May 17, 2012
Yesterday’s high: 97°
Last night’s low: 74°
Dear Prayer Partners:
“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth … oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together”. (Ps 34:1,3)
We thank the Lord for His protection and blessing over the many kilometers we travel each weekend. A new extension seminary opened in Cancún with 8 students. They alternate their classes between Cancún and Playa del Carmen, both cities being a 4-hour drive from Mérida. Dave taught an Old Testament Biblical Theology course on 4 consecutive Friday evenings. The classes are from 7 to 11 p.m. Then he got up at 5 a.m. in order to drive and arrive at his 9 a.m. Saturday class in Citilcum (near Izamal).
Recently we made a long weekend out of it and visited various villages out that way. Rodolfo, in Yalcobá, did not pass the test to make his profession of faith and baptism, because he fell to drinking one weekend. He will now have to wait 6 months to deepen his under-standing and see if he can gain victory over his drinking problem. We wish you could have been with us on another night, for the outside service of renovation of wedding vows in Chemax with a couple who had had serious marital problems in the recent past. They served us a meal of chicken in a tasty broth with hand-made tortillas eaten under the trees, with huge beetles buzzing around our heads and landing in unwanted places.
The next day we visited the town of Señor in Quintana Roo, a village where Dave’s Dad first took the gospel 65 years ago. Don Anastacio, an elderly man who is a moving force in the church there along with his family, received us graciously in his home. I talked with his wife doña Julia as she made the tortillas for our lunch on a griddle over an open fire in the thatched roof kitchen. She can understand Spanish but speaks only Maya. So while Dave was conversing in Maya with her husband, she and I had an interesting bi-lingual conversation, but we both understood each other! Her husband, who plays keyboard, accordion and guitar by ear, was so overcome with emotion while I played hymns on his keyboard, that he cried as he prayed, thanking the Lord for our visit. We return there this Saturday and hope to minister to them again.
On May 26 we will again be in Tabi, where Dave’s Dad did much of the translation of the New Testament into Maya. Dave preached there back in March at an outdoor meeting of all the churches in the area: over 1,000 people attended. Afterwards we were all served “cochinita pibil” (pork roasted underground on hot coals) and hand-made tortillas with which to make our tacos. At the same service I was handed some music I had never seen and asked to accompany a choir. A man with his cell phone flashlight beamed the light on the music so I could see it. I didn’t have to worry about the rhythm – the director didn’t know too much either! I just played the notes and followed him. Debbie’s fiancé went with us and helped as our chauffeur.
Debbie’s job interviews went very well. With her bi-lingual abilities and administrative experience, she was wanted by all. She returns to Mérida June 2 and will decide where she will be teaching. She and Rolando plan a July 27 wedding. Our son Daniel and family will be coming, so hopefully we can get an up-dated family photo out to you. Johnny, Mark’s 11 year old, will play the Canon in D on his guitar for them to march in. Thank you for your prayers for her.
Our Seminary graduation will be June 14. This year some 20 students will be graduating in theology and 8 in music. However, enrollment has been down the past couple of years due to the economic situation, so future graduating classes will be smaller. At present Dave is grading senior sermons, and I’m getting my students ready for the June 5 piano recital. We praise the Lord for all these students.
I was sick one weekend, very unusual for me, and was left with no energy. Some lab tests showed I had a hemoglobin count of 7 (normal is 15), so I’m having iron shots and vitamins, and feel much better. My macular degeneration due to an arthritis medicine is making driving almost impossible. I can read if I have good illumination, but I now fall into the “low vision” category. I should retain the vision I have, however.
Dave has received good medical reports, so we always thank the Lord for continuing to strengthen us as we serve Him. This July marks 45 years since we first came down here together. What an incredible life we have had! In September we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary here, with a musical concert of thanksgiving for the Lord’s blessings. As a result, we will not be traveling to the States this year at all. Don’t let up on your prayers!
We will miss seeing many of you, but you are in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord richly bless you.
Your servants for Jesus’ sake,
P.S. Any gifts to the Seminary, for Camp, or for our ministry may be
sent to: The Magi
P.O. Box 43
Byron Center, MI 49315
(add a note stating what it is for)