The Hayes Zoo
- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.
- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.
- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.
- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thank you, thank you very much...
I'm practicing gratitude. It's useful for keeping away the grumpys and for bringing forth memories and re-countings of God's faithfulness. One of those things we just don't. want. to. forget.. So here is my gratitude post. It will be a add-in for future posts too. Because His blessings and protection are all around us and one day we will realize to what GREAT extent...for now, I'm content to know they're there and not all that they are keeping me from.
Thankfulness part one:
Our trip to Belize and back went very well. We have new visas for the maximum time allowed. We didn't have to pay a single bribe. (big deal everyone...) We only had one throw up episode in the whole thing. This is saying alot for our family. :) It cost only about what we thought it would and not a ton more. The truck and trailer drove like the troopers that they are, with Alan's help, of course. The hotel we stayed at was a built-in kid friendly zone. Lake with a bunch of huge iguanas that Riley could chase, flowers that we could all check out each day, swimming pool for the girls - it was amazing. Riley became the hotel hero when he actually caught one of above mentioned iguanas. His picture will now be in several countries. The girls made friends with everyone and the hotel staff as they 'helped' clean our room every day. It was a good trip.
Thankfulness part two:
I am thankful that we as a family have been blessed with the chance to see the variety in God's creation. The flowers, animals, landscape, people. Amazing. We've worked with some incredible people perservering in incredible situations. All sizes, all shapes, in different languages. Quite a bit of the time the kids and I will be reading something and I can only imagine their scope of reference due to what they've been able to see with their own eyes. I am very grateful for picture books but when you see that coral snake, rattlesnake, horse up close, ant lion, HUGE iguana, black orchid, hibiscus, funky palm, in real life - it does take your breath away if you will let it. Since you haven't shown up on my doorstep to see these amazing testimonies to our creator, I will share our pictures.
Thankfulness part 3:
Do you know one AMAZING blessing we've had in our travels? This struck me as we drove onto our street here in a little town named Gracias which translates 'thank you'. In all the miles driving down here from the beginning of our missionary journey over three years ago, we've NEVER had a flat tire, broken down on the side of a road, or had an accident!
Folks - this strikes me as unbelievable, especially where you consider where we're doing most of that driving. Here are the stats...
From Hockinson Church's parking lot to Madera, Mexico was 2500 miles.
Our travels back and forth to the border while we lived in Mexico were around 400 miles each trip. (every 6 months)
Our trip down to Gracias, Honduras was almost 2000 miles.
Our trip back and forth to Belize last week was a bit over 800 miles.
Like I said, unbelievable...
Now - of course, we've had some issues with our vehicle. We're working on our third set of seriously work-like tires due to complete wear out of the old ones. A flat tire once when Alan was getting wood for the children's home, once it was flat when we woke up in the morning; and then there have been a couple of part things that have given out but they've been able to be replaced after some hunting, gathering, and paying for said parts. :) However, and this is huge, this has NEVER happened when we were all together as a family or en route somewhere when it's really difficult for Alan to fix things. I don't know if you can fully appreciate the blessing of this unless you've, personally, been stranded with a car load of kids on the backside of nowhere and no possibility of AAA in sight. I can because it seemed to happen on a fairly regular basis when we lived in the states but even then I had that cell phone or family close or ENGLISH to explain my predicament.
I will leave you this morning with one of my favorite sections of verse...
Psalm 71:14-18 But as for me, I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD. I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, 'till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
I love, love, love that first part.
God has been incredibly faithful and your prayers for our family have been answered don't you think? Will you recount the ways He's been faithful to you? I, for one, would love to hear them.
que Dios les bendiga...