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My time in Mexico was actually no easy thing. It wasn't exactly fun, but it was good and God, through all of it, was very, very, faithful. There are several things that happened there that I could tell you about that are stories in and of themselves. They are for another time. What I have selected to mention were chosen because they were gifts that went well beyond ordinary. They were the kind that can only be hand picked by someone who really knows you.
Remember that random thought that I'de had while still at home? The one about God returning to me forty times what I released to Him? Somewhere before our long outreach our team was very short on cash. My base leader had gone to welcome a short term group that had come from Canada and I decided that, to distract my hungry belly, I would journal a bit. When he returned I was still writing. He came into the house with food (YEAH!) and a big smile on his face and proceeded to tell me how the team that had just arrived was to pay $400 for their time with us, but had felt led instead to bless us with $1600! We were so excited about God's provision for our trip. We celebrated a bit and then I went back to my journaling which was when the random thought caper struck again. It was once more a total interuption to what I was writing about, and once more was very specific: " Forty times forty, Kathi, IS $1600." It was as if God was saying, "You are a little slow on this, so I'll point it out to you."
The rest of the trip was no different in terms of us having enough provisions of our own to mistakenly think that we were somehow in charge. What came to us, came the moment we needed it and in the perfect amounts. Towards the end of our trip (when I was at the stage where I was beginning to think more about the fact that I really had told the cute guy back home I would marry him, than about the moment I was in) I ran into another dilema. Our team was out of money and my dad had just notified me that he had gotten $500 for my car. Little did anyone else know that I was secretly hoping I would be able to bring a wedding dress home with me. At various times I had thought that maybe my car selling would enable me to do just that, and now the thought was gone. I cried before I let go of it. That night at dinner I could not help but think that with each bite I took, I was eating my wedding dress.
I should not have felt too sorry for myself. I knew God had been faithful and that he was not just going to abandon me now. Just as I was preparing to go back to the States a friend whom I had met during my time in Mexico City called and asked me if I had a dress yet. It was the perfect opportunity to give her all the details of my pity-party. When I stopped to catch my breath she was able to finish her thought. “…Because I was wondering if you would like to have mine…”
And would you believe that it fit perfectly?
Would you believe also that, once back in Oregon, my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s friend volunteered to provide the flowers and the food – and then called us at our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding to tell us she was backing out? Most amazingly, I was not bothered by this development in the least. I was able to laugh and think, "well, of course", because I knew that God had more in store for his children than we could ever hope, dream or imagine. He had told me to leave the details to him and so that was what I was going to do.
I (and the rest of our wedding party) had evidence of God's goodness as soon as we walked into the church foyer. When the lady (mentioned above) had first volunteered her services we spent a bit of time searching the state for paper flowers like the ones in my veil. We found nothing. But there on the greeting table, in a place where no one in our familes had ever set foot before, sat an entire bouquet of them; Huge and overflowing.
And just how did they get there?
Well, a lady (a complete stranger) from the congreation had brought them back from MEXICO that very week, of course!
All the other details were covered too, as I'm sure you might be able to imagine by now.
And if you are wondering about the rock pictured above, It is just proof to me that God has a sense of humor A signauture, if you will. We found it on our honeymoon right around the time that we were counting our change to determine if we could make it home and still buy some Pop-Tarts and cheese-sticks to sustain us. We were heading back up the coast and decided to get out of the car for a while when my husband stepped on it.
If our house was burning down, I would try and save it from the fire. When I begin to doubt or become fearful I look at it to remember our foundation.
It reminds me that Jesus is the standard. He is the real thing, and nothing else will ever satisfy.