Rejoice with us that we were given sufficient donations to buy a 2010 high top Toyota Hiace van! Thank you so much to all of you who made that possible! It has permitted us to travel with our groups (some up to 13 members) into the communities for home visits of the students who they sponsor and for community outreach programs. And we have more groups to come and more field trips to take! We’re so excited for this blessing!
Since the government has a new law that each vehicle purchased requires a government inspection, we went down to the little government office in the back of our Ceiba Cultural Center. As former Dole fruit warehouse that housed the bananas and pineapples before exporting, this building sits less than 100 feet back off the beach. So I took the opportunity to perch on a rock/boulder out on the beach to meditate and reflect while we were waiting for the inspector to stroll out with his clipboard. (You know by now how nature inspires me to worship God and opens my spiritual ears to listen as He speaks to me.) As I rested on the rock that day, I noticed how much position matters. The rocks that were a foot farther out into the surf were overwhelmingly battered without relief; as a wave rolled into shore, it totally submerged that rock…and before that had passed over, a wave rolling back out to sea covered it again so that it was constantly smothered without reprieve. Don’t we have seasons like that…where we get too far away from our Father and are constantly submerged and just can’t seem to catch our breath or catch a break? I’m reminded of the verse in James 4 that says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” There were rocks closer into shore that rested on higher ground…so waves rolled over them, but they were only temporarily covered, and then they were quickly free again to soak in the sun/Son. We might even imagine that the waves refresh after exposure to the sun. Let us be inspired to check our positions…I’m studying Gideon right now and have spent the week in Judges 7 where God whittled down Gideon’s army by selecting the warriors who scooped water up into their hands to lap while dismissing those who knelt down to slurp. Position matters!God has truly blessed us with 3 groups this month who have encouraged and inspired us just by dedicating time to come down and serve alongside us here at IER. It means so much, it’s so refreshing to have “family” and friends come to invest in God’s amazing work here…to serve together. And they’ve accomplished some tremendous things that we absolutely couldn’t do on our own–like training teachers in best practices using inquiry-based, hands-on learning (AMSTI), building new tables and benches for the lunch area, buying supplies for families and delivering them out into the communities, painting a mural and individual art projects, teaching new material like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and how to make colored band bracelets, and so much more. (See Ricky’s mural before…everyone in the entire school put fingerprints to make the scales of the fish!!) We’ve seen God accomplish so much more through so many as opposed to just the 2 of us or just the 13 of us school staff. God is so good all the time, and the plans He has are to bring glory to His Name, to bring more followers into His Kingdom, and to love on us as He showers us with long-suffering patience, with mercy (not giving us what we deserve), and grace (giving us what we don’t deserve). May it be unto us!! And to all of you who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in prayer and finances, we thank you for all the sacrifices that you make to bring the kingdom down from heaven to earth here with us in this place!