Happy New Year from Mexico!
One of the most common questions we are asked about our newsletter updates is “Who writes the update?” The answer is we both do! This letter is no different. We each have things that we think are important to share and so we each take a part in writing these updates. Thank you for following along on our journey as we desire to follow the Lord wherever He leads us. We haven’t written an update since the end of October so we will catch everyone up on what has been happening the last two months.
Shortly after we sent out our October update McKenna became very sick. She had a fever for several days which by the end of the week progressed to a very high fever causing her to be hospitalized overnight. When we arrived at the hospital she had a one hundred and seven degree fever. Thankfully the doctor and nurses were able to bring the fever down within a few hours. It took her several weeks to recover and to build back her strength. During her recovery Mia and Isaiah also became ill with fevers. The end result was a diagnosis of Dengue Fever for all three of the kids. This obviously is the short version. The whole thing played out over weeks with many questions, many days home sick, and a whole lot of medication. This all began to unfold one week after we started our second level of Spanish classes. With the kids sick Jackie was staying home with them, and just about the time they were all on the mend she came down with the flu. Due to all the illnesses she missed a lot of her own studies. We thought that she wasn’t going to be able to complete the second level.
As the sicknesses wore on so did the discouragement. We were questioning everything and seeking the Lord desperately for His direction. Faithful friends recognized our deep need for a boost of encouragement and flew all the way down here with Jackie’s mom for a quick 36 hour visit. The visit was just the thing that we needed to make it over the spiritual hump we were stuck on. There is nothing like a faithful friend and a mom to come and encourage you in the darkest moments. They came, talked with us, prayed with us, encouraged us to continue on, and then left. After they left we rebounded and so did Jackie’s desire to get back to school. We the approval of our teachers, Jackie was able to put in a lot of effort to catch back up. It took extra classes each week on top of the normal load but she persevered and was able to catch up and successfully completed the second level. We both will be moving on to level three next week.
In mid December, a strong prompting from the Lord came to return home for a visit. Aaron and McKenna traveled back to the States specifically to visit his parents. Many of you know that his dad suffers from Alzheimer’s and his health has been declining over the past year. While Aaron and McKenna were back home they had the opportunity to share the Gospel with his parents. Praise God that both his parents accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! They were also able to visit many friends and family while there. Thank you all for taking such good care of my family while they were in your midst, it warms my heart to know how much love they received. While Aaron and McKenna were gone in the States, my bother was here in Mexico visiting the kids and I. It was a blessing to be able to spend time with him and have him experience life here in Cacalote! He can attest that it is very different lifestyle than the States.
Aaron and Mckenna returned home to Mexico on January 1st. Not long after their arrival we found out Aaron’s Dad was continuing to rapidly decline. Over the course of first four days of the New Year, Aaron’s Dad was no longer able to communicate verbally, he suffered a fall, and is now unable to walk. Two weeks prior when Aaron shared the gospel with his Dad, he was able to speak and verbally confess that Jesus Christ died for his sins and surrendered his life into the hands of our loving God. Had Aaron and McKenna not responded to the Lord’s leading, Aaron’s Dad would have lost the ability to confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and even lost the ability to understand the message. We are very thankful to the Lord for the compassion and grace He has on His children. We don’t know how much longer we will have Aaron’s Dad but what we do have now is the confidence that we will see him again in heaven and for that we are eternally grateful.
Please pray for our family as we have decisions to make. Our third level of Spanish classes start in a few days. It is hard to be torn between keeping on track with our studies and our desire to be home supporting our family during a difficult time. We desire wisdom from God in what our next steps should be and we desire nothing else than to do His will. Pray that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding would rest upon Aaron’s Mom’s heart as she navigates this challenging time.
This is by far the most challenging journey we’ve taken but even through all the challenges God has been so faithful and we are enjoying the journey. We are thanking Him for each difficulty, each obstacle, and each blessing because we know that we are growing in our perseverance and dedication to Him. A life of service to the Lord is not always marked with ease and comfort, as many of you know. But, it is a life marked with unexplainable joy and peace in Jesus.
We love you all and thank you for joining us each step of the way. We would not be able to serve in this capacity as missionaries without your continual prayerful and financial support. We pray for you often and pray Gods blessing upon all of you.