Thursday, July 18, 2013

EMMC Acapulco, July 7-13/CMME a Acapulco, 7-13 de julio

We praise the Lord for another successful Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusade from July 7-13 in conjunction with the Southern Baptist 15-15 project: 15 new church plants in the Greater Acapulco area by 2015!  Two more communities have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, felt His healing touch and been connected to the local pastor or missionary working in their midst. 

Alabamos al Señor por otra exitosa Campaña Médica Misionera y Evangelística del 7 al 13 de julio en conjunto con los Bautistas del Sur y su proyecto 15-15:  15 nuevas Iglesias plantadas en el área de Acapulco antes del 2015.  Dos más comunidades ya han escuchado las Buenas Nuevas de Cristo, sentido su toque sanador y sido conectados al pastor o misionero local trabajando entre ellos. 

As we have mentioned, each crusade, while the same in their mission and similar in their operation, has its own unique challenges and stories.  Mechanical difficulties with several of the vehicles defined this crusade.  We ended up having to leave the diesel truck at home and use the 15 passenger van for the crusade supplies and the bus for the team.  Things became even more complicated when the transmission on the 15 passenger van gave out halfway to Acapulco.  Several Christian brothers from Acapulco came to the rescue with their own vehicles to help get the supplies all the way to the crusade sites.

Como hemos mencionado en otras ocasiones, cada caravana, aunque iguales en misión y parecidos en operación, son únicas en cuanto a sus retos e historias.  Dificultades mecánicas con varios de los vehículos marcaron esta caravana.  Fue necesario dejar la camioneta diesel en casa y utilizar la camioneta de 15 pasajeros como camioneta de carga sin sus asientos para el equipo y el autobús para la gente.  Las cosas se complicaron aún más cuando la transmisión de la camioneta de 15 pasajeros se descompuso antes de llegar a Chilpancingo.  Varios hermanos cristianos de Acapulco vinieron al rescate del equipo con sus propias camionetas para hacer llegar todas las cosas al sitio de la caravana. 

Despite those initial setbacks, the crusade was carried out, by the grace of God, and 975 attentions were given between the doctors, dentists, optometry, massage therapy and haircuts.  The children’s ministry saw 50 children attend.  In all, 282 individuals made decisions to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Aunque el equipo se enfrentó a muchos retos, la caravana se llevó acabo por la gracia de Dios y 975 atenciones fueron dadas entre los doctores, dentistas, optometrista, masajistas y estilistas.  El ministerio infantil atendió a 50 niños.  En total 282 personas hicieron la decisión de orar y aceptar a Jesucristo como su Señor y Salvador.

Crusade site/El sitio de la caravana

The dentists hard at work/Los dentistas trabajando duro

Dr. Escamilla consulting with a patient and another volunteer staff member/Dr. Escamilla consultando con una paciente y otra voluntaria del staff

Personal evangelism/Evangelismo personal

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Somebody Has to Cut Their Nails - A Tribute to the Transformational Powers of Nail Cutters

There are moments when the life the Lord has given us to live sounds very romantic…loving children who need a family, restoring their lives, being an instrument of His redemptive grace in their little hearts!  Then there are those moments when that romanticism disappears among the daily-ness of life.

Tomorrow night is bath night.  Praise the Lord that since the water tank was raised in January all three of our bathrooms can function at once, four years after adding the second story to our home.   That makes 18 kids taking a bath a whole lot faster!  What once took at least six hours can now happen in less than two hours!

Something else happens periodically on bath night…nail cutting!  When that delightful evening rolls around, I can cut upwards of 160 nails on the children who need help with that process!  Somebody has to cut those nails; and I thank Jesus that He chose me to do it!

Restoring their lives, loving them to wholeness, and helping them discover all that God has sown in them, comes down to digging grime out from under fingernails and praying that Jesus will cleanse the grime of all they have lived and experienced that muddies their hearts .

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:18

The fingernails aren’t the real issue!  I have to keep my eyes on the eternal-ness happening before me as those same eyes stare at stuck muck under toenails.  Fingernails and toenails are definitely temporary…at least every two weeks they need cutting again….and again….and again…hmmm, 160 nails per nail-cutting-night, times 26 times a year….let’s stop with the math before looking at the temporal discourages me!  While fingernails and toenails are awfully temporary, what happens inside by simply being present to cut those nails is certainly eternal.

With several of our children I have very vivid memories of my first nail cutting experience with them.  Obviously there had not been anybody willing to cut those nails for quite some time and, obviously, the child in question had not yet learned to cut their own nails.  Restoring children’s lives to wholeness sounds just wonderful….but who wants to cut their toenails?

In just a few weeks, the nails that I cut and clean today will be long and dirty again.  The results aren’t always what we had hoped for, wished for, worked for or even prayed for.  But we live satisfied knowing that we cleaned the nails and loved the hearts that God asked us to clean and love.

Today there are 127,000 children and youth in the United States waiting for somebody willing to cut their fingernails and toenails.  Worldwide there are 153 million orphans needing somebody to dig the grime out….from under their nails….and love it out of their hearts.

I don’t fully understand how the Lord takes cutting fingernails, doing dishes, sweeping the floor and wiping down the kitchen counter for the umpteenth time in one day, chore charts, spelling lists, and plates of rice and turns them into life changing instruments of grace and transformation.  But, maybe that is His specialty.  After all, he turned a manger into a crib, mud into a miracle-working ointment, H2O into wine fit for a king, and an executioner’s tool into the greatest grace symbol to be had…the cross. 

So, tomorrow I will cut some fingernails…and trust that Jesus will continue to use those clippers in these hands to transform some lives.

(If you feel the Lord tugging at your heart to take another hand in yours and cut those precious nails, visit for more information…and invest in several good pairs of nail trimmers.)