Babies and Burro’s Milk — Part 1

Psalm 100:5 Good indeed is the LORD, His mercy endures forever, his faithfulness lasts through every generation.

In the following series of blogs we wanted to take the opportunity to talk about some of the amazing things God has done in our family, in our mission team, and in the town and villages in which we serve.  It’s been a blessed journey and God has been so good to us. 

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As many of you know our family came here to Mexico on a short term mission trip for Pentecost last year.  While here we heard the call of the Lord to leave our home and all that we knew and follow Christ into a foreign land to serve and preach the Good News.  A few days after Jonathan quit his job so we could follow this call, we discovered that we were expecting our sixth child.  This was really difficult to process at first.  We wondered how in the world we would be able to fulfill this vocation while expecting a new child.  We didn’t know how it would be possible to care for a baby (not to mention the other children) and still be effective missionaries.  And yet there was no doubt that God was calling us to work for the kingdom in this way.  Many nights were spent in tears before God.  We so wanted to follow His call but it suddenly seemed so difficult and “unreasonable”. 

Anxiety about having the baby continued throughout the summer as we struggled to sell our things and make the transition to Louisiana for training.  We decided not to tell anyone about the baby until it was necessary.  One day Teresa unexpectedly broke down and told Stacy Alverez (another FMC missionary, who was expecting her seventh child) about the baby.  The response of all the missionaries was one of overwhelming support and great joy.  This was the first time we really understood why we are called Family Missions Company. 

Throughout Intake (training) God blessed our family and Teresa’s pregnancy.  We were able to find doctors who would care for us even though we had no health insurance.  God provided for His children. 

In November we spent a month here in General Cepeda, Coahuila.  It’s a small desert town of about six thousand people and very few modern amenities.  One day we strolled over to the small hospital about a mile from our house.  Our director Joseph came along to help with the Spanish.  We told the women at the little front desk that we were moving here and were interested in having our

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The hospital in General Cepeda.

baby at that hospital.  They were surprised that we “rich” Americans would want to stay in General Cepeda and have the baby instead of going to the capital, Saltillo, where many of the local people went. 

One nurse told us, in a very apologetic tone, that it would cost us twelve hundred pesos to have the baby in General Cepeda.  She immediately began to defend the “large” cost (about a hundred dollars American) by saying this would include the doctors and nurses, a room to stay in, meals while at the hospital, medications if needed, etc.  We felt overjoyed.  Christmas was coming and we could surely raise a hundred dollars to have the baby.  We were jubilant for days. 

After moving to General Cepeda we needed to see a doctor.  We had no insurance so when we visited the hospital, the doctor said Teresa needed to take certain vitamins and informed us that we would be charged for our visits out of pocket.  We prayed that God would help us raise the money.  When we arrived at the window to pay, the total bill for the consultation (including a vaccination and prenatal vitamins, not to mention an ultrasound) was thirty pesos (roughly two dollars and fifty cents American).  We couldn’t believe it.  The funniest thing is that on our second visit the hospital staff spent half an hour trying to figure out a way for us missionaries to avoid paying the thirty pesos.  We ended up leaving the hospital without paying anything.

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A couple weeks before the due date.

About three weeks before the baby’s due date we were informed that the director of the hospital wanted us to have the baby in Saltillo.  We would not be allowed to have the baby here in General Cepeda.  In Saltillo the charge to have a baby is significantly higher—well out of our projected budget.  Here in General Cepeda we live a simple life without frills.  Our monthly budget of six hundred dollars American would not come close to covering the cost of birth in Saltillo which was more than triple this amount.  It was a huge blow.  How in the world would we afford it.  We began asking everyone to pray for us.  We knew God would provide for His children but we were not prepared for the overwhelming response of our gracious God…

Psalm 77:17,20 The waters saw you, God; the waters saw you and lashed about, trembled even to their depths. Through the sea was your path; your way, through the mighty waters, though your footsteps were unseen.

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Missionary Life in Mexico by Elijah William Kiehl

     Hi my name is Elijah. I am 8 years old.  In General Cepeda we say “me llamo Elías, tengo ocho años”.  I am a missionary in Mexico. ImageWhat we do every day almost is go to school. Now school is hard since everyone speaks Spanish but I can handle it.  My favorite place to play is the cement slide.  In Spanish it’s called a resbaladero.  I will put a picture here for you to see it.Image      We also go to the park across the street to play when we can’t go to the slide.  We like to climb trees there and play soccer (but here they call it fútbol) .

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     On Saturday my family and l go on desert day. Desert day is when we go into the desert to pray after we eat lunch. We are only allowed to bring a Bible so we can hear God speak.

     Also there are these things called ranchos. We go serve the people at the ranchos. We sing songs in Spanish, we preach, we pray for them and then leave back home.

    Sometimes we get to paint houses or help build with my dad.  I love to paint.

ImageLast but not least is the door ministry. People come and knock on the door and mom, dad or one of the girl missionaries answer it. They pray for them and then give them food or medicine.

     Oh by the way I have a new baby brother.  His name is Ezekiel.  We call him Ziggy.  Also, yesterday I got a black eye by bumping into my brother.  It looks cool.ImageImageImage

God bless you,

Elías