Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Christmas....

Don't you just love this picture?
I do...
I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season.
I am thankful for family and friends.
I have truly been blessed!
With love,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 Christmas Banquet..."God Is So Good!"

Thank you to all who prayed for our Christmas Banquet. The Lord really blessed. There were a total of 83 present; many first-time visitors; and many family members of mayors of different surrounding cities whom we had never met. 4 people were saved: Patricia, a congresswoman; Lourdes, a former mayor’s sister-in-law; Erika, a 9-year-old girl who is dying of bone cancer; and Erika’s daddy, Martin.

Mom did such an excellent job leading the program. She wrote and read an essay called, “God Is So Good.” (I advise you to write her and ask her for a copy…or ask if she’ll put it on her blog. It greatly blessed my heart.)

We were able to put together a power point presentation of photos of her life over the years, and my brother and his wife and my husband and me and another man sang a song dedicated especially for her called “50 Years…”

My brother, David, preached a sermon titled, “And Thou Shalt Be Blessed,” taken from Luke 14. We were encouraged to seek to help those who cannot help us, and see how God blesses and provides for us in time of need.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening. Much prayer, many hours of hard work, inviting others, and the effort of many people paid off. Our hearts were truly blessed.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Thank you to those of you who gave and who prayed. May the Lord richly bless you for the part you had in this special event.

My sister-in-law, Liz and my sister, Elizabeth (very affectionately referred to as Fizzie), were responsible for the decorations. They did a beautiful job. Because we were celebrating Mom's 50th year in Mexico, the main color they used was gold. It looked absolutely breath-taking! Great Job, Liz and Fizzie!!!

The Lady of the Hour! My sweet Mother, Mrs. Billie Jean (Ashcraft) Sloan

Those involved in the program...Philip and Liz, Fizzie, David, Mom....

...and Joel (my husband's nephew) and me (and my husband, who was the photographer!)

These children are from an orphange in a nearby town.
Our hearts were blessed by their songs and testimonies.

Mom's grandchildren (10 who were here) sang...
"I Have a Friend Who Loves Me..." in Spanish and in Russian

...and "When He Cometh..."

Our dear friend, Mrs. Debbie Morris (a missionary's wife) led the children
in a special bell presentation. Thank you, Mrs Morris!

David preaching...Our hearts were blessed!

Presenting gifts to the David Sloan Family!

"Amazing Grace," piano special by David and David, Jr.

Philip and David...singing "Down From His Glory"

Mom chooses a special lady as queen every year. This year she chose Jolene.

She gave her sweet testimony and Mom translated. So touching!
Thank you, Jolene!

Mom honored the "First Ladies" who were present.
She has given a Bible to every lady (who has come to our banquets) who in some way serves or has served our city and surrounding cities.
Left to Right:
Olga Lydia...wife of next mayor in a nearby town;
Patricia del Carmen...congresswoman who was saved that night;
Veronica...wife of mayor of a nearby city
Mercedes...wife of former mayor,
and one of the first people Mom and Dad met when they came to Chiapas.
This lady was saved at last year's banquet.
Gaby...wife of former mayor of our city. Her sister, Lourdes, was saved that night.

"God Bless Mexico," sung after the First Ladies were honored.
The little girl to the right of the flower arrangement is Erika,
the little 9-year-old girl who was saved....

...and her Daddy, Martin, for whom we have been praying for about 4 months....Praise the Lord!
Ulises and Fizzie...worked so hard! Thank you! Great Job!!!

Ahh! At last to be able to sit and relax, and reflect on what was a wonderful, blessed event!

Thank you for coming, David and Jolene, and for making this night so special!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Take Time To Look

On September 23rd, our Deborah turned five years old. She seems to be growing up so quickly. I wrote the following thoughts this morning....

“Mommy, look what I did….”
She says, as I’m right in the middle of something.
But I stopped and looked, and I’m so glad I did.
“Can you read it, Mommy?” she says, as she hands me a piece of paper.
And I try hard to read her 5-year-old handwriting.
“I luv yoo, Mome and Dade.”

I’m so glad I looked. She looks so proud of her work, and my heart melts at her concentrated show of affection.

I take her into my arms and squeeze her tightly. I wish she wouldn’t grow up. This age is just so much fun! Oh, please don’t grow up!

“Mommy, listen to my song.”
She says, as I’m concentrating on something important.
“Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Because He first loved me.” She has picked it out on the piano.

I’m so glad I listened. She turns and smiles at me as I applaud her efforts. I want to bottle up this moment. This is so precious! I want to hang on to this moment forever. Oh, please don’t grow up!

“Mommy, what does this say?”
She asks, and I feel so tired. “Please read me this book.” I am so tempted to say, “You are a big girl…you try to read the words by yourself!” But that look in her eyes, and her plea for attention makes me sit with her, put her on my lap, and read the bunny story to her for the 10th time that day.

I’m so glad I stopped and took time to read. I’m so glad that this time I didn’t give into my weariness.

She lays her sweet head on my chest, and I smell the shampoo in her hair. Can this moment please last forever? I want to be able to hold you in my lap and I always want you to long to sit with me.

“Mommy, I’m scared. Will you please pray for the robbers not to come into our house tonight?”

My first reaction is to want to say, “Oh, don’t be silly…the house is securely locked.” But I sit on her bed next to her and brush the hair away from her forehead. “Sweetie, Jesus is watching over you throughout the night. Let’s say our verse, ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.’” And I take time to pray and ask the Lord to watch over her and her brother throughout the night…..

I say “good night” and get up to leave….”Mommy,” she calls me back. “We forgot to ask Jesus to give Mimi new tires for her car.” Ahhh! I sit back down on her bed and listen to her sweetly talking to Jesus, asking Him to provide for her Mimi’s need.
“Good night, Mommy.” (She has forgotten about the robbers, her mind having been turned to someone else’s need.) “I’ll see you in the morning!” She smiles at me and closes her beautiful brown eyes and hugs her pink “bunny bear” and goes to sleep.

Can this moment please last forever? God reminds me again that this moment is fleeting…she is growing up so quickly! Enjoy this moment. Take advantage of this time with her. She’s going to outgrow this age and it will be gone forever.

She just turned five. And I’ll turn around and she’ll be six…ten…twelve…fifteen! “Lord, help me to take time to look. Help me never to be too busy to take time to sit and to listen. Thank You for our sweet Deborah Jolene.”

P.S. Did you remember to pray for the Banquet? Only 3 days away! And please be praying for my friend, Vicky, to be able to attend that night, and to be saved; and also for 5 ladies who work at the Migration office: Dora Patricia and María Elena, and their 3 assistants. Please pray for their salvation!

Monday, November 8, 2010

All Are Precious In His Sight

Andrew Jonathan and Deborah Jolene

I took these photos of our children yesterday, just before we went to church, and I wanted to share them with you.

I know every mother feels the same way that I do...that we have been blessed with such precious children. Children are just precious, aren't they? So if you are a mother, yes, I agree with you...your children are precious. They are a treasure that the Lord has placed in our home, and I am thankful for the privilege that the Lord has given us to raise children for Him.

How tender and loving children's hearts are!!! What a big responsibility we have been given to guide and train and mold these hearts for our Lord's service, for His honor and glory.

Below are the lyrics of a song I wrote when I was 3 months pregnant with our Andrew Jonathan....June, 2003


Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord,
And the fruit of the womb is His reward
These precious words are written in God's Word
But with this special privilege comes also a command
To train up a child in the way that he should go.

Train up a child in the way that he should go
Train up a child in the way that he should go
And when he is old, he will not depart from it
So train up your child in the way that he should go.

Dear Lord, I fall short of Your perfection,
I fail you in something every day
How can I lead my child in all Your ways?
So I ask You for Your wisdom, I ask for understanding
To train up my child in the way that he should go.

The Scripture will be our light to guide his feet into Your arms
Our prayers will be our weapon against all harm
So take our child, Heavenly Father, Teach his Dad and me
To train up our child in the way that he should go.

Have a wonderful day!

With love from Chiapas,

Mrs. Anna López

P.S. Did you remember to pray today for our upcoming Christmas Banquet? Please go to my Mom's blog,, and read a beautiful post about the banquet!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Annual Ladies' Christmas Banquet

Every year, my mother plans, organizes, pays for and prepares for a Christmas Banquet, held at an elegant banquet hall, especially for the high society ladies in our town. Over the 38 years she has lived here, she has met the wives of very prominent men, and the Lord has given her a special burden for these ladies. Though she has witnessed to them and invited them to church, few of them have responded.

About 12 years ago, Mom decided to do a Christmas Banquet in November and invite these high society women to attend. These ladies did respond to this invitation. Every year since then, she has prepared this Banquet and it has grown. Every year, she invites and honors the present town Mayor's wife, as well as any former Mayors' wives she may know or hear of. Mom has given a Bible to each of these ladies. This year we have invited the Governor's wife, as well as the wives of the mayors in surrounding towns and villages.

Our Banquet this year will be on November 19, at 4:00 p.m. My brother, David, will be the special speaker. I ask that you please pray for this big event. Please mark this date on your calendar, and be praying for us!

God has given Mom a special burden for these high-society ladies; and He has also given her a special gift at being able to reach out to these ladies. Please pray that God would give her the strength and continued vision to continue to reach these ladies with the Gospel.

At this banquet, we will be celebrating Mom's 50th year in Mexico. When she was 16 years old, in November, 1960, she arrived with her parents and three younger brothers in Monterrey, Mexico. She helped her father in the ministry there until she married my Dad, and then served as his wife for 34 years, until God called him Home. Mom has remained faithful in her ministry to ladies and children in the church here in Chiapas.
To God be the glory for what He has done in her life.
The Ashcraft Family in 1960

I want to take this opportunity to say that I am so thankful for the mother God gave to me. She has been a testimony and an example to me of faithfulness. I count it a privilege to be able to help her plan and prepare for these banquets. I learn from her every day...her determination even in times of discouragement and other things the devil throws her way.

My beautiful mother, at a ladies' meeting in May, 2010

Below is a list of the ladies who have been (or will be) invited to attend this year's banquet. Would you take time every day to pray for these ladies?

Idalia García de Díaz (present Mayor's Wife)

Gabriela Pastrana Barrios de Hernández

Ana Marcela Zazueta Hernández de Morales

Marisol Sandoval de Lobato

Emilia Setzer Marselle de Ochoa

Magdalena Ramos de Ruiz

Mercedes Cerdio de Gutiérrez

Isabel Consuelo Ochoa de Sarmiento

Marta Mandujano de Ramos

Beatriz Mandujano de Aguilar

María Virginia Castellanos Martínez

Leticia del Cármen López Rodríguez

Victoria María Olvera Rojas

Brenda Susana Moreno Valdez

Verónica Gómez Montero

María Isabel Aguilera de Sabines (Governor's Wife)

Patricia del Cármen Sánchez López

Cecilia Flores

Delia Nery Pavón Hernández

Guadalupe Ruiz Narvaez

--Only eternity will tell how the Lord worked through these annual banquets. Please pray that the Lord will bring each of these ladies to the banquet and that the Holy Spirit will work through the Word that will be preached that night.--

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Through Deep Waters

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:..” Isaiah 43:2

If you have been keeping up the latest news in Mexico, you have heard of all the flooding caused by the heavy rains. The day following Edgar and Diana’s wedding in Tortuguero (Sunday morning), we woke up to a sight not seen there since 1982: The whole valley below us was completely flooded. The river had overflowed and the waters had extended farther than a kilometer. It was certainly an impressive sight; we were thankful that we were up high on the mountain top!

Andrew had planned to leave that morning, but there was no way we could get out. Trees were completely covered; cattle had been washed away; corn crops had been destroyed. I watched as Andrew’s sisters and brothers-in-law stared in disbelief at the valley below us.

A 57-year-old man from Tortuguero had been designated to watch over and guard the machinery down near the river, being used to build the new bridge. During the night, the sudden flooding took him by surprise. He climbed a palm tree nearby, but when he felt the tree swaying like it would break, he dove into the deep, rushing waters and swam and swam for hours. I got up around 4:00 a.m. and went to the bathroom, and I heard a yell from down in the valley, and then someone from up the mountain responded. (I didn’t think anything about it then.) But Andrew told me it was the guard yelling for help. At 6:00, as soon as it began to get daylight, the men in Tortuguero organized a rescue team, and went down and rescued the man. (His body was freezing, having lost his clothing in the water. Thank the Lord he was alive!)
The new bridge being built was nearly covered
The swinging bridge

Andrew told me, “It could be a week before we are able to get out, if it doesn’t continue to rain.” But on Monday morning, Magdalena came in and told Andrew that men were getting people across the waters in a canoe. She said that her daughter and son-in-law, and another niece were going to try to get out. When Andrew asked if I would like to try and get out, I told him I was afraid to cross the deep waters. He said, “If we wait until the water goes down, the mud could be up to our chests, and who knows how long it would take to get out?!” We had been told that the waters were at least 15 meters deep; and we would be crossing in a canoe being paddled by two men, with no life jackets available.

Last year, Andrew had bought a two-way radio set for his older brother, Jacobo; he lives about 20 miles down the highway toward Palenque, and the two-way radio reaches the village of Tortuguero. On Sunday, we were able to communicate with him. There had been severe floodings in other nearby villages, including where he lives. But Andrew asked him if he could call Mom and let her know what had happened, because she had been expecting us on Sunday. (Mom later told me that it was such a blessing that Jacobo had called her, because she had become worried when we didn’t come in on Sunday, and when she couldn’t get in touch with us on our cell phones.)

At about 11:00 on Monday morning, it was decided that we were going to try to get out. I packed our things, we had a meal with Elena and her family, and at 1:00 p.m., we headed out. Elena and her family and Magdalena and her family walked with us, helping to carry our things, but also to get a close look at how much of the valley had been flooded. From the time I knew we were going to leave, I began to pray, “Lord, please put Your angels around us.”
Ready for our trip Andrew and Deborah, prepared for the trip down the mountain

We walked down the mountain (the children once again riding the horse…and very thrilled!). The mud made the trail down the mountain incredibly slippery. We met two men who were coming up the mountain: “Señora, please be careful,” they said to me. “The mud makes the trail very dangerous!” We finally made it to level ground (I was so thankful that the horse had made it down the mountain safely with our children!). The mud was very deep. Andrew walked in front of me, leading the way, and helping me where it was extremely deep.

Starting down the mountain

We finally reached the point where the flooding began. Everyone stared in disbelief at only being able to see the tree tops. I have never seen anything quite like it. We waited for about 30 minutes, then we finally saw the canoe approaching.
The approaching canoe

We said our goodbyes and climbed into the canoe (6 adults and 4 children, plus the 2 row men). We had to kneel in the muddy canoe (there was a seat at the back of the canoe, where Andrew’s niece sat with our children and her little girl). I knelt right behind Andrew and held onto his belt. Fear gripped my heart as the canoe took off over the deep waters; but I began reciting in my mind, “What time I am afaid, I will trust in thee,” and “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” over and over. I knew that the Lord was with us. A quiet calm came over me. I kept looking back at our children, excitedly exclaiming over getting to ride in a canoe, but completely unaware of the danger. The expert row men very confidently rowed and rowed and rowed. We finally reached the river (the water was all at the same level on the surface, but where the river started, the current was obviously stronger). The men began rowing upriver, while the current took us downriver. It seemed like forever, but I finally saw the front row man stick his oar down and it touched ground (his oar was nearly covered, but at least I knew we were nearly to shore!). Everyone was very quiet the whole ride (except when I’d yell back at the children to please be still so the canoe would not tip over!); but when we got to shore, we all exclaimed, “Thank the Lord!” We very gladly got out onto the shore; tears of relief and joy came to my eyes and I thanked the Lord over and over for keeping us safe.
We were all filthy and covered in mud. But no one cared what they looked like; we were just SO THANKFUL to be on dry land, and past the danger. We walked the short distance to María’s house (who didn’t have any running water, because the flooding had broken the main water pipe that takes water to the village) and bathed with water she had stored into big buckets. Andrew’s brother, Jacobo, and his wife, Alicia, came from their home 20 miles away to see if we had made it safely. I hugged Alicia and said, “We are so thankful to be here!” Jacobo was very relived that we had made it safely.
Thankful to be on dry ground! (Notice how muddy the bottom of my skirt is!)
An hour later we were on the road, headed back to San Cristóbal. We all sang hymns of praise most of the way home. “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “Do You Know My Jesus?” “There Is Power in the Blood,” among others. What a great and powerful God we serve! He created the mountains and the rivers. He controls the rain; he causes the sun to shine; and He sent his angels to protect our family last Monday.