"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tough Tuesday-Never the Right Tools

I came from Minnesota to Mexico back in 1995 as a tourist. I had been to Mexico, right after graduating from High School and then again in 1993 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon for short term mission trip, but it was way too short for me...I had to fly home because of a kidney stone!




I returned in 1996 to Mazatlán and God touched my heart and my life in a way I never expected. I had prepared since grade school. Actually, it was 6th grade from a Vocational Day, we had in my Catholic school, St. Pascal Baylon.

 


I made a vow to my dear friend, BFF (from my Proverbs 31 devotional today)-Jesus...that I wanted to be HIS completely, I wanted to do all I could to "know, love and serve Him" in this world. To me, and my thinking at that age and place, it was to become a (nun-sister) missionary. You remember like "The Singing Nun"...(now this probably dates me).

So, to prepare for that I made my own plan, without consulting anyone, including my parents. I would go to a public high school, with my friends, unlike my older brother and sister, who attended Catholic high schools with tuition. By doing this, my dad, would be spared paying for tuition, that could than be saved, hopefully, for my college education, in a top notch Catholic college.

I continued my walk with Jesus, as I understood it, through being part of youth groups, CYC (Catholic Youth Corp)Young Life, Sunday School volunteer, retreats, camps etc. I attended Harding High school and aimed my classes toward college prep. My one, most enjoyable class, was Spanish. At that time, it was a prerequisite for college.
  I should have taken French, since I had a grandpa that only spoke French, but for some reason, beyond me...I chose Spanish. In retrospect, Spanish sounds are much easier for me than French, even now. Anyway, I had the BEST Spanish teacher my first year , Mr.XXXXXXXXX (Sam) who made the class FUN and FILLED with many enriching activities and later opportunities (that's a whole another story)!

But because of him, I was able to receive an award from Kiawani's and a scholarship to a very prestigious college-the College of St. Catherine- and training ground for the Order of St.Joseph sisters. I could never have afforded this college without this and a MN grant. Actually, according to my SAT test, but not my GPA/grades in classes, my counselor advised me against going to college, saying I could not make it, he advised vo-tech. I think I would have enjoyed that more-alot less work. Later I did go to one...But first, the gorgeous College of St. Catherine....

Well, I did, all 4 years, with a double major and minor, with 4 Cs, a GPA of 3.6 or above in my fields. My theology teacher, and "sister"friends encouraged me to add a major in Thelogy, but I declined, though interested, Catholic theology was just not sitting well with me and I already had a very loaded schedule. Attending school fulltime, full load and at times a little more, plus working part time to help with all the many expenses, was a very full schedule. I'm pleased to say I made it! I supposedly now had the tools for my trade! Teaching...

 FAST FORWARD....to me finally allowing God to complete my life purpose...here in Mexico. It was a long time, in getting me through the MAZE of my life experiences to return to the seed that was planted in 6th grade. From my Catholic upbringing and education, I became Evangelical and finally Pentecostal, with the Assembly of God church. But here, I was in Mazatlán, and God was tapping me on my shoulder and tugging on my heart. He clearly let me know the time was now - no more excuses, no more postponements, no more but "I'm not ready, I'm not equipped".... I was told this "God does not call the equipped....God equips those called! " I met a wonderful woman, I believe sent by God, Susana!!! Susana was 108 years old from Oaxaca, Mexico. She was here, on the beach, selling her wares to make a living. But each day, she would come, meet with me and pray for her children, her family. (photo is not actually Susana, but very similar) The first time, I encountered her, she told me she had a word from the Lord. I really believed that God was sending a word through her and I told her...go ahead. And she began to quote John 14:6, a Bible verse I knew in Spanish because it was one I had taught my Spanish students. So, I began to recite it along with her and she was startled. She asked me, "Do you know where this is found?" I took out my Bible and showed her where. She was delighted. Susana told me that she wanted to learn to read because she never had been given that opportunity, she had to work. The reason she wanted to learn to read was to read the Word of God, in Spanish. So that she could put it into her dialect of Oaxacan. I gave her my cassette player with a Christian tape in Spanish, that she enjoyed listening to as she walked the beach, until it ran out of power and she threw it out! Yet still, I was aMAZED!

Daily she came, we read and we prayed until I left to come home to Minnesota. That was how I knew that my heart belonged here in Mazatlán! By one simple, humble woman named Susana, from Oaxaca, Mexico.
I returned the next year, to try living on my own, for one month. I didn't find Susana again but others who knew her. Since then I returned every year, a little more time each year until I was living here in Mazatlán more than Minnesota. I have been to other places in Mexico, but I had a burden for the people here, in this port. Though Susana, was not originally from here, there are many that come from all over Mexico to the port cities to sell or make a living. No place has touched my heart "yet" like Mazatlán.

