I was reading in John 2 today, among some other portions, and found something interesting in a familiar story. It was the story of the wedding in Cana, and as you remember, Jesus went as an invited guest with His disciples and his mother. It was early in the relationship with these men and I’m sure they weren’t necessarily expecting much. Of course the wine runs out and Mary indicates to Jesus that He needed to do something. And He turned a goodly amount of water into the very best wine of the evening. However, unlike many other miracles, the people who were the recipients didn’t get to know exactly how this new wine showed up and Who to thank. The MC of the wedding just remarked on the quality of the wine and the irony that it was being saved until last. It was the disciples and the servants who knew Who was responsible and knew what a miracle had just occurred. You know, sometimes Jesus does His wonders simply to confirm His disciples and servants. He wants you, as a follower, to be confident in His Presence, His Power and His Love and He’s willing to do the supernatural things, unnoticed by the world, that give you that confidence. Have you ever had the Lord do something for you that no one else would notice, but you do? That’s His special attention and love given to you to build your faith. Don’t worry that no one else saw it! It was likely just for you… yes, He loves you that much. Blessings, PB
Archive for July, 2007
Hi Everyone! Well, we’ve arrived back home after an effective week in Mexico. All our flights worked out well and we landed in the Rochester airport a bit after midnight on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. The Lord was good to us, as usual, and all our luggage arrived with us, greeted by a significant group of welcomers from the church and our families. As we close the chapter on this short trip we are amazed by the Lord’s ability to work eternally in such a short window of time. Many people heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, some became followers of Jesus and many received some very real physical good while we were there. And we were changed also by the experience. It’s a great thing to go somewhere, directed by the Lord, and to be with people who have so much less than we do, yet are loved by the Lord as much as we are. It changes you to see heartbreaking poverty and to give a “cup of cold water” in His name to those who are caught in that poverty. Many, as I said, have been enriched by the Good News and though their circumstances haven’t changed much their hearts and lives have been transformed. Great kudos to the church and leaders down in Texas and Matamoros, they extended themselves so well to the people in need that live right on their doorstep. Which brings me to another point: will we do the same for folks who live and work in our area? Hmm, let’s pray about ways to reach to all those we can!
We spent our Friday in both Mexico and in the USA. This morning we all had our devotions and breakfast and then headed off to the border. Today was our fun day and we went out to South Padre Island. After a morning at the beach (yes, just suffering for Jesus) it began to rain like crazy. Texas and the coast here have been pounded by unusually heavy rains for weeks now. Immediately the streets were flooded, but we were able to get to a fast food restaurant to ride out the storm. After the rain sort of left we went back to long walks on the beach and swimming in the surf; a good reward for the team. We left about 4:30pm and headed off to Brownsville and International Christian Center. Tonight was their annual “Night of Worship” and it was amazing. Three hours of very high energy, deeply spiritual worship. The worship team had been preparing for weeks for this night. There were hundreds of people there and the Spanish flavor of the church showed; the songs were alternately in English and Spanish or both. They had a team of 50 people (!) on the stage which included a choir of 25 and a dance team of 10. Folks were dancing and rejoicing with lots of passion. Now I can’t see us doing this exactly at home, but at one point they broke out balloons, the long thin kind, and gave them out to the congregation. Everyone was waving balloons and then they actually tossed big beach balls into the crowd! It was such a great experience. In the middle of the 3 hour service, Pastor Bob preached and led 14 people to the Lord. After the service we went out to IHOP with our friends here and had something to eat. Very late end to a wonderful day. Tomorrow, oops, today, we head off to home. Everyone has been blessed by the great week we spent here. Please pray that we’re able to catch all our flights, especially since the layovers are so short and we’re switching airlines in Houston. Looking forward to seeing everyone at church on Sunday morning!
Today I’ll just show a few photos of the medical clinic. Here’s Carolyn dispensing medicines donated by the local churches here. This was actually the end of the process of seeing patients and treating them. Carolyn, Bonita and Adrienna, a local leader, mostly dispensed the medications, but only after the patients had sat with a prayer counselor and received prayer for their situation. A number of patients received the Lord at that point.
Here’s Diane W seeing patients on their way into the clinic. All told, there were over 200 patients seen in the 3 days we ran the free medical clinic. Mostly moms with kids were there and it took some doing to entertain the neighborhood while folks were inside getting needed attention. That’s where Mallory and Laura came in, Kristen too (she was mostly the “runner”, pointing patients to their next station, guiding them through the process). This is a photo of the girls with their new best friends…one even claimed to be Mallory’s cousin!
We rest some tomorrow, going out to see South Padre Island and at night to take part in a Worship Night at ICC in Brownsville. More soon! PB
Here’s the house we’ve been working on. You can see that at this stage we have put on some metal roofing, but we’ve got a long way to go. Today, Wednesday, we actually finished the roof and rebuilt most of the front wall that you see here. Keep us in your prayers, it’s been brutal in the heat and sun. By the way, four people came to the Lord today at the medical clinic! I haven’t heard how the hospital visits went, as that was just the ladies and they haven’t returned yet. I’ll see if I can get a photo or two up from the medical clinic tomorrow. PB
Our team has been involved with more than a building project. Jerry and I are the only guys on our team from Brockport with other men from this area. Matamoros is the border town across from Brownsville, Texas where our good friends Bob and Libby Ordeman pastor International Christian Center. It’s a lively church of about 2000 people. Folks from that church are joining with Mexicans from a church they planted in Matamoros, Christo Centro Internationale. So really our Brockport folks have joined with the Brownsville and Matamoros folks to reach out to a very poor part of Matamoros. Back to what we all are doing. The women on our team have been working in a free medical clinic that was set up in a neighborhood soup kitchen. Jeanette from Kansas, our Diane W, Laura B and Mallory H along with our Mexican/Brownsville counterparts worked the clinic today. The rest of our team, Kristen P, Bonita P went to a local hospital and offered free bags of cookies and prayed with anyone who would like prayer. People were so very open to them, but couldn’t believe that they weren’t trying to sell them something. Gratis, as they say in Spanish! I forgot to tell you that yesterday our women team members went D2D or door to door and handed out flyers to let the people in this Matamoros neighborhood know about the free clinic. They also prayer walked the neighborhood and offered to pray for people there. That accounted for the great turnout at the clinic today. Likely there will be more people tomorrow as the good word spreads. I’ll see if I can learn how to upload a photo or two of what’s been going on. More tomorrow, Lord willing!
Hi Everyone! I thought I knew what heat was until we all arrived here in Mexico and started our first project. Wow! It’s 95 – 100 every day and one of the tasks our team was asked to complete involves replacing a roof on a poor family’s “house”. Jerry K, myself, Carolyn M and some others from the churches here tore the roof from the building (it was just rotten plywood) and replaced it with a corrugated metal roofing material. The reason I had “house” in quotes was for the fact that this little place was no more than what we have in many of our sheds. One bedroom for a family of five to share and a backroom that serves as a kitchen. No running water, an outhouse for a bathroom and a curtained off area outside for washing in. They pay the neighbor a few pesos to run an extension cord to their home for electricity. I wish every young person in our circle could come here for a week and they would never complain about anything again! Children and many adults don’t have shoes so parasites and other problems are the norm. But what’s their hope here! The same as at home. That they might know Jesus, the source of Life itself. More on the trip soon! PB
Hi! Welcome to my brand new blog. I hope it will bless and inspire all of us. Please feel free to respond to this moderated blog. I’m in Mexico on a missions trip at the moment, and I’ll be reporting on my trip soon.
Please keep us in prayer for God’s anointing and for physical health and strength.