Marriage continues to go great. We are very happy and are enjoying marriage life very much. We (especially Maria) have had opportunities to share our testimony and story with others as many people have been asking about our marriage experience. We stand out in a culture full of unfaithfulness and impurity before marriage. God has already been using us to encourage and minister to others. We have been reading the book Love and Respect together and have been learning a ton through that. It helps in understanding the differences between men and women, how to respond to things, and that men need respect and women need love. We both feel that God will use us mightily in some kind of family ministry in the future. We are gifts from God to each other that we need to treasure.
I have finished with the schools I have been working in for the first semester. It has been a challenge and a joy working in the schools. I have certainly grown a lot in my teaching and in my Spanish. I got to take the 4th and 5th graders of Jireh out to the surrounding neighborhood for religion class last week to share God’s Word and pray for the people. This was their second time doing that, and once again God was glorified. As the mid-year vacations are coming up, I will soon need to make decisions in which schools/ministries I will work in as I will not be working anymore for ECA nor OBED since my visa soon expires. Maria had the opportunity to come with me to help teach in the schools a few times, and all the kids love her and continue to ask about her. Maria isn’t currently working, but is focusing on her studies.
On June 1, we will be making the trip to Bogotá for me to get my spouse visa and new identity card, which are both very important! We are still not sure on plans of going to the U.S. as we are still waiting on Maria’s school’s decision on whether or not she can finish in this next semester. Either way, if it’s God’s will, we would like to at least visit for the holidays.
On June 16-18, I will be going on a retreat with my church. This is a holy-spirit filled retreat in an isolated camp. Every year there are many testimonies of God doing amazing things. I know I am supposed to go, so I will go making myself available and open to the Holy Spirit. At the end of June we will be going on a 4-day family-focused church retreat. Also, I was asked to work at an English day camp in Santa Marta teaching sports from June 20-30, so I am excited about that opportunity. When we return from Bogotá, we hope to begin evangelism events for youth in different neighborhoods of Santa Marta during school vacations.
Growing in the Lord
God continues to do a lot of work in my heart through many different situations here in Santa Marta. Now as a husband I am learning not to be so selfish and to think about Maria in everything. God has kept me humble and has taught me a lot of patience through my many mistakes and cultural challenges. I have been challenged to really pursue holiness and truly repent and cut out sinful behaviors and attitudes in my life. I have also been challenged with the freedom God gives me to choose my own paths. If I am walking in holiness and with God, He will lead me through my decisions. Maria has been challenged to walk by faith, to be patient in the many changes in her life, and to learn to be a godly and good wife.
“Without faith it’s impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:22, 25
Jonathan and María