Hey y'all. Once again, I've let too much time elapse since my last blog post. And once again, We have a lot of new life updates to report. So much so, that I think I will write this blog in two parts. So here's part 1: (See the bottom of this blog post for pics)
While my dad recovered from tuberculosis, we continued to watch over my siblings.
During this time the Lord began to speak to my parents about a new direction He wanted for them. He has called my parents to Liberia, Africa to a children's home, school and church congregation that needs their help. The Lord told them they were not supposed to return to their house after my dad's recovery, but that they were supposed to pass on the ministry to Rich and I.
At first Rich and I struggled with idea of saying yes because of the weight of responsibility that comes with caring for a household of 19 people. We also were struggling to hear from the Lord, ourselves, if this was the Lord's will for us. In fact, we had been hearing from different people what they thought the Lord was leading us into and each said a different ministry. It caused us to be very confused and frustrated.
In fact, I'll be honest and say we were offended and felt pressured to accept. Have you ever been offended with someone where after your initial offense you find yourself being offended with anything else they say? It's like putting on glasses with lenses that color everything in offense. You may not even realize you've put those glasses on. This is how we were. We found ourselves being offended or ready to be offended with anything my parents said. Thankfully, the Lord is awesome and revealed to us that we weren't hearing anything from the Lord because we were harboring offense in our hearts. We also quickly realized that the enemy wanted us to be offended. He loves to create division and destroy relationships and even keep us from what the Lord has for us. Once we realized this, we chose not to be offended anymore and repented. We really wanted whatever the Lord would have for us and were tired of living with criticism in our hearts.
Not long after we were in a prayer meeting at church. Rich was asked if he'd like the church elders to pray for him, specifically for God to bring wisdom and take away the confusion and frustration he was battling with. What followed next was amazing. At first, Rich struggled with accepting the prayer and in his mind was repeatedly saying "No. I don't want this". At one point, our pastor who had been praying for him embraced him in a hug. Rich says as soon as our pastor hugged him, something like a weight broke inside him. That initial "no" became an excited "YES!"
After that prayer meeting, Rich and I both knew our answer. Yes! Yes we will accept the ministry and anything the Lord has for us.
And guess what....the Lord showered blessings upon us. When before we struggled to hear God's voice and direction, we now hear His voice and guidance. Our marriage is stronger and we have found an incredible amount of joy, peace and purpose. The Lord answered my prayer to have compassion, love, and understanding for my teen siblings. At first it was hard and frustrating to understand them and why they behaved in the ways they did. We weren't familiar with how to raise teens. But God started showing me the spiritual battle they were struggling in and gave understanding and compassion for them. Before moving down here to Mexico, I barely knew most of my siblings since they moved in with my parents after I had moved to the States. But God has given me so much love for them and a deep desire to see God work in their lives.
When we first accepted the ministry, we thought we would be taking care of all the teens long term till they reach the age to move out on their own. But after hearing from the Lord, my dad told the older ones who are of age to be on their own, that it was time for them to spread their wings and fly out of the nest. My parents and our pastor felt God leading three of my teen brothers to move into a ministry home for young men that our church has. It's a program that is very structured and teaches lots of self-discipline and discipleship. So in the end, the only ones who ended up in our care is my single sister with her two kids and Stacy our niece, age 5, who is now our foster daughter.
By the way, my Dad is doing really well and tuberculosis is a thing of the past. Thank you, Lord!
I have so much more to share, but this post is already too long. Tune in for my next blog post to hear about our recent move into a new house and the new areas of ministry we have taken on that keep us busy.
1) Health: Seems to be a common prayer request for us.. As I write this I am being treated with strong antibiotics for bronchitis.
2) Continued guidance and wisdom as we are taking on more responsibilities in our church as well as other ministries. ( more on this to come in the next blog!)
After instructing the teens to clean their rooms, they got a surprise inspection from Inspector Rico Suave!
The church kids singing a song they learned in Spanish in front of the congregation. Our foster daughter, Stacy is standing in the front with stars on her shirt. Wesley ,our oldest son, is standing behind her.
We've been homeschooling our kids this year. Rich helps by teaching Bible, Music, and P.E.
Three of my Mexican siblings. Isai, Rubi, and Victor. Love these guys!
Rich and our niece, Kelany who was temporarily in our care.
Grandma Unger praying with our kids at church. She's an awesome grandma!