|My carpenter friend, Manuel, and his family|
A couple of weeks ago, there was a knock at our door while we were eating lunch on Saturday. I opened it to find a family: dad, a very pregnant momma, and two children--carrying a high stool they were trying to sell. I had just been thinking/praying about where to get one. Feeding Fidel would be so much easier from the height of a stool than from a chair. The workmanship was good, and the price reasonable, so I decided to buy it.
|Angelica and baby Deborah|
He arrived a bit early Friday morning, and sat and waited in the living room while I finished up things in the house to be ready to leave with him. While he waited, he wrote the following:
In English, it roughly translates:
Hope is the beginning of the way, and patience it's companion. In hope we come to faith, because though we don't know what is to come or what will happen, it is our way. The way is narrow, but secure. The way is sweet with the love with which it is filled. Jesus Christ, the God of Love. The beginning of hope is born in you.
When I returned, he asked permission to share with me what he had written, that he believed he had a message from God for me. As I listened to him, I became quite tearful. He had no idea our home was Casa de Esperanza (we don't hang out a sign!) when he wrote this. Without being superstitious, I feel confident in saying that God spoke to me through this humble man, a carpenter.
As we have pursued the purchase of the house and the move, the monetary cost of all this has at times been overwhelming. At those times, I have returned to the promises I believe God gave me in Scripture this past year. That He will do more than I can ask or imagine. (Eph. 3:20) That He will complete what he has begun. (Phil. 1:6)
But it is so easy to hear another voice, the voice of doubt. Did God really say this to me? Or am I just selectively using Scriptures to support my decisions? Will God come through? Or am I out on a limb by myself? I hate to admit how often I have had to fight these thoughts to stay faithful to where I believe He has led us. Looking back at my journals has helped, but it's scary.
So hearing this, then reading it for myself, was like a kiss from God, letting we know that He knows we're here. That He knows the path we're on (that of bringing hope) and that He is with us. I never would have expected this encouragement to come from my new friend, Manuel, but that is what makes it even more special. The "kiss" from God came from somewhere I never would have imagined.
So we set off for the local lumber-yard, and picked up what wood we needed. I was also taking Fidel's chair up to Chimaltenango, but somehow we managed to fit it all in. (I can't believe that I ever questioned whether or not I needed a van!)
I visited his family and prayed with them. It was a delightful time. It still humbles me that families here in Guatemala are honored when I come to visit. They honor me by welcoming me into their homes.
His daughter was fascinated by my camera.
Here we were having great fun teaching her how to take a "self-ie."
She insisted, too, that I take a picture of her with her little brother and their dogs.
We went on to his mother's house, and she got a wheelchair to use. She was so excited that she would once again be able to go to the market, the park and to church.
I look forward to seeing what God does with our friendship in the future.