Sometimes things get interesting…

Sunday was an interesting day. Pastor Daniel’s sermon was very encouraging. My favorite part was when he shared about what a great pastor his father, Don Gregorio, was, and how when he died, Daniel had to take his place as pastor of Pier. His first sermon was five minutes long (sermons in Latin America usually last an hour or more!) and many people shook their heads and said that he would never make it as pastor of a church. Today his sermons are full of the Word of God, full of wisdom and practical application. Daniel is an influential leader in San Pedro Sula – both in the church and in the secular arena. Hearing his stories about his rocky start in full time ministry filled me with hope.

After running some errands we headed back to camp and arrived just as a rainstorm was hitting. We got pretty wet running the eight feet or so from the car to the front porch – it was really coming down and the wind made it almost horizontal. I wasn’t too surprised to find our bedroom and bathroom floor very wet. We had left the windows open because, after all, this is the dry season. Our bedroom is on the southwest side of the house so it gets very little direct sunlight and leaving the windows open usually allows a breeze through that cools the upstairs in the afternoon.

The power was out; no surprise there, it’s been very off and on in the past few weeks. Then Leonel came to the front door with the news that the switch on a utility pole on camp was tripped. Well, that had the potential to be good news because if the power was out only on camp, at least we had some control over when it would come back on. But it was also bad news because I would have to hire an electrician to set it up again, and camp doesn’t have a dime to spare these days. I tried to call the local electrician that camp uses in these sorts of situations, but I couldn’t get through. Then Polo called.

A branch had fallen on some power lines on camp and a utility pole was down. High power lines were lying on the ground (this is why the switch tripped). I was trying not to groan out loud when he continued by saying that the branch had also hit some sewage pipes where they cross a ravine and had broken them. I jumped in the car and drove over to check it out. The utility pole had snapped clean off about 1 ½ feet off the ground – there would be no salvaging it. I glanced over at pipes and saw that they come from “Bella Vista” where there are mainly cabins that are not in use right now.

I spent the next half hour trying to call any number of people that would be able to help in one way or another and was not able to reach anyone. I left voice messages and sent text messages and felt so helpless having not talked with anyone. There are no hardware stores open in Pinalejo or Quimistan on Sunday afternoon.

Honestly I don’t remember which one of the staff asked me first, but three out of our four staff said “So, there won’t be a meeting tonight, right?” (We meet every Sunday night for a Bible Study) Each time I said “Yes, we’re going to meet”. I realized that I had to walk away from these problems and focus on the meeting. But instead of finishing my preparations for the meeting, I had to deal with a generator that wouldn’t start. Polo and his nephew, Maynor had brought it over to our house so that everyone could put perishable food in our refrigerator and we were going to run the generator off and on to keep the food from spoiling. They were struggling with it, and so I joined in. Polo got it to start, we plugged in the fridge and satellite dish. Cindy got an email off with a message to our prayer list. Then the generator sputtered out. We fought with it some more, and finally decided to jump it. I brought the car over, we hooked everything up, and… nothing. To make a long story short, the three of us made our arms sore for the next I don’t know how long before Polo got it going again. This time it kept going for just over an hour, and sputtered out as I was on my way to shut it off for the meeting.

I could write pages on that meeting, but this is getting long as it is! It was wonderful in so many ways. I gathered every candle that I could find and we lit them all and our oil lamp and had a great meeting!

After the meeting Cindy and I learned that the broken pipes were not both sewage. One of them is a water main on camp, and the men had shut off the water. Cindy gathered every bucket, tub and basin we have and slowly filled each one with the trickle of water that was draining out of the faucet in the kitchen sink. Then it was time to go to bed. I still had not heard anything from anyone in response to my messages.

That was Sunday. As I write this I am sitting at the front gate waiting for a delivery of supplies to fix the water and sewage pipes. We are going to move the water line about 20 feet away from the sewage and have it cross the ravine under a bridge so that it is better protected. I tried again to call an electrical engineer from Pier, and this time I was able to reach him. He is sending someone out today to repair the damage – free!

Honestly, I’m surprised that I didn’t struggle with discouragement yesterday. As Polo and I stood there looking helplessly at the mess around us, we talked about how this 10 minute mini-storm caused so much damage, and we have just come out of rainy season with many storms far more impressive than the one that had just passed. I made some comment about how God has protected us from so much, and most times we don’t even realize it.

Many people are in dark circumstances right now. My one day of distress pales in comparison to what many are facing day after day, month after month. But there is hope for anyone who will put their hope in God. He is good. He is all-powerful. He is unchanging. His price is steep – He wants everything that you have, all that you are. But I tell you what, it’s a good bargain. He already gave everything, his very life, knowing that our all is not nearly enough to span the expanse that separates sinful man from a Holy God. And then comes the best part – He rose from the dead! The Bible is full of good news… the resurrection is best news of all! If your life feels dead right now, drag the limp thing to God and trade all you have for all He is. It’s a good trade.

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