Monday, February 2, 2009

In the midst

My temperature matched the thermometer outside, which wasn’t so good in Nogales, Mexico in June.

I had come with a team to build a second story room to be used for Sunday school classes in a small church. But the team traveled to the church every day while I slept on a mat on the floor back at our home base.

That was a disappointing week.

But I had come for two reasons: to help with construction and to present a puppet show on Sunday morning to the church people. We’d practiced for weeks with a program that included Spanish music and silent skits.

By Friday, I felt good enough to repair some of the props that had gotten jostled on the trip down. We rehearsed on Saturday and then Sunday came.

As I set up the stage, three of our teenagers rushed by, obviously upset. Before long, I found out that a fourth teenager – a stranger to our team, from another church in another state – had been caught packing drug paraphernalia into her suitcase for the trip home.

“My friends asked me to buy it for them,” she explained.

As you can imagine, there was some chaos in our preparations. I heard reports of angry words and tears, but I wanted to accomplish something on this trip. The show had to go on!

Shortly after that, the lights snapped off. We had no power for our CD player and no music for the puppet skits. First, we sent someone down to a shop to purchase what turned out to be very expensive dead batteries for the CD player.

Then my dear husband rigged up a system which would power the CD player from a car battery. We tested the system and were ready to go.

As he cut wires and taped connections, the puppet team gathered for prayer. It was hard to focus on something as trivial as a puppet show when we were dealing with a teenager who capped a week of veiled rebellion with this mess. We asked God to work where we couldn’t.

And we presented the puppet show. The electricity came on just as we were starting the first song and stayed on throughout the show, blinking once during a needed intermission. After we finished, the pastor talked to the people.

And 21 people came to faith in Jesus that day, coming forward to pray with the pastor.

That’s the story of a mission trip to Mexico, where God ignored my week of disappointment and did a miraculous work in the midst of chaos.

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