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

Saturday, January 22, 2011

God Did It For Me! Part 5 (Extended Family)

From the beginning of our trip to the States, we saw how God provided for us in special ways. A few days before we left, my cousin Tammie (Ashcraft) González and her family, who are missionaries in El Salvador, came through on their way to the States. It was such a special blessing to be able to see them and to spend some time with them.

It had been about 10 years since I had last seen Tammie.

While they were here, I mentioned to Tammie the great desire that we had to go to the States, and she said she’d be praying that it would all work out.

(At that point, we weren’t sure if we were going or not.)

We got our tickets on Friday, to leave on Sunday…. That afternoon, I excitedly called Tammie and told her, knowing that she, too, would be excited.

Henry and Tammie Gonzalez and their children

On Sunday afternoon, a couple of hours before our bus left, Tammie called me and said she had arranged for us be picked up at the airport in Monterrey by a couple in my Uncle Tommy’s church (our plane got in at 11:00 p.m.!); and that we were to stay in Uncle Tommy and Aunt Brenda’s house. (!) I couldn’t believe it. We were touched by Tammie’s interest in our trip, to have made these special arrangements. “And…” she continued, “I have arranged for you to have a ride across the border. You will be riding with Mrs. Suhl and her son, who want to go to the States for Christmas, but need someone to travel with them.” How good the Lord is! Not only would Mrs. Suhl be a blessing to us, but we could be a blessing to her in return! I thanked Tammie over and over for taking time to work out these arrangements.

Things worked out so nicely! (They always do when the Lord arranges them, don’t they?!) The very sweet couple (Bro. Francisco and his wife) picked us up at the airport; we enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship all the way to Uncle Tommy and Aunt Brenda’s house. (Uncle Tommy and his family had left that morning to go to the States for Christmas. But they had left clean sheets on the bed! And everything was so clean!) We all enjoyed nice, hot showers; and fell into a nice, soft bed. My prayer that night was, “Thank you, Lord, for the extra-special things You do for us!”

Uncle Tommy and Aunt Brenda

Our trip the next morning with Mrs. Suhl and her son was so much fun! It was a special blessing to have gotten to ride with them all the way to Austin. (“Thank you, Mrs. Suhl!”)

While we were in the States, we also got to have a very special visit with my Aunt Pam and Uncle Lanny (Mom’s brother); and we also go to see their daughter, Rebecca, and their beautiful granddaughter, Madison. It had been ten years since I had seen Rebecca, and I had never met Madison. It was very special to get to see them again.

Mom and Aunt Pam

Rebecca with Sarah and me

Rebecca, Madison and Aunt Pam

I am an adult now, but looking back, I can see how my aunts have had a godly influence in my life. I remember as a child, when we would go visit my Aunt Brenda I loved to watch her in her home; and when my sister Sarah and I were still single, we took a trip to a conference at Uncle Tommy’s church, and Aunt Brenda was such a wonderful hostess!

I admire her and thank the Lord for this godly example that I have.

And I will always remember how LOVED my Aunt Pam made me feel. She has always expressed her love for me and an interest in what I do and what is going on in our lives. To a child, that means a lot, and even now as an adult, it is encouraging to know she is praying for me.

A special THANK YOU to my aunts. I love you! As I think about my own nephews and nieces now, I pray that I can be a godly influence and example to them!

I hope they can love me as much as I love my aunts!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God Did It For Me! Part 4 (Find Us Faithful!)

On this trip to the States, (definitely one of the high-lights!) we also got to meet the daughter of Missionary John Beekman, who led my father-in-law to the Lord, and with whom he worked for several years. Mrs. Judy and her husband, Steve, were such gracious hosts! We enjoyed a delicious meal in their beautiful home. We talked for several hours, mostly about Andrew’s parents and their connection with Mrs. Judy’s parents. Then Mrs. Judy brought out four zip-loc bags, each with photos which Mrs. Elaine Beekman had neatly organized into each bag. It was so neat to see photos that the Beekmans had taken of their life and ministry among the Ch’ol Indians. One of the photos is of Mom and Dad López, when they were very young. In the photo, Dad López is holding 2-year-old Magdalena (who is now 52 years old!) and Mom López is holding a new-born Samuel (who is now 50 years old!)
Mrs. Judy gave us some things that belonged to Mrs. Elaine Beekman to take as gifts to my mother-in-law: she gave us a set of canisters and some bead necklaces. What treasures these will be, especially for my mother-in-law, who loved the Beekmans so much!

It was sweet to hear Mrs. Judy sing a song in Ch’ol to us;
and then our children sang in Ch’ol for her.

Mrs. Judy’s younger brother, Gary, came as well and we were able to meet him and his lovely wife, Julie. What a blessing to have been able to sit and have fellowship with these dear Christian people! Our hearts were knit to theirs at once!

Andrew talking to Gary and Julie Beekman

(Notice the canisters on the table between Andrew and Bro. Gary)

Debbie and Andrew playing in Mrs. Judy's livingroom

“Thank You, Lord, for the example of faithfulness we have in the lives of these missionaries. May those who come behind us find us faithful.”

Julie and Gary Beekman; Judy and Steve Van Rooy

One reason we went to the States was to buy a car. (We had been praying for a 2001; Andrew especially wanted a 4-cylinder with a manual transmission.) When we were at Mrs. Judy’s house, Andrew mentioned to Bro. Steve that he was looking to buy a car. Bro. Steve said, “I have a friend who sells used vehicles; he used to be a Wycliffe missionary, he is honest, and has never sold a ‘lemon.’ Let me call him up and see what he’s got.” Bro. Steve called him; he said: “Yes, he has a 2001 Toyota Camry. It’s a great vehicle, but it’s a 4-cylinder and has a manual transmission.” Andrew and I looked at each other and laughed. Andrew said, “That’s exactly what I’m looking for!”

A few days later, we got in touch with the salesman, and within a few minutes of seeing the car, Andrew said, “This is the one!” Praise the Lord. HE gave us this car; and He used Bro. Steve to help us get it!

Our beautiful car. "Thank You, Lord!"