I’ve been wanting to update you on some of the individuals that I have shared with you in the past. Thanks for praying for them.
Our relationship with Dalia continues to grow. As you may recall Dalia is a young woman who I met through tennis in San Carlos. She’s a Tennis and Pickle Ball instructor there and works with many North Americans. While Robin and I (having been invited to a Birthday Party for another acquaintance we sense the Lord at work in) were visiting with the people at the party, I noticed how Dalia seemed to be left in the dark at the party since everyone was visiting in English. So, I had the sense that God wanted me to visit with Dalia in Spanish. I went over to where she was sitting, pulled up a chair and began to chat. During the conversation, she told me that her father had been preparing to become a priest and that he had a sincere faith in God. Her father passed away a few years ago, which led us into an hour long and rather deep conversation regarding the afterlife and the resurrection from the dead. During this conversation, it became evident to me that Dalia had a measure of faith in God. Later in the day, as I was sitting across the patio pondering, it dawned on me that Dalia wanted to learn English (since a large part of her market is English speakers) and that the next day, Ken and Ruth VanKirk (other missionaries in San Carlos serving the Mexican people) happened to be beginning an intense English course for Spanish speakers. The course was designed for Mexican Christians who serve together with English speaking missionaries. I did not know at the time that the VanKirks are selective in who they allow into the course. All I realized was that Dalia was sitting there wanting to learn English and the thought came to me as one of those distinct, motivating, love filled thoughts that the Lord brings to the heart. So, I went over to her and asked her if she would be interested. I told her that it was an English course designed specifically for missionaries and that it would have devotionals and spiritual content. She said she was fine with that.
Ken was away on a missions trip up north at the time, but I was able to contact Ruth. We had a lovely conversation, but she ultimately gently suggested that Dalia was not a candidate for the course and it was probably a ‘no’. So I let it go, though it was kind of sad for me and said, “oh well“. Then during the course of the next day, I got a call from Ken who brought up Dalia. In relaying to Ken what had happened he said, “well we also are open to the course itself being evangelistic if it’s the Lord who is bringing us a student.” Long story short, Dalia was enrolled that day and given a subsidized fee option much more reachable to her own budget.
During that first week of classes, I was privileged to lead the devotional two times, but then headed off to Colombia. When I got back from Colombia, I was delighted to hear that Dalia was loving the classes. I asked her how the classes were and she replied, “They have been very good. I’m really pleased with everything, the class itself and the people are super lovely – all of them, the students as well as the teachers.” “Coincidentally” that same week before Robin and I left Mexico, we were visiting with Jorge and Sole, when Sole brought up Dalia whom she had met at the tennis court earlier that week. I said, “oh, you know her?” She said, “Yes I met her! I didn’t know there were any women at tennis and so, I was happy to meet her and converse with her.” Sole then mentioned that Dalia was going to church and said she really wanted to follow up with the relationship. I thought, “Isn’t it cool the way the Lord works.”
Another cool little touch to this story is that last year, Dalia had shown me a picture of a tennis training device called a “Tennis Pointer”. It’s a little wooden paddle with a tennis grip handle. The paddle is only about 4″ round and corresponds to the exact location of the sweet spot on a tennis racquet. It’s designed to train the player to hit the ball more consistently in the sweet spot of the racquet. When I saw the photo, I said, “oh, that looks simple to make. I’ll make you one if you’d like when I get home.“ She said, “Really!? You can make one of those?!” I said, “Yes. It should be simple.” I had planned on making it in my workshop in Canada where I have tools. But life got busy and I never got around to it, even though I was still planning to make it. Then, I just plain ran out of time and left to Mexico. When we got to Mexico again this year, within about a week of being there I ran into Dalia and the first thing she said was, “…and what about the Tennis Pointer?” I couldn’t believe it! I guess I just kind of thought she wasn’t that serious about it and would have forgotten. I felt so bad that I had let it slip by. I said, “ooooohh, I’m sorry! I ran out of time, but as soon as I get back to Canada again I promise I will make you one.” So when we got home at the end of June, before I even finished unpacking my suitcase, I made sure to get it done! Jorge often talks about the “incarnation of the gospel”, how preaching the gospel is much more than words and how the life of Christ must be seen in the things we do. I quite agree, not in the sense that you try to do things so that people will listen to you, but rather, just love them with no strings attached. This seems to be so powerful and God seems to use these things so commonly. The Lord puts His love in our own hearts and He then manifests Himself through through us by this very love in tangible ways to touch others. Dalia is being drawn to the Lord by the Father. I look forward to more conversations with her in the future and appreciate your continued prayers for her.
Sacha and Alec
You may remember how special our connection with Sacha and Alec was this year while in Mexico. It seems like every year we go to Mexico, the Lord has some special new unimagined connection or relationship awaiting us. Among a few of them, Sacha and Alec stand out as the most special from this year. Sacha and Alec left us in Mexico, but they have remained in contact with me. I have continued with virtual physio sessions regularly with Sacha. (As a side note to this story, I must mention that I have not had a migraine since, and maybe only one headache? This is phenomenal as I used to suffer with them regularly.) Again, it’s truly a wonderful thing to let the life of Christ manifest itself in every day life… the “incarnation of the gospel”. Bringing Christ into ever situation means bringing love, light and honesty into every relationship. From the moment I started my first session with Sacha, I sensed the Lord at work as little opportunities were always there to share the essence of Christ with her. I noticed from the beginning that there were ears to hear. Our friendship has been growing every session and has become very close. When I left for Colombia, she knew that we were going to be out of touch for a while and she said, “Feel free to text me a photo while you are on your trip if there are any beautiful scenes along the way“. I thought, “That’s a good opportunity“. So I did, I shared lots of photos and stories. When I got back from Colombia, I sent her a long voice message summarizing the trip and also mentioned Russell’s history with the kidnappings in his past. She was kind of blown away at all these things, which again showed me that she has a hungry heart for the truth. She said she was going to order Russell’s book “Rescue the Captors” online. I also shared with her an App called “Pray as you Go” which gives little 10 minute verses and devotionals each morning and she began listening to them. Her friendship has grown and she has articulated numerous times how much she appreciates that we can mutually help each other. The last chat I had with her, she referred to me as her mentor. She also shared how when she was a teenager, she had gone on these short term mission’s trips with a church to help rescue children and she said now through our friendship, her past was coming back to her or that she was returning again to it. I took that to mean that she was being drawn to the Lord back as a teenager and then wandered from that, but now through our dialogues she is coming back into relationship with Him.
I really don’t know specifics, but what I do know is that I have a strong sense of God at work in Sacha’s life and God has given us an open relationship to talk about Him. Each conversation I come away with an edifying satisfaction of the aroma of Christ at work in real ways as she opens up, asks questions and has a genuine hunger. I love that stage of a person’s spiritual development when they are still un-churched but full of life that comes out in natural ways of zeal, hunger and reality. Thanks for your prayers for Sacha. The seeds Jesus referred to in His parable are being sewn in her heart. Pray they find good soil, take root and grow to genuine maturation in Christ.
I have not been much in touch with Alec, though I learn from Sacha that he holds our friendship in high regard. She told me that he had put his phone on record back in my studio in Mexico when we had that 3 hour conversation. He had asked the question, “Why do you have to believe that Jesus died for your sins? Why do Christians say that’s so important?” I continue to have the desire to pick that conversation back up, but have not yet sensed the right timing of it. So, thanks for your prayers for these lovely young people. May God continue His work in their lives as He is preparing a special people for Himself and He is bringing people in from all over, whether from the P’s, or Venezuelan Latins who are experiencing a great revival, or tennis teachers, or missionaries, or physio therapists… God is preparing for Himself a special people. When these training days are done, we will step into an amazing purpose where the reign of His kingdom will not merely be in the hearts of people but also manifest itself in the outer restoration of all things through the sons of God.
All for now,
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.”