Disaster Upon Disaster

Disaster Upon Disaster: Hosting our first construction campaign group

I believe that each of the 50 plus workers who joined together this weekend to begin construction on Centro Renovar will agree that this was one of the strangest campaign experiences any of us have ever had.

Sure, other weeks might include stitches on the work site or asthma induced midnight trips to the emergency room.  But how many include the missionary leader spending 24 hours in jail?

The Hendersons borrowed our suburban on Thursday, accompanying the Mosaico van to pick up the 15 workers coming in from Childress, Tx.  On their way home from the airport Erin was pulled over in our truck.  When it began to look pretty serious, James, who was driving the van, asked if he could take Erin's place and sent her on with the van..  The police were trying to make it pretty hard on James but he refused to pay a bribe.  Long story short... James spent the night in jail and our suburban has been impounded until further notice.  Thankfully, James was freed the following night, but after a pretty rough experience.  

We will try to get James to write more about his experience later if any are interested in it, but parts include him telling one of the arresting officers about his work with the urban poor to which the policeman responded by asking what he could do to help with Conexion Mosaico.  While in jail, James told the guys locked up with him stories from the Bible of those who were imprisoned.  At different times, different inmates would ask him to tell them more Bible stories.  Isn't that incredible!  Some of them were even from Chimaulhacan, where Conexion Mosaico ministers.  They really bonded with James, (and these were some of the rougher characters in there) and have already written him through Mosiaco's web site.

I couldn't believe I was driving back to the group late on Thursday night/early Friday morning to tell James's wife and parents that he was being detained for the night.  (Did we mention the group from Childress included James's parents and three brothers?)  It was so sad that they came for three days with their son and lost one of those to a corrupt system.  But it was also great that his brother was here and could spend a good part of Friday ministering to him while he was locked up. 

Well, there is more we could say here, but perhaps we'll wait for another time.

In other news... The group came down to build the carpenters shop in an environmentally friendly way.  And it is pretty cool watching it come together.  Everyone worked so hard with fantastic attitudes, despite the huge wrench thrown into the workings.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Cory Burns, our teammate from Guadalajara who was suddenly asked to take on more responsibilities.

A bit of excitement on the site occurred when Clark tripped face first into someone's shovel.  Thankfully, we had two doctors on hand (James's dad and brother).  They stitched Clark up right there on the retreat site.  And Clarky did great.  He's actually quite proud of how they look.  (If you are not friends with Cory on facebook, you might want to friend him as he recorded Clark's "surgery" on his iphone  He also might have some footage of our late night dirt moving which turned into a minor Olympic sport.)

In the end, it is encouraging to see God's hand in each step.  We know he works for the good in each circumstance.  Still, for your prayers' sake, we need to be honest and say this effects us.  It makes us nervous to see what can happen for little to no reason and how little control we have of these situations.  So please pray for our safety, as well as our peace of mind.  We are reminded that God is with us... and that's what we need.  And pray for the ripples from these events, that God will amaze us with his goodness.

It brings me more peace knowing who I'm writing to: friends and family who truly spend time with God on our behalf.  We never take that for granted.

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