"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Cor 3:11
Simple wisdom comes in many forms but when delivered through the yoke that God intends, it carries a lot of weight. Since September, I had been struggling with 'completion' and 'scheduled construction' anxiety of the camp. In addition, I began to feel isolated with little connection and without local contacts to support our work. My friend and ministry partner, Ronnie Brock, in his familiar approach, reminded me that we are not building a camp but constructing one. The difference between the two is that our foundation is in HIM, and those relationships HE chooses to give us is how we will be able to build and accomplish it! Two weeks ago I began to trust in HIS timing and provision after Ronnie shared this with me. The God of the universe is more than capable to fight our battles...
"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The world and all those who live in it. ........Who is this King of Glory? The Lord is strong and mighty, the lord is mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates, lift them up, you ancient doors and let the King of Glory come in. Who is this King of Glory? He is the Lord almighty......" Psalm 24
In addition to our camp and ministry needs, I had been praying specifically for needs within our family. Four long months of worrying, watching and waiting gave way to two quick weeks of seeking, submitting and studying which in turn led to the following:
* We found two local nationals as interns this summer (built in interpreters).
* Ronnie and I discovered that an important contact with Compassion International lives right here in Conocoto.
* We found multiple ways to plug into three different church plants right here in our valle.
* Finalized a rural ministry site while picking up a good friend along the way.
* Found a potential sports ministry partner to host teams/camps from Ecuador and the US.
* More donors and giving on both the DMP and personal end (one we never met before).
* Connected and made friends with 5 new families for 5 days at the beach (we found a 20 foot bridge over a canal - it was a sight to see a dozen American kids, Ann and I, jumping off the bridge while 50 Ecuadorians looked on taking pictures - also our kids have chosen to jump into life here with both feet literally and figuratively by not keeping one foot on the bridge when it comes to relationships).
* We found a reasonable SUV for both the camp/school transportation to purchase (our third driver in 4 mos. informed us last week his taxi broke down and would not be able to take them for over a month).
* Commitment to a multiplying church and home bible study for our family.
* Encouragement from hosting our first group of the year and life long friends: Ronnie and Callie.
HIS provision is overwhelming when we trust in HIS timing and plan for our lives. Life is difficult. Problems are real. Solutions are complex. Who and what do we turn to?
As I travel home on the bus today, the date and time flashes across the electronic banner above the drivers head. The date is confusing because the day here always proceeds the month. Don't we always confuse our days and months according to how long we think something should take or God to act? More importantly, time is not static. We are one moment closer to eternity. One of the clearest examples: 6 kids have been buried in 6 months in our cemetery. Each as a result of a car: riding or being hit. Superficially, our nature immediately focuses on poor/inadequate supervision, parenting and/or driving. In reality, its a result of one man's sin that entered the world. His disobedience can only be reversed and made right by one mans obedience! Adam's choice is washed clean in Jesus' blood!
Our family made several observations during these funerals. The sound of the dirt hitting the coffin is deafening. It clarified the reality and finality of the moment. Also, we all help in shoveling dirt to fill up the ten foot deep hole. The family won't leave until that takes place. It is the most physically demanding thing I've done in my life and normally takes 6-8 people, 45 minutes to complete the task. Then, the grave is crowned to sit the flowers on and the family says thier final prayers. At the last funeral where we know for sure that the child and family were Christ followers, the phrase 'Hasta Luego' was repeatedly heard several times. Although we did not know this child in life, I am certain we will meet and 'see him later.' It's the uncertainty of knowing the five other children's location that brought us here.....