Hey all, here is an update from us. I had written the following a while back, but didn’t finish it. So I’m posting this here after all. A beautiful testimony about how God works in difficult situations!
Meanwhile, PTS school is in full swing! We are now at the end of the 2nd week which concludes with a kickstart weekend. As I write this, the students are on the road with the weekend’s participants. After teaching what it means to be a disciple of Jesus (instead of ‘Christian’) and explaining how to heal the sick, everyone went out to the streets. Not in the village where we are now, but in Ronda – a larger town nearby. There are also plenty of English speaking people there (we have some participants who can’t speak Spanish).
Learned a lot
Not only the students learn a lot at this school, we learn a lot as well. Especially to remain strong in faith, despite many problems and setbacks. And continue to work together as a team and solve problems. One of the verses that spoke to me tremendously lately was Psalm 31:25
Be strong and He will make your hearts strong, all of you who hope in the LORD!
Because at many moments we just had to be strong, while we would have preferred to run away. But as it says in this promise, he makes our hearts strong as soon as we choose to stay strong and hope in God in difficult situations. This allows us to grow and handle more difficult situations in the future. I am very grateful to be going through these difficulties.
We saw the hand of God in the run-up to the school. Everything was ready at exactly the right time and God gave people and finances with which the plans began to take shape. A dear brother Theo brought beds all the way from the Netherlands and helped us enormously with both practical jobs and kick-starting people on the street and other things. Also the bathroom was realized in a short time, so we could receive a larger number of people. Also, Caleb (who had previously joined us on our trip) joined our team last minute, which was truly a gift from God. And a sister from Germany (Jenina) also joined during the school to help out in various areas. Also Sophie came back from the Netherlands and could take over a part of the program. What a blessing it all is!
But there were also tremendously stressful situations. So the toilets got clogged, a few days ago. A company was quickly on the scene to attempt to flush the pipe. But the employee wasn’t feeling well and went home early. The next day they came again, but the flushing and use of chemicals did not work.
So then we had the situation that no one in Salvador’s house could go to the toilet and take a shower! Fortunately our house is close to Salvador’s, so people could go to the toilet and shower at our place. So sometimes we had a queue before our bathroom door.
But more troublesome was that the kickstart weekend would be in 2 days and we would be 40+ people together and not have a working toilet and shower!
The company had promised to come by on Thursday (the day before kickstart weekend) to fix the problems. But we didn’t see them on Thursday during the day. Meanwhile, this also brought tensions in the team and things had to be spoken out. In the evening we had that conversation … And then… the company came by after all, around 20.30 in the evening! The conversation with the team also went well and everything could be solved. When the air was completely cleared and the people of the company were busy solving the problems with the drain, suddenly the police was at the door. This was not the local police, but a unit from another city. They had had a complaint about us. That we were causing nuisance! We had been too loud for the neighbours. We found that very strange, since we have good contact with both neighbors and we were always in bed on time during the school. We could not imagine that we really had caused trouble.
But the police were implacable and very authoritarian. They also started pointing out to us the covid measures and that we weren’t wearing masks, things like that. They were about to issue a ticket for nuisance, when suddenly one of the men from the company walked out to get something from the car.
He recognized one of the cops: “Hey amigo, what are you doing here?”. They turned out to be very good friends and from the same town.
“We received a report of a nuisance,” the officer said. “That seems weird to me. I spent a lot of time with these people when we came here to install the bathroom, these are good people. They don’t make trouble.”
“Oh really? so then it’s a false alarm and we have no business here.”
And the police left.
And so, just before the kickstart weekend, all the problems were solved in a very special way! If the men of the company had come at a normal time, they would not have met the police. This was God’s timing!