 Today, I recalled the years I wasted not doing ministry or what God purposed for me long ago. I went outside, because my dogs were barking, and noticed that one of them, had gotten into my fenced off area, where I have plants. The fence was knocked down and you could just tell it had been invaded. In frustration, I tried to mend the fence, pushing down the stakes, in a solid, rock based soil and was not making any progress. So I went to try and find some TOOLS that would work, to reestablish my fencing that protects my plants.
  My TOOLS are very limited here. I do not have many because I try not to overspend or get things I use infrequently or too much stuff to pack up and move on...if God calls me somewhere else. And it made me think of this:

WHAT TOOLS AM I LACKING to share God's message here? 
WHAT TOOLS have I put away to use not too often? 
WHAT TOOLS do I think I need to start making a BIG DIFFERENCE here in MAZATLÁN? 

not in my garden...but in HIS GARDEN, HIS KINGDOM... We each have been given the tools necessary to meet this purpose. We each can communicate God's Word, Love and Grace, wherever we are, whatever we're doing, on a daily basis. HE HAS GIVEN US THE TOOLS! HE HAS EQUIPPED US! HE HAS GIVEN EACH OF US A GIFT or GIFTS TO BE USED FOR A GREATER PURPOSE!

If you read, my first BLOG, my first attempt at blogging, where I explain my name "Magi" which in English, looks like the word that referred to the Three Kings, wise men that ventured from afar, bringing gifts. They were "wise"! I mentioned in that post...it was because I had a gift to share: me. I am far from "wise" like the ones, who traveled to see the Promised Messiah. But in HIS WORD, He gives us PROMISES and keeps those promises to those who love and obey Him. HIS WORD is our TOOL! Our lives and what He does for us, minute by minute, in good times and bad times, is our TOOL to use to introduce others WHY and HOW JESUS makes a difference! Some call it a testimony. I say it is our tool of the trade for today! please do not pass up the chance to use your tool today to bless someone's life, to touch someone, to change their life for the better, the BEST! In Ephesians 6, He gives us instructions: children, parents, fathers... PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR of GOD...these are our daily TOOLS to give us strength and power and what we need to do the WORK!

7 comments:

  1. Hi Peggy--thanks for visiting my blog. Also, this is quite the testimony. Thanks for sharing it.

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  2. Wow! I really enjoyed reading your story. God is so amazing. I love hearing how He is working in the lives of others.

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  3. What a beautiful story! I love that you were open to God's call on your life and you are so passionate about it. :) And this music is so peaceful and beautiful as well. Also, thanks for your kind comments!

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  4. Hola Hermana,

    Thanks for visiting my site(s); I finally answered your commments!

    I've been to Mazatlan - we have a couple missionary families living and working there as well.

    Also, you mentioned on my blog that there wasn't persecution in Mexico, and I wrote about that as well (there is...but not in Mazatlan!).

    We may be going to Oaxaca, instead of our destined Campeche. If Susana only knew how many Wycliffe translators there were in Oaxaca, she would know that the Bible is probably in her own native tongue by now.

    Bendiciones, Ilona

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  5. I enjoyed reading about that, sweet friend. God bless you in your ministry.

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  6. Great testimony. God knew all along where He'd lead you. Spent some time here tonight, reading your posts and listening to the music. Thank you for sharing and being His instrument.

    Blessings!

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  7. This is aMazing, Peggy! I love how you didn't go to Mexico through a church or ministry, but strictly because God called you to go.

    We have some things in common. I was brought up Catholic, went to Catholic school. Later, after I got married, we went from Catholic to Lutheran, to Evangelical, to Assembly of God. Right now we're not going to any church, we just worship the Lord right here. I have a ministry with some neighborhood widows, and I volunteer at a nursing home.

    BUT...God has given us dreams, visions and words of knowledge spoken over us by prophets (well, we call them prophets, I don't think they call themselves that) that we will serve the Lord in a foreign country (foreign to us). There will be palm trees, and the people have dark skin. That's all we know for now. Don't know where we're going, but we DO know that God has called us.

    I'm so glad we met. I have a feeling God brought us together...

    Sweet blessings,
    Debby

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Bless you for your visit and encouraging words! I thank you and I am humbly blessed by YOU and the time you spend with me... Peace, "Mazmagi" Peggy

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