This is Greg writing and I am probably going to ramble...
We've been in the States for the past 2 1/2 weeks doing support raising and vacationing, having a great time visiting friends and family. The Lord blessed us tremendously here. Yesterday afternoon, after saying our last goodbyes and grabbing a malt at UDF, we headed out for Mexico. We traveled about 500 miles and found a Comfort Suites near Memphis that was nice and in our price range. As we were walking into the hotel, we noticed a man sitting in a truck in the parking lot. Seemed suspicious, but we proceeded into the hotel to our room. A few minutes later, I thought of the man in the truck again and decided to go have a look. The man was gone, but the truck was still there. I assumed he had gone into the hotel. Our truck seemed fine.
The next morning, around 7 as we headed out, Ben and I went out to the truck to place our overnight bag into the truck, while Cathy, Luke and Mark grabbed a bite. I opened the back of the truck and my mind reeled with confusion, trying to comprehend what I was seeing. The inside was a mess. We had 5 suitcases. Four of them were gone! I walked around to the front of the truck, trying to figure out where the suitcases were? I didn't put them up front for some reason did I? No, they weren't there either. We were robbed! I was sick to my stomach. I can't describe the feelings... the emotions... We called the police, knowing that the Cubs will win the world series before any of our stuff was returned. But that's what you do isn't- you call the cops- and the insurance company. Only later did we find out that because we don't have home owner's insurance or renter's insurance (one of those things you don't use when you live out of the country) we are not covered for the items that were stolen, but only for the locks they damaged to get into the truck in the first place. (who knows if the man from the truck was responsible or not- but your mind races with all the 'what-ifs')
Cathy and I prayed while waiting for the cops. The first thing I prayed for was the salvation of the thief. But if I am honest, it was a force of my will. There was a strong part of me that didn't really care- sad to say. But in restrospect, I do want his/her salvation. They so need Jesus. How could someone do this knowing the pain and hassle they will cause. I also realized that while I am trying to become like God, I am glad that he is not like me. Mercy was not my first reaction to the wrong done to us. I thought of Justice, even retribution and revenge. God, I am grateful that you are who you are.
Our passports and work visas for Mexico were also taken, so we drove back to Cincy to have a home base from which to figure out all we would need to do. We have an appointment in Chicago on Friday to get new passports and are praying that we can get them quickly. As we drove the 500 miles back from Memphis, I had lots of time to think- to stew- to pray. I felt the pain of the violation against us. I felt the pressure of trying to figure out how to replace those things which were taken. Luke spoke up and said, "At least we weren't hurt and most of what was taken were things we wanted and not things we needed." Yes, out of the mouths of babes... Thanks Luke. I felt the sadness as with each passing mile we recalled more and more things that were just coming to our realization that were gone from our possession. I thought of the sadness when I thought of our new camera that was taken with photos from our vacation- us at the Reds game with family with great seats given to us by good friends, pictures of my grandparents from Cleveland and Lebanon, pictures of cousins, the boys first fishing experience, etc.
Today as I drove to get an estimate on the repairs for our locks, I heard Steven Curtis Chapman sing, "It's all yours Lord, yours Lord..." (love that song by the way). It is true and He is bringing me back to remember that truth, even as I continue to process. Lord take my pain, take my doubt and worry. Everything we had is yours. Everything we have is yours. It is all yours. Help me to understand what I don't understand. Help us to go from here. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for your shelter. I don't understand how someone could do this... But I do trust you and how you can bring good out of all things. Thank you for all of our friends and family that have supported us through this time. We are blessed
miércoles, 26 de agosto de 2009
sábado, 15 de agosto de 2009
Even just two weeks after we moved here, we saw how God wasn't going to forget who He made Greg to be and how He would find ways to use him in ways that Greg finds the Joy of the Lord. Here is Greg preaching at Douglas Church. He has had the opportunity to serve here through preaching 2-3 times a month. God is good as Greg has been able to lead staff and intern Bible Studies, counsel and disciple others and lead communion or baptize individuals. When we first moved to Mexico, I was the one who knew how God would want to use me and Greg felt like he was less sure and just prayed, waited and saw how God wanted to use him. He has been pleasantly surprised as his roles have been very similar to what he did in a church setting. Two weeks after we moved to Monterrey, God gifted Greg with a writing conference (Greg's big dream some day is to write a Christian novel). Someone who had paid for the conference couldn't go and Greg was able to go in there place. For us it was a great reminder, that we need to follow the Lord's leading as He knows us and wants what is best for us. Even when we can't see it.
sábado, 1 de agosto de 2009
Every year we eat together, recap our summer, worship God and praise Him for all that He has done. These are a few photos of us all.
Greg has had the opportunity to share his summer with Tyler Jepson a intern who worked all summer with us. The last week he shared that he'd like to be baptized. Greg and Todd had the opportunity to baptize him. That night Olga one of Beth and Todd girls was baptized as well. I will share pictures when I can.