Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Weapon of Faithfulness

Last year I blogged about a spiritual attack we experienced the first week we were here. (there are two links to the two blog posts) I wrote how the experience was new for me and how Monique and I were unsure at first how to deal with the actual demonic presences that were in our room. I have come far in understanding God’s power through us and around us and so when the spiritual warfare of Ventana was made physical again this last week, I was frustrated more than scared of demons. But that was almost worse...

Ashley (my new wonderful roommate) decided to really take time to pray before she fell asleep one night last week. But while she was praying Satan attempted to stop her. She woke me up around midnight to ask if I heard a clicking noise. I became barely coherent enough to mumble no and fall back asleep. Then at 12:30 she woke me up again with a slightly frantic “Stephanie!” It reminded me so much of how Monique’s voice sounded last year that I woke up and knew something was amiss. She explained that she had been hearing a strange clicking noise and was scared. So we prayed. I was frustrated with Satan that I had to be up in the middle of the night dealing with his lame attempts to scare us and ruin our rest. So I refused to acknowledge anything real was happening. My thought being that if there were real demons in our room I would have to fully wake up, deal with it, and lose sleep. So in my self-centeredness I prayed for peace and protection from the Lord but I did not pray against anything in the room. If I had been scared I wouldn’t have treated the situation so lightly but would have run to the Lord for power to cast out whatever was pestering us. But I wasn’t scared, I was just super hot and irritable and listening to Satan tell me that I didn’t need to pray with power. 

It is no surprise that after I prayed Ashley was still scared and I was still awake. I started then to acknowledge that God was calling me to pray with strength against what were real demons in our room. He had been prompting me to be his voice that night and I was ignoring Him. So I eventually did pray, I prayed that whatever was not of the Lord would leave our campus and not come back. I prayed for God’s hand of power and for the Lord to fill that place so nothing else could fit. I prayed the way God was calling me to pray the whole time. Praying for peace while still sleeping in a room full of demons wasn’t going to cut it, I had to acknowledge the reality of the battle going on. 

As soon as I prayed against Satan I felt a significant change in the temperature of our room. I went from stifling hot to cool and refreshing. I found out the next day, from Ashley, that right before she woke me up she had felt a hot presence hovering directly over her and she had hid in her covers. The temperature change was proof to me that God was just waiting for the first signs of my faithfulness to work in our lives. He just wanted me to be faithful in one tiny thing (prayer) and he provided everything after that, including casting out demonic spirits.

When the strange clicking noise continued, even after the demon was kicked out, I knew I had the power to end that as well. I only had to be faithful to the Holy Spirit once again. I realized that being faithful does not only mean I pray as God asks me to; being faithful also means I recognize God’s ability to move and I don’t insult him by not trusting Him to move when I need Him to. So I told the Lord we needed the clicking to stop. (Side Note: The click, when I did hear it, was uncanny and not a normal creaking trailer noise. It was deliberate and loud and was hard to pinpoint in the room. It sounded like it was right next to both of us at the same time. Definitely a scare tactic of Satan.) So I told God he needed to make it stop and in that exact instant it did. We couldn’t help but praise God after that and tell everyone about how amazing He is the next day. God gets all the glory for this! Forever and always, the glory and power and honor is His.

I learned that when God asks you to pray, you pray. When you are scared or need God to move, He can and will. I need to be more faithful to God and who He is... it was only when I gave God the acknowledgment he deserved was I able to fall back asleep and was Ashley at peace. And only then was God glorified.

Mexi-Style

My definition of what I fondly call Mexi-Style is this: making do with what you have. This week I was able to rock this particular trend on my bicycle. My saddle has slowly been deteriorating as it sits in the sun year after year and the inevitable finally happened, the front quarter fell off. Not all at once though, but in chunks and pieces of fabric. The result was this:
So how did I fix it? Like any red-neck (this would make more sense if you have seen The Red-Green Show) or local would... with duct tape!
Though the duct tape was applied only after the chunks of my seat had bounced around in my also mexi-styled basket (put on with zip ties) for a couple of weeks.
The result is this black beauty... ready to go within minutes!

Softened Hearts

A quick praise! God has been moving in the students so much and while that has been resulting in resistance from some, others are embracing the work God is doing and they are seeking God’s guidance to change things in their lives. I love this part of my job! Prayer for those who are not welcoming the challenging parts of walking with the Lord down here would be appreciated. But praise to God that student’s hearts are softening to the Lord’s promptings and some awesome stuff is being shared with us about how He is working!

Nicknames

It is playoff season for soccer around here and that means a few things: we are playing two games this Sunday, we have been conditioning a lot in practice, and there are a lot of people in the stands for the games. A lot of drunk people. Who like to yell obnoxious things. That make it really hard to hear my coach. 

These lovely drunk men who decide to grace us with their presence every week also like to pass out nicknames to the players. So I naturally, being the bright white person on the court, acquired a new nickname... Pelusa. It took me a while to understand what this meant when asking my teammates because the definition is vague but, from what I understand, it means a hairy thing. haha It is a word used for fluffy little dogs, llamas, and curly haired white girls. And oh man has that name caught on around town! My friends now use it, my team uses it, and I even hear it from a few people who I am not sure I know. Down here nicknames are a big deal though so I have embraced it and decided I don’t mind being known for my hair. But you bet it will be in a ponytail this Sunday and not flopping all over like it was last week when I became a Pelusa.

Oh, and since I have to reference Lord of the Rings every once in a while, I wanted to share one of my newest favorite quotes from The Two Towers that talks about nicknames in a way that reminds me of Mexico and the importance of accepting a nickname (an apodo):
‘Hullo, Sméagol! Found any food? Have you had any rest?’
‘No food, no rest, nothing for Sméagol,’ said Gollum. ‘He’s a sneak.’
Sam clicked his tongue, but restrained himself.
‘Don’t take nicknames to yourself, Sméagol,’ said Frodo. ‘It’s unwise, whether they are true or false.’
‘Sméagol has to take what’s given him,’ answered Gollum. ‘He was given that name by kind Master Samwise, the hobbit that knows so much.’
Frodo looked at Sam. ‘Yes sir,’ he said. ‘I did use that word waking up out of my sleep sudden and all and finding him at hand. I said I was sorry, but I soon shan’t be.’

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Culture?

Even after a year in the tiny town of Porvenir, Mexico I am still learning more about the culture of this place. The biggest example of this was a few weeks ago when the circus came to town. This circus not only had a shetland pony and a llama (so exotic), it also had Tarzan, Spiderman, and a few other gymnastics routines all done by the same guy...
Snookie (from Jersey Shore) made an appearance...
And the girl gymnast was named Stephanie. Apparently I am really buff.
There were also cameo appearances from Phineas and Ferb and Dora the Explorer...
And a slew of horrible dances from girls in not enough clothing and with a sever lack of skill. If I hadn’t been sitting next to one of my guy friends I might have laughed but instead I was just plain awkward. But all in all I am glad I went since this was a first for a lot of locals too. Circuses don’t tend to come to our little town but it stayed a week longer than planned because so many people wanted to see it. Despite (or maybe because of) the cheese factor it was a $20 pesos well spent (about $1.50).



Another recent cultural experience was my first quinseñera... for a guy. I was dropping someone off at the Cafe when my friend came outside asking me if I wanted to come to a quinseñera... right then. I came inside to find this:
Giovanni was turning 15 and all of his friends made him a dress and made themselves ties so they could all be his date to his party. =) All mexicans need a quinseñera right? Who said only girls could have huge fifteenth birthday celebrations? Natrually, we all wanted in on the action so we tried on the dress and ties as well and I think we made some pretty fine looking couples...

Oh and the guys, needing to re-establish their manhood, burned the dress at the end.