Sunday, August 26, 2007

Arrival in Monterrey & Providence along the way

Hello everyone, this time from Monterrey in northern Mexico! If anyone out there still remembers the 'end of the school year' feeling, that's a little how I'm feeling right now. After nearly 10months on the road I'm now within 5 days of crossing out of Latin America into western culture! I'm looking forward to crossing into US soil but it's also a little daunting to think that for the first time in 10 months I'll be able to speak english, I'll be able to understand everything people are saying to me & I'll be able to read the road signs. I could possibly have 'culture shock' in heading back into my own culture! I'm speaking more & more Spanish as well so it's a little sad to leave before learning 'enough' of the language (however much that is). This week Nikki & I averaged well over 40km a day & we are feeling the pinch a little now. The scenery was breathe-taking though & we met some great characters along the way. The Lord provided for us with a roof a number of times when it looked doubtful that anything would become available. On Monday we stayed in an empty chapel, which wasn't overly comfortable (Nikki had my hammock & I had the concrete floor... owwww). Then on Tuesday we stopped under a tree for a bite to eat when all of a sudden the house behind us became frantic with people running everywhere as they tried to kill a rattle snake that had ended up in their living room! We watched in amazement as they swept the snake out with a broom & then... disposed of it. At that point, without warning, heavy rain started to fall & as we gathered our gear together the family, still standing over the 'disposed of snake', called us inside to shelter. The father was an American citizen & Pentecostal preacher & after a great chat, we stayed for dinner & were offered the spare beds! Then on Wednesday, after a huge 52km day, we finished in the dead of night at a town with no church & no hotel. Actually, I couldn't see many people either. Nikki had been praying for somewhere to stay & so I asked the Lord, "Ok, what's the deal? Where are we staying?" A building off to my right hand side caught my eye & I felt the Lord say, "You're here". So, Nikki & I wandered over to the darkened, lifeless, closed building & as we did, a man walked out from the back & through the side fence. He was a Police officer & had just knocked off work. We chatted for a moment & he happily invited us to travel the 40km back to his place for the night & then he would drop us back first thing in the morning. Great stuff! Thankyou Officer Hector! I've found this week a little 'heavy' as I've walked. Although there is predominantly a huge welcoming from people of all walks of faith to pray for each other that we'd be united completely in Christ, there has also been the odd rejection. I've found it difficult to swallow that praying for each other to be united in Christ is even an obstacle at all. The question of 'why?' has popped up a lot this week. In the end though, I can only keep walking & keep praying. Christ implored us to pray for our enemies, so praying for other Christians should surely be within our limits. My favourite moment from this week though had to be the communities of Gophers we passed along a 50km stretch of highland plains. They were very inquisitive & consistantly called out to one another as we approached. I'm not sure if the farmers appreciated all the holes though. There are also a lot more snakes in this area, one of which was slithering down along the edge of the road next to where I needed to walk. A few accurately looped stones to the left of its head & it kindly headed right & off the road into the grass, where 5ft black snakes belong. Walk on. I hope everyone back in Australia enjoys the last week of winter & I look forward to seeing everyone soon (11months actually). Oh, & to anyone who has sent me an email & is waiting for a reply - I currently have 128 unread emails, so please be patient! I'm plugging away slowly. God bless & please pray on! Sam.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching & to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer." Acts 2:42


Robyne said...

I think we'll all at least a little, be breathing a sigh of relief when you and Nikki cross in to the USA! I love how you wrote Sam, about Father God telling you to go over to the building where you met the Police Officer. I think the Father often talks to us if we would just be quiet and believing enough to listen. We can be fooled and think, wow! God wouldn't talk to me that only happens to really holy people. I think often God tries to speak to us and we say to ourselves, "oh that couldn't have been God, He could't possibily be talking to me, I'm not holy enough, it must just be my imagination" and we brush it aside and stop listening. But I believe Father God wants to speak to all of us we just have to trust and believe.

micah said...

What a long haul the two of you have had!!! And, just a little head up; you might not be able to understand everything Texans say! I love watching how God provides for you both. Still praying for unity and for God's hand to move in mighty ways. I will pray for a friendly welcome to Texas (and the U.S.) and mild temperatures for the road ahead. Peace of Christ to you, Sam and Nikki. Micah Holcombe

Corey Payton said...

Hey Sam and Nikki
After reading your last blog Sam I was reminded how one of the hardest crosses to bear is the cross of our own (other Christians) persecuting us. This is at the heart of your walk for unity.
But know mate you don’t walk alone and your step is the step of countless others who walked before you. And so you size 16 boots walk in the footsteps of giants, the saints of the past especially Mother Mary and St John who stood at the foot of the cross and of course your Lord whom you follow.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Mat 5:10

Those who are persecuted are promised the kingdom of God… The Kingdom of God - standing under the protection of God’s power, secure in His love - that is true comfort”
Pope Benedict XVI

God Bless guys

Miguel said...

"If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if not, well why smitest thou me?

"It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks".

"lest haply ye be found even to fight against God".

Miguel said...

Hola Sam,

I'm wondering if perhaps you have come across any homeless ministers that are going forth as Jesus sent the twelve and the seventy (by faith) if perhaps your pathway's have met on your journeys? The Lord's Servants are preaching in those countries your traveling in. And through out the world. If you have not come across them and you do...You could ask them...Where dwellest thou? You'd find it most helpful. "Come and see".

Samuel said...

Yes Miguel, I have met homeless ministers & the last fellow I met is doing a most blessed ministry in the mountains here where he brings Christ (& the Holy Spirit) to the people of all faiths, uniting them in the truth & then commisioning them to go back to their own churches to take Christ to those there as well. We are praying for each others missions, that all people of faith be united in truth & love. ps: I believe a lot of 'smit' that you refer to came because people believed you were rebuking Christ's prayer using bible quotes. I know that this is not what you were doing, but please be assured that when I pray for unity, I pray for truth & love for all who believe, not for Unity as a church building but within the heart of Christ. God bless you & may His kingdom come, Sam.

Miguel said...

Some of the simple basic’s of the Gospel what Jesus lived and taught and is in The Holy Scriptures...God’s written Word (The Holy Bible) for all mankind.
These are the Words of Jesus...Its very plain and simple for all to understand
Matthew 7:21-22)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

These are the words of Paul the Apostle to the saints at Ephesus (Christians) Those that are following Jesus...What he lived and taught...Not the doctrines of Man.
Ephesians 4
1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

There is teachings out there and is sadly believed by many that all spokes lead to the same hub...
Meaning all religions lead to the same place..Nothing could be farther from the Truth than this... There is One God, One Lord, One Spirit, One Faith, One Hope, One Baptism!
God said “This is my Beloved Son HEAR YE HIM.
If we’re not doing the very basic’s how could we possibly think we’re right with God?
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Who are those that work iniquity?...there those who are not following what Jesus taught.
God hast in these last days spoken to us by his Son.

Friend it does not get any plainer than this. We do not want to come before God and hear those words “I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity”. But if these things be hid its for a reason, the Lord hides these things from the wise and prudent of this world and reveals it to babes. Those who will follow Jesus.