Leaving Tulsa Wednesday, June 13th.. we had a schedule all made out for the next 10 days, even including each meal time. But...God had other plans for us to accomplish! HAHA
We flew into Oaxaca and arrived around 10pm on Wednesday.. and began our 9.5 hour bus ride through the mountains to the Oaxaca coast. This was quite an interesting night... after two doses of Dramamine I figured it just didn't work on me, and between dozing in a out all night...going potty on the side of the road in a pitch black patch of trees on the side of the mountain we made it to our base just after sunrise Thursday.
We began "on schedule" with the Roca Blanca Oaxaca Victory Bible Institute graduation on Friday. This was such a powerful time and because of working here at VBI in Tulsa it was so amazing to see the same program take place there! (Oaxaca was the very first International VBI, now there are over 1,200 worldwide) They really are trained up there to be member of an army taking the territories of Mexico for God!
At breakfast before the graduation we received word that Tropical Storm Carlotta was on a path headed our way.. So instead of the team helping with graduation while the preparation was going on, a couple of girls and I headed into the prayer room for an hour and the other girls prepared for the graduation meal for all 350-400 attendees, while all the guys on the team headed to take down tents, and fill sand bags and build retaining walls! Such a full day of work! And the team kept a great attitude despite everything going on :) Mark and I moved all our stuff from the first floor into Paul and Ashley's room.
Meanwhile, in the midst of all the prep happening Carlotta picked up speed and formed into a Cat 2 hurricane with winds around 105mph....
After a hurried dinner we instructed the team to all stay in their rooms, with doors and windows locked and closed. We were staying a concrete house RIGHT on the beach where the storm was coming in but knew that the house had made it through other storms and we were gonna make it!!! Here's where we stayed:
As we were all situated in each of the rooms, and the winds were really starting to pick up..we noticed water seeping in through any crack in the windows and doors, because of the rain blowing in sideways.... Then a pond started forming on the balcony because that's the side of the house were the storm was blowing in from and it started dumping water into the room :( And all we could do was sweep it out soak it up and laugh! (there's video's on my facebook) After just deciding to quite our clean up efforts until the storm was over we decided to try and get some sleep... four of us in one bed..
The next day began the clean up process, which it was a blessing that we were there for the base because normally all the students would have helped with the clean up but they were all gone. So we spent the day hauling branches, sweeping out water, hanging out wet towels and everything and anything else that needed done.
And the hurricane changed ALL of our plans for the rest of the trip. Because the mountain villages we planned to go up into were either closed off by fallen trees or bridges/roads were washed out by the storm. So, we began taking one day at a time, and learning major flexibility! haha On a side note we were without electricity for 7 days....
The ministry that began to take place was irreplaceable though! God presented new opportunities. We went into city market squares, small village churches, a school, an orphanage, house to house, road side outreach sites.. etc. Most of the pictures will tell the stories, but one site that was powerful was a school we went into, during the dramas I went a sat by a little boy named Waldo, he was sitting there quietly very focused and attentive to everything taking place. As the salvation message was brought he started tearing up.. his heart was being softened. He received the Lord into his heart! I saw him go forward when we asked to pray for healings. But then he sat back down. So I went over to him after the service, and asked him what prayer he needed, he said he didn't need any. But after MUCH questioning he said I could pray for his parents, because they didn't know God. As I closed my eyes and began to pray I felt the Lord so strongly on him and prayed out what God gave me. When I opened my eyes tears were streaming down his face. He gave me a big hug and said thank you! It was precious to see his heart breaking for his unsaved parents.
Then we took silly pictures!
I will add short caption stories with all the pictures I upload to facebook. We saw blind eyes open!! God is a miracle working God and wants to do it in every life all around the world!
The journey back to the airport again over the mountains was full of miracles and God's hand moving!
We loaded the bus and headed out of the base at 9am... after a stomach churning few hours.. around 4pm we pulled up to a line of stopped cars about a mile long... After the translator getting out of the bus and talking with people we learned that it was Blockade formed blocking the road by a local village who wanted to get the attention of the Federal Mexican Government, but word was there may be a small 10 minute window of time that they would let cars through for 10 minutes at 5pm.. Well after some prayer and game time.. 5pm came and went and we were still sitting in the bus... And going potty on the side of the road if needed.. :/ The bus driver started telling us that he has slept in the bus before. He said, "if we're still here at night we'll just lock the door and sleep!"
But we knew God had plans to bring us to the other side!! So around 8pm the guys got out of the bus and just decided (with the translator) to all walk up to the blockade and plead our case about missing our flight! As they walked up to the blockade they saw men and women blocking the whole road with Axes, huge sticks, machetes.. etc. haha But when they walked up there Mark heard the Lord speak that they needed to fight the people natural weapons with spiritual ones! So they all started praying in the spirit!
Meanwhile, us girls are back in the bus taking our authority by praying and reading out the word of God! I felt like God said "Pray the supernatural into your natural". So I did just that! As I opened my eyes I see the guys RUNNING back to the bus with HUGE smiles on their faces.
They said "start the bus, all the sudden the town decided they are going to open the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And we started moving, after 3 hours of waiting! God is faithful! Well, we started praising God at the top of lungs and thanking Him!!!
About 30 minutes later... what do you know, but we hit another blockade. Except this one was about 3ish miles longs and it was dark and starting to get more tense.
Our translator said in all her life she had never seen two blockade's in one day.... :(
As we were slowing to a stop we saw the LINE of cars and started praying!! It started to get pretty intense, This time the bus driver said " God has left us!" We said "NO! He's right here with us and will bring us through again! And this time even quicker!"
There were police trucks full of men with Machine guns. Then some men started running through the line pointing people around with their guns... We then found out that the town forming this blockade had now taken over police that had come to break it up... We prayed more!!!!
People started coming back through the line saying "We'll for sure be here ALL night, maybe even a couple days." But we prayed more! God was going to finish what He started in bringing us to the other side again!!! Within 20 MINUTES we were moving across the blockade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is so faithful! As tears filled our eyes at this miracle, we worshiped and praised for the next hour! Never look at what you see in front of you through your natural eyes. Because God is always working in the supernatural to bring you through!!!
Psalms 27:13 "I will remain confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord!"
This is only part of the things that God brought us through.. If you make yourself available He will use you and you will never be disappointed.
Mexico 2012 Missions Trip statistics:
Confirmed Healings: 23
Filled with the Spirit-2
Total people ministered to: 2,454
If you gave financially or prayed for us you will reap in this harvest of people in heaven one day!!
We are all called in Mark 16:15 to Go into all the world and preach the God and be God's hands and feet. My favorite verse is Mark 16:20 (the message version) "They went about validating the message with indisputable evidence"
This is what kind of life God has called us to live!
We do it all for the least of these.. The ones who need to hear the message, and be loved on. All the sweat, no electricity, bugs, money raised, time off work, fundraisers, different foods, uncomfortableness... if we brought just one to God then it would have all been worth it..