Friday, May 14, 2010

so thankful

I've been thinking the last couple of days about how thankful I am for Oscar and Arlen and for how God is working in and through not only the birth of baby Sidney, but also their lives in Nicaragua. So I wanted to share some of it with you.
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- I mentioned before, but the behavior of their kids is awesome. I think this is a result of great parenting and a blessing of God. Not only are they behaved well, but even at a young age they are giving, loving, and often selfless, just like their parents.

- Since we have none of our own children, it was a bit of a crash parenting session for both of us. Thankfully, God provided Kristina, an amazing mom, to help us and answer all of our questions.

-Another thing that is awesome is that there is a Canadian team coming down this summer to build this sweet family a house! Their current house is very small, leaks when it rains (and soaks their things), and people can easily break in and steal from them. The team sent the first part of the money down and construction will begin June 10th. Then the team comes the 22nd to finish it up! They are so excited! (And so am I!) What a huge blessing of God, especially with baby #4 here so soon!

- Oscar and Arlen have the biggest hearts ever. Every time I visit their house, they have several neighborhood kids over. Each week, they visit all the neighborhood kids to pass out invitations to our services. They are constantly loving and serving the neighborhood God has placed them in.

- The amazing thing about their ministry in their neighborhood is that it continues. Despite the fact that their neighbors steal from them. If that's not Christ's love, I don't know what is.

- I'm also thankful that despite the fact that we felt slightly delirious at 3 in the morning, God provided safe passage for us to their house and to the hospital.

-Oscar and Arlen have been married 10 years. Oscar is 23 and Arlen is 27. Arlen came from an abusive family situation and God provided Oscar (even at 13) for her as a husband. Despite what odds might say, they seem to have one of the most mature, loving and selfless marriages I have ever seen. God is good.

- Arlen is one of the most giving people I know. They have a mango tree in their yard and every time we go over there, she (and even Ronnie (4) and Jacksel (6)) are always giving us mangos. The day after the hospital visit, we were over and I saw Arlen open up a bag of peanuts to eat for herself, a young neighborhood boy with one arm came over and she immediately gave them away. The same day, we met their new pet, a little green parrot. While we were afraid at first (we didn't want to get bit), we eventually warmed up to him and would hold and pet him. Arlen, of course, asked if we would like to have the bird. She would give someone the shirt off her back. (The bird was rather loud and we knew the kids would be disappointed, so we carefully declined the sweet offer.) Oscar and Arlen do not have much, but you would never know it by the way they give.

- I am also thankful that God is in control. I have a hard time trusting the Nicaraguan public hospitals, as they appear to me to be slightly unorganized and perhaps a little like a Civil War hospital. But this does not stop God from doing what he does in the womb and bringing babies safely into this world. Plus, God gave me a healthy reminder through Perry Noble's blog that God is in control; I have no need to worry...it does no good. He also reminded me of this through His word.

- To sum it all up, I see God using them for great things, and I see God blessing them with great things. And I like what I see.

As far as a baby update, Arlen had an ultrasound at 1:00 and everything looked great - the baby is healthy and ready to join the world! There was a little blood and fluid they weren't comfortable with though, so she will either have Sidney tonight or in the morning. Praise God for a great report and pray for a blessed birth! Thank you for loving and caring about our friends with us. In case you can't tell, we are big fans of theirs.

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