Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to send her away privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
~The Apostle Matthew 1:18-25
Last week we were scheduled to leave our studies in Costa Rica for a four day Visa run, something we must do every 90 days in order to stay legal as we study Spanish. Due to the timing of this necessary trip we were very low on funds. We had enough for our hotel and transportation but we did not have enough money to eat. It may seem crazy to leave for another country with four kids and no way to feed them but we were scheduled to receive a small reimbursement one day into our trip so we preceded with confidence that everything would work out….and it did but not like we expected.
We checked our bank account at the Costa Rica-Panama border and found that due to an issue on our part the reimbursement was not deposited in our account. We were now out of the country with no money to feed our kids and a growing sense of panic. It is one thing for Angelita and I to go without food for the sake of the Gospel but we do try to shelter our kids from hardship the best we can, the situation was concerning at the least.
In our frailty we began thinking of the various fruit that naturally grows in Panama, and about fishing, and even about dumpster diving. We thought about sending out an emergency email, (our phone did not work in Panama so we could not make any calls), but decided it would sound like a scam and may potentially do more damage in the long run than it was worth. In the end Angelita and I set an eating priority where the youngest would be given the first fruits that we could scrounge up, the the older kids would get whatever was left over and most likely we would fast for three days. Again, in our frailty of thought we were preparing for the worst, but God was busy calling people into prayer on our behalf. He was preparing a blessing for us, and we hope by way of this testimony a blessing for you as well!
When we arrived at our hotel we checked our bank account again and found that the shuttle company that we had hired for our return trip inexplicably refunded our payment. We were overjoyed that we could eat during the trip but we where concerned that our return trip was now in jeopardy. We shot off an email to the shuttle company and questioned why they returned our payment and whether or not we still had seats in the shuttle. The response was that we were still scheduled for our return trip! The reason they refunded our money? They had overbooked the shuttle and our two youngest kids would have to sit on our laps, something they would probably do anyway.
“Trust in the Lord” “lean not on your own understanding” “He will make your paths straight” these words hold even deeper meaning to us now. If the Lord put us on your heart recently and you prayed for us, thank you! It is a beautiful portrait of the body of Christ, when our first thought was to worry your first action was to pray! You are such a blessing to us!
Timothy, Angelita, Timothy II., Esperanza, Ezequiel, and Elias
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