Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thank you, Father.

Many of you have been praying for us.  In this blog post I want to show you how God has answered those prayers.

We prayed that "the boys" would avoid the temptations that they had, at times, been frequenting.  Now Alejandro (16), Juan (29) and Edgar (18) and Manuel (20) spend time together, playing cards, watching videos, playing soccer, using an internet cafe to facebook to friends, gathering at Juan and Angelica's house just to chat and basically avoiding places where beer and sex is sold.  It's been two months now that they all have chosen to hang together and help each other.  Sometimes Mario is in the group, too. This togetherness has given them strength and courage to face their strongest temptor: Sherwin. Praise God for this answer to prayer.  My prayer now is that they will create a "business" or a volunteer activity that they do with their time to serve others.  Just what that will be, I don't know, but I think God will let them know in a powerful way.  Please pray about this.

 This fuzzy photo from my phone shows another miracle.  This is Morine, who is deaf and watching a sign language video with her mother, and her sister Adrienne. We have been praying since September that her mother would become interested in learning sign language.  In the fall the mother was initially resistant. Morine made sounds (not words) and she hoped Morine would "talk".  As Morine learned more and more signs the mother became more and more aware of how the signs help Morine communicate and help the whole family understand what she is saying. Yet the mother was still not too enthusiastic about learning them herself. The big change came in the beginning of February when the mother started asking what the signs meant that Morine was making.  I took 86 photos of things on their family farm and of all of the relatives. We put the pics in a book and  Morine quickly learned all of the signs.  Now the Mom (goosebumps) has learned them too and wants to teach the rest of her family.  They all live together on a farm with the Grandparents and her husbands brother's family.  Now the Mom is the one encouraging everyone to learn.   This is a picture of the Mom teaching Adrienne some of the signs from the video. Praise God for this big transition.  Pray that the whole family learns and is able to communicate in ASL.

 This is Manuel showing Edgar how to act out the story of Job for Sunday's worship.  We have been praying for Manuel to grow in his role as leader of the Deaf Church.  A couple of times this past week while we are eating dinner or just talking..Manuel has said, "I know, now, that I am called by God to Pastor the church.  I know God has chosen me and has a plan for me."  He said, "Before I thought Nancy was just telling me that but now I know God has called me.  God has shown me with the miracles we have seen, like the miracle of the "Believe" video, and the way he has given me power to remember the stories and sign them clearly. Words and ways to say things just come to me when I preach.  Just many things.  I know God is walking with me. "   The previous Sunday Manuel had preached about Moses. Manuel said Moses was not sure of himself, reluctant to lead, but God showed him miracles to prove to Moses 'I am with you".   Manuel believes at a heart level that God is showing him "signs and wonders" to encourage him that God is with him and will help him.  Thank you Father!  His faith is getting stronger every day.

This is Alva's baby Josue (Joshua) Delina and Alva.  Whew!  We have been praying for Alva for 7 years. If you knew her then and could see her now it would make a Believer of you.  She has been in a tumultous relationship with Sherwin for most of those 7 years. She has two children that she says he fathered. It's all too ugly to put in this blog, but to make a long story short: While Alva was pregnant with baby #2 (Josue), Sherwin was being demonstratively the "boyfriend" of Delina. Ouch! It was a triangle that made Alva hurt everytime she saw Sherwin or Delina.  There were fights and shouting and for a year it was disrupting our fellowship as everyone else was on pins and needles waiting to see how the three would respond to each other or how Alva would deal with Sherwin sitting next to Delina. Throughout that time Alva was determined to stay on the fence by both entertaining the JW and going to Deaf Church.  She refused to make a commitment for Christ.  That changed on New Year's Eve and the weeks following. A few weeks after her brothers prayed for her and several of you as well, she came to the front of the church and said she wanted to stop juggling a lot of beliefs and make a commitment. She's changed immediately.  She's happy.  She has released Sherwin and Delina. At the swimming party she and Delina sat together on the swing and Alva let Delina hold her baby.  Amazing transformation.  Only God could have done that. Thank you, Father!
We prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill our fellowship with Unity. Thank you, Father.