Our Current Newsletter

 
Dear Friends,
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.
 
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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.” 
 
                                             Easter Sunrise
 
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.
Gracias,
Eduardo and Denise
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
Dear Friends,
 
We had no idea that she was living.  Her existence was a quiet fact. Relatives knew.  Close neighbors knew. She was in that little room day in and day out,  but it was only if one made a conscious effort to visit that she would ever have been noticed, ever have been seen.
 
Why?  When she was born she seemed healthy but soon her bones began to turn. Susana stopped growing.  She was now 18 years old and measured a little over two feet. Her mother carried her everywhere and then had to stop.  She was too weary to carry her up and down the mountains. She and her husband never took Susana to a doctor. That would have cost money they simply did not have.   Susana hardly ate. She became weaker, more crooked and stiff. She stayed in a small room with board walls. She slept on a board bed. Susana wore a traditional dress but it was like a rag on her now.   She slept or would stare while a cold wind whistled through the cracks in the boards, day and night.
How grateful we were to find her!  First Marina and Magdalena went. Then Ed and I went.  We began a series of visits where we would share the Gospel and speak to Susana whose eyes would open wide with fear of strangers.  Over time she would recognize us and began to listen and track us with obvious interest, lying quietly in her mother’s arms. Her hygiene was poor but her family was doing all they could.  Sometimes she would smile feebly but genuinely. We brought needed food and consulted doctors for her skin and other needs.
 
Susana is an example of the forgotten child that is in every community.  Behind closed doors, that child is existing and suffering days on end, years on end. What a blessing for us to “seek and find” these little ones who are close to the heart of God.  It is an honor to help them practically. It brings a sense of family when we can hold them and laugh with them. They are encouraged to see we too care for their child who is forgotten by everyone else.
 
Psalm 142:5 says “Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul”.
 
Our hope is that no one will say those words once we have met them. It is in our very fiber, by the grace and mercy of Christ, to reach out to others the way God through others first reached out to us. We can not walk on by once a need is known.
 
Susana’s mother has a kind heart. She brings delicious blackberries in a big basket up the hill to sell to us. She comes and we always welcome her in a special way with hugs.  We never lose a chance to pray and encourage her as the wife and mother of her tiny, frail young daughter. She is an incredibly hard worker. For that reason, even when there is no more need for blackberries we still buy them from her.
 
When Susana suddenly died last month it caught us all unawares.  It was a great emotional and spiritual loss for all of us.
 
“Please do not stop visiting us,” her parents cried after burying her.  “We want you to come to our home.” But of course we will! It is now that this family needs as much prayer and support as ever. This is the first family in the community of Cuatlamanca that has been open to us. Please pray we can seek and find those who are lost and forgotten and give them the Word of life. We thank the Lord for the way Susana affected us all and the privilege to serve her and love her and reach out to her family – even after her frail body was put to rest.  We will miss you Susana! We won’t forget your family either.
 
We come with practical aid to the best of our ability.  We thank those with medical skills that have given us counsel, answered our letters or visited with us to see those forgotten folk who are now our friends.
 
After the desperate words of the psalmist in Psalm 145 he goes on to say
 
I cry to you, O Lord;
   I say, “You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.”
 
Our work is to extend our hands as if they were Christ’s hands.  That may mean food, that may mean drink, that main mean visits to the doctor, that may be listening or counseling or even confronting by speaking the truth in love.  Yet that inner healing can only come from realizing that there is a refuge, there is a Lord who is your portion even in a life of harshness and trials.
 
We saw Susana listen to us speak to her of the Lord’s love.  We saw her parents’ focused with attention on something that was no longer beyond their grasp—- a hope in a personal God, in His salvation and help for their family.  Many times after stepping out of that little room we would have some tea or coffee with the family and find all kinds of ways to relate with them. Still, it was, and is the Word of Life, that meets the deepest needs and that the Lord uses to place “the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6)
 
Please pray we can continue to be an extension of God’s redemptive love as we do not forget those who are alone, forgotten, abandoned.
 
God bless you,
Ed and Denise