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

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

God Did It For Me!

Psalm 105:1,2..."O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon HIS name: make known HIS deeds among the people. Sing unto HIM, sing psalms unto HIM: talk ye of all HIS wondrous works."

Well, I’m a talker. I love to talk, and I have a tendency of making a short story long,
adding ALL of the details.

But I just have to tell you about what God did for us: He provided the way for our family to go to the States for Christmas!!!

Andrew had never been to the States. God gave him his visa in April, 2009. My children were babies the last time they went to the States (Little Andrew was 11 months old when we went up for Dad’s funeral; and Deborah was 6 months old when Mom and I went across the border for a couple of hours of shopping.) And it had been almost 3 years since I had been.

We rode a bus from our home town to Mexico City; then flew from Mexico City to Monterrey; then a friend of ours drove us up to Austin, where we met my oldest brother, Tom, and were with him and his family the rest of our time in the States.

Waiting for our plane to leave...airport in Mexico City

(A BIG thank-you to Tom and his wife Mona, and their 5 precious children, whom we consider to have been our “hosts” while in the U.S. We made unforgettable memories with them! They were such a blessing and encouragement to us!!!)

We got to go to Cabella's (a fishing and hunting store) near Austin!

I can’t even tell you how much fun it was watching Andrew experience his first time in the States! Everything is different in the States…the highways are wide and clean; and speed-bump free! The buildings are tall and outlined with lights that make them look so beautiful at night! Even pumping gas is self-service! Now THAT’S different for us! I think the thing that was MOST refreshing to me was the extreme friendliness that was shown to us in the stores. One is made to feel like a true guest of honor when you walk into the stores (be it a little 7-11 or a Khol’s!). Andrew was awe-stricken by the vast differences between the countries!
The beautiful courthouse in Decatur, Texas

Our first night in the States was spent at Mona’s mother’s house. It was very special to me to be able to spend some time with Mrs. Thompson.

Little Andrew’s 7th birthday was on Wednesday, the 22nd of December, the day after we arrived in the States. Since we were at Mrs. Thompson’s house, Little Andrew was able to play all day with his cousin, Hank and Hank’s cousin, Levi. Mrs. Thompson’s house sets on (I think Mona said) 3 acres of land. Little Andrew, Hank and Levi shot b-b guns all day, “hunting” birds. Little Andrew loved every minute of it! I didn’t have time to plan anything big, but Mrs. Thompson bought a cake for Little Andrew and we all bought gifts; that evening, he blew out his candles and opened his gifts. I was so impressed by Mrs. Thompson’s thoughtfulness. What a special, godly lady! She gave us royal treatment as guests in her home. THANK YOU, MRS. THOMPSON!

Hearing some good singing in Mrs. Thompson's livingroom
--Tom and Mona's children--
We attended the mid-week service at Tom and Mona’s home church…Andrew’s first church service in the States. He was amazed at the big church buildings in the States. Not only the one we attended, but all the enormous church buildings that line I-35…gorgeously elegant church buildings. He couldn’t believe how many churches there are in the States!

Pastor and Mrs. Doyle Thompson

We arrived at Forney, where we were to spend our remaining days in the States. Mom was there to greet us at the un-earthly hour of 2:00 a.m. Mom said, “I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t seeing it!” as she hugged her “favorite” (hee, hee!!!!...just kidding, sisters!!) son-in-law and welcomed him to the States!

The Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Forney really out-did themselves…first of all, by allowing us ALL to stay in their church building for our Christmas celebration. With 16 children and 9 adults, the church building was the perfect place to stay! When we walked in at 2:00 in the morning, we were all fully awake with a sudden burst of excited energy. As we walked through the auditorium to make our way back to the Sunday School room that was to be our bedroom, the most breath-taking sight met our eyes: A gorgeously decorated tree, all lit up, decorated by two men in the church. Over to the right were 16 stockings hung, one for each child. Under the tree and set INTO the tree were gifts for all the children. Several of the ladies had cooked and baked and brought special treats to the church…brownies, cookies, pies, and set out on the counter were loaves of pumpkin bread, wrapped in beautiful checked fabric, with each couple’s name on it. And next to it was a jar of a chocolate-mint drink powder, ready to mix with water.

I went to sleep that night with the feeling of just being loved. First of all by my Heavenly Father, for having allowed us to come all this way, and to have brought us to a church which has supported Ashcrafts and Sloans since 1960; and loved by my mother and brothers and sisters, who were EXCITED for Andrew…just as much as I was…to be able to experience this time in the States; and loved by people in a church, some who didn’t even know Andrew and me!
I WILL talk of ALL HIS WONDROUS WORKS! Precious are HIS thoughts toward each of us!

What has God done for YOU? Make known HIS deeds among the people!

(Part 2 of our trip and more pictures will be in my next post!)


Colleen said...

I cried with joy as I read of how God blessed you and your family on your trip to the states. Looking forward to future post and more pictures of your good times. We too were blessed beyond measure this Christmas. God trully knows how to bless His children! What a joy it is to serve an all powerful God and Father. ~Colleen

Debbie C. said...

How exciting, and what a blessing, Anna! It is a vast difference coming from Mexico to the US. I am so glad that Andrew got to see the States and experience what it is like here. OH how I miss my Mexico! But God has a plan and path for each one of us. Thanks for sharing this!