International Ministries

Cement, Cyclists & Candles

April 19, 2012 Journal
Join the 2972a432a74b4583829edc19ff319dbd9e825c34d424d8aee9fa0e79b5eacefd Tweet

If you’re going to be involved in a construction project anywhere in Latin America, then expect cement to be involved!  Calvary Baptist Church of Newark, DE discovered this to be the case on their fourth return trip to La Paz this past February.  They re-connected with their sister church Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace) to pour a cement pad between the church sanctuary and Sunday School rooms.  This would provide an outdoor space for fellowship gatherings, extra S.S. classes, Vacation Bible School events, etc.  With a shade stretched overhead, it would be a viable space through the summer heat as well.  Like many mission projects, this one hit a snag on the day the truck delivered the cement.  The gate was not wide enough for the truck to back through and dump the cement in the leveled space.  The truck driver was on a schedule and didn’t have time to figure out a workable solution.  So, he dumped it on the street and sidewalk right in front of the gate and went on his merry way.  Scrambling to find extra wheelbarrows from neighbors, several men of the church and the 5 members of the mission team rushed to transport the cement to its intended space before it began to harden.  They succeeded!  Two days later, when the slab was ready, the team held a fiesta for all the kids in the church and around the neighborhood to dedicate the new space for God.   Team member Melanie Daul commented, "I'm a person who likes to know the plan, the details ahead of time.  But on this trip, God kept putting me in situations where I constantly had to let go, and trust Him!  What a joy it was to come back and see how kids I'd met before had grown and changed.  I love these kids!  I will continue to pray for them and the children's ministry of this church."

If you ever drive down the Baja Peninsula, then you’ll most likely see cyclists.  Starting from points all along the western coast of Canada & the U.S., young and old alike ride their bikes all the way to La Paz, and then often take the ferry to the mainland and continue biking all the way to Argentina.  A month ago a friend in MA wrote me to say that his niece from Australia was biking the Baja, and would eventually make her way to La Paz.  Well, when Julia rolled in, she was accompanied with 8 other cyclists.  Representing Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, and the U.S., this group of young adults ranging from ages 18-32 hung out at our house for 2 days fixing their bikes, doing laundry, and catching up on rest.  What a delight to hear about their adventures and to share our hospitality.  Romans 12:13 tells us, “Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.”  And 1 Peter 4:9 commands us to “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”  When 9 hungry, dirty, smelly cyclists take over your house, then the without grumbling takes on a whole new significance!  Opportunities to serve come in surprising packages here in Baja.

At the end of March, we were privileged to officiate two weddings, both in Spanish.  Each wedding was outdoors, one near a beach and the other on a small wharf.  Wind is a factor in La Paz at this time of year, so the lighting of the unity candles was a challenge at each ceremony.  At the first wedding, the mothers finally had to pretend to light the two outside candles.  At the second wedding, a gust of wind swept across the table, upsetting one of the candles and the glass globe protecting it.  The globe rolled off the table and right into the water.  Luckily, this was right before the ceremony began, so we eliminated the candle lighting altogether that evening!  As you might imagine, we were rather nervous about officiating the services in Spanish.  Would the families understand us?  God was gracious!  Many relatives at both services complimented our efforts and were blessed by the Christ-centered worship we helped to create for each couple.  As a missionary, you never know how God might ask you to serve.  What a joy to touch these two couples’ lives on such a blessed day!

Serving as your missionaries and Jesus ambassadors in La Paz often gets expressed in unique ways.  Thank you for providing the prayer support, financial support, and people support through mission teams to make this ministry possible.  We couldn’t do it without you!

In Christ’s Love,
David and Joyce Reed