This month is shaping up to be very busy with visits and a medical brigade coming up next week. You can look forward to a blog (or two)about that but in the meantime:
We asked visiting couple, Joel and Abrielle Braxton, to write a little something of their time visiting here. They are praying about their role in missions.
I hear the whir of the engines, and as I gaze out the window watching the blue and white variations in the sky I remember where the last few weeks have taken us. We, Joel and Abrielle (a small town/big city boy from Ohio and a big city girl from Texas) now married and equipped with skills in aviation and general mechanics (Joel) and in nursing (Abrielle) found ourselves deep in the virgin jungles of hon-DUR-as (as the radio announcers say).
The hot air hit me like a blanket thrown in my face - a warm welcome due to Ohio's cold summer. A 3+ hour bus ride, dinner on the beach, a night in the hotel, and a 1.5 hour flight in the Cessna later we arrived in the village of Rus Rus. Ebe-Nezer, the black lab, eagerly greeted us at the plane in her jolly way while the chickens and monkey (Jack) waited for us to introduce ourselves. Over the next 6 days, we watched, looked, and listened to what life and ministry is in Rus Rus and what they want it to be. Of course, we couldn't help ourselves from dreaming about potential realities for ourselves living among and serving the Miskito people in the jungle.
Wes and Denise are clearly in love with each other - affectionate and playful, they keep their relationship fresh, enjoyable, and strong. They have to in order to survive in this environment. Gifted with skills in hospitality and cooking, Denise (or "neecy lou" as she is affectionately called by Wes) made sure we were more than comfortable in their home with plenty of fantastic food. Wes let us rest before giving us the tour and making work available when we were ready. Joking and teasing all the way, we knew we were included. Book, movie, and family game buffs, we all enjoyed sharing our interests, and we even got in a few card games. Not without me going into shock over the numerous cards overflowing from my hands and blurring together. We laughed till our bellies and cheeks ached.
The Wiles easily opened up about their roles, commitments, desires, dreams, and vision for Rus Rus, the airplane, and Hospital Rus Rus.
|Rus Rus Hospital|
There are innumerable opportunities for ministry, but it is crucial that we are careful to seek the Lord's wisdom in all things and ensure that we follow His leading doing His work rather than seeking our own project dreams that may not be necessary. Much work has been done in Rus Rus, and much is left to be done. In the last 4 years, the Wiles have practiced more Spanish, been establishing and building relationships with the locals, repaired much of the hospital, acquired medications and supplies, repaired a building for their own lodgings and space for housing short-term teams, hosted several large and medium short-term teams, repaired/maintained the airplane, provided air ambulance service, distributed salaries to hospital employees (all locals), cared for pets (dogs, monkey, and chickens), and hosted several "big" Christmas parties. The community has a Catholic church with a lay minister and a protestant church with no pastor (the hospital's head nurse, Geraldina, is helping to keep it going). Most villagers attend one of the two weekly services, and several villagers are eagerly seeking to know Christ more. However, there is not much spiritual leadership, very few good role models, an occasional flaky teacher, and limited food varieties available.
Our hearts' desire is that wherever the Lord leads us, we may walk alongside seeking followers of Christ in their journey so that locals can rise up to lead the people to accept God's grace and eagerly obey His precepts. In addition to spiritual ministry, we wish to use our skills and gifts to serve the people in physical ways.
Our next team is coming to have a mini-clinic with medical and dental services at the end of this month (next week and a half). Your prayers would be greatly appreciated for all the traveling as well as for the team as they minister to the sweet folks in the surrounding area.
On a more personal note - What a blessing to have our son, Joshua, come home for a visit during his block leave after returning from Afghanistan! I tried not to spoil him too much but I did make a lot of his favorite meals. It will be sad to send him off again. What’s in store for him? He doesn’t know when he will receive his next posting so for now he will be in Kentucky for the winter. Brrrr!!!!
Joyfully In His Service,
Westley and Denise Wiles