How often have you heard the saying, “being at the right place at the right time”? Recently, we were able to help out in a situation that started out just like that.
A few months ago, during our Sabbatical, we were able to speak at an awesome church in North Carolina. La Viña is an hispanic church plant of our former home church, Gate City Vineyard. We met great folks, and enjoyed getting to know the pastors better, George and Tricia Ling. Recently, we got a call from George, telling us that a couple from Nicaragua, whom they knew from several years of ministering in that country, had to flee their country. George met (we will call Alberto and Maria) in 2009, when on a mission trip to Nicaragua. Over the years, as George and Tricia went back to Nicaragua, their relationship with Alberto and Maria grew deeper, and eventually, La Viña began supporting a food outreach to children and families in their township. Meals were served, Bible stories were taught, and many were prayed for, in a very impoverished community. When the economy in Nicaragua fell apart, in 2018, due to government neglect, peaceful protesting began. Maria was photographed feeding some elderly people who had lost their pension due to government neglect, and who had been peacefully protesting. They were now considered enemies of the state, and began to be seriously harassed by government officials. Alberto and Maria, with resources provided by the La Viña congregation, had to flee Nicaragua, or risk being imprisoned simply for feeding the poor and needy. George sent a message to inform us that the couple was fleeing toward Tijuana with their two young girls. We awaited their arrival as they traveled 20 long, potentially dangerous, days on the roads through central America and Mexico. What a blessing it was to be able to offer them refuge with some food and a place for them to stay with our partners in Tijuana. They have since applied for political asylum, and have an appointment with US immigration at the end of this month. Please be praying for this dear sweet humble family, and we will keep you updated. In the meantime we will make sure that they, now on the receiving end, are as well cared for as they have cared for others. We are so happy that we could be in the right place at the right time, to not only hear their story, but to become a part of it!
We want to thank you, as always, for your financial support which helps us aid folks who cross our path, like Albert, Maria, and many others in our ongoing mission. Amelia, would be another example of one we have befriended, and brought food to, for 10 years now. She is an elderly woman, who lives alone on just the income she can make from recycling bottles and such. Since we have known her, she has had to move from place to place, where she could call home. Often, this means an abandoned place where she is permitted to stay at no cost (mainly because the place is less than desirable to a paying tenant). VOB makes every effort to have as many resources on hand to provide basic needs to our adopted families and many others we encounter. Just this week, your support provided 2 large tarps to cover Amelia’s newest home, for a more dry shelter during this rainy season. We keep a stock of tarps for such a time as this – to be in the right place at the right time.
And finally, Wayne recently found himself in the right place at the right time to mark a memorable milestone in his Christian walk. Our partner Vicente, occasionally takes his congregation to the beach to do a baptism. Wayne has always wanted to join them, and recently made time in his food collection schedule to be able to do so. While assisting Vicente’s son Samuel (who is actually pastoring their church now), in the baptism of 6 young people, it occurred to Wayne that it was the very month he himself had dedicated his life to the Lord, and was baptized 30 years ago. Wayne asked Vicente and Samuel if they would baptize him again, followed by his testimony of a renewed commitment and commemoration of his 30 year anniversary. Wayne was so honored to have his ministry partners and Mexican brothers baptize him right there, in that lagoon on the coast of Mexico, the Nation God has put in his heart.
This months newsletter is dedicated in memory of David and Daniel Long, who are loved and missed dearly by their brother and sister, Gary and Lynda, encouraging friends and supporters of VOB. Please read more of this families tragic but meaningful story told here: www.lyndaklong.com