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  • Liz Ortiz

Waves Crashing Around

I woke up one morning to my mom yelling down the stairs that my dad had collapsed and she couldn't move him. My brother Philip and I ran up the stairs. We found our dad wedged with his neck caught on the edge of the tub. We quickly moved him so he could breathe better. I said a quick prayer that the Lord would give him strength to get up. About 30 minutes later he had the strength to get up. We assisted him to bed and kept a close eye on him for the next 24 hours, afraid that he could be exposed to COVID if we called for an ambulance. It is not the first time my dad has collapsed. This is the unfortunate reality of life with MS.

A few days after my dad’s fall, we received a text that my aunt needed emergency brain surgery. She had 2 blood clots and a bleed on her brain. A couple days later, when she was still unconscious, we learned that she needed a second emergency surgery. My heart sank. It wasn’t looking good. I cried so much in those days. I cried out to God, “Lord, I don’t want to lose my aunt! If it be your will, please heal her.” After a restless night I learned the surgery was a success. But we would have to wait to see how she healed.

These past two months have felt overwhelming at times. I was reminded of the disciples at sea during a storm.

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

A paint by numbers I did to remind me of how powerful our God is that "even the winds and the waves open Him." (He created them!)

I am so thankful that my circumstances don't control me! The One whom winds and waves obey is in control! I am praising the Lord for His love and mercy. My aunt has made amazing strides in her recovery. My dad’s health has improved since the fall. I am grateful for my brothers who are always willing to jump up and help my dad. Although the waves of life can feel overwhelming, I’m learning to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, my steady Rock.

Change isn’t easy, but it is necessary to move forward. The past year I had been working with students with autism. As much as I enjoyed my job, it was emotionally and physically draining. I was having a hard time finding balance with my job, family, fundraising, and other pre-field responsibilities. After much prayer and discussion, I decided it was time to leave my job. I am grateful for my experience with the school. I will miss the staff and students. However, I’m excited to be taking a step closer to Togo.

A drawing of my class by a student

Another change is that I am moving out to Pennsylvania. My brother and sister-in-law live in PA and are expecting their 3rd child. I am going to help out with homeschooling my niece and nephew. I am looking forward to spending quality time with them. ABWE headquarters is about 2 hours from where they live in PA. I will be attending several ABWE training events this Spring/Summer. Please pray for safety as I drive 12 hours to get out there on Thursday, March 4th.

Thank you so much for your prayers, words of encouragement, and support. This past year isn’t what I expected it would be. But I am incredibly grateful in the Lord’s provision through you! The journey can be difficult, but it worth it!

Liz Ortiz

Prayer Requests:

● Pray for safety as I drive out to PA on Thursday, March 4th

● Pray that the transition will go well as I move in with my brother’s family

● Pray that I will stay diligent with my "Methods of Bible Study" online course that I'm taking as part of ABWE's training

● Pray for health and safety for my family during the pandemic, especially for my dad because he is in the high-risk group.

● Pray for an ASL interpreter for Togo – big opportunity for one!

● Pray for more opportunities for me to practice signing.

● Pray for additional partners for my ministry.


● Praise God for 67% of my monthly support!

● Praise God for 51% of my one-expenses! (outfit and passage)

● Praise God that my aunt is making great strides in her recovery!

● Praise God that my dad is doing well after his fall.

● Praise God that Jonas is doing well adjusting back to school and his host family.


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