I can hardly believe that May is already gone. Towards the beginning of the month we started seeing our house get back to normal after the construction project. We are SO grateful for the addition onto our bedroom that suddenly gave us room for our bed AND the baby’s bassinette! Most of May found me either in bed or on the couch, which was not fun. But it was very effective in keeping those pre-term labor symptoms at bay. Thank you for your prayers for me and this precious unborn baby. We have decided on the name Gabriella Joy, and are excited for her arrival… hopefully about 10 weeks from now. We’re both doing fine, and as long as I take it really easy, I don’t think we’re in much danger of her coming too early. Many of you have asked if there is anything baby Gabi will need, but there isn’t very much, aside from a mountain of diapers. The few things we are lacking I will put on a registry at Target.com. Thank you for thinking of us, and we still covet your prayers!
Near the beginning of the month, Nathan took a trip out to the Zoque jungle with a dear Mexican brother, Dr. Ramiro Marrero. He is a pediatrician who left his practice in order to work in missions full time. They spent 2 days there preparing for the next trip, giving Dr. Ramiro a chance to observe the medical needs and guiding Bible studies with the two existing Christian families there. While there they gave the family that hosts them a water filtration system. That sparked interest in the community and on the next trip down, demand was greater than the supply of systems.
While Nathan was on this trip, I began praying that God would send him some help. He has so many irons in the fire right now and was starting to look a bit overwhelmed! Right after Nathan returned, we got a visit from a good friend of ours, Joel Arcos, who has always been so involved with church events that he could not do much else. But during his visit he revealed that God has led him to step away from his other responsibilities in order to work with Nathan on missions projects. We are SO excited!! He is a very capable leader and speaks Ch’ol, God has already used him mightily during the last trip to the jungle.
A big project that occupied much of Nathan’s time last month was getting a new roof on the seminary down in the jungle. It’s a small Baptist seminary that has been functioning for quite a few years and recently GLED has taken it under it’s wing. They have a building that serves as their dorm and school all in one. The roof on this building was a poorly installed tile roof that leaked and was, quite literally, falling off! This job isn’t quite finished yet (though it will be by the end of this week, hopefully), but the seminary now has a new roof. The 21 current students are quite excited about it, to say the least.
Nathan continues to oversee some construction projects in San Fernando (about an hour from here), and he spent a few days down there last month installing electricity. He has also done a lot of work on these web-sites this month… www.casahogarcanaan.com (the orphanage that Nathan has been helping) and www.chiapasministries.com (our friend, Steve Haag’s ministry page). Feel free to check these out and pray for the work that is displayed there.
The big trip in May was 4 days down in the Zoque territory. Steve Haag and Mark Sena came down from the States for this trip, and were joined by Dr. Ramiro, Joel and a local pastor named Jacobo Sanchez. The area they are working in is about 5-6 hrs. drive from here, depending on road conditions, mud slides, etc. During their 4 days down there, they installed 8 water filtration systems (made of 5 gal. buckets, a ceramic filter and a nozzle) in different homes and have orders for 6 more on their next trip. They showed a few films projected onto a sheet from the back of our truck, and got to spend quite a bit of time ministering to the families in the village. There were multiple new professions of faith, and a lot of discipleship going on. Dr. Ramiro ministered to over 130 patients for anything from rheumatism to snake bites. He also presented the gospel and prayed with every one of them. The guys all returned from that trip really excited and already thinking ahead to when they can go back.
Our future plans are just now starting to fall into place. We’re currently planning to fly back up to the US on July 2nd. We hopefully have a job waiting for us in Denver , though are still keeping our eyes open for a 3 month lease on a cheap apartment! We are also looking for a car to get around town in just for those 3 months (July 1-Oct 1). Please do let us know if you have any ideas on apartments or cars! We’re also up to any odd jobs you might have (for those of you in CO)… Nathan can do just about anything! Until then, we will be here working on the many irons currently in the fire!
Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers (you have no idea what an encouragement they are) and your e-mails (they keep me sane on those days I am stuck to the couch)… we are grateful for you!
Much love, Julie (for Nathan, Cloe, and baby Gabi)
This Month's Pictures
The guys leaving for the jungle
The first water filter system
Typical Zoque kitchen
The medical clinic waiting line watching gospel films
The last water filter system