As you know, Roca Blanca is a very special place for me because that was the first place that I went to for a mission trip with some members from the KSC in the spring of 1995 and then with the youth group members in the summer of the same year. Ever since then, I used to go there every year for the next several years.
Mission trips to Roca Blanca were always hard because we went to tough and difficult places without much civilization. However, one of the joys and blessings of going down there for me was to work with Laura Pratt who is a missionary nurse who has been working alongside of the founders of the mission base, Duane & Sue Kershner, for more than 20 years. I vividly remember seeing the image of Christ through her with so much love, compassion and patience.
In the past few years, when the summer team came back from Roca Blanca, I often heard comments like, “It was too easy,” or “It was more like a vacation at a resort.” I didn’t like hearing those comments. So, I wrote her an email last year after the team came back that I would like for her to take our team to very difficult places where they will experience hardships and suffering.
Indeed, she did it this year for our team! And our team members had a great time serving the Lord despite the fact that it was hard. I have heard from several team members that it was the best mission trip ever!
I wrote her an email thanking her for doing what I had requested last year and also asking her about her marriage and financial situation. She wrote me back and I would like to share her letter with you.
Dear Pastor Eric,
Hi! So good to hear from you! Thank you for writing. I received your address through the web page contact this afternoon, but just got back to the computer.
We really enjoyed having the team from your church — they were a great group! Bill Yoon did a great job leading the trip. Also your training of them shone through — they were well prepared in their hearts to suffer for the Lord, and didn’t look for comfort. You are right — the trips are not as easy for me as they used to be, but I thoroughly enjoyed this trip with your team and am so thankful that I was able to go with them. I have to also give credit to our Mexican doctor, Dr. Eder, and his wife, Paulina. They are a young couple with two children and help me tremendously now with the planning and leading of the trips.
My husband and I will be coming to the U.S. in just a few days, but we will not be able to visit Houston this trip. Thank you for the invitation — I would love to take my husband there to meet you all someday and so that I could visit with you again, but maybe on a future trip. We will be flying directly to Tulsa, OK, to be there for a conference, and then will be visiting four other areas. I’m thankful we are able to fly which helps greatly. Married life has been great! It has its challenges sometimes, but my husband is very patient and loving and is a tremendous help to me! God has blessed me greatly with him.
Financially, God has always been so faithful! We are not up the budget we really need to cover the clinic expenses, but somehow God always makes a way and provides all the needs. We appreciated so much your team’s generosity. As well as giving for the expenses of the trip and medications, they took up extra offerings — one for a very needy patient in one of the villages who needed urgently to be transported to a hospital 7 hours away for care, and one for the mechanical needs of our vehicles.
God blessed Dave and I with a home a couple of years ago which we were not even asking for! One of our supporting churches raised the funds to build it (along with a few donations from others), and we have been in it about a year and a half. We live about a block before you arrive at the clinic alongside the houses of some other staff members, and we are enjoying it very much!
How are your eyes doing? The team members told me you seemed to be doing well now. Are you finished with all the surgeries? How is your vision now? I am very thankful to hear that you have improved. I was so surprised to hear that your children are in college now! It doesn’t seem possible!
Thanks again for writing, and thank you so very much for sending the team to us from your church. They were a tremendous blessing!
God bless you greatly!
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