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April 2015 / 15th Annual Convention Report

MEXICO MISSIONS REPORT FOR ARIL 2015

 

With every passing month and all our comings and goings, we more and more grateful for the Lord's hand of protection and His favor and provision, and we gain an even greater appreciation for the Body of Christ and the ones the Lord has given us the privilege of serving and working alongside. This month was filled with moments that caused us immense joy, satisfaction and gratitude.

 

In all our travels, we do not take lightly the constant the Lord's divine protection over us. Recently, we were following a truck that was carrying large boulders that were loosely held in the bed by a small chain which did not prevent them from being jostled around a bit with the bumps on the road. As soon as possible, Jose passed the truck and drove beyond the sight of it. But the following week, just ahead of that spot, those boulders were seen on the side of the highway as if they had been shoved out of the way after falling from an overturned the truck. We thank God that we were not there when it happened.

 

Just days before that incident, we also observed that we had narrowly missed another truck overturning where we passed by and an incident involving soldiers and another vehicle. On another occasion, with absolutely no “logical” explanation as to how, the Lord preserved us from a head on collision. God is so good!

 

We are also so very grateful for the brothers and sisters whose light shines in their lives, and not just when we get together. At a recent discipleship class, one brother who runs the 10K races testified that since he began writing a scripture on his number as a witness, he has become the 10th fastest in the city. He makes sure that when the press takes his picture that the scripture can be seen as a way to promote his faith.

 

During the meeting, a young mother and her son went up to the glass door. Thinking that they were at the wrong event (Several often take place on the same property simultaneously), Jeanette stepped out to help her. However, she had actually gone there to take her tithes for the last two months since she works on Sundays and had no place to give them. A brother in Christ had told her about our discipleship class as an option for her to receive some weekly ministry, though she was too embarrassed to go in. Sensing she needed more attention, Jeanette referred her to a listing of the weekly GDA's (grupo de alcance, outreach group) that take place for her to choose from. It turns out that she lives directly in front of the house where intercessory prayer takes place, so she visited them. She arrived late, which turned out for the best since she has several issues, including rejection caused in part by someone in another church calling her Bathsheba for her sins. She is reaching out for help, which is heartening. God can work with that.

 

For the Resurrection Day holiday, one couple went to Acapulco where he is from to visit his family with the intention of witnessing to relatives. Just one day before the trip, he had some symptoms of feeling sick with his throat closed up, so he prayed about it. While there, every time he started to share the Word, he was able to talk just fine and was able to share Christ with his grandmother and lead her to the Lord. He also ministered about forgiveness to her as she had many issues of bitterness and poor health.

 

Great things are always happening with the brothers and sisters of Rio Bravo, as well. One sister told of, after feeling an evil presence while praying, rebuking it and defeating lupus. She was also healed of carpal tunnel syndrome. She is one who has really grown spiritually and is quick to testify of marvelous things that the Lord does for her. Nora, another sister in Rio Bravo, has begun a weekly intercessory prayer group. She is perfect for such a position, and we are so glad to see her serving in this capacity.

 

Rio Bravo's monthly ladies' meetings are going great! This month's was based on a booklet called “Your Beauty Make-Over” produced years ago for a ladies' conference for the World Harvest congregation. Since then, that booklet has been translated and adapted for another women's conference in Mexico and two other ladies' meetings. At this one, there were 26 ladies present, including the lady who is helping Dona Maria complete all the paperwork to receive her late husband's pension. She had received Christ that day at Dona Maria's house and then was invited to the meeting. She enjoyed herself thoroughly.

 

While the ladies meet in one place, the men get together at another. A neighbor joined the guys, and since then, the wife reports that he is much more respectful to her.

 

In Mante, a family of five has begun attending. They come from a house church whose pastors from Queretaro have stopped going for some reason. Most likely, others from that church will join this family.

 

A sister in Victoria told Jeanette that she sends literature from the table at the entrance to the church that her daughter attends. During the services, the church often projects some of the special handouts created by the ministry on certain topics, and the congregation reads them together. She also takes them a copy of the KCM magazine which has a prominent spot in the church where members borrow and return it for others to read. What a joy that the Lord is using our ministry to edify other churches and share the Word with them!

 

As another testimony, the church in Victoria prayed for a lady in the hospital who was near death and the doctors had given no hope for survival because of liver failure. After prayer by the congregation and by some who members of a GDA who prayed the next day, she took a turn for the better and said that she had talked with God and He told her she needed to remain on earth a little longer.

 

During a worship service, while singing a particularly faith-filled, powerful song, the Spirit led us to invite everyone facing a mountain to take a step of faith and go forward declaring that mountain removed and cast in the sea. Some 40 people filled the front and received by faith their miracle. It was a very moving moment.

 

Vicky and Roberto and their GDA went to the hospital on Good Friday to minister. They took a table to set up for food distribution for the families of limited resources who are accompanying ill loved ones. Before they could get the table set up, the people began arriving asking for prayer and food. One hadn't eaten all day. Another asked for prayer for his wife who had just lost her baby.

 

All five congregations dedicated the last weekend of the month to the highly anticipated convention. On Saturday, some from Edinburg joined those from Rio Bravo on a bus rented to take them to Victoria. Others from Edinburg went with Willy in his suburban, including Sandra his sister, Pastor Jaime, Joshua, Tanya, Jose, Jeanette, and Pastor Max who drove in from Oklahoma. Others car-pooled from Mante the same day. The folks from Voz piled in the church van and another vehicle on Sunday to get there in plenty of time for the eagerly-awaited event.

 

At one of the stops on the way, Willy enjoyed witnessing to a boy about 11-yrs-old named Jorge Alejandro Ramirez Gonzalez who was selling chile piquin (tiny chili peppers) before giving him a New Testament which he quickly ran to show his father who seemed quite interested in it. A soldier was also a recipient of one on the return trip. Later that afternoon, the musicians from Victoria and from Edinburg blended to practice for the service, followed by a meeting which also included the praise and worship teams from Rio Bravo and Mante. The main purpose was to fellowship and encourage one another. Carlos and Willy led the meeting and shared some word. Everyone introduced themselves, gave an update on their team, and discussed vision for the future. Several shared how there is now more freedom and a desire in the teams to “press in” to the anointing to lead worship. Then, while Josh, Eric, and Willy laid hands on each team in prayer, others sang and prayed in agreement.

 

Following the meeting, several of us joined them for an excellent dinner prepared by Chano and his family on the grill of the outdoor patio. Near the conclusion of the fellowship, many who could consider themselves Pastor Max's spiritual grandchildren surrounded him to sing “Happy Birthday” and placed before him two cakes with candles to blow out. It was striking to Eric who was visiting for the first time how, by the obedience and faith of this one man, a ministry was birthed and so very many people have come to Christ.

 

Finally, the day of the convention arrived! The following is a report of just some of the many things that the Lord did in and through the members of the Body during their glorious time together.

 

In Christ, Jose, Jeanette, and the missions team


You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11

 


Fifteenth Annual Convention of Cosecha Mundial (World Harvest)

April 26, 2015

Cd. Victoria, Mexico

 

“In righteousness you shall be established;  You shall be far from oppression,
for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.” (Is. 54:14)

 

This year's convention activities really began the day before the main event with the praise and worship teams from Edinburg, Rio Bravo, Mante and Victoria (those from Voz didn't make it) gathering to practice, pray together, and fellowship with an excellent dinner on the patio. The special guest speakers, Pastors Max Boggs of Oklahoma and Jaime Gonzalez of Edinburg, and others joined them for a very delightful evening.

 

Action on the day of the event started early, around 5:30AM, as several arrived to help set up the sound equipment in the banquet hall of La Quinta Margarita. Brother Mario was also up at that hour to drive to the village of Voz Campesina in the church van to pick up that congregation. Then, within a few more hours, there was quite a bit of hustle and bustle as the tables were adorned with plates of the communion elements, offering containers, and beautiful center pieces of elegant hand-made silver boxes wrapped in royal blue ribbons and bows that were special ordered with the ministry's logo printed on them, which later doubled as gifts.

 

While the praise and worship team members from Edinburg and Victoria warmed up and did sound checks, the table offering free books, CDs, DVD's, pamphlets, New Testaments, tracts, and magazines intended for evangelizing and edifying the believers' faith was being set up at the entrance. For several years, the publications table has been an element of the convention, and members from each congregation donate the items, many of which were received the previous year and brought back to bless others. There was also a generous spread of sweet bread and coffee set up under the nearby gazebo for the folks from out of town to enjoy before the meeting.

 

An ice-breaker activity for the “early birds” encouraged the people of the congregation to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from the sister churches. Those who participated then went to the prize table to claim their prize. With the abundance of donated gifts from the congregations, there were winners at every table.

 

The atmosphere was charged with joy and excitement from the moment people approached the building. The youth group from Victoria welcomed enthusiastically each person with waving flags, posters, and shouts of jubilee as they entered. The mutual love continued as the people from the different churches blended and greeted each other, most not having seen each other since the last convention. The buzz of hugs and conversations filled the banquet hall and transitioned to united and jubilant praise and worship when the musicians kicked off the service. Notably, several youth and “older” youth made their way to the front to enjoy praising with exuberance, raising their hands, clapping, and dancing for joy together before the Lord.

 

Every year, the number of tables needed increases. This year, thirty-five tables seating ten at each were tightly accommodated in the room for an estimated total of three hundred fifty people ages twelve and up and children under the age of three. About forty children had their service and activities in separate rooms on the property. In addition to a “vacation Bible school” style program with this year's theme focusing on the “Fruit of the Spirit,” the children celebrated the Day of the Child with goodie bags, gifts, and a pinata which kept them happily occupied for the duration of the convention activities. Gratefully, with all the teachers and volunteers pitching in from the various congregations, there was plenty of help with the children's program, and everyone had the opportunity to be with the adults for most of the service as they all took turns being with the children.

 

During the adult service, there was a touching moment when Pastor Jose led the congregation in taking communion, explaining the benefits of health and healing by the stripes of Jesus. Then he gave an invitation for anyone needing prayer for a health issue to make their way to the front where the leaders from all the churches prayed for them. While reports are trickling in still, one particular testimony was given that very day. As one sister was being prayed for, she was instantly filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues, to her delightful surprise. The following week, a brother told Jose that when Pastor Max laid hands on him, he felt power shoot through his whole body, and he was healed. He had been feeling ill and weak.

 

Both Pastor Jaime and Pastor Max brought anointed messages which complimented each other perfectly, as if they had compared notes or previously discussed their topics—which they had not! In addition, both their messages tied in well with the theme text for this year of Isaiah 54:14. Pastor Jaime spoke of the impact each person can have on the world by reaching one person for Christ each year. To make his point, he gave a demonstration in which he called one to the front, illustrating the salvation of one who, in turn, brought another to the front, and so on. By the time the demonstration was over, everyone in the audience was in the front (which made for a great photo opportunity!). Next, Pastor Max spoke of the power by the Holy Spirit dwelling in every believer to share Christ and function in the Body of Christ. He encouraged everyone to fulfill their calling and not assume that the pastors and leaders would do it all. Both messages were dynamic and hit the mark. In fact, within a week of the event, one sister let us know that she and her outreach group (GDA) were going to step out of their comfort zone and focus their attentions on reaching their families and their community and make an impact on them for Christ.

 

After the spiritual food came the natural food. While those in attendance feasted on several typical Mexican dishes, they also enjoyed the anointed music provided by the praise and worship teams of the various churches. The musicians are such a joy. Many of the musicians are testimonies of how the Lord can take someone who knows absolutely nothing about music and raise up in them the gift of music to lead others to worship before the Lord. One young teen from Mante only recently learned to play the base guitar and, even more recently, picked up the accordion, which he surprised everyone by not only playing, but also boldly singing a solo while playing it. Others used their abilities in the world before coming to Christ, but now dedicate them to Him alone. Just seeing and hearing them all leads us to rejoice and be very glad.

 

Before final words of thanks to all for everyone's presence and participation in so many, many ways, the winners of the silver box center pieces were determined, and gifts were presented to the special guest speakers as a small token of the congregation's gratitude for their presence and anointed messages.

 

Feedback and testimonies of the event began the week after the event which include the following (note: more comments and testimonies most likely will be included in next month's report):

 

-"Thank God that, though it had rained every day for two weeks prior to the convention, it did not on the day of it.”

 

- “I wanted to cry out of utter joy, love and the tangible presence of the Lord.”

 

-"I was very impressed by the hard work and great cooperation of the members of the host church.”

 

-Now that I've met so many, I am 'friending' them on FaceBook and will stay in communication with them.”

 

-People went to Dona Maria (of Rio Bravo) and thanked her for her prayers during the previous year's convention which brought about positive results.

 

-Every detail that was prayed for by the leaders of the churches and the Victoria discipleship class was successfully answered. (There were nineteen areas/points that were prayed about.)

 

-"All the praise and worship groups did very well. I was proud of how they all flowed in their gifts, especially those who didn't know they had them until they came to Christ. They have learned together.”

 

-"The convention was TOO SHORT! We need not just a few more hours, but more days! Convention should be at least a weekend-long event, to include more fellowship and workshops.” Several people mentioned that they did not want to leave when the convention was over. (Note: this will be much more feasible when Victoria obtains their own building. Please be in prayer that the place that the Lord has in store for them will be revealed and provided for as soon as possible, in His timing, of course.)

 

-”The great unity and mutual cooperation was very noticeable.”

 

-”I really felt great joy.”

 

-”Even though we were up working so early in the morning, serving along side the brothers produced great joy in us, and our bodies did not resent the early hour.”

 

-”We truly love each other so much! This is, as the Word refers to as loving not just in words, but in deeds, as well.”

 

-”How do I describe the Church? LOVE.”

 

-”It's amazing that many of the people in attendance just five years ago were lost, but now they are not only in the Kingdom, but serving the Lord, as well.”

 

-”I was so blessed with the fellowship!”

 

-”I could see the maturity in the Body of Christ.”

 

-”Usually, I wake up dragging, but the day of the convention, I woke up feeling very refreshed and had the joy of serving.”

 

-”For the first time, I could really enjoy the entire service and not feel so many responsibilities on me.” “There was great peace in everything we did.”

 

-”The children's ministry flowed well, and the children all cooperated. There were no incidents of crying, etc.. Also, the teachers and helpers from all the churches all worked very well together.”

 

-While praying for the convention with the congregation in Voz in advance, Rosi had been praying that one lady who never speaks (in all the years that she has been a part of the church) would participate, and she did!

 

-The groups from the respective churches all returned to their homes together rejoicing and talking about all the Lord did during the convention.

 

-A lady who joined with the Rio Bravo group and had never attended before was overwhelmed with joy because of the experience and stated that, while fellowshiping with the ladies on the trip, received a special anointed word in due time from each one of the ladies in separate conversations. She plans to take her mother next year.

 

-One lady commented on how notable the difference is between the children of Cosecha Mundial and those of “the world” with whom she works. This was her first experience in helping with the children, and the contrast was striking for her.

 

-A lady who is not a believer who works with two of our sisters in Christ helped make the silver boxes and heard from them how much love is in the Body of Christ, urging her to see for herself.

 

-Much more to testimonies to come!

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