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Happy Thanksgiving from MLV

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was so good this year. Our party doubled from last year to about 60 people. We set up tables and chairs under tents on the patio, and had the most beautiful weather. I shared the Thanksgiving story and everyone took turns saying what they were thankful for. Everyone took a bit of this and a bit of that and filled their plates with tastes of each food. In the end, everyone was full and we still had turkey left over from our 20 lb. bird. It was a great time.

My desire for MLV, is that it be be a place where people not only learn a trade and skills, but especially that they encounter Jesus. I pray that everyone who walks through our doors will experience his love in their life.

Julio came to MLV last year. He and his girlfriend signed up for classes together, she for sewing and he for welding and mechanics. My first impression of Julio, he seemed stand-offish, not willing to be a part of the group. He thought he would just slip in, take class and slip out. Thankfully he did not run away from my intents to break down his walls. He slowly let me in.

Over time, I could tell that Julio was listening in bible studies and see the Holy Spirit talked to him. One evening, after classes, Julio had stuck around to help me fix a problem with my motorcycle, and we got to talking. He opened up about his life and told me his journey. I reminded him of God’s promises and his truth, and he laughed. He said it all sounded good and he wanted God, but he was not ready.

At the beginning of this year, Julio started to get excruciating pain in his back. He tried to live with it, taking more and more pain killers to get though the day, but his work only aggravated the situation. Lifting sacks and materials all day was killing him. He finally went to a doctor and after a few tests was told his back had two herniated discs and he would need surgery. As soon as Julio’s boss found out, he was fired. I noticed that around this time he and his girlfriend were coming to class together less and less and not talking about one another. It turned out that they had also broken up. Julio seemed to be hitting a wall everywhere he turned. He was looking for a new job, but with his back problems, and did not know what to get.

“Julio, you know we can pray for your back so your problem goes away?” I offered one day, so he could be pain free, but Julio refused. He said he wasn’t ready. “Really?” I asked. “You would rather live with your pain than pray?” He nodded and I said, “Ok. When you get tired of your pain and are ready to pray, you let me know.” A few weeks passed and I asked him the same thing and got the same answer. After a few months, He told me his back was still hurting, but he had gotten a n