This was written last April and after meeting this couple, I am thoroughly convinced that it is not random that these people came to Canilla…. Read on only if you’re prepared for an amazing story….
PART 1 ( from Vickie Sutton, who serves in San Andres at the orphanage)
The even more amazing part is how we even got in touch with them in the first place. It’s a little bit of a long story, so bare with me here. You know how sometimes your plans don’t go exactly how they were supposed to and you are inconvenienced? Well, when that happens we just adjust (or get bent out of shape) and go on with life and don’t really know or see any reason for that inconvenience to have happened. Well, about 2-1/2 weeks ago when I was coming back from a short visit to the States, my return was postponed by 24 hours due to a delayed flight that would cause me to miss my connecting flight, the last one of the day. It caused some minor inconveniences both on the U.S. end and the Guatemala end, but the blessings that came from it are far more. First, I got to spend another day with my daughter. Second, I got to help with another wedding detail that I had really wanted to help with but had run out of time. Third, when I did end up flying back to Guatemala I got to fly first class! The fourth involves my husband, Norman, on the Guatemala end.
By the time I got a hold of Norman to let him know I wasn’t coming back until the next day, he had already left the home to head to Guatemala City to pick me up at the airport. He was in Quiche, an hour away from home, but that hour is a pretty rough road and it isn’t exactly a joy ride to navigate. When I called him, he “just happened” to be with some other missionaries picking something up from them. They told him they were hosting a couple for the night and invited him to stay. So he stayed and met this nice couple. He is Guatemalan and she is English and they have an 8 month old baby. He is a Doctor and has been in residency in Spain. He will be done in a year and a half. They both have a heart for serving the Lord and for Guatemala. So while they were in Guatemala visiting family they also have been visiting different ministries to see where God may lead them to serve when they return. If my flight hadn’t been postponed, he wouldn’t have met them.
A couple weeks later we received a phone call from the wife saying that they had two men from their church in Spain here visiting and they wanted to come visit the home. Once they got here and shared their heart, we told them that they needed to go to Canilla and meet the Fickers and learn about Adonai International Ministries. Their time was limited but we zipped over there and had an awesome time listening to the vision God has given both the Fickers and this young couple. Meeting this couple and their two friends and spending the day with them was such a blessing to us. We enjoyed hearing how God is working in their lives. And it is all because my flight was postponed by 24 hours. God’s ways never cease to amaze me and they are definitely higher than mine!
Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
|Our waiting room outside one Indian village|
|Leslie and Armando(translator/pastor) seeing a patient|
Shea and I continue to see that trying to build a hospital in a developing country is not for the faint of heart. This journey has already been filled with more challenges and surprises then we expected. These challenges have all come before we have even put a shovel in the ground. The amazing part is through these “roadblocks”, unexpected turns, and difficult questions, God gets to show up and be really big!
One of our more recent “road blocks” came in the form of a Guatemalan regulation requiring that any functioning hospital have a Guatemalan licensed physician on their medical staff. This was a bit of issue seeing as how our current planned medical staff are a long way from being Guatemalan citizens. The wonderful thing about this problem, is long before we even knew we had a problem, God was working on the hearts and minds of a licensed Guatemalan physician and his wife to show His glory in a magnificent solution.
For some time Dr Luis Aquino and his wife Naomi felt a call to return to Luis’s home country of Guatemala. Luis finished medical school, and even worked for a short time in Guatemala. An opportunity for better training came up in the form of residency in Spain. Luis is currently finishing up his 4th year of family medicine residency in Spain, and he and Naomi have both felt a strong burden to serve his people. Now, Luis is from one of the bigger cities in Guatemala, so one would think it would make logical since for him to desire to work in his home town. Thankfully, Luis felt that he wasn’t suppose to serve in the city, but was suppose to use his skill set in a more rural or remote area of Guatemala. The biggest question for Luis was where in rural Guatemala he should serve.
Fortunately, part of that question was answered for him over a year ago in a very vivid (I call God inspired) dream. He said it was unlike any dream he had ever had, but in it he saw a hospital in a very lush, pine forest mountain range, encircling a large valley. Now, unfortunately Guatemala is full of beautiful mountains, so this dream gave him no specific insight….at least not yet. If you fast forward to April 2013, Luis and Naomi took a vision trip to Guatemala to see if they might get a feel for what region in Guatemala God might have them serve.
After sometime of exploration had past, Luis really didn’t have any solid leads on hospitals where he felt he should work. It was in the city of Quiche that Luis and Naomi “happened” to run into a missionary friend of Duane and Leslie Fickers, by the name Norm. Norm actually lived several hours away, much closer to the Fickers, but just “happened” to be in Quiche at the same time. It was here that Luis told Norm his story and his desire to find a hospital in rural Guatemala. Norm of course emphatically told Luis about the Fickers plan for a hospital and about our groups desire to staff this hospital with our physicians.
At the time, Luis and Naomi were on a tight schedule and had to get back to Guatemala City fairly soon. Thankfully, Norm convinced them that they had to go to Canilla and talk with Duane’s son and daughter-in-law Aaron and Katie. He told them that Duane and Leslie where back in the USA for a short time but they really needed to talk with Aaron and Katie about the vision for the hospital in Canilla. After much discussion, Luis and Naomi finally acquiesced and headed on a 2-3 hour drive the opposite direction of there intended destination to see Canilla.
As Luis and Naomi approached Canilla, he looked up and saw a beautiful plush, pine forest mountain range encircling a small city located in a large valley. It was at that moment he knew this was the exact area God had showed him in his dream. Realizing this he wept, and Naomi along with him. They realized that God brought them to the exact location they were supposed to serve. They met with Aaron and Katie for a short period of time, but as Aaron recalls they really just wept for joy during most of their time together. They were both overwhelmed by the journey God had taken them on, and so thankful for His faithfulness to them.
|Similar view to what Luiz saw while driving into Canilla!|
This story came to life for us just last week as Luis and Naomi came to Canilla for the second time just to confirm their decision to work here. Shea and I, along with Duane and Leslie, were able to spend a lot of time talking, dreaming, and praying about the future of this hospital. After their trip here, Luis and Naomi felt God had completely confirmed their decision to work in Canilla, and plan on starting here in January of 2015. Praise God!
What an amazing answer to prayer! God is always faithful. He is even faithful to take care of our needs and problems before we even realize they exist. As a typical North American I love to plan, strategize, and worry myself into a frenzy. I often feel that if I can just work harder, think harder, or sleep less all of my problems will be solved. This story is just another reminder to me that more then anything I have to fall back into the arms of my Lord and wait on Him to solve my problems, and answer my prayers. What a peace this gives me. Matthew 6:25-34 goes into great detail about why we shouldn’t worry. Jesus says he even takes care of the needs of the birds, and how much more valuable are we to Him. In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!
Remember this as you go forward this week. Working hard is of tremendous importance, but we have to realize that our strength and peace come only in the Lord.