend, "Mr.G", he sort of just sat there thinking,. He told us that he had never heard anything like it before, and then made arrangements to talk to him again next week! Please pray for this man! Pray that he can look past anything he has ever heard from people or from churches, and that he may believe what the word of God says, and nothing else. God truly provided Bailey and I the perfect story for him, so please pray that God may continue to equip us with the right scripture to share with him. 

Okay, finally, time for the sports camp! So around 4:30 each week, we walked down to a large auditorium in our village for the sports camp that the North Carolina team was putting on. I was able to use my Spanish skills to help translate instructions to the kids. (it felt really good to be useful!) I also over-came my fear of public speaking when they asked me to welcome the kids to the camp using the microphone! (even though public speaking in front of kids is WAY less intimidating than adults haha) Next, we played soccer and basketball with the kids, and they also had the chance to do arts and crafts. I especially had fun teaching them "Futbol Americano". A lot of the kids found the American football to be funny looking, like a lime! The church that put on the camp told the children a different bible story each day, and it was obvious that the children loved it! This camp really opened a lot of doors for Bailey and I because we were able to meet a lot of parents from the village that we otherwise would not have ever seen. I even had the chance to sit with some moms/ grandmas from the village and I was able to share my testimony, and God's story with them. It turns out that these ladies are believers themselves, and have been for the past two years! How awesome is that?! I also met a 17 year old girl in our village who is visiting her grandmother from California. Bailey and I both got along with her very well, and we even made plans to hang out next week! Please pray for this new relationship as well!  I am extremely thankful for the new people that we were able to meet, and for the great time we were able to have with all the awesome kidos!

It was a long, hot. and exhausting week, but it was well worth it. I'm about 5 shades darker, so I'm really starting to blend in with my fellow Mexican friends! (; I can't believe that it is already June 21st. I feel like time is going by super fast, and there is still so much time needed to talk to all these people. At first 2 months seemed like a really long time, but now it's starting to feel like it isn't enough time. Fortunately, God has already appointed awesome missionary families that are living down here permanently to continue keeping up with all the great relationships that we are making this summer. I think that is all for this week, so stay tuned for the next blog post! Here are some more prayer requests:

- Please pray for all the new relationships that we have made
- Pray for Bailey and I that we may be ready to share the gospel in th most effective way that we can
- Pray that we will not speak our own words, but God's only.
- Pray for focus, focus, and more focus on Jesus, and NOTHING else. 

Thank you again for all the prayers. I am realizing that prayer is literally EVERYTHING! It is so important and I am praying that God may bless all of you who are fervently praying for God's Kingdom to come. 

Wherever I go, the king goes. Wherever the king goes, His kingdom comes. Wherever His kingdom comes, the powers to be must submit! 

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