The last weekend in August seemed to be the kick-off for the many special events coming up this fall. We had a quince años (15-year-old birthday celebration, similar to a wedding ceremony) on Friday evening and a wedding on Saturday, and then went to sleep to mariachis singing at a party in our neighborhood. In the next few months we have 4 more quince años scheduled, plus church anniversary activities in October. Special times!
Coming up this week we have 2 Noches Mexicanas, evening services at church to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day, with special music and folkloric dances, and of course, the Gospel message. Thanks for praying for those events on Wednesday and Thursday. Also, next weekend is a long one due to Independence Day, so we'll do an all-church prayer retreat at the top of the Chiconautla hill early Monday morning. Those who have visited us know what we're talking about. It should be a blessed time together in prayer, worship and fellowship.
We have enjoyed having our missionaries to the Puebla Mixtec region, Agapito and Elsa Osorio and their daughters, Zabdi and Noemí, in the Chiconautla area for the past several weeks. The Lord has answered their prayers in extra special ways during their visit. For 30 years, Elsa has struggled with failing eyesight, and recently she was nearing blindness. She was always told she was NOT a candidate for eye surgery, so she got along by just memorizing where there were steps and bumps on the path, which is no easy feat when walking between towns where they live in Puebla! To make a long story short, this summer the Lord made the impossible possible, and NOW ELSA CAN SEE!! Elsa had surgery on both eyes, one at a time, and a huge percentage of her sight was recovered in both! In a couple more weeks she should have corrective lenses which allow her to see with 20/20 vision.
This is all so amazing, and we're SO happy for her! It's not all paid for yet, though. Even though the hospital gave Elsa a huge discount, coming up with the $1400 for these surgeries has been difficult! As missionaries dependent on the Mexican church, the Osorios receive barely enough to scrape by each month. (Coming up with their support each month is one of the Chiconautla church's biggest challenges.) Several generous people here in Mexico have helped financially, but we still need to come up with $500US to cover the cost of Elsa's surgery. If you'd like to help, please send your gift to UWM for the Vivancos as for all donations (click on Give at the bottom of this page), but then send us an email letting us know that it's for Elsa's restored eyesight. And please keep Elsa in your prayers as her eyes recover. The Osorios will be returning to the Puebla mission field as soon as she gets her new glasses.
We'll send out more ministry news soon. Meanwhile, thanks for praying that many will come to Christ through the special activities these next several days.