Sometimes, I don't even really realize how much it affects me. It's only when I let myself think about it. Or start to talk about it.
I am selfish. I want her to come home. I miss her. I want to have the closeness with her that we had when we were kids, when she was my best friend, and I saw the whole world in her eyes. And we created plays together, and dressed up in raggedy clothes together. I was like her little doll, and she was my big sis, whom I adored. And I think of her in dangerous Mexico and it just brings tears instantly to my eyes. But I know...not my cup, Father. Yours.
There was an article in the Houston Chronicle about Torreon last week, the very city that they live in. It was about how some members of a drug cartel opened fire at a random party and killed 17 innocent people. My sister was sitting at the table and my father came up and laid the article in front of her. He just looked at her and tapped it with his finger.
She just made noises as she read, wondering half aloud if she knew any of the 17 who had been shot. And then, we all started talking, and we kept talking. For hours. And I was bawling off and on. And my parents begged them, PLEADED with them, to come home.
I respect my sister and her husband so immensely for doing what they do. To imagine that they deliberately put themselves in a dangerous place to fulfill God's purpose for their lives...such an honorable and amazing thing. An awesome, awe-striking thing. I remember my sister once saying, "I am prepared to lose my life for this." There is no braver sacrifice a person can make. I am filled with wonder at that statement. I don't know if I could say the same, honestly. I would like to think I would, but they KNOW they would.
The last time I talked to her on the phone, I could hardly get the words out. She is still in the states, at least for the next few days, and I was half trying to convince her to just stay...just hoping in some feeble way, along with my parents, that she would not go back. My voice was thick with pain. I told her that I was just terrified each time I see her or talk to her that it will be the last time I ever speak to her. I was bawling and repeating myself alot. "I just don't want this to be the last time I ever talk to you. I'm just so scared that this will be the last time I ever talk to you...I just hope...and pray...that I will be able to talk to you again..." And she listened as I sobbed, and she was sympathetic and calm.
She wasn't upset, didn't cry at all. I think she is used to calming people down. If she can calm down my mother, she can calm down anyone. And she really believes they will be ok. I guess with her personally witnessing God protecting them the way that He has, I should not be surprised at her confidence. After all, they have been shot at, while in a truck, at close range, with MACHINE GUNS, and they drove away without a scratch.
I could tell several stories like that. Stories that would make your eyebrows raise. And if I wasn't a trustworthy person, you wouldn't believe me. And my sister barely even told us, her own family, because of how unbelievable. But God is at work. He performs miracles the same way today that He did in the Bible. And NO ONE could deny that the things that have happened to my sister and her husband are truly miraculous.
My sister reassured me over the phone, saying that she didn't think they would kill her or Larry, that it would draw too much attention to them. She talked about how her and Larry were too conspicuous, and that they weren't really a target for the drug cartels. And they are obviously, loudly for Jesus...she was not worried. I think if I were a drug cartel member or a gang member, I would be hesitant to kill someone who so boldly took a stand for Christ, in a place where no other gringos did. Killing missionaries of the Lord is pretty gutsy, even for them.
And she told me to pray, to ask God to give everyone in the family a clear sign on whether or not they should be there. And even as she was saying it, I knew. They are. God is at work. They are changing lives, and that's what we're on this earth for. To spread the gospel and make disciples, to live for the glory of God, dangerous or not. Difficult or not.
And so I told her I loved her sooooo much, and that if it was the last time that we ever talked, that it would be ok...that I knew where she was going...and I would see her again, regardless of if it is in this life or the next. And my anxiety began to fade as soon as I said that, as soon as I said what I needed to say to her. I felt a peace that comes from the truth. None of us can stand in His way, and we have to entrust them to Him. And as long as they feel His tug on their hearts, they have to follow. And I am so proud of her, even though I'm terrified sometimes. I am so proud of my big sister in Mexico.