I’ll Bring the Beauty

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Calder with Lizzie and KK excited about the rainbow.

“Mommy, come and wook (look)!” a soaking wet Calder said as he pulled me out of the prayer meeting. “A rainbow!” He was so excited to see an actual rainbow, and tears welled up in my eyes because it was a direct answer to prayer for me.

You see, this was day 4 of our trip week before last and I had been feeling discouraged that day and the day prior. The heat, I believe, was getting to me, and as we drove from the mission to the school each day, I began to dwell on the ugliness of the city. I wondered why God was preparing to move us to what I was perceiving as such a dismal place. Seeing that rainbow, and feeling the breeze from the 15 degree temperature drop He’d just provided, I felt God’s arms around me gently reminding me that He will bring the beauty.

And, He did! My eyes were opened to the beauty of my two year old interacting and playing with a deaf two year old at the school. They did not need language to communicate. Just a smile and the chase was on! I saw beauty in the school’s principal, Pati, giving Calder and me trinkets to remember them by and the warm embrace upon leaving. I saw beauty in the people of the local church providing a luncheon for us after church and seeking to interact with us. I heard beauty one night upon entering the dining hall while part of our team belted out 4-part harmony of some of my favorite hymns. I joined in, and my soul was nourished.

Calder interacting with the newest student at the deaf school who is also 2.

Calder interacting with the newest student at the deaf school who is also 2.

Our trip was fruitful in relationship-building with the teachers, students, Isaiah 55 staff and team members we served alongside. God was faithful to hear our prayers and to graciously and tangibly answer them. Great is His faithfulness, and I am so grateful.

~Heather~

 

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Our Call to Missions

Two years ago Marcus went on a mission trip to Laredo, TX. While there they took a one day journey across the border to Reynosa, Mexico to check out Isaiah 55 Deaf Ministries. It was the last day of school and so the group found themselves at the end-of-the year pool party. Marcus sat down next to the director of the mission and they began talking about skill sets and what God could do with the variety of skills Marcus possessed. It didn’t take long for NoNo (the director) to plant the seed in Marcus that God very well could use his skills, and that perhaps He could use them right there in Reynosa. Isaiah 55 was starting a trade school for the deaf, and needed someone skilled in a lot of different areas to come help run and expand it.

Now, the thing you need to know about Marcus is that he is not an excitable type of a person. It’s just not his personality. So, when he came home truly excited to go back and take Calder and me with him I knew that God must be at work. I agreed that we’d go to Isaiah 55 together the following summer. All year we prayed about the possibilities. Having been there and seen it all for himself, the prospect of being down there full-time was very real for Marcus. For me, it was still a far-off idea.

When we finally went down as a family in June 2013 it took all but about a half a day for that idea to sink in as reality to me. Upon touring the trade school area, the conversation quickly turned from talking about the equipment and what they were currently doing to, “If you guys were missionaries living down here…” I have to admit, it took me aback a little. We’d been praying about this very possibility, but to hear someone else say it out loud really made it real to me!

H & M in front of I55 missionWe prayed all that week about whether God was calling us to serve there. Actually, the picture above of the Isaiah 55 mission…those two little blips on the balcony…that’s Marcus and me discussing and praying about whether God was truly calling us to missions and to serve there.

We prayed for several weeks after we got home, and then called NoNo to tell him of our interest. He was excited and invited us down the following month to meet with the whole team.

It was late July when we had our meeting with the team. On the way down I kept asking Marcus if this was an interest meeting or an interview. He said he thought the latter, but I wasn’t sure since it was all happening so fast. After 2 hours of getting to know one another and answering and asking lots of questions, we discovered that it was, in fact, an interview when we were excused so they could vote on us.

We waited downstairs for a while and then Kate (NoNo’s wife) came down to see if we wanted to go see Kim and Erin’s (2 of the other missionaries) house so we could get an idea of a middle-class home in Mexico. We asked if that meant the decision went well, and she confirmed that the vote was in our favor! Whew.

Upon returning home, we knew from the counsel of our pastor and friend, Whit, and the folks at the mission that we needed a sending agency, so we began to look. We decided on MTW (Mission to the World) because of their high level of training and support while on the field.

The application process began in September/October and it was a lot…A LOT! Fast forward to now and many psychological/personality tests and two trainings later, we have been approved by MTW and are officially official missionaries.

Our goal now is to raise our support for this first 5-year term by June 2015. If we meet our goal, we will complete a one-month cross-cultural ministry internship (part of our MTW training to get us ready) and then off to language school in Costa Rica. We hope to be on the field in Mexico by Sept. 2016 or sooner.

Sometimes I think that sounds like a long ways a way. But, then I think about the fact that it was 2 years ago that Marcus came home raving about this place, and that certainly was not long ago. I’m certain that the Lord will use the time to prepare and strengthen us for this service to which he has called us. We rejoice in that!

 

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