Marci’s Lessons from a Picky-Picky

For this post, I wanted to share Marci’s thoughts about our recent trip to Peru.

One of our picky-pickys on the Shanusi river

What exactly is a picky-picky was the question posed to us by one of the medical students on our latest mission trip. I jokingly said it is a long, narrow boat that tips over.  Little did I know that my explanation was not far from the truth.  My nickname for it was a tippy-tippy, due to the fact that is what we did a lot of in it.  We began our 2 hour long journey in the picky-picky and that is when my lessons began.

One of the first lessons I learned was that I was not in control of any part of this journey.  We were in the hands of someone else to get us to our final destination. This is a lesson that the Lord has been trying to teach me for years. It was only appropriate for God to show me this lesson once again in a very tangible way, on the picky-picky. I learned very quickly that I was not in control and seemed to easily relinquish it. It does make me wonder why on a mission trip that I am better able to relinquish that control than at home.  At home I have some false sense that I am more in control of my surroundings than I really am, on a mission trip it is very evident that I am not ever in control of what will take place. It is just a reminder to me that God is in control and is always looking out for me in all situations.

My second lesson learned was that of servanthood. It was my intention to go on this mission trip to be a servant for Christ in whatever capacity was needed, and yet it was I that was being served that day and many others by my Peruvian brothers in Christ.  They truly did whatever it took to get us to our final destination.  There were times we would get stuck on the river in the low places, but they would work at it, at times putting themselves at risk to get us free from obstacles.  It seemed to me so much of what life is like in our christian walk. We get stuck at times along life’s journey and there are obstacles we must face along the way. We need the help of our brothers and sisters in Christ for guidance and direction to get us through to the other side.

Another lesson learned was that there is joy in the journey. At times I get so caught up in the final destination, that I miss out on the daily fellowship with God and my fellow man. I don’t stop and take the time to really see what God has for me.  On a four hour round trip boat ride you have a lot of time to sit and think, pray and soak in all that God has for you. There was so much beautiful scenery along the Shanusi river that day, it was nice to stop and take the time to take it all in.  I’m thankful that God forces us sometimes to stop and sit and wait on him. There is so much joy and simple pleasures we miss out on when we don’t.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. They were felt many times.  We would love to have you join us on our next team.  Who knows where you might find yourself, maybe on a picky-picky?

We Call it GO for a Reason

What a great and busy week.  I spoke 7 times in 2 days this past weekend in Panama City Beach Florida.  Caught a flight home on Sunday and took off early Monday morning to take Allyson off to Ohio Christian University to start her freshman year in college.  Allyson is going to be an Early Childhood major and has plans to end up on the mission field someday.  We got Allyson all moved in to her new room and left early Tuesday morning to make it back to Wilmore for a meeting at Asbury University for the Cross Cultural Experience committee.  Spent the day trying to catch up on things while I was gone and then leave today for Greenwood, Indiana.  I will be speaking in Chapel Thursday morning at OMS headquarters in Greenwood, Indiana.  (One Mission Society)  I will be speaking in chapel at 9:00a.m. Thursday morning and then meeting with some of the Senior Leadership there at the mission.  Will be coming home on Friday night and preaching this Sunday at the Wilmore Community Missionary Church.  Looking forward to being back in the Pulpit here in Wilmore.  Someone told me the other day “wow— your schedule is pretty full.”   I said– “They don’t call it GO for nothing”.  Thanks for your prayers and financial support to help us keep Going.  We are blessed by your interest and support for the ministries of GO InterNational.

 

Let us know if you would be interested in scheduling something at your church this year.  We would love to come.

 

Call or email us today.

 

Have a great Holiday weekend.

 

Bert

A Long Way for Percy

View of the river from our picky-picky

It had been a long journey and I began to wonder what God had in store for us after all the effort to reach a small river village of 190 people called Alfonso.  We had spent the first day in travel flying from Cincinnati to Houston to Lima. After a night there, we flew on to Tarapoto then took a curvy road over the mountains to Alianza, a small town no more than a wide spot in the road.  Then this morning had brought a two-hour ride in a small boat called a picky-picky up the Shanusi river. The water was low and we were stuck on sand bars several times and broke at least one propeller blade along the way.  We finally reached the village and made our way to a small government health outpost where we would set up our clinic for the day.

Our team at the health center in Alfonso

My first patient gave an immediate answer to the question of why we were there. Percy was a one year-old baby who only weighed 12 pounds.  He had been doing well until about 3-4 months before when his mother became sick.  She was no longer able to nurse the baby. Eventually she recovered from her illness, but she had stopped producing milk.  She didn’t know how else to feed him and he began to lose weight.  He was now malnourished and failing to thrive.  We examined him, found no other apparent significant illness and began to talk with the mother about ways she could feed him with the foods available to her with her very limited resources. We came up with a plan that she could follow to increase the baby’s intake and hopefully help him begin to grow and thrive again.  The encounter left me feeling very inadequate. It would be so much better if we could admit him to a hospital, test him further and supervise his feedings to be sure he improved.  However, we were left with doing what we could to encourage the mother, give some instructions for supervision to the local health technician at the clinic, and praying to the Lord for his survival.  Although I felt very limited medically, it reminded me of our dependence on the Lord and also left me with a clear answer to the question of why the Lord had taken us all this way to serve Him.

God Is Good, Even In All Our Trials

Dear friends,

 

July has not been a good month for me for two years in a row!  My sixty-five year old body just does not want to go along with my twenty year old mind.

I was scheduled to lead a ministry team to Colombia July 23-30 and just like last year a health crisis prevented me from going.  This year a heart pain issue flared up and after a stress test my doctor announced I had some “abnormalities”.  That means a stress test on August 13.

I just finished a seven-day camp meeting in El Dorado, Illinois and was thrilled to see the Lord blessing His Word.  It was a joy to be with my good friend Mark Nysewander and Max Borah.  Several of the Senior Highs and college students answered a call to ministry, and I want to see where the Lord will be leading them in the days to come.

God is good even in all of our trials and I am learning again, be patient and “wait on the Lord.”  Thank you for your faithfulness and prayers, and thank you for your generosity.

Jenny and I took our four oldest grandchildren to “Grandparents Camp” July 16-18, and we had a grand time. They are so precious and a joy to be around.

 

Keep us in your prayers!

 

Larry