Sometimes the Lord answers our prayers quickly, other times the answer comes after we have waited patiently for quite some time. I want to thank all of you who prayed for us yesterday and let you know that this time the Lord answered your prayers and ours quite quickly!
Yesterday there was a tropical storm passing through our region, so school and other activities were canceled and all eight of us (Darwin, the five kids who live with us, our neighbor-son Brayan, and I) were at home all day. Praise God for the tropical storm that forced all of us to slow down and spend an entire day together uninterrupted! The kids prepared an elaborate vegetable soup for lunch, Darwin and I danced in the living room, we spent time working through the events of the last few weeks with one another and in prayer, a lot of hugs and loving words were exchanged, and there was a riotous tickle-fight after lunch that led Darwin laughing and screaming around our large yard as many little people chased him.
As for 7-year-old Jason, after praying for him while he slept the night before last, yesterday he woke up with an entirely different attitude. He spent the morning and afternoon in his room (part of his consequence for his poor behavior in school), and he re-did the various pages of homework that he had previously torn up, and got ahead on a couple other assignments. He surprised us all with his newfound work ethic and joy, and we pray that it continues.
The three girls and I scheduled a long overdue “women’s meeting” in the afternoon, which consisted in us sitting on the freshly-swept floor in Mom and Dad’s Bedroom to give each person the opportunity to share frustrations, joys, problems, etc, in a safe, open environment. At first no one wanted to share anything, so we began with prayer and a Bible reading, and from there a lot of things came to light — hidden bitternesses, jealousies, honest tears, sincere compliments, worries, feelings of sisterly love and more. A true women’s meeting indeed! I feel that this first intentional encounter we had yesterday was a huge leap in the right direction, and we are planning on holding similar meetings every so often to get everything out on the table and speak the truth to one another in love. At the end of our little group meeting there were about 183 prayer requests, so we joined hands, all sitting cross-legged on our tile floor, and presented ourselves to our Father. As the girls bounced out of our bedroom, there was a tangible lightness and freedom in them that beforehand could only be categorized as darkness, anger and unspoken sadness. They literally galloped out of our room after several group hugs, and they began doing crazy gymnastics on the porch, carrying one another on their shoulders and including little Josue in their wild games of joy. Yes!
On the legal front, I was able to make contact with my new lawyer yesterday, and she’s on the ball and already working on my case! She lives in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, so she has direct access to the government’s offices there and went yesterday to access my file. Please continue to pray for justice and efficiency in regards to my residency, and let us give thanks to God for this turn of events.
Last night after a dinner of peanut butter sandwiches, all eight of us piled on and around our small couch to watch a movie together, something we have not done, well, ever. During the movie we tickled one another’s feet, scratched so-and-so on the head, cuddled together, and rested in God’s love.
As the movie was getting ready to start and everyone hurried in and out of the bathroom to take turns showering, Diana — with a newfound freedom shining from her face — asked sincerely, “What do I call Brayan now that he doesn’t live with us anymore?” I answered, “He’s your brother in Christ and [a term that doesn’t translate directly in English but means ‘non-biological brother with whom you grew up’]”. With that all three of us smiled, content with the unusually large sense of family God has blessed us with.
So I don’t know if we are parents to five or parents to six, although I’m inclined to say six. I don’t know what struggles tomorrow — or even this afternoon — will bring. But I do know one thing: God is with us, and He hears us.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. –Psalm 136:1