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Mexico Missions report for November 2015

MEXICO MISSIONS REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 2015

 

During the first of the month of November and the end of October, we always need to address for the parents and children the issue of celebrating the Day of the Dead, in addition to the adopted “holiday” Halloween, as it is a part of the Hispanic culture. It often involves special dances at school with the children dressed in black and their faces painted to look like skulls, special altars made to the deceased, and visits to the cemetery to take the favorite food and drinks of the deceased—all based on the misconception that the soul of the dead is lurking around.

 

As Jeanette discussed this with her Sunday school class in Victoria, the conversation with the children revealed that two of them has a maid that practices witchcraft and another has grandmother who does, too. It was a perfect opportunity to teach the authority that we have in Christ over such things and the reality of the Light of the world.

 

Earlier, before the church service, Jeanette struck up a conversation with a 5-yr-old boy. He explained to her in perfect detail the Gospel and told how Jesus, Who did not sin, was punished in our place and that they nailed Him to the cross. With a very serious expression on his face, the boy went on to say that though Jesus died, He came back to life and lives at the Father's side and in the boy's heart. He ended by crossing his arms in a “self hug” and saying that he loves Jesus so much. How precious! The calling of the Lord on his life is already so evident. We give God thanks so much for his mother and his Sunday school teachers who have sown so much good seed in this child and so many others.

 

The next week, Rocio's GDA along with some other ladies visited a children's hospital and a cancer treatment center to share the Gospel, pray for the sick, and take a meal to the family members who must stay close to the patients. It was a very successful time as several received by faith the prayer of healing and at least 8 received Christ.

 

After 2 other attempts to visit our brothers and sisters in Christ of Voz, we finally had cooperative weather and were able to cross the bridge leading to it. Before service, Karen was seen passing out the weekly memory verses that she writes by hand for them. Though she could get the leftovers from the printed ones that Randu so faithful makes each week in Victoria, she says she prefers it this way as it helps her to memorize them. Her effort and devotion has not gone unnoticed.

 

The children in Voz are so different now. In earlier years, it was a challenge to get them to sit and receive the Word. Now, however, they are cooperative and appreciative of all that is offered to them. Even the smallest ones sit quietly. Perseverance pays off! Ironically, one of the children who took great pleasure in being uncooperative years ago is now their teacher.

 

From Voz, we headed to Victoria for the discipleship class already in progress and being led by Carlos. We are so grateful for the very competent and very reliable leaders that the Lord has given the ministry in all the churches.

 

The next day at service in Victoria, an elderly man who recently began attending received the memory verse of the week and rejoiced saying, “This is my verse! I've been meditating on it all week!” He is young in the Lord, so this is particularly significant. Also during the service, we learned that Randu got a new and better job, and his boss is a Christian. We also were glad to hear that the Gideons are active in the area. One of the children said he received a New Testament at school! Praise God! Another boy said that he was sick with a stomach ailment until his step-mom anointed him with oil and prayed for him. And during another conversation, a young believer told Jeanette that she and her husband used to have only enough money to barely scrape by, but now they have an abundance. (This couple often spontaneously takes food for the discipleship class just to bless us.)

 

During the service, something happened that we had never experienced before: an electrical fire broke out and spewed sparks from the ceiling. The people reluctantly evacuated, but did not leave the premises. In fact, they kept asking when they could go back in to continue the service. Eventually, they got the “all clear,” and the teachers took the children to their classes, while the adults returned to the message. The watchman later commented that he was so glad that it happened while we were there, and not in the evening when some party was taking place (our services are held at a banquet hall for now). He said that with the loud music, heavy smoke, and people too full of alcohol, they may not have noticed the problem on time, or they would not have reacted with calm had they noticed. How good of the watchman to make that observation.

 

A baby in Christ with serious marital problems said that her husband had been very upset and worried about some situations, and she told him that if he really believed and prayed the words that she would tell him, he would feel much better. She told him to call on the Lord and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and he did. We pray that his eyes have been opened and that he continue to develop a relationship with the Lord as his personal Savior.

 

Willy and Omar went with us the following week to Victoria where they jumped in Carlos' vehicle and headed with him to Voz for a special youth service. We were so glad that the rain had stopped just as they were to drive there, and didn't resume until the men returned to Victoria. At the service, there was music, word, ministering to needs, and a meal at the end. We know that the seed sown in the young ones will produce a great harvest, just as there has been in the lives of Karen and Isai, a young couple who serve as a great example to others. Karen began attending church there at around the age of 7 and now is a leader in the church along with her husband Isai. He began attending with us in his late teens. The two when they married in the church broke a curse that is common in the villages.

 

While Omar, Willy, and Carlos were there, Jose and Jeanette led the discipleship class. There, Paola testified of how the Lord led her to take a step of faith and resign from her job without having another one lined up. Just before she could speak with her boss, she received a call from a friend she hadn't heard from in a while asking if she would like to take her place at another job. Paola recalled that Willy had prophesied over the church months ago that the people would work better schedules, less hours, and better pay.

 

The next day, Jose and Jeanette drove to Mante to minister. Every visit reveals more and more improvements to the building, as well as to their spiritual growth. They are working on a cement block wall around the property with plans to eventually put a roof on one part as an extension. They also painted the children's room inside and out. What a difference!

 

The congregation used to be made up of mostly ladies, but now there is a good balance of both men and women, youth and children of all ages. We noticed that everyone arrived with smiles on their faces and were punctual—a wonderful improvement. The children in Mante are learning well and are much better behaved. They enjoy learning the Word and participate well. The teachers are doing a great job with them.   Please pray for Brother Beto, a long-time member in Mante, who has been slow to recover from heart surgery and has had complications.

 

Meanwhile, Willy and Omar had quite a time with the people in Victoria. There was a mighty flow of the Spirit as the congregation was led in song, and prophetic word came forth specifically for several people that was right on the spot. People were still talking about it days later.

 

Karina's new GDA (grupo de alcance, outreach group) with her parents is going very well and has already accomplished some very important things that have come to light by the Spirit. We praise God for His work in them.

 

The following weekend, we had the absolute joy of ministering at Rodrigo and Ceci's wedding in Victoria. They accepted Christ just a couple of years ago, and since then we have seen God make dramatic changes in them, so their marriage was quite a testimony to their unsaved family members. The Gospel was interwoven throughout the service and reception with a sweet, happy atmosphere at the wedding the whole time. Thankfully, the weather was perfect for their outside ceremony, despite the rains that fