God is good and everyday we have belongs to Him!
These are simple words but something that Eunice and I have been reflecting on over the last few weeks. Even missionaries can get lost in all the things that need to be done. Raising a child, treating patients, growing vegetables, building relationships and just paying bills can consume anyone. But through all the busy-ness, stress and traveling, God has been calling us to rely on Him again. As we grow in our understanding and relationship with God, we learn more and more how selfish we can be. Even though you are giving and helping others all the time, those acts you can claim as your own. We have had to look at our true selves and realize that I am but a humble servant, who is not doing these good things but it is He who works in me. I know, for a missionary that should be a duh statement. I just wanted to share with all of you that we too need to have our minds and hearts renewed everyday. When we did recognize this, Eunice and I felt the pressure and stress melt away. We have all heard people say that before, but I can testify that I needed that to be true, for our family, our ministry and individually. And you know what? God kept His promise, and put people in our path to speak words of truth that made that stress and pressure go away. Life all around the world wherever you are is tough. Missionaries, teachers, garbage men and even pastors all struggle with life. Let’s not be fooled into thinking we can do it on our own, or that we have to. God is real, and His promises are never broken. I just wanted to share that little revelation with you all because I needed it to be revealed to me. Now for some news.
Things in Juquila are going well. I have another guy who is willing to read the bible with me. He is an older man who I will call a seeker, never turning down a discussion about religion. Soon I will be gearing up for another big garden. The last two months have been cold and windy and foggy, so I hope we can start planting in the next few weeks as it begins to clear up. We plan on selling lettuce, radishes and carrots in mass while experimenting with broccoli and tomatos. Also, a few friends and neighbors have begun putting up fences around their houses based on our example. That is a big deal because people are keeping their animals inside their property which means less poop on the street (I know it’s gross). Also, people are trying out gardens now that cows can’t enter and eat their plants. It is good to see our example being followed and the community responding to the good things God wants for them.
Eunice continues treating patients and the village loves her. I am so proud of her ability to treat people and be a friend. She is doing a great job with Ian. He is running around and climbing on everything. Yes mom, he is just like I was, you got your wish.
Remember, we are coming to the U.S. in July starting in Texas for the Brethren Synod and then traveling to Florida and then up the East Coast to see all of you. We will know specific dates in the coming months and we ask you to consider having a family (ours), visit you in your home for a few days while we visit churches and friends. Also, please pray about our travel plans and support for our plane tickets and general travel fund. We want to see all of you and it is very expensive. Thank you all for your support and love. Eunice and I know that your prayers for our family have helped us to renew our hearts and minds to trust God in all things and know that everyday belongs to Him. God bless us all!
Love and Peace,
Phil, Eunice and Ian
Phil Raiford firstname.lastname@example.org Friedberg Moravian Church 2178 Friedberg Church Road Winston-Salem, NC 27127
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