It’s our last full day in Usila. How did this happen? How did the time fly by so quickly?! I don’t want this to end. Today is only half a day and I can already feel tiny pieces of my heart begin to break at the idea of leaving these people and this community. Some of the kids are missing today. Some teachers went back to work. The most notably missed is Fabiola. The clinic is only open till 1 and then the medical team will be packing up to head back.
The previous night was tough. Saying goodbye is never easy. But as the Pastor said, we must leave so that we can come back! There were a couple things I didn’t mention in Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people…. One of the most notable was a woman who came with her sister to deliver an enormous bag of bread. The people of Usila know we love us some bread! She came to tell us about the healing she’d received in her hand. She wanted Maria to know that she was going to drive 6 hours to her doctor to tell him that what he hadn’t been able to do, God had. She had received her healing! Praise God! Did you get chills? I did!
The other funny, not so funny moment for the Friedt’s happened last night. Maria R and I moved inside to sleep with a fan that was vacated by Karla’s departure. Jon, Maria and Hannah already had their beds set up. Lord but I loved that fan! Unfortunately Hannah and Maria’s bed somehow became infested with bugs. I mean lots and lots of bugs. Hannah was beyond tired and just kept saying “all I want to do is sleep”. So after their beds were completely set up, they had to go get all the bugs off of them outside and ended up just sleeping outside. I on the other hand, had the best night of sleep I’d had all week. Not only that, I never heard the bus, or a single rooster in there! It was glorious. I woke up with a start at 7:15. I hadn’t slept past 6:30 all week.
Everyone got their second wind and were working tirelessly to see everyone before the medical team had to go. By 11:00 we were done. Jon, Maria, and myself went out to see if we could get anyone else to come to the clinic. It’s amazing how the people here will drop everything they’re doing at the mention of free vitamins. Vitamins; something I forget to buy, and when I do, forget to take. And they wait sometimes all day for 20 pills. Yup, that’s it… 20 vitamins. They smile like it’s Christmas morning and thank us profusely. I wish I had enough money and resources to give this town a lifetime supply!!
At 1:00 we had finished up with everyone waiting and began to help the medical team load their truck. Sylvia was heading back with the 5 of them. They had an 18 hour drive home ahead of them! And after getting home, Saul told me they had multiple delays from the blockade, but thankfully they made it home safely.
Caleb tried to steel away with them, but no luck. He was caught in the passenger seat with Jesus. I got a little emotional watching them drive away. It was only a prelude of what Saturday would bring. I admit…I’m a crier. And not in a pretty way.
Before they left though, Laura and Eloisa had some pretty great messages. I love the ability to capture moments like this!
After they took off we got a taxi and headed out to see the suspension bridge.
After we loaded up, the drive told Chi he would not be charging us. We’d helped his family and he wanted to give back to us. I tell you, it still blows my mind. Once again 2nd Corinthians 8:1-4 comes to mind. Read it and live it. We need this kind of giving in the world.
The bridge was a combination of beautiful and terrifying.
I’m not afraid of heights, I’m afraid of falling through them. There were two particular parts that had broken boards that made my heart flutter. I momentarily became very angry when Aaron, Caleb and Dylan started making it sway back and forth. Sorry guys! But I was scared! Maria and Maddie became blood sisters on that bridge. Both cutting themselves, on the same piece of barbed wire, and in the exact same spot on their hand. Weird! But alas we all made it across and back in one piece.
The taxi came to pick us up again and some of us went shopping (not Jon), and the rest went back to the church. So the exchange rate in Mexico was $1.00 US DOLLAR to their $18.3 pesos. And what would be equivalent to a quarter went a lot further than it would’ve here. I was able to buy most of my souvenirs for $500 pesos. Roughly $27.00. That’s crazy! But I was happy to spend it. At the shop where they had the little outfits and dresses I always buy for my nieces and nephews the Marias questioned one of the men about having come to the clinic. Turns out he did come, and he was one of the ones we had stopped after 11, but they hadn’t recognized him with his hat on. He said he’d been prescribed medicine, but after visiting the ministry tent, he received his healing and didn’t believe he would even need the medicine! Praise God!
That definitely put a pep in our step as we made our way back to the church. They have these funny little Taxi Rickshaw cars that many of the taxis use when they’re not sticking us in the back of a pickup truck like cattle. They were fun and adorable. Maria R, Shannon and I took it back.
Maria F and Hannah had gone on ahead. Once back we headed to the river to bath. We found Don once again being a bad influence, and letting the kids go down rocks and jump off cliffs. At this point Maria F had given up all hope, and just ended up taking pictures of him. She did however limit him from going to the very, very top of the rock cliff. Oh Caleb! I’ve got a great shot of all of us washing our hair and Stephan shaving. Good times!
It was time to head back. We got back a little early since Jon would be preaching tonight. I knew he was pumped after all the feedback from his last time at Paso Escalera. I think the town was pretty excited to hear him too. Maria would be translating tonight. Fabi made it in time for service. Hannah was so happy! And as expected, Jon was fantastic! He’s used to a little more of a response from the audience, but I think from where we started on Monday to Friday, the people of Usila had come a long way! There were so many smiles. They stood up and shouted for Jesus with us. They loved us. To be fair, they may have stopped responding when Maria asked them if they’d gone to the bathroom in the river that day. J/K…J/K Maria. She did not ask them that. But it was funny for a moment while she thought she had. Love you my friend!
The beginning of the goodbyes with them started right after service. I had a moment. I had a big moment! I was praying for Erika, Josue’s wife. I was originally interpreting for Jon. I don’t know when it happened, or at what moment I stopped listening for Jon’s words, but I felt so full of the Holy Spirit and the words just came of their own accord. I was praying in Spanish like Jesus had encouraged me to do in the ministry tent. I was praying as hard and as loud as I’d want someone to do for me. I didn’t care who was there, or who was listening. When I came out of it, Erika (Josue’s wife) and I were both crying. It was so powerful. I looked at Jon and he had a grin on his face like the Cheshire Cat. Wow! That is what I’ve prayed for. That moment. Believing without a doubt that God and the Holy Spirit would work through me and in me. It was powerful. It was better than any drug or drink any man or being could come up with on earth.
Still riding on my high, I hugged and hugged and took lots of pictures. Everyone wanted to document their final moments with the people. Final as in the last time on this trip. Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that this in not a final goodbye at all. I know I will be back. Don says we are the most picture taking group he has ever traveled with. You’re welcome Don!! Because once you learned the magic of airdrop, you wanted pictures too. Here are some from that night. So happy I brought the tripod!
Seriously people, how can you not love these people just from my stories? I cry just writing these posts and wanting to be back there with them. There will only be one final post for this trip. So again, thanks for sticking with me!