There are countless words I could use to describe this past month but I choose to use sum it up using the word faithful. It’s a word we associate with God because we know it to be true yet it’s a word that we are consistently learning the true definition of. Maybe we are constantly learning of His faithfulness because we are constantly forgetting it. All I know is that God is faithful and He has proved that to me in several ways this past month. Allow me to share.
First of all God is faithful in the work He is doing in Pamplona. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Our work in Pamplona is not for nothing. God is moving in the hearts of some of the women there. It seems as though each week we are able to sit down and read the bible with women more consistently than the week before. They are hungry and they are searching. Some are searching to deepen their relationship and others searching how to begin that relationship. For example, Nila has been a believer since a young girl but has drifted from God. Seeing her recent desire to study the Word every time we come to her house has been astounding. In the beginning she always put us off but after we shared with her the parable of the farmer scattering the seed (Luke 8) and how in order to grow we must water our root to make it strong, we have seen a strong desire in her to make her root strong. Not only is she soaking in the Word but she is sharing it with her neighbors. Another example is a woman named Celia. She is not a believer but has quickly become one of the women we are closest to due to her hospitality for us. The fact that she recognizes she has not yet accepted Christ in her life but needs Him tells me it is only a matter of time. Another woman named Yolanda has had a rough life. Several times that we have visited with her she has been led to tears as she pours out her heart to us. She desires to change her life and have her sins erased. I believe she is on the verge of professing Christ as her Savior. Praise God for taking us to Pamplona to share with them what they hungering for. Soon, very soon, I trust we will see several women come to profess Him as their Savior and when that day comes there will be a party in heaven and amongst us. God is faithful in producing fruit from our labor.Pamplona is about an hour bus ride from my house, sometimes more. Some days I spend a total of 3 hours traveling back and forth from Pamplona. Three hours that could be used spending time with the people and not traveling. Let me preface all of this by saying that it has been incredibly difficult for me to share “half” of my life with these people. Sharing my life with them throughout the day but then when night comes I return to my fancy apartment (“fancy” in comparison), take a shower, use the internet, cook dinner, wash my dishes in an actual sink with running water and then turn on my fan to feel a breeze as I crawl into my bed that in many places would sleep four children. I am not saying anything is wrong with the small blessings that God gives us although most of us take them for granted. The issue for me is that because I have been called to minister to these people I want to share my life with them, not just part of it. Pamplona is by no means the safest, cleanest and easiest place to live and I did not want to be a burden on a family who already struggles to survive nor could I claim land and build my own “shanty”. This led to the question “How will this work?” Within a day of fervently praying for this, a sister-in-Christ who lives alone with her daughter opened her home to me. She would not see me as a burden to come into her home (which is the size of the bedroom I am living in now) but she would see it as a “blessing”. At the end of this month I will be moving to Pamplona. God is faithful.
My life took an unexpected turn this past month. This personal issue that took place could have easily destroyed me. Satan could have attacked me in a countless number of ways. He could have devoured my heart, my mind and my ministry. At one point I even questioned giving up and coming home. But what Satan could have used for his “good”, God used for His. God’s faithfulness throughout this past month has been beyond anything I ever could have imagined. Why? Because I don’t think any of us realize or give credit for just how big God is and sometimes it takes trials for Him to show us and/or remind of that. No matter what life throws at us Psalms 73:23-26 tells us “I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destination. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on this earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” God has reminded me He is all I need. He is enough. I am His child and He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) which is already playing itself out. Praise God for His faithfulness during the storms and that when we are weak He is strong.
We never know what today is going to bring. Our plans don’t always come together as we hope. Life brings us trials and what we see as “detours”. I don’t claim to have it all figured out (God knows there is so much for me to learn) but the one and only thing that I find to be true and eternal is the love and faithfulness of God. When we trust in Him and His faithfulness, His peace will guard our hearts and minds as well as exceed anything we can understand (Philippians 4:7).