Latest update from Pastor Ben:
Awesome day yesterday [Sunday, July 29th]! We were able to see the community of Chocola and then after lunch and some work on the clinic, we went to a Quiche village deep in the jungle. Dr Sergio has a clinic outpost there, where he treats 200 patients for 2 days every month. It is run in cooperation with a Ppresbyterian church there in the village, which is where we hiked to after the clinic. We shared music, the youth drama, and then Pastor Lewis was asked to preach. The congregation was beautiful, all Quiche, so Lewis preached, then Chico translated, then the pastor translated! We had vitamin and gift bags prepared for all the kids, and the highlight of the service was when Mike and I had the honor of carrying 4 beautiful new Quiche Bibles to the front and presenting them to the pastor. He later said they would be used by the pastors of various churches of the region, who had only Spanish bibles and had to translate their sermons. God's Spirit of unity and fellowship was very strong. Repeatedly, Pastor Lewis and the local pastors who spoke commented on the famiy that we all are in Christ, and how one day ALL barriers would be gone in his presence. The congregation was very reserved, but very loving and moved by the love of God. Pastor Lewis shared from the day's Matthew reading on our being family in him (ch 13). We all got an unforgettable glimpse of God's kingdom, one of unity of the most differnnt cultures and languages, but one in Him. It was a humbling yet joyful afternoon of worship and ministry.
When we returned that evening to the hospital, Sergio's family had prepared a quincenera for Zoe (15 year bday party: a HUGE deal in latin culture, a passage into womanhood celebration). We were blown away by the decorations, gift, cake and dinner they prepared. Had a wonderful celebration with a lot of games and laughs, honoring a precious girl on her big day.
Today we're off to the jungle again, to share Christ with 300 rural schoolkids. A chicken bus, pick-up ride, then hour hike 2 our destination. Then back to the hospital for painting, repairs, and a children's outreach service. God is carrying us by the prayers from home. We've had refreshing, healing, joy and unity, and a real grace for expressing God's love to the people we've met. And we have been showered by love from Sergios family and others. All the team is able to do all the trips, please pray for some upset stomachs and anointing to invest our time and energies in all the right things. Our love and prayers to the boday. Pastor David, we were able to hear some of your message on Mike's phone. Weather has been holding up miraculously for us. The team was tired yesterday, but refreshed by the time with God and the party.
Wow! PTL! Awesome news! Please keep praying for the Team as your prayers are being felt!