Sunday, October 2, 2011

Only the beginning...

So today was our 3rd Sunday of hosting home church here at our house in Mexico. It was awesome. This is a totally unofficial thing. We just decided to meet here and invite God to be with us because we were missing that close knit community that does church and life together. Sean & Trisha and their family joined us for home church 2 weeks ago and after church, we prayed and asked God to bring us a worship leader so we didn't have to use a cd player, and I secretly asked for someone with some skill. :)  So that Sunday after church our family walked down to the beach and this non-Mexican family walks up to us and introduces themselves. Nic and Michelle and their 3 kids had just moved down from Canada about a week prior and only live about 2 minutes drive from us! After some small talk and getting to know eachother a bit, we invited them to join us next Sunday at our house for home church. They said that before the move, they were looking into home churches because they were really interested in that! Nic also let us know he was a worship leader and would love to help out. :) God is so good.

Today during worship, a man walked up to our gate so I walked out to meet him. His name was Alex and I realized he had 3 young kids by his side. He said he didn't have any money or food and wanted some food for his kids. He told me they've been homeless for a while and sometimes stay in shelters when they can. I could smell the alcohol on him.  He asked for money to get to the next town and money for some more food for later. He said they had been sleeping on the beach for a few nights now and he didnt have consistent work. I looked passed him and around the corner and saw a woman, {who she later told me is not his wife, but his 'legal partner' or something like that}, and 2 more kids. All 5 kids are theirs and they've been 'together' for 8 years. I went in and quickly explained the situation and we all, as a church, gave them some money and we gave them food in a bag. At first when I asked if they would like to come in the gate, he said no. But after we gave them money and food, he agreed. Before we knew it, we all were praying for them and sharing the gospel for hours. At one point this man was bent down and in tears. He said the first time we all layed hands and prayed for them, he felt a very strange and powerful sensation. He was a drug addict and when he 'shoots up' he feels an intense strength and power and feels like he can fight all men off with his bare hands. When we prayed, he said he felt a similar feeling only twice as much...and without the desire to destroy anything. He was feeling a surge of the Holy Spirit through his body!

With tears in his eyes, he said that he's encountered other christians before but that he always felt very judged and felt alot of discrimination. He's never been invited in the doorway of a house and offered food with love. he said something was different about this meeting. There was no discrimination or judgement.  He opened up to us all about some of his past with drugs and alcohol. He voluntarily poured out the contents of what was in his "Fanta" orange soda bottle, which he told us was spiked with alcohol, and recognized that he needs God in his life and that God will help him change.

Their 5 kids came inside and were playing with our kids. Their little girls were all dressed up in my kids' princess dresses and tiaras...playing kitchen and playing sidewalk chalk outside. Alex said as they were walking outside, he heard the sound of our worship in the house and said, "that's where we'll find help," and so he came to our house. What a testimony of the Spirit of God!

What a blessing this was. To keep my guard up for this adult mexican man who just showed up at our gate, then to bring my guard down so his kids could come in and play with mine...and enjoy the toys we had and feel some love. Those kids received so much affection while here. Between Lynette and Holly {the 2 teen girls} and the moms, the little ones were filled up with love and joy. The mom came in the gate reluctantly at first. You could see reservation in her. As we prayed for her and time passed, her demeanor became much softer and open. She even came inside the house with me for a moment to see her kids playing. She told me that they were staying in a room every once in a while offered by another church not far from here.

After a few hours of ministering to this family. It was time for lunch and everyone was hungry! {This family was obviously hungry way before lunch time!} We're doing potluck style after church, and we obviously weren't expecting this other family, but what a blessing it was to feed them. To trust the Lord to multiply our food...and to see our kids all sitting and eating together was awesome. To see my clean and "put together" kids sharing their toys with somewhat dirty and not so put together see the gratitude in the parents when we made our kids serve them their meals. What a refreshing thing to experience after so much time in a comfort-at-all-costs culture and mindset. Now that's what I call church! :) Also, Alex and his family will be coming here to church next week. Praying for deliverance and true transformation from the Lord.

We also met a woman and her daughter yesterday while at Punta Banda. Debbie and Lynette bought a table from us and we invited them for home church. Lynette goes to school close to our house so it was easy to explain where we live. I was filled with joy during church as Debbie expressed how her heart has felt like a desert since she hasn't been to church in so long. The pastor of the small church she was attending, resigned and most of the people left. She felt isolated and alone and was really wanting a solid church for Lynette, her 16 year old daughter who was also a believer. It was so powerful to remind her that God hasn't forgotten her and knows exactly where they are at.

This is only the beginning. Only day 3 of our little home church and I'm reminded of Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."

Thank you Jesus for your goodness and loving kindness. I will never stop thanking you for your mercy and love. Continue to lead us and teach us. We want to know you and love you more. Amen.

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