Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Blessings from Guadalajara

                                                    November 18, 2020 

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Dear Praying Friends,

     The worst is over and I am on my way to a changed, but good life. The doctor checked me after the hospital stay was thrilled at the results. The kidney damage is gone, my eyes have been thoroughly checked by an ophthalmologist who could see NO damage from diabetes, and my liver and pancreas are completely clear. The doctors now agree that it was a quick, recent crash because there is no permanent damage that would normally happen with an extended period of attack. Only God could have protected me through such a serious increase without any visible damage being done.

     I could never explain the encouragement and blessings I received during this trial. My family was concerned this would be a terrible shock to me. They often joke I go to the doctor only when someone threatens to call an ambulance. However, I have always tried to make the doctors aware of our family history concerning diabetes. When the doctor called and said "more than 600," I knew it was time to act. 

     At present I am on insulin injected twice a day, but decreasing nearly daily by small increments. I feel really well and are increasing activities each day. I still have a few bounces in rates by an increase or decrease in exercise, but am learning to foresee the the results in time to balance them out. The head of the department at the hospital foresees a day when I can at least go to pills as opposed to injections and the possibility eventually of no added insulin. I have lost 30 pounds and six inches from around my waist. It appears that my body is producing much of the insulin needed.

     God's people are always incredible.  YOU have been such a blessing that I could never express what a blessing you have been. The hospital bills was reduced and we were able to pay off the bill because of you. We have paid all of the bills because of your love and help. We are still amazed at how wonderful God has been through His people.

     Please continue to pray for our ministry and the great people we call our church family. While we were in Texas recuperating, the state here declared code red, and everything was closed again. It all opened once again but it reminds us that we are still in a hot spot. God is good for as far as we know, none of the deaf have been down with Covid 19. Many of our friends have gone through rough times in the States and of course we lost Ann’s brother to it. We are not able yet to reopen the church. We are staying in contact through social media. One of the greatest blessings for the deaf was the arrival of cell phones. It used to be that they (or we) had to travel across town to deliver a message or share fellowship. Now it is just a text message away. If not for that, we would be unable to check on any of them. We even had a good chat with Horacio and Lupe from Monterrey.

     Thank you for sharing from your hearts and your wallets. Without your help, I have no idea how we could have overcome the financial burden. May God richly bless you as you labor for Him

Gary and Ann Layne

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Dan Stribling - with the Lord

      Ann's older brother, Dan Stribling, passed away this morning after a four week battle with Covid-19. Please pray for his mother, Casey Stribling, two sons, Matt and Kris, brother, Sam and sister Ann (Layne). He was a Christian and is in the hands of the Lord.

Gary Layne

Thursday, September 24, 2020

                                                                                    Psalm 44:1

                                               Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.

 

Dear Praying Friends,

     How can we ever praise the Lord enough? God has again performed a near miracle and brought us through unharmed.

     We are presently in Texas, not vacationing. Several weeks ago we purchased our tickets to get out of Mexico because the pandemic has closed all foreign travel from there. We found tickets with the idea we would go to the Field Conference in Costa Rica. There were very few tickets available, so we thought it best to at least get to the USA. Gary had problems with the nose piece on his glasses but he thought he could just get new glasses while we were out. Obviously, the glasses did not sit right so his vision was a little distorted.

     By the time we arrived here, his vision was getting much worse. He went to an ophthalmologist who said his trouble was his cataracts (and there is a good surgeon right down the hall).  Gary was not satisfied so he made an appointment with a regular doctor. The doctor did a routine exam with urine and blood work. The blood work did not return until the next morning. About mid-morning the doctor called and said to put Gary in an ambulance and get him to the hospital, because the glucose level was over 600. We went by car and Gary went to the ER while they refused to let Ann in (Covid-19). After several blood draws, X-rays, etc. they told him they had a room. Three days later his glucose was normal and they dismissed him with medication and instruction on how to inject himself. As he was leaving, he asked the nurse what his level was when he entered. It was 780!  Several persons in the medical field have told him he should have been in a coma or had a stroke. The nurse told him he had a wee bit of kidney damage, but if he obeyed the orders, they expected that to disappear. THAT was the Lord! We had no idea. He walked into the ER carrying his bag, walked to the gurney and got up several times before being connected to the monitoring machine and insulin drip where he could not get up.    How God protects the ignorant!

      We first want to thank the literally hundreds of people who not only prayed but took time to send a note saying they were praying. YOUR prayers did the impossible.            Secondly, we are so touched by the sweet comments and encouragement sent during this time. This episode caught us completely off guard and your words were a tremendous blessing and encouragement.

     Let me explain that diabetes does run in Gary’s family and he has always checked it during his medical exams. He was totally unaware that was the problem. The doctors insisted that it was progressing for a period of time although it never showed up until one week before the crash. They were left dumbfounded that no symptoms had ever shown up until just prior to this.

     As soon as we can get Gary completely stabilized, new glasses and an OK from the doctor, we will be on the plane back to Guadalajara. Gary had to stop the daily Bible lessons via the Internet during this time and is excited to start them again.

   Please pray for a complete recovery and that we will be able to return quickly. Our folks are suffering with job loss, depression, and lack of fellowship since the churches are still closed. Pray for souls. Pray for Dan Stribling, Ann’s brother, very sick with Covid.

    May God GREATLY bless you for sharing, caring and praying.

 

For DEAF souls in Mexico,

Gary & Ann Layne

 

 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

June 25 2020

Dear Praying Friends,
     We are praying for you as you continue to pray for us. We are still quarantined and have just passed the top of the mountain concerning the Covid-19 disaster. We have not heard an "all clear" but it appears that our trouble spots concern Mexico City more than here. We have heard of a few we know that have been sick, but it has been lighter here than in other places. We are still under a strict facial mask mandate and are unable to ride in a car or enter a store without social distancing and a mask. It does get old but like so many, we lost ancestors during the 1918-19 flu epidemic, so we realize that safety does make a huge difference in final numbers.
     As you can see, I am including a picture of Lance and I. We have not included pictures for several years after it was discovered that much of the evil of past days was caused by posting pictures, information, etc. and the guys in the penitentiary were capturing profiles and picture and could send someone to a school or address to pressure for money. However, I have wanted to update so many who have not been able to keep up with Lance's progress. He turned 15 on Tuesday. He is about two inches taller than I, just clearing 6 feet tall. The most wonderful thing about him is his humbleness and his love for the Lord. He said all along he wasn't going to be upset with this illness because God was going to heal him. He did.
    All of us are well and are able to maintain a decent ministry through the cell phone. Everyday Gary makes a video from one verse of Psalm 119 and helps them make application for their personal life. By sending it through social media, it is then sent to Monterrey where it is taught there through their pastor making additional applications and on to eastern Mexico where another deaf pastors uses it for further ministry. We also communicate almost daily through video calls because many of the deaf are not working right now.
     We hope to open services on or near the 12 of July with several stipulations required by the government. The building must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, only persons 18 - 60 may attend (no children and no senior citizens), everyone must use a mask to arrive and through the entire service and every person  must clean their feet on a special sanitizing mat, wash their hands and then apply disinfecting gel as well as sit at least two meters apart. Of course that is the map lined out today. It could change.
     When I was five I memorized Psalm 121: 1, 2 and I know it is still as good today as it was many years ago. During this frustrating time let us lift up our eyes unto Him that made Heaven and earth. God bless you all.
Gary and Ann Layne

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Planting the SEED

Dear Praying Friends,
     Thank you so much for praying concerning the witnessing opportunity today. I believe that God gave the victory. We arrived at the hospital and I quickly saw how ravaging cancer can be. Juan's mother could barely move although she is in her early 50's. She has had three operations in the month of May. Juan was not fully understanding the situation until his sister pulled him apart this week and told him the doctors have predicted five days or less.
     Juan was on one side of the bed and I on the other with his father nearby catching it all. I was able to give a simple presentation both in signs and voice with many Scriptures. Just as I was bringing the Scriptures to a close, I felt someone slip behind me. It was a nurse who checked everything so I kept on sharing. When she turned to leave I noticed she had a syringe and had injected it into the IV. In just a few seconds, the mother's eyes started to roll and they were unfocused. I paused a few minutes to see if she would recover or if it would put her to sleep. She eventually gathered her senses but she was still groggy. I summarized the Gospel again andI asked if I could pray for her and she responded quickly,"Yes." I repeated a short version of salvation in the prayer and then stepped outside the room to give the family a moment.
     Why not push for a decision? I felt the Holy Spirit say wait. Earlier when I mentioned John 14:6 that Christ was the only way to Heaven, her eyes perked up and she nodded differently than at any other time. Juan is returning to town now and has promised to follow through. He will review with her what I taught and ask if she has made a decision. I really felt that a shot of morphine and the most important decision of Eternity do not mix.
     I am thrilled to be able to do as God commanded and give the Gospel, clearly and plainly. I would be thrilled beyond explanation if Juan is able to get her to actually make the decision when she is clear minded. I told Juan that I planted and maybe God will allow him to water. He smiled from ear to ear. Please do continue to pray for "Juan's mom" and family. Thank you so much for caring.
Gary

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Thursday, June 3, 2020

     Without any details, please pray for the opportunity I have tomorrow morning to share the Gospel with the mother of one of our deaf. She is dying with cancer and has given the OK for me to talk with her.
     Second, we are still under strict quarantine, so pray we will not have difficulties with the authorities. Thank you.
Gary 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 15, 2020

Dear Praying Friends,
     We praise the Lord that we are able to keep in contact with our deaf through video conferencing and WhatsApp. They all seem to be doing well, but it is hard to tell through social media. I am preparing and sending out a devotional nearly every day. The only time I miss is if my blood pressure has me all messed up. We send it to all of our folks who want to receive it and then also to several other states to Deaf who have requested it. Some of our group then sends it on to other family members, including some hearing folks - by the way it is only in sign language, but they still enjoy it. I always try to visualize the verse first by explaining words they may not understand and then in the explication, I try to be clear with examples as well.
     I mentioned that it takes hours to prepare everything to teach. I usually prepare my mind and heart the evening before. The next morning I will print out the verse with "hints" on the difficult words for  them. That may be a drawing, a picture or a synonym that is easier to be understood. That often means searching a dictionary or thesaurus to make sure I am not putting an American spin on a word from the Bible. I then print it out, scan it to clear up any imperfections, send the picture file to Cheyenne, and then tape a 5-7 minute explanation of the verse. It then gets downloaded to the cloud and eventually sent to Cheyenne who compresses it and sends it on to the phone connections. I know, it could be done by taking a photo with the phone but they always turn out very dark, even in sunlight. Anyway, that is how a simple verse becomes a many hour production. This way, the Deaf see the verse with the "hints," then eventually see a video explaining with examples that hopefully plants the Word in their hearts. 
     A few of our deaf have continued to work all through this time. Most are on a partial salary until this calms down. Some obviously have no income, but we have heard no griping. They have had their difficulties. One family lost their father, and were "told" that he had passed away a week before he did. Obviously the family tried to explain that he had a stroke or something and was very serious. The Deaf understood he was gone. The next day he posted a picture with his dad in the hospital. There is no humor in this, because it shows what many Deaf go through with a family that does not communicate with them in their language. Another family is going through a rough time because the mother had major surgery and is still in the hospital. Visitation is VERY limited and under strict conditions, so it makes it hard on them, as you may very well know.
     There is food to be bought, although maybe not everything you want. Our weekly street markets have been limited as to what they can sell. Those who sold trinkets, deemed not essential, have found other things to sell like masks, or cleaners. We are doing everything possible to buy almost everything here in the village to help these folks. They are so admirable because we do not hear loud griping from anyone. They buckle down and get through the day.
      We do realize that the borders are closed both ways except for emergency reasons. We could not leave if we wanted, but we are totally happy being right here. We live on what used to be a hog farm. All of the animals are gone and a couple of houses now stand on the property. Therefore, we are sort of a gated community. The owner is living next door to us because of the dangers of COVID-19 in the city. There are two other families here, so we can close the gate whenever needed. The owner is two years older than I, so he does not want a parade of people through here. That protects all of us. We praise the Lord for the protection He has given us.
      Thank you for praying for us. We do pray for your needs as we become aware of them.
For DEAF souls in Mexico,
Gary and Ann Layne