JOURNEY OF FAITH
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 And what does Immanuel mean? "God with us." Those three words, "God with us", should fill our lives and hearts so that we are confident in our relationship with God. We lack nothing. This is the true meaning of Christmas."
The commercial side of Christmas is filled with "all I want for Christmas is..." The van needs new tires, van needs electrical work done, the car needs a new windshield; the baptistery in the church is leaking and needs repaired, insurances need paid (auto, health and house), educational needs for the boys, TV's need replaced for the church and the home, kitchen needs a lot of remodeling, pantry needs filled, roof needs repaired, water tanks need cleaned, need Internet connection, and the list could go on and on.
What God has done in the past 11 months here at the mission has been an exciting journey, a miracle in the making. Jose said it has been a "Journey of Faith". Faith is the greatest gift given to us when we truly believe that God will meet all our needs. God sent His Son to be with us, live in us and work through us.
Here at Emanuel Mexico Mission lives are being changed.
1. Counseling Center is not only helping people with their problems, but bringing them to Christ. There were 3 baptisms in the month of November.
2. The Leadership Workshops are bringing church leaders together and equipping them with the tools to better serve the church.
3. The boys that live at the mission are making a difference in the lives they are touching outside their home. Example: Pablo is studying to be a grade school teacher. In the morning he is at the University to study and in the afternoons working with children. He is a light for Jesus.
4. We have fed the poor and needy through the food pantry, Matthew 4:4.
5. Not only visited the drug rehab center, but taught them that God is the answer to their problems.
6. Sunday school classes, church services, Bible studies and more fill the rooms of the mission each week with people who desire to know more about Jesus.
7. Jose was the worship leader for a 20's and up retreat in November and continues to work with church leaders in other states here in Mexico.
The list is long of things God is accomplishing here at the mission. How? "Because it is not about us, it's all about God" It's about our "Journey of Faith".
God took a homeless little 10 year old boy who lived in the streets, begged for food, slept with dogs under a bridge to keep warm, took drugs to numb the hunger pains at night, who had no clean clothes or shoes to change into each day, who even stole to meet his daily needs and transformed him into a man of God. How many of us could have survived like that at only 10 years of age?
Today over 20 years later our little boy (Jose) who survived all that is boldly preaching the Gospel, sings praises to his Heavenly Father, proudly teaches Bible studies and so much more. He carries no bitterness, harbors no ill for those who abandoned him and even gives nearly all he has to those in need. I wrote that Jose said this past year has been a "Journey of Faith". Sometimes when you have nearly nothing you can see just how blessed you are.
Recently he was confronted by those who abandoned him at age 6, abused him over and over again severely and physically hurt him - his real family. Yes, 25 years later. His older sister said, "If you are a Christian, I want nothing to do with you." His response, "I'm praying for you." His Uncle who beat him repeatedly with 2X4's which led him to the streets lay dying in the hospital, Jose paid for the medicines he needed to recuperate. He literally gave all he had. Jose's income is only $50 dollars a week and and he had saved $210.00 dollars ($4,00000 pesos). His real Mother who abandoned him at age 6, now 25 years later, they met for the first time, Jose simply said to his Mother, "I'm praying for you, I hold nothing against you." That is Jose's "Journey of Faith".
What do we need for Christmas? To truly believe that "God is with us". Our "Journey of Faith", where will it lead us this next year? We don't know, but just knowing that God is with us, we have all we need to confront every situation we may encounter. May God fill your home with all the love of family and friends this Christmas season.
God bless and have a very Merry Christmas.