Monday, May 9, 2011

A "Memory" from Mother's Day--It's not what you think!

ICW Racar—We had a great Mother’s Day at ICW. Seventy people were in attendance, with some there for the first time. Most of the group was part of our constituency but 15 or 20 were not. The guys provided a great cook-out dinner and the youth gave hand-made gifts to the moms along with a video presentation honoring them. Most of us were at the church from 10 in the morning until about 3 or 4 pm. It was a great day of fellowship.

One great victory of the day was a mom who accompanied her teenage daughter to the church for the first time. The mother has been VERY anti-church with her daughter, often leaving her in tears. However, the mom was there yesterday and participated whole-heartedly. She even grabbed a broom and helped clean up after dinner. You could tell the mom was having a good time. We hope now she will understand why the daughter likes to hang out at ICW so much.

Wuertz family much better—George and Sheree and the boys are doing much better after a one-month bout of illness. Thanks for your prayers. Please pray their strength will be renewed.

Flash victory—Is there such a thing as a flash victory? I say yes! As the last ones were leaving ICW after the Mother’s Day celebration, a distraught Rosalia was in tears. She had lost a 4G flash memory. What’s more, her mom had loaned it to her, and according to Rosalia, “was going to kill her.” Not literally, of course, but she was in BIG trouble. To make it worse, it wasn’t the mom’s flash drive either—it had been borrowed from one of her students at the school. Even worse—the student had loaned it to the mom while it still had family pictures and school work projects on it. Uggggh. This wasn’t looking good.

As Lydia probed Rosalia as to the last whereabouts of the missing flash drive, Lydia realized that she had thrown what she thought was an empty box, into the garbage! Rosalia and Lydia decided to open up the bags and go through the garbage. Combing through the Styrofoam cups and plates, potato peelings, onion peelings and slimy gravy, rice and hominy, no flash drive was found.

Rosalia’s voice quivered as she began to cry, and worried about telling her mom. Lydia and I told Rosalia and her brother Ariel to get in the car and we would go with them to face the parents. At this point it really wasn’t clear if the flash drive had actually been in the box Lydia had tossed into the garbage. There was a possibility someone had picked it up. There had been lots of new people at church yesterday.

And exactly who was to blame was not the big issue. The issue was that mom Jenny had borrowed the flash drive and would be facing the student in a matter of hours and would have to tell him it was lost. Blaming someone else was not going to produce the flash drive with the pictures and school projects.

As we met with the parents they were visibly upset. There just was not any good answer. A new drive could be purchased, but not the contents of the drive. And the Prietos didn’t have the money to buy it. That would have cost about 20% of Jorge’s monthly paycheck. We prayed together about the flash drive then left the Prieto home. Everybody was feeling down.

As Lydia and I drove home, we commented about how great a day it had been and how down we felt now. I said, “I think Satan is trying to steal the joy of the victories of this day.” Lydia agreed.

Arriving at our apartment tired from the big day, a thought hit my mind—my metal detector! What if that drive really was in those bags of trash and was just overlooked, or hidden in some of the yucky garbage?

Armed with a large metal detector, two small hand-held detectors and rubber gloves, Lydia and I headed right back out the door and up to Racar. Setting up a makeshift table we opened the huge garbage can and pulled out the first bag. Running the hand-held detector over all the garbage and sifting through each clump by hand, no flash drive appeared. We pulled out the last bag. Before dumping that full bag, Tom decided to run the hand-held detector across the bottom of the full bag. Beep-beep—the detector sounded. Then the item causing the beep dropped lower in the bag. Tom chased it with the detector. Beep beep! Once again it moved further down. Again, at the corner of the bag—beep beep. Feeling through the bag Tom located the item. It wasn’t foil. It was rectangular. Then he saw it through the green membrane—the flash drive!

“Here’s the flash drive,” Tom informed Lydia.

“No, you’re kidding?” Lydia said.

“Nope, not kidding. This is it.”

“Really?” Lydia hoped.

Tom was so excited he could not seem to get through the maze of folds in the bag to actually touch and retrieve the drive. But he wasn’t letting go.

And what would the condition of the drive be once it was pulled from the bottom of all the day’s garbage? Out it came. It had one tiny fleck of rice on it. No gravy, no garbage juices, no water, coffee or tea, it wasn’t even damp. We quickly cleaned up the exposed garbage and put everything back in the garbage can in the original bags.

Off we went to the Prieto’s house. Knocking on the gate, we wondered how annoyed they might be with us coming back so soon. After helping cook for the MD program, they were tired and probably trying to rest.

Gathering in the living room, faces looked sad. When Tom had entered the gate he had asked Rosalia if the drive had perhaps been found. (Just to not tip her off) She replied in the negative.
“Well, we prayed, and here is the drive!” Tom announce to all. He placed it in Rosalia’s hand. Everyone let out a big sigh of disbelief. They were at a loss for words to express their relief. Jorge burst out in tears. We hugged each other and then had a prayer of thanksgiving. All the Prietos were weeping.

“Lord, thanks for being our big and mighty God who is interested in the little things. And thanks for helping us to find the drive.”


  1. Way cool story, Tom & Lydia. Sometimes it is hard to see the Lord's purpose until we get to the bottom of things (no pun intended). You are right, though. The devil was obviously trying to mess things up. I'd say this was definitely a flash victory! Thanks for sharing.

  2. God demonstrates His power over Satan and His love for His children all in the form of a small flash drive!! Great story!!