Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Two Ships Passing in the Night

This past Sunday night Victor and I acted like two ships passing in the night!

My ship came into home port at 10:30 p.m., along with our five eldest daughters, Angie, Diana, Martita, Lolis and Martha. Victor's ship left home port the same night, but at 3:00 a.m. So, we shared the same dock (our bed) for about a total of three and half hours!

You see, the girls' and my ship had spent the weekend, literally, in the port of Acapulco, Guerrero!

Acapulco, Guerrero
The Lord gave me the privilege of helping lead a pastor's wives' conference, alongside of missionary Barb Conner, on Friday and Saturday. Some thirty pastor's wives from Southern Baptist Churches throughout the state of Guerrero attended the two day event where they learned about the importance of supporting each other through regular times of meeting for prayer, Bible study, fellowship and accountability. This greatly excited me as this embodies exactly what the ladies of the staff here at Refuge Ranch and I do each Friday morning. I would be hard pressed to fully explain all that those gathering times have meant for my own heart and life, my marriage, my parenthood and the ministry here! So, I enthusiastically supported all that Barb shared to encourage and train the ladies in that area.  In addition, I had the opportunity to share a session regarding finding one's identity in Christ (a lifetime message the Lord has placed in and on my heart) as well as a time of testimony of the Lord's working in my life and family.

My five girls and I with fellow conference leader and missionary, Barb, as well as the women's leaders of the state of Guerrero who organized these two events so wonderfully!

Then, on Sunday, the Lord gave me the gift of leading a one day conference for young ladies entitled: “The Power of Purity: God's Plan for your Sexuality”...another one of my passions (no pun intended!)! Forty-seven young women ranging in age from 12 years old through their mid 20's attended! We had a good time and I pray that the seeds planted may grow into strong and fruitful commitments to purity throughout those precious girls' lives.

The Purity Conference

The young ladies hard at work looking up Bible verses about finding their identity in Christ.
"If you know you are a Princess of the King then you will act like a Princess of the King and will look for a Prince of the King that will treat you like the Princess of the King that you know you are!"
During some time off on Saturday afternoon and evening, my girls and I had a great time at the beach, going to dinner and visiting one of the most popular tourist sites in Acapulco, La Quebrada, where divers free dive off of very high cliffs into the Pacific Ocean.

My girls and I modeling our life jackets before our trip on the banana! (Lolis was taking the picture)
Bananas away!
My beautiful daughters at La Quebrada!

Victor's ship, while in our home port all weekend attending to our other 12 little sailors, set sail at 3 a.m. Monday morning, along with all of the other Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusade volunteers' boats. They soon traded their ships for a plane as they boarded a flight at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning to Ciudad Juarez for this week's crusade.

Ships ahoy....I mean, take flight!

The Crusade Team at the Mexico City airport ready to go!

This is the first EMMC that has required our team to travel by plane! For some team members, including our own Refuge Ranch staff member ,Vero, it was not only their first time going on crusade by plane, but the first time they had ever even flown! The Lord, in His faithfulness and mercy, provided tickets at a price that made flying even cheaper than having made the 24 hour drive with two crusade vehicles. Each of the volunteers paid for a portion of their own ticket and Fishers of Men, through generous donor contributions, covered the remaining portion, as well as other crusade costs.

Victor on board!

The Crusade Team deplaning in Ciudad Juarez.

Thanking the Lord at the airport in Ciudad Juarez for a safe arrival.
Arriving in Ciudad Juarez, the Fishers of Men team joined forces with the local pastor, Joel, and his wife, Amber, as well as other believers from the Villa Esperanza Church, as well as with Canadian volunteers with the organization Christlike Ministries. So, a three nation effort, Canada, United States and Mexico, has joined forces for something greater than even NAFTA! They have joined forces to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through meeting the physical needs of the people so that many may come to know the Lord in a personal way!

The crusade flier that was distributed locally to invite people to take advantage of this week's crusade and Sunday's special evening tent service!

After getting back into home port, I spent Monday cleaning deck here at home and reorganizing my ropes and supplies, as well as attending to our sailors, before we started our home port routine of school and chores on Tuesday.

I thank the Lord Jesus for being our anchor wherever He sets our sails and we thank you for providing the financial support to keep these ships in “ship shape”: fueled, loaded with the necessary provisions to carry out the mission with which the Creator of the Seas has entrusted us and conditioned to make the sailing as effective as possible!  (Remember: if you would like to financially support this "float" you may do so very simply on the home page of our website: by clicking on "donate" and using the secure PayPal system to make a one time donation or set up a monthly contribution, which greatly helps our budgeting and administration.)

Thank you for your prayers that sustain our float during stormy waters, that encourage during rough seas and that celebrate with us for each stretch of calm, each port visited and each mission completed!

While Victor and my ships rarely “pass in the night” like this past weekend, and is not something we relish, it was actually a privilege this time around because it was done in obedience to the Master Mariner...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!