“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” Ps.27:1
“I will trust, and not be afraid..” Isa. 12:2
“We receive the sweetest comforts in the time of trouble…” C.H. Spurgeon
Dear Brethren in Christ,
We praise the Lord for His goodness, for His mercies and for His love that is ever present in our lives. We, along with the Brethren who worship God here in the villages, send heart felt greetings, praying that God will continue to bless all of you and be with you as He is with us.
Andres began this year with a desire to once again begin teaching and preaching on basic doctrines. As we mentioned before he started teaching on the New Testament Church. Once he finished he gave each family a copy of “The New Testament Church” by W. R. Downing so they could have it for further study. He has now been finishing up a series on the Perpetuity of the Gospel, the Perpetuity of the Law and the Fulfillment of the Law. It has been good to see the interest of the Brethren in each of these studies. We pray the Lord will continue to build up each one in His truth and establish them in it. Also , we pray that those who are still without Christ will come to saving knowledge of Him, that they will come to Him.
The ladies Bible study on the last Friday of each month has also been growing and is a blessing. We have been studying in depth “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan. One of the Sisters in Christ from the beginning has been bringing with her her 11 year old granddaughter. In the beginning the granddaughter came reluctantly barely paying attention and not wanting to participate. Since the last meeting she has participated with the memory verses and her grandmother just told us that she asked for the date of the next meeting so she can ask her teacher for permission to miss school. We’re not sure we like the idea of her missing classes but we praise God for her enthusiasm wanting to study God’s word with the rest of us ladies.
In March we were able to travel to Elmendorf, Texas to be with the Brethren at Community Baptist Church for their yearly Spring Conferences. It was a wonderful time of fellowship listening to the preaching of God’s word. We are thankful that we were able to make the trip and rest a little. Upon our return we were able to comfort a sister in Christ whose husband had passed away while we were gone. She is comforted and being comforted by our gracious Lord.
We are thankful that the Lord has helped open doors to supply Andres’ medications. Sometimes we are able to get some from Canada and others from somewhere else, but so far he has been able to get enough to continue on. Thank you for praying for this need and we ask that you continue to remember this before the throne of grace. But, Andres’ health situation has changed.
On April 3rd Andres had his routine cardiologist appointment. The doctor checks him every 6 months looking for symptoms and connecting the ICD to the computer to see what has registered, etc… Since the beginning of the year we all noticed him more tired and with more breathing difficulties but since it was a gradual change we decided to just wait until his check up. We were all surprised to find that his heart condition has declined quite a bit more than we thought. During his last check up the ICD battery/generator had enough charge for 2 to 3 years. It seems that in 6 months Andres’ heart condition has become so much more critical that he has used up most of the charge. The doctor hopes he has enough charge left to last him approximately 6 months in no extreme situation presents itself…but that is just a calculation, no one can really know for sure. He now depends on the ICD 90%. There is so much more to explain but I believe this is enough for now.
Most of us would say, well change the battery/generator. Yes, that is in the planning stage. There is a chance he will not live through the surgery. His heart has weakened so much that he is at risk. Every time the cardiologist has had to do any type of intervention Andres has a heart attack and must be defibrillated. The doctor is not sure he will respond if this happens again. Actually it is what is being said will happen, that if he follows the same pattern as before he will not make it…So Andres has probably 6 months left. We praise God for all He has permitted, even letting us know that this is the situation. Such mercy, such grace…we are thankful. We are asking each other right now…ok, Lord who are we to meet, who will you touch through this. Who is to see, and may we have the strength to walk uprightly in all of this. This is not easy, although we so desire that it would be….but God has brought us here and since He has we know He will resolve it for His honor and glory. Right now we can say that at least one person may be touched by all of this.
Right now Andres is with an old friend of his, someone he went to high school and Engineering school/university with. This friend is very Roman Catholic. He arrived this morning from Torreon (where Andres is originally from) because he had to talk with Andres. He just couldn’t understand how Andres can face all of this so serenely, with so much confidence and speak openly of dying. So they have been out all day talking. Andres has the opportunity of sharing with his friend the hope that is in Christ, that dying is gain to someone who trusts in Christ and His work on our behalf. His friend also wants to try and get together several of their school mates so Andres can share the same things with them. We don’t know who all is watching or what God will do but if it is to touch at least one person with hope in Christ then it is so worth it.
So many peoples lives are governed by superstition. They cannot even say the word death or dying. For a Christian whose hope is in God we can say as Paul did, death is gain. Don’t take me wrong. Andres would love to continue on preaching and teaching but it is for as long as God deems him fit to do so. Lord willing the Lord will be there during the surgery or until the surgery can be done to replace the battery/generator preserving his life here for a little more time. Please pray for all of us. Pray for the Brethren here and that God will use all of this to touch lives. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask, we are trying to be very open to all about what is happening. If you have any questions about the economical side of all of this please direct any questions to Bro Kyle White at Community Baptist Church.
Thank you for praying. Please continue to do so. We are still planning, Lord willing, on having the conferences here in the village. They will be from May 29th to June 2nd and Bro Joe Ortega and Bro Danny Roten will be preaching.
May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen each one of you.
Praising God for all His goodness,
Andres, Rhonda and Damaris Galaviz
C.H. Spurgeon wrote: “Those who are redeemed with the priceless blood are so cherished by God that even their deaths are precious to Him. The deathbeds of the saints are precious to the church, and she often learns much from them. They are precious to believers who treasure the last words of the departed. But they are most precious to the Lord Jehovah, who views the triumphant deaths of His gracious ones with sacred delight.
If we have walked before Him in the land of the living, we need not fear to die before Him when the hour of our departure arrives.”