There are so many people I meet each day that live with such sufferings, but yet have so much joy in their hearts and light in their eyes. I am challenged by the way these people live and it reminds me that the Lord sometimes calls us to suffer and we are to embrace it with trust and joy. Just this morning we decided to stop by our friend’s house Doña Marciana and her daughter Goya. Last week when we visisted and Goya, she asked if we could bring them to Saltillo because Doña Marciana needs to have a test done at the hospital because she constantly has terrible pain in her head and sometimes even has blood in her mouth. Erika and I randomly decided to stop in this morning to tell them we could bring them to Saltillo on Friday and to talk about what time we would leave. When we arrived this morning Goya told us we were an answer to prayer because just last night she was crying out to the Lord for help to take care of her mother, because she cannot do it alone. The people here trust in the Lord and his perfect timing. Goya could have come to our house to ask us when we could go, but instead, she prayed and waited for the Lord to answer her prayers and He did. God always hears our prayers and wants to answer them. Even in Doña Marciana’s pain, she always greets us with open arms, a kiss on the cheek, and a beautiful smile.
For the last two weeks we have been visiting all of our friends in General Cepeda, those who are sick, elderly and cannot work, and those who have no food. Last Friday we visited one of our dearest friends Doña Elvira, a sweet, feisty old lady who takes care of her five grandchildren because her daughter left a few years ago saying she was going to look for work and has never returned. Earlier that day Doña Elvira sent two of her grandchildren to our house to ask for food because they had none. When we visited her that day she said, "I am angry with you, I was hungry and you didn't have any food!" She said it in a jokingly manner because she really wasn't angry with us. We did bring her some food and was able to visit with her. She updated us on how her youngest granddaughter is doing. Her youngest granddaughter is four years old and has cancer. She is all alone in the hospital in Saltillo. Because of the cancer she is not able to eat and has to be fed through a feeding tube. She is the size of a one year old. I know that it is very hard for Doña Elvira to be so far away from her grandchild, but she has four others to take care of and really has no choice. Even in her many sufferings, she laughs and tells us stories as we visit her. The beauty and strength of the Lord radiates from her.
On Monday Erika and I visited Louis Angel, a little boy who has Lupus that is affecting his blood. Last year when I visited him for the first time, he was so weak from the disease that he could barely stand. He had an older brother, but he died from a similar disease. While visiting Louis Angel, his father was there laughing with his son and enjoying life. I know this family has suffered so much, but they continue to live, smile, and trust in the Lord for the healing of their son. During this visit, Louis Angel was not only walking but almost running. He told us jokes while giggling so much and also played hang man with us. He acted like a normal ten year old boy and it was so beautiful to see what the Lord can do to heal his people. He inspires me with the courage I see in his face. He is only ten years old and has seen more suffering than I will probably ever see in my life, and is still an innocent, joyful, normal little boy.
There are many more stories to tell but for now I'm leaving your with these. With each home visit I go on I am restored and my faith is strengthened but at the same time my heart is torn apart. The Lord is so near in this place and I see him daily in the faces of his precious saints in General.
"Come to me, all of you who are tired form carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Oh the Adventures
Do you see the picture above? Do you see the big crack in the door at the top? Our door is not supposed to do that. It’s actually quite funny. A lady (the street sweeper) knocked on our door this morning and told us, “you have a lot of trash between your door and sidewalk.” Erika said, “Yes we do.” The lady said, “I can clean it for you. Can I also have a cup of coffee?” Erika let her in and left the door to fix her coffee. When she returned, the door was as above. Actually it was opened more than that. The funny part to the story is that once she opened the door that way, we couldn’t close it. It made for a busy day at our door today. Praise God for the work! Raul, (a friend of ours) came by and fixed it for us. I still chuckle a little when I think about it.
Where do I even begin to update you all on the past week and a half?? Not last Friday, but the Friday before that, Erika and I went to Saltillo to drop off some friends at their family’s house. While in Saltillo we had the opportunity to go to the Cathedral for mass and visit our good friend Hugo. For those of you reading from St. Paul’s parish in Pensacola, you may remember hearing about Hugo, the man at the beautiful gate, when I shared missions with you in early January. I am always refreshed when I visit Hugo because when I look into his face, I feel as though I am staring into the face of Jesus. I am renewed by his faith and joy.
All of our ministries are picking up rapidly. Last week we began our classes “Defending the Catholic Faith”. We have a decent number of people attending at both ranchos that we go to. Last week our door ministry was very slow, but this week it has picked up a lot. We figured out a schedule for our home visits so that we don’t forget anyone and we visit everyone evenly. It is such a good feeling to have so much work to do in a place. Just tonight Erika was saying how she enjoys ending a day feeling exhausted. I agree with her. It gives me a since of accomplishment. I am so blessed and thankful that the Lord sees me worthy to do His work in this special place.