Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Lord is My Strength

I arrived home yesterday, after a very stressful physical therapy session. It seems that the entire right side of my body is much weaker than the left. The doctor allowed me to come home (if I were a kid, I'd say HIP HIP HOORAY!), and I am so grateful. After having been in the hospital for 5 days, it is such a joy to be home. I will have to continue physical therapy, since I cannot walk very well by myself. My dear husband has been such a strength to me. May God bless him for his patience, love, and understanding.

My kids were ecstatic to see their Mommy home. Many of the brethren, preachers, and their families, decided to come and make sure I was okay, so finally when all that was done, I was extremely exhausted. I am truly humbled by the amount of love and support that we have received from ALL of the brethren in Costa Rica, despite the fact that we have only been here for 9 months. We have such a love for them also, and it has made my heart joyful to feel their love, prayers, and support. I do not have enough words to even express my gratitude to Bro. David and Sis. Yonda Schwarz, who have been at our side, helping, praying, and being there for us. I am grateful for them, and for their presence in my life.

I sat to quickly check my email, last night, and was overwhelmed by an email that I received from a dear friend, who had directly heard from God. Although I was so weak, I drug myself out of bed, with the help of my husband, and went downstairs to pray. I was SO humbled in His presence. I serve such an all powerful God, who helps us in good times and also in the bad. I began to thank God, because although I am physically weak, my spirit is strong. When I begin to think of all of the bad things that could have happened to me, all I can do is smile (although it's only half a smile), and say, what I always say..."when one is faithful to God, HE is faithul to us..because we serve a faithful and just God!"

As I lay before the presence of the Lord, weeping, and thanking Him for his mercies, I heard as my children, ages 8 and 9, snuck into the room. They both lay beside me, laid their little hands on me, and began to earnestly pray and to thank God for their Mommy. They were weeping and crying, and by the time we were finished praying we were all rejoicing in His presence.

What else can I say but, "Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications..The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth.."Psalms 28:6-7

I love you all friends...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So, it's my last day in the Hospital..(Hopefully)

This is the first day that I can actually wake up at my normal time for prayer and devotion. All the other days, I have been severely drugged up, so I have been asleep, the sleep of the drugged and dead. Thank God that phase seems to have passed. I still do have what we will call "the headache", but we'll blame that on me being on the computer, which I will only be on as long to post this blog.

I don't really understand why God allows for my health to be attacked, there must be a reason. This is the 4th time in as many years. All emotions go out of control. What is going to happen? Will I be alright? Will I be able to walk and talk and be normal? Will this brain thing keep affecting me for the rest of my life? I can't answer any of those questions. All I can do is quietly wait on God, KNOWING that he has COMPLETE control of my situation.

On Monday, everything seemed normal. Just a very slight headache. I laid down early, hoping the headache would go away. At 12 a.m., I jumped out of bed, from my sleep, with such an intense headache that I started crying. I tried to make my way to the sink, but was swaying back and forth. My husband, dear soul that he is, wanted to take me to the ER, but I insisted that I would be okay. So happens that Lexy said she was having a bad dream about some spiders or something, so she laid down with me, and I fell asleep. Morning came, and I could feel something was not right. My mouth was twitching, and so was the entire left side of my face. I went ahead and showered, and when my husband came up, my mouth had completely moved to the left . We went straight to the ER, where thank God, the best neurologist of Costa Rica is on staff. He immediately admitted me into the hospital. By this time the entire left side of my face was twitching uncontrollably.

He went in to do an MRI. Said there was a bleed, but it healed itself. Said lots of other doctor stuff, but mostly, I've had a relapse. The entire right side of my body is very weak, and I'll have to do physical therapy to get it working right again.

I KNOW that God has had his hand upon me. These 5 days have been long. I don't really remember 3 of them, since I was so severely drugged up. You can read on the other posting of what the doctor said I had.

My eyes are getting tired, and "the headache" is growing, so i'll leave this post for now. I am confident in the scripture...

Taken from The Message II Corinthians 12:10

Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Update from my Husband..

I am enclosing the letter that my husband sent out...

Praise the Lord.

Many things have happened in the last few days. Jessica is still in the hospital. The doctor has said that if she does well through the night, we'll be able to take her home tomorrow, mabye. Hopefully that will be the case, since she is very tired of being in the hospital.

On Monday night, she woke up with a horrible headache. That was at 12. By 10 that morning, her mouth had moved to one side, and she was having severe facial spasms. We were going to wait to see the neurologist, but I decided to take her to the ER, since when she got sick a couple of years ago (with the aneurysm and strokes), it all started with just a headache.

We've had many tests done. An MRI, CT Scan, Some sort of Sonogram on her veins in her neck,an EEG, EKG, and lots of blood tests. The doctor has found this out:

1. MRI showed that there was a bleed in a vein, that healed itself. THANK GOD. We know it was because of Prayer! He says that the MRI looks very good.
2. Sonogram showed that her veins were clear, no clots. THANK GOD.
3. EKG came back NORMAL. THANK GOD.
4. EEG came back abnormal. It seems that she is having some sort of Epileptic Seizures, small ones, in her brain, causing the severe facial spasms on the left side of her face. GOOD thing, she is taking medicine to stop the facial spasms. This medicine also stops strokes and epileptic attacks. BAD thing..the Medicine makes her very sleepy and zombie like. WHEN she doesn't take the medicine, her face has very SEVERE facial spasms, so she needs to take the meds.
5. Her head is still hurting,so please pray that the headaches will go away. She is taking meds for this too. The doctor says that she has something called "cefalea vascular"
6. Last night she had a bad night, with much vomiting. Pray that she has a good night tonight.
7. She has not wanted to eat very well. Pray that her appetite gets better. When she doesn't eat, she gets very weak.
8. The doctor says that she is photo sensitive. Lights bother her very much.
9. She is also anemic
10. Her blood pressure fluctuates. High at times...low at other times.

Thank you all for your prayers. Continue to pray for Jessica. We know that the enemy likes nothing better than to attack the children of God. Jessica had 2 speaking engagments, that had to be cancelled this week, and she wasn't very happy about canceling. I have to remind her=2 0that she has to take care of herself. If anyone would like to get in contact with us, you can call to our cell phone: 011-506-8351-8930.

Thanks to Bro. Hopkins, who helped Jessica understand that she needs to take care of herself and stay in the hospital as long as the doctor says. I am sorry to all of you very close friends, that I have not been able to contact, especially you Pastor Copple, please forgive me for not calling right away. I have been running back and forth from the hospital, to make sure the kids are doing okay, filling out endless paperwork, and trying to be a "nurse" to my beautiful wife....


Antonio Marquez

He sent this out yesterday afternoon. It's 5 a.m. here in Costa Rica, but I know that many of my friends have not received this. I will only be on the computer a while longer, here on my hospital bed.

The doctor seems to think that I have had a relapse of my first stroke, since my entire right side of my body is very weak. I'll have to do physical therapy.

My spirits are up. No matter what comes my way, I know that I serve an ALL Powerful God who has his hand on all situations.

Much love,


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

God is so Good..

"As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—" Psalms 71:14-15

You know, I have been in much prayer and meditation these past few days. I am just so in awe of how powerful and mighty my God is.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Okay. Now I am going to take a few minutes and talk about the lady that I invited to go with me to retreat.
Her name is Doris, and she is the lady who rented my house to me, and my husband and I have been working with them.
I called and invited her to retreat, and she surprised me, by saying yes right away. Thursday came along, and I was going to call and make sure that she was still coming, and she called me first, making sure that we were still going. She was so excited! I told her to be here at 8:30. She got to my house at 8. She said she was so excited, that she couldn't sleep. We arrived to the camp, and she saw how all the ladies were wearing skirts, had long hair, and no jewelry. She said, Marie, for some reason she calls me by my middle name, I am the only one wearing pants, has short hair, and earrings on. I said, don't worry, no one will tell you anything. She says, I feel like an ugly duckling. We were walking down to the sanctuary, when she says, "You know, Marie, one time a pastor said, close your eyes, and imagine what you want to look like. When I closed my eyes, I wanted to look just like the ladies that are walking in front of us..with a skirt and long hair.." She was really surprising me with her comments...and how she was feeling convictions so quickly..
After Friday finished, she said, Marie, I have cried so much. She was with Sis. Yonda, Sis. Tammy and I as we went to Wendy's after the last service. She started asking so many questions, and as I was answering all 3 of them were crying. I told her it wasn't coincidence that God had placed us in each other's life, and that God was going to do a great work in her family.
On Saturday, when I asked the ladies that did not have the Holy Ghost to come to the front, Doris came to the altar. Now, she has no clue what the Holy Ghost is, so I explained to everyone at the altar what it was, and how one could receive the HG. As I began to pray for everyone, I asked Sis. Norma to pray with her, and I heard some commotion coming from the area where Doris was at, so I turned and went back. The Holy Ghost had hit her so hard, she fell to the floor, and was a little scared, since she had never felt nothing like it before. She said to me, Marie, I thought people were just faking when I saw them do this..I sat and talked with her, explaining how we have a very close, intimate relationship with God, and he manifests Himself in different ways.
On our ride home, she says, Marie, I have been completely changed. Besides Bible Studies, we are going to be the first members of your church. Myself, my husband, my mother and I. She said, when you asked me to stand up and introduced me as your friend, so many ladies came and told me that I was so privileged to work with you. I agree, and feel that it is an honor to be from your church.
I am very excited. She said, tell Don Antonio what happened to me this weekend! She was bouncing off the walls happy.
Just wanted to share this extra testimony with you..

Costa Rica National Ladies Retreat 2008

The Ladies Retreat was a success! On Thursday night, as Bro. David, Sis. Yonda, Antonio, and I were unloading the sound at the camp, rain was pouring. It had been raining nonstop for a week, and all of Costa Rica had been affected. Sis. Yonda had already received calls from the southern region, saying that they were not going to make it. She also got a call from Region 4, saying that the bus driver had refused to drive them, and they were not coming. That is except for the ladies from Buenos Aires, Costa Rica. Those 6 dear souls, hopped on a regular bus, and braved coming through the mountain, to get to the ladies retreat. Sis. Nena Arias, Marvey's wife, came and said to me, after the service had finished, Sis. Jessica, we sold tamales, we sold everything imaginable, and there was NO WAY we were going to miss this congreso. I was so proud of them! With all that, we had, I think, around 170 ladies come in. Great for a first retreat in a campground setting..
The first service started, with Sis. Yonda giving a great teaching about character. How we needed to have good character in order to be able to live an upright life. Then the next service was taught by Sis. Tammy Parrish from Odessa, Tx. Sis. Tammy has an outstanding ministry of servitude to pastor's wives. She is also Bro. Terry Pugh's secretary, and holds a number of other capacities. I was able to translate for her, and we had a wonderful service. She spoke on Living for God in Babylon. The ladies responded very well. Her second teaching was about worship. It was a very tremendous service. Sis. Mileyna, one of our pastor's wives that has Fibromalagia, jumped up at the end of the preaching, ready to receive her healing. I went to pray for her, and I felt the healing hand of God. We will give more updates on that later. Mileyna said she felt God touch her. Sis. Tammy had the ladies march around the place 7 times, and finish with worship.
In the night service, Tanya asked her mother if she could translate, and so she did. This gave me a chance to rest my voice, for the next day. It was a good message, about healing the hurts. After this message, Sis. Yonda did a great job with bringing in candles, and candle holders. Sis. Yonda lit my candle, and I turned off the lights, and we lit everyone's candles, as Tanya sang a song. It was very beautiful. The ladies were touched. Sis. Yonda was showing the ladies how we can all, together, be a light in this dark world.
On Saturday we started off at 6 a.m. with Oracion Enfocada. All of the ladies showed up! Sis. Yonda had many of the wives participate, and the hour flew by. After this, and some presentations, I spoke. There was such a dynamic move of God! 12 ladies received the Holy Ghost for the first time! It was extraordinary. I went to the keyboard after praying for the ladies, and the women were so excited, they were running round and round the building, dancing and shouting! This went on for quite some time.
After all of that died down, Sis. Tammy came to minister again. I translated. The sisters were still so pumped from the previous service, that I had to admonish and say that we had to be sensitive to the spirit of God, and LEARN how to listen to his voice, and to the different moves of the Holy Ghost that there are. A hush filled the place, and all I remember is weeping so hard, that I fell on my face in the presence of the Lord. When I got up, there were ladies thrown all over the altar weeping and crying. No one had to call them. They felt the spirit of God, and responded in like manner.
It was an extraordinary retreat...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So, you ask, what is "rumination"? Well, let me tell you what Webster's Dictionary says: to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly; to engage in contemplation, to reflect. So, I will be reflecting, and since I do tend to go over everything in my mind quite a bit, this word seemed to be ideal. Raving, 'cause yes, at times, as a woman one does rave on and on and on..Radical, 'cause I could go with the definition and say that I'm just cool, but we'll go with that I am Radical about everything that I say and do. Radical about God. Radical about my family. Radical about my calling. Radical about my ministry..So that's me..a Radical Woman with Raving Ruminations..