Victor, my husband, is on an Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusade this week leading an international, interdisciplinary, multilingual team of over 30 volunteers as they share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in cooperation with a local body of believers in Catemaco, Veracruz, the Mexican witchcraft capital of the nation.
|Here is some of the international flavor on this crusade: Dr. Bill (seated) with three American pre-med students listening to a patient's needs (seated in the white blouse) while our second eldest daughter, Diana (standing in white), translates.|
In the meantime, back at the Ranch....I, Julie, am.....hmmm...I think I just am!
|Me....just being. (I had Alejandro take this of me just a few minutes ago as I worked on this very blog. No staging here...this is real life in central Mexico on a Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.)|
Victor and the team, in the power of the Holy Spirit, are pushing back spiritual darkness with the light of Jesus Christ in a town full of witchcraft and evil practices.
|The team hard at work on the crusade in Catemaco, Veracruz|
In the meantime, back at the Ranch, we are.....catching mice!
I hate mice! The first night Victor was gone, Caleb and I saw three mice in the living room...one of whom scurried into my bedroom! So, yesterday, our eldest, Angie, went to the store and bought three sticky mice traps. (I don't know how to set those springy mouse traps.) Last night, I went into the bathroom...and a mouse ran into the corner. I quickly set one of those sticky traps by the door with some peanut butter in the middle of the sticky stuff and, within 5 minutes, we had our first mouse! Problem...what to do with the mouse?! The kids were already in bed, but Josiah heard the little commotion and came to my rescue, discarding the mouse while I looked the other way while standing on a chair. Two more mice promptly fell in another trap within 20 minutes. Martha, Jocelin and Josiah rescued me from those mice by discarding them while I hid on my bed. BUT...I still heard another one rustling about in the night. The hunt continues!
Insert imaginary picture here: just use your imagination for the mouse scenes. I thought I would spare you any actual pictures!
Victor and the team, through the truth of Jesus Christ, are leading person after person to the throne of grace to have their sins washed away.
|Leonel (on the right), who is the youth pastor at our church, our daughter Martita's boyfriend and, Lord willing, our future son-in-law, sharing the Gospel with a young woman during this crusade to Catemaco, Veracruz.|
In the meantime, back at the Ranch, we do some washing, too! Dishes, lots and lots of dishes. Oh, and clothes too.....and sheets, and towels and rags! Oh, and faces and hair and fingernails and hands!
Victor and the team begin each day with group devotions where they hear the Word, sing His praises and join in one Spirit.
|The team during morning devotions on Tuesday morning.|
In the meantime, back at the Ranch, we do family devotions too! We hear the Word, sing His praises and.....well, let's just leave it that! The 'joining in one Spirit' part becomes a bit more complicated when the youngest kids fight over the couch during worship time.
Insert your multi-media imagination of three children trying to scramble for the same overstuffed chair and then having to sing a worship song with grumpy faces because somebody else got to the chair before them. Sitting in the right chair is, after all, one of the most important things on the face of this earth!
Victor coordinates the team as they each carry out their God-ordained and God-given talents, abilities and assignments: from surgery to dental to pharmacy to counseling.
|Dr. Leslie, one of our faithful Mexican dentists, working on a patient just yesterday!|
In the meantime, back at the Ranch, I check the job chart for the fifth time in one day and look for the child who is supposed to be washing dishes. OK, got him....where did the dish rinser go? Oh, she got tired of waiting for the washer. Finally, good, let's see, we've got the dish drier, the dish putter-awayer, the dish rinser....where did the dish washer go? (hint: “dish washer” refers to a child who washes dishes, not an electronic home appliance)
|Our 'job chart central' on the refrigerator.|
So many times in our lives we can see where the Lord has placed others and desire their place of service, the way the Lord uses them, their circumstances. We can even get jealous about suffering, thinking that another person's suffering requires less suffering than our suffering!
Oh, for the ability to be content. Oh, for the ability to trust: to trust that God has truly created me...for this...right now. Oh, for the ability to believe that He truly is working out a purpose and good through all things. Oh, for the ability to see the ordinary as extraordinary and the mundane as holy.
Oswald Chambers' words recorded in “My Utmost for His Highest” speak to that need: “It does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God – but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people – and this is not learned in five minutes.”
Oh, for the ability to do drudgery for Jesus! And, oh, for the ability to see that drudgery as He sees it...and, suddenly, well, at least ever so slowly, we realize that it isn't drudgery!
OK, let me give it a try. My new opening sentence: Julie, home at Refuge Ranch this week, is leading a multi-age, multi-colored, bilingual group of 15 children and youth, while also coordinating a multi-faceted staff, as they work jointly towards the carrying out of daily tasks resulting in the teaching, forming, healing, inspiring, loving and shaping of the next generation of followers of Jesus Christ!
So, do you have some mice to catch this week? Then, let's catch some mice for Jesus! (And, in the meantime, wash some dishes, and mop some floors, and check some homework, etc..:-) )