When I got back to Bolivia from the mission conference at Green Lake and from my week of rest in Miami, I was walking around my house, after being away for a while, and observed the trees in my garden. I noticed that all the fruits, leaves and flowers that used to be on the trees, were gone! The trees were pelados [leafless]. The apple tree, the peach tree, the plum tree, everything was dead and made my yard look vacia [empty]. Over a week later, this morning, I got up, since I can't do anything but rest after my surgery, and I walked around my house and observed the trees again; but this time, everything was different. I saw pink, purple and white flowers, as well as small green leafs around the branches. This led me to one conclusion, the trees where blossoming and coming back to live again! I realized that we are entering spring and winter is gone. I admired all the beautiful things that God has created. He has His purpose for everything. During winter, the trees have to clean themselves from fruits, leaves and anything else on it. While in spring, they grow back up again and this time more beautiful than before. Even the fruit taste better than before. God has a purpose in each season.
As many of you know, I have been hospitalized for a while due to a lump in my neck related to the thyroid gland. I was in surgery for about six hours last August 29.Friday, the first of September, right before I left the hospital, my friend Anita came to visit me. She looked at me and said, "I can't believe it! You look so radiant! It looks like you haven't even had surgery!" My response to that was "Well, that's because I have the best doctor"."Oh yes, Dr. Requena is the best doctor in Cochabamba!" she said. "I'm not talking about him," I replied, "I am talking about JESUS CHRIST!" Then she smiled and hugged me and said, "You're absolutely right!" So I said, "I know that I am healing because God sent his son Jesus to take all my wounds away, and in His Word, he says that all those who want to be healed should just ask him and it will be done."Anita looked at me and said, "I came here thinking that I was going to give you some comfort, but instead, you are the one who is giving me hope. You know Iris, I find that your life is inspired by Jesus because in any little thing, you always bring hope to others, and you show your faith in Him in the way how you talk, in the way how you love my people, and especially," she said, "I want to thank you because in so many years you have never rejected who I am or my beliefs, you accept me the way I am and always respect me. Your actions show me about who Christ is more than words can explain." Anita belongs to the elite high class of Bolivia. She is not a Christian, but she has a beautiful heart and we became friends since we arrived to Bolivia in 2000.
Before she left the hospital, she said to me, "Count me in to volunteer at the House of Hope, I want to help by teaching the ladies how to do Bolivian handcrafts." I was very surprised because she is a very busy person and well educated in making Bolivia handcrafts. She is exactly what I needed in the House of Hope for this new training cycle, but I was ashamed to ask her for help because I thought she wouldn't like to do it; but God is good, and I do believe that he has a plan for Anita's life.
He has a plan for my life too, like he has a plan in each season. I believe that this is the time when I need to let my fruit and leaves go, if I want to see new fruit and new leafs in my life. This is a time of change, a season of trial a journey, that I had never been through before. I know God is with me and he is preparing my life so that I can do other things that are better in His mighty purposes.Just like the trees in my garden, that during the time of winter everything falls down and in spring, they blossom again and this time better and better. This is exactly what I see in my life right now! FOR IN EVERTHING THAT COMES TO OUR LIVES, GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR IT!! I have the feeling that during my crisis, I am not only learning to depend on the Lord, but also to interact with people who are not Christians, like my friend Anita, in a different way so they can see who God is. He is my doctor, my comfort, my counselor, and above all my savior and my God. Thank your for your prayers and concerns about me, please continue praying for my health and that others will be able to see Jesus in the midst of my life.
In moments like these, life makes sense because of Jesus Christ!