Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Praise the Lord

Praise the LORD.

Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

Praise him with tambourine and dancing, 

Praise him with the strings and flute,

Praise him with the clash of cymbals, 

Praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. 

Praise the LORD.  Psalm 150

Praise God that he is Sovereign and Reigns over every detail of our lives. Despite the fact that I have been really ill this past week I have had great peace in knowing that not one detail of the sickness or my time here is out of His control.  I am so grateful for all of your prayers- countless of you have prayed for healing that I my fever would lower, my stomach would settle, and I would regain strength... all of your prayers are being answered by the Mighty One.  What started May 28th as cold like symptoms escalated over the next few days to full blown flu symptoms and I had to be confined to the bed with a fever hovering around 103. This past Thursday was the hardest day and that night was the low point but even when I felt so dehydrated and couldn't even keep water down I was comforted and strengthened by a Savior and God who promises to never leave us or abandon us and is even concerned with the small details of our lives. 

Friday morning we finally made the call to head to the doctor.  After about 4 hours in the emergency room (it was different that an American ER-- it was actually more comfortable) and blood work and the work up of a stool sample (sorry, probably too much information) I was cleared from typhoid and malaria and a parasite and was told that I have a bacterial infection. I am taking Cipro (antibiotic) and that has really made me feel a lot better. I have continued to feel weak over the last few days and haven't really progressed past chicken broth and rice, bread, and mashed potatoes. We are still waiting on the culture results to know which type of bacteria it is that has invaded my body.  I praise God though that I am feeling better and continuing to regain strength. 

Of course getting sick was not part of my plan, but I know and trust that not one moment has surprised God. While I know and trust God in all of this I have hated the fact that I have kept my team behind and from traveling for the last 5 days as I have recovered. They have both been gracious and both have said they trust that God knows what he is doing and we are in Lima for a reason. I couldn't ask for a better team.  I really owe a whole blog post to Kristen and how amazing she has been while I have been sick but let's see if I can at least give you a glimpse of how she has taken care of me. For the multiple days that I wasn't able to get out of bed she brought me water, gatorade, and tea to my bedside as well as my tylenol when it was time for me to take it again. She has sat with me, prayed for me, and stayed at the ER with me for the 4 hours while we waited. She has made countless trips out for me to pick up gatorade and juice, my prescription, and gone back twice to the Dr's office to see if the test results were in. I have told her she is getting great practice at being a mom and I believe she will make an amazingly kind and tender mother!  

I got my test results from the laboratory this afternoon. E. Coli is the official diagnosis. There honestly is no telling how I got it-- bad water, not properly cleaned vegetables, bad meat, or my personal favorite fecal-oral transmission. I will continue my antibiotics for the next 3 days.

Matucana.  We left Lima on the June 1st for Matucana. We spent that first day getting to know some of the believers in the village and talking with the Summer Team that is there. On Tuesday we spent the morning praying, talking, and studying to get ready for the training we would do that afternoon and evening. Over the next two days we did 5 training sessions. I was only physically present for 3.5 of them because I got really sick halfway through session 4 and did not leave the bed again until we left Matucana. Despite being sick it was amazing and humbling to see the work of the Holy Spirit in that village. God had radically and genuinely saved several believers over this last semester and it was so cool to get to see the work of sanctification in their lives. Kristen taught a session on obedience based discipleship and focusing on how we are to respond to the word with our lives. We seek to know and understand scripture with the prayer and intention that our lives and hearts will be changed in the process and molded to look more like Christ. When we come to the word we come ready and eager to learn the truths about God's character/attributes and to learn how it is that our lives should be lived out and then to humbly and obediently submit all that we are to align ourselves with the Word of God. One couple came back the night after this teaching and said that realized that they needed to be married. They have lived together for many many years--- they have a 16 year old son and two younger kids, but they have never been married.  They were both saved this May while an enhancement team from REAPsouth was there. Based on the word and the work of the Holy Spirit they realized they were living in sin and wanted their lives to be changed in order to be obedient to God's word. It was really cool to see them hear the Holy Spirit and then respond. God is faithful to show us our sin and faithful to give us the strength to find our way out. 

We are leaving at 7 am tomorrow the 10th of June for Vilcas Huaman. It will be a 14 hour bus ride-- well, a 10 hour bus ride and a 4 hour bus ride to get us there. Please be praying for safe travels and healthy bodies.

I would also ask you to pray for our team as we go into this village and prayerfully make an assessment of what the believers and leaders of the house churches need teaching on. Pray that the hearts of the believers would be ready and eager to learn from God's word. I am even asking that you would pray big things like that a house church planting movement would stir up from among the believers of Vilcas Huaman that they would have an unquenchable desire for the people of their village and surrounding annex to know the truth of the gospel that they would not rest in seeking God until He answers their prayer. Also, prayer for the Summer Mission Team that is there-- pray that we would be an encouragement to them in their walk with Christ. 

As of the last count I heard-- I think there were about 40 some odd people of the 120 summer missionaries who have been pretty seriously sick. Please pray for health and strength and for the knowledge and wisdom to know when to go to the doctor and such. 

I am incredible grateful for the prayer and support I have received while I was sick. I couldn't do this without each of you and your countless prayers. 

I anticipate being back and being able to update you on our time in Vilcas Huaman.

Trusting Him-- Celeste


  1. Maybe you won't get a rice belly since you have been sick : ) (Not that that is a concern or anything!) Great to hear God has restored you to your feet. Praying for your team this morning!

  2. Enjoyed reading your post. You do such an amazing job keep people updated. Glad to know you have gotten some meds to help with your sickness and you are regaining strength. Just want you to know I'm praying for you and your team. Keep up the great work and may you all be bold and strengthened by the Spirits power.

    ~Shannon <><

  3. Love you Celeste, so glad you are feeling better and will continue to get better! Praying for you!