Abelardo sat at our table shaking like a leaf, his fork hitting his plate repeatedly until his unstable hand dropped the utensil. Then he jumped up, ran to the bushes outside and threw-up. My heart broke for him knowing these were going to be hard, uphill days until his delirium tremors were over.
The problem of alcoholism is ever present in villages. Abelardo told us of a dream he had in the night. He said that the Lord told him, “Get up. I’m going to make you well and free.” Abelardo declared, “I was so happy that God would mercifully speak to me after I had failed so miserably and now He gives me hope.”
When Lito, our co-worker, visited Abelardo in his overwhelmed state, Abelardo told us, “It made me really happy that he sought me out. Lito told me Don Lalo (Ed) would help me.” When Ed brought him to our home, he was under the influence nonetheless, and then everything kicked in for withdrawals. He did not sleep all night and he came to our table in the morning downcast. Yet, despite his physical state, he was determined to go forward with hope that his self-inflicted torture would end. The rehab where we would take him said only one thing was required, “He needs a heart that is open and willing.” His heart finally is.
When we went to church last weekend and passed a cantina in the mountains, two long-time friends were there, already blurry-eyed. They waved to us, slurring our names in greeting. A little girl approached. She was a daughter of one of the men about to see her dad publicly unstable at 10 in the morning. She passed him on her way to Sunday School. That same day yet another young girl was in church praying for her own dad to be freed. This was Abelardo’s daughter, Kari. Many alcoholic centers in villages mistreat the men with cursing, beating, and threats. She did not want her dad to go through this. She kept praying and when Abelardo talked to us he said, “Kari, she loves me. Kari, she prays for me. It is Kari who is going to bat for me.” He won’t suffer bad treatment, not where he is going. Will you pray for him? Will you pray for our team as we speak to so many who are in this web of addiction, made even more complicated when drugs are mixed with alcohol as is so common now.
Kari – a praying daughter, and Denise
Our Easter sunrise was beautiful! When we arrived there were many on the top of the hill already praying praises from their hearts. Men who had never spoken up and prayed out loud were abandoning all self-consciousness and thanking their Heavenly Father for what He had done in their lives. One man said, “Father, thank you for rescuing me. I do not know where I would be without you, but I think I would be in jail.”
To see young families transformed, young couples looking in hope to build a better life spiritually, young children singing with their whole hearts with their parents and grandparents, added to the resurrection of joy in our own hearts. “This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes” Mark 12:11
Every day is different – different needs, different hurts, different joys. We see our mountain team growing and working together wonderfully. We see the church expanding in numbers and recently even the walls of a home church were extended to make more room!
Enlarging the home-church in Tlaxcantitla
After 7 years in the Middle East, our son, Erik, was prevented from returning there over a year ago
due to political difficulties between Turkey and Iraq. In this last year’s interim, he worked long and hard at an excellent Classical School in Illinois. During this time, his call to the Middle East was assured in his spirit and heart. He has received the specific pathway to go back this September.
It is “marvelous in our eyes” to see God at work – always, even when there are delays in our fallible human perception of His timing. Thank you for your great part in upholding us all in prayer and giving, faithfulness and communication, concern and action.
God bless each of you. We send our gratefulness to you for taking the time to read this and for your needed prayers for us and our children.
Eduardo and Denise