A Miracle of Love
By Betty J. Adams
On our last day in San Lorenzo during our mission trip we visited 82-year-old Miguel Díaz, who had been stung by a swarm of angry killer bees 12 years before. Miguel had lain comatose in his cornfield most of the day in the hot sun until he was eventually found and carried back to his village. It was a miracle that he even survived, though Miguel was unable to function normally after his ordeal. He spent most of his time in bed or outside in a hammock. Although Miguel could talk very little, tears of joy and gratitude ran down his cheeks as we discussed his medical care. He held onto my daughters hands tightly, begging her not to leave.
While she was busy with him, my husband noticed 15-year-old Rosa sitting nearby. Rosa has cerebral palsy and was never able to talk or walk unaided. But as is the custom in these villages, she was cared for at home by other members of the family. Rosa seemed to be such a sweet girl that my husband felt immediately drawn to her. He sat beside her, stroking her hand and patting her cheek.
When the rest of us left, my husband stayed on for a while longer. But finally he, too got up to leave. As he walked down the trail away from the humble home, someone called out to him, Señor Adams, look behind you! As he turned, he saw Rosa, awkwardly stumbling toward him, walking completely unaided. Although she had to be helped back to her hut, for the first time in her life she had walked without help.
When my husband rejoined us, he tried to describe what had happened. But his eyes filled with tears and he choked up, unable to finish the story. My tough, stoic 82-year-old husband, retired logger, WW 2 veteran, and veteran of many mission experiences, had been touched as never before. Several days went by before he was able to share all the details, how Rosa had actually walked toward him, with a big smile on her face, finally resting her hand on his chest as if to say please dont leave! The love in Rosas eyes had impacted him deeply, and he will always treasure this unforgettable experience.
This and many other experiences made our trip worth all the expense and effort of participating as we witnessed the true miracle of love.
Betty Adams writes from the Sierra foothills near Placerville, CA. She enjoys mission trips, visiting her grandchildren and gardening.
Friends With a Mission Serve in Remote Mexican Village of San Lorenzo
March was a special month for MPI members and friends who participated in Friends With a Mission. It was an awesome experience to see Gods grace in action from beginning to end. Organizing and mobilizing 70 people on a project like this without major mishaps is a miracle in itself! Participants included student groups from Sandia View Academy in New Mexico, DayStar Academy in Utah, a hardworking construction crew from Hayfork, CA, a surgical team from Maine and volunteers from many other states throughout the U.S. and Mexico as well.
We are especially grateful to Gene Witzel from Arkansas who put to use his many years of mission experience by going to San Lorenzo ahead of our group to make sure everything was ready for our arrivaland thats a big job! Then he had to coordinate the construction once our group arrivedan even bigger job
The trip had three main purposes: 1) Visit MPI-supported projects and workers throughout Mexico & Belize, 2) Participate in a group mission project in Chiapas and 3) Meet at Linda Vista University for MPIs annual board meeting.
The mission project activities began after volunteers drove or flew thousands of miles, eventually reaching the remote jungle village of San Lorenzo in Chiapas, south Mexico. We were based at the 12-grade school where 7 teachers attempt to educate 150 lively, energetic students. Other articles in this issue describe experiences from the perspective of others who participated.
Time after time God provided for our needs in unexpected ways. Linda Vista University sent Himer Pérez to translate and assist Gene Witzel as he obtained last-minute construction materials. Linda Vista also purchased and delivered all cooking supplies & food, sending Eva Ruth, a topnoch cook to oversee food preparation.
Upon arriving in south Mexico, we encountered suffocating 100° heat and high humidity. As a quadriplegic I realized I would not be able to survive the week ahead. But Israel, my former carpentry student 18 years ago, now owns an air conditioning business in a big city. He loaned me a brand new air conditioner, which made it possible for me to remain with the group. True, I had to coordinate many activity details from a bed in a wood building in front of the A/C, but at least I could go out and see the work progress during the cool mornings and evenings!
Before we left San Lorenzo, the school leaders met with me to plead for someone with experience and vision to spend a few months at their school and guide them in forming a Master Plan, show them how to build up school industries, and generally get the school headed in the right direction. For 22 years these Indigenous people have moved forward to the best of their abilities, but when they began gaining insights from Americans during our visit, they realized there is so much more potential for their school. They are eagerly seeking ways to move forward. Anyone interested? Or do you know anyone who might be?
From San Lorenzo we climbed high into the pine-forested mountains to Linda Vista University for our annual MPI board meetings. We heard thrilling firsthand reports from the front lines of missions as dozens of laymen from all over south Mexico interacted with our group. Their glowing faces and enthusiastic presentations left no doubt that they are really on fire to spread the Gospel. They expressed heartfelt appreciation to the many donors who are sacrificing to sponsor them. During 2002 they baptized more than 600 persons and established 21 Companies of new believers, mostly in previously unentered areas.
MPI voted funds to help complete four new churches, provide literature for use by all our laymen, and hundreds of Bibles from funds raised by kids in the U.S. San Lorenzo school Administrator Dionisio López now has a telephone at his remote school location, provided through MPI.
It felt so good to be therenot only because of the cool, clear air and peaceful setting, but also because Linda Vista has been home to three generations of our family. My parents volunteered there since 1958, Diana and I served as missionaries there for 12 years, our son Daniel was born there, and I became paralyzed in a construction accident there 16 years ago. As old friends crowded around to greet us, it felt like a small taste of what Heaven will be like. The outpouring of love and hospitality was overwhelming, and everyone in our group was greatly blessed.
If you want to get out of a rut and rekindle your passion for life, find a way to get involved personally in missions!
~ Fred Adams~
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