March 15, 2008

A God Appointment

I (Carol) had an incredible experience a few days ago. Thursday morning I received a call from a friend who works with a crisis pregnancy center. She told me that a woman had called for an appointment who spoke only Spanish, and that they thought she was wanting an abortion. She asked if I would be able to serve as a translator. I explained to her that my Spanish was not good enough to translate word for word, but agreed to do it.

On the way to the center Donald and I were praying that God would use me despite my language limitations to be a positive witness to the woman. We also prayed for the father and the unborn child.

The woman's appointment was for 3:00pm, but by 3:15 she had still not arrived. Right around that time, we noticed a Hispanic man wandering around as if he was looking for something. He ended up coming into the office where we were waiting. When asked what he could be helped with, he replied in broken English that his girlfriend wanted an abortion. The counselor told him that the center was not a place for abortions. He immediately began to cry and I asked if we could talk to him in a more private place.

We went back to a room, and I began translating for the counselor. He was crying and seemed conflicted about his girlfriend having an abortion. As I looked at him, I could feel the compassion of Jesus welling up in me. I could also feel the strong presence of the Holy Spirit. I began to break away from simply translating to speaking to him about the love of God and His desires. I was also able to listen to the man's story, which was very complicated.

I told the man that it was not a coincidence that he showed up to the center at that particular time on that particular day. Usually there is nobody there who can speak Spanish. I shared that I believed that God intended for him to be talking with me. He then explained to me that he did not want the abortion, but that his girlfriend was very stubborn and did not change her mind easily. I asked him if he was a Christian. He responded that he was Catholic. I then asked if he prayed. He said that he did. I let him know that we cannot change difficult situations, but that God can. I prayed with him that God would give him the words to say to his girlfriend.

I spent a little over an hour speaking with this man. When he left, I could tell that something had happened within him. It was amazing how the Holy Spirit used me to minister to him. I was even more amazed when I discovered that the woman that I was originally supposed to translate for had shown up with her sister who spoke English and that she did not want an abortion. She wanted verification of her pregnancy in order to receive Medicaid.

I knew then without a doubt that God had arranged for me to be there not for that woman, but for the man that He knew would wander in!

Has God used you in a way like this? He can, you know. He used me simply because I was available and ready to answer His call. It is my prayer that I will never be too busy with "wordly" things that I miss a God appointment. That is my prayer for you as well.

In His Love,


March 6, 2008

A Blessing and a Miracle

First, the BLESSING - You may or may not know that we sold both our cars before leaving for Costa Rica. Since being here we have been living by faith for transportation. We were able to borrow a car for 7 months, but had to return it the beginning of January. We then had a series of people who allowed us the use of their cars through the end of February. When we returned the latest car to its owners on Sunday the 24th, we seemed to have no other options available.

That Monday night we lifted our concern of no transportation up to God. Nothing is too small for our Heavenly Father! Well, the next morning I (Carol) went to my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group and shared my prayer concern with my small group. There was a woman there who was attending for only the 2nd time. She approached me afterward and told me an amazing thing - Her husband is in the Navy and is currently deployed to Kuwait. His car had just been sitting there unused, so she began to pray that God would send her someone who needed a car. She emailed him for permission, changed the oil, got it inspected then handed us the keys that Thursday (a week ago). We can use it until May!

This woman does not even know us. She told us that the car is not hers anyway, that it belongs to God. She has only been a Christian for a little over a year. How many of us could have that same attitude?

Now, for the MIRACLE - Last Wednesday evening we attended our church's weekly service. Cora was sleeping in the car on the way there, which is not unusual. When we got there, however, she became clingy and did not want to stay in the nursery, which is very unusual. During the service she sat on my lap and slept. I began to notice that she was becoming hotter and realized she probably had a fever. The flu has been going around.

After the service ended there was an invitation for prayer. Donald and I asked one of our pastors to pray for Cora. As she placed her hand on Cora's head, she could feel the heat radiating from it. I was still holding her in my arms. Shortly after the 3 of us began to pray, my arms began to shake. Our pastor asked me if that was me or Cora. When I told her that it was me, she put her hand on my hand and prayed that Cora would be healed through her mother's love.

I immediately felt a warmth go through my body from my head to my arms. Cora did not wake up, but she broke out in a sweat and became noticeably cooler. When we got home she did not have a fever and started running around like normal. She never got sick!

God still heals today through the name of Jesus Christ! We have been witnesses to so much of His miraculous power over the past few months. It is His desire to see His people whole, even the little ones. Never cease to pray for the sick and the lame. Nothing is too big or small for our God!

We are Up and Blogging!

Hello to our family and friends! We have finally entered into the world of blogging. Our website still exists, but was kind of hard to maintain. We have discovered that this will be an easier way to keep you updated on a regular basis.

Well, we are still in Virginia raising support and growing closer with God. As we wrote in our last newsletter, God has had some specific purposes for keeping us here for awhile - mainly to grow closer to Him and each other and to be equipped with more of the power and boldness of the Holy Spirit.

All of these things have been happening! We are not the same people that we were when we returned from Costa Rica. Our support has also increased to 65%.

We are becoming more and more equipped for God's work in Paraguay every day. All we need now are more pledges to cover the additional 35% of our monthly support.