I know it seems to be a reoccuring theme for this trip, but Monday we didn't get going as soon as we had hoped. It had been several days of traveling and ministering and some of us had been sleeping on the floor and such. Plus, the pastor and his family wanted to send us off with a good pancake breakfast. When we finally got on the road there were a few stops we had to make. The main one was filling our propane tank so we could cook food up in Pluma if the need or opportunity arose. This stop helped us determine which route we would take up to Pluma.
As the morning turned to afternoon and we began climbing the winding, mountian road, it began to rain again. At first it was light, but very soon became quite heavy. There were a few small mud slides covering no more than one lane, but all seemed passable. Plus we met some other missionaries along the way and they had just been able to pass through. About ten minutes later traffic had come to a complete stand still. Pastor Javiel and Sam went to investigate and this is what they saw, which must have happened only moments before. What you can't see is the 150 foot drop off to the left!
We had a little adventure trying to get across. Once we got stuck and had to regroup and try again. Sam and the pastor helped a few vehicles across and then it was our turn again!
We had learned from other missionaries that if we arrived too late we should stay the night because the roads would be too dangerous at night. Now we had a really good reason to believe them, so when we arrived in Pluma the first thing we did was check out the two hotels in town. They were of course completely full due to many of the homes still not being livable. However one of the owners pointed us in the direction of a lady in town who houses students. (Side note: In some of the village towns even elementary and high school students have to leave their villages during the week and stay in a larger village in order to attend school.) We were warmly greeted by the owner after we explained why were there and she had room for us.
As it turns out God had lead us to the house of the sister of a Baptist pastor, who pastored a church several hours away in Salina Cruz. The last time pastor Javiel had spoken with him he had ask pray for his family in Pluma that were still unsaved. As I prepared food for everyone and fed the kids, Sam and the pastor where able to get their Bibles out and talk at length with Lilian. After some discussion it was discovered that because of her brother's testimony, Lilian had recently accepted Christ as her Savior. However, because there were no churches in town and no other Christians that she knew of, she was feeling quite discouraged. If our Savior would make a special trip to meet a woman by a well, of course he can direct our steps with divine appointments also!
Before bed we all spent some time dividing up the big bags of rice, beans, sugar, and vegetables we had brought to distribute the next day. Each bag has a gospel tract in the bottom. The government had come a few days before and distributed metal sheeting to begin repairs on many of the houses and had also distributed some food, but Lilian knew of some families that were not able to make it in where the help was being distributed. These are the families we would be able to minister to the following day. We talked about preparing a hot meal with the chicken and vegetables, but Lilian explianed it would be a blessing for the families to be able to prepare it in their houses the way they liked it. Again, I know it is hard to image, but chicken is not something a lot of these folks get very often, especially after a hurricane has disrupted things so much. She assured us they would have a means of cooking, even if it was an open camp fire.
It was fun to listen to the concerns of my children, wondering how everything was going to work out the next day. What a great experience for them. I truely believe one of the keys to helping your missionary children is to help them feel involved, to help them make it their ministry too.
|The road as we are just approaching Pluma.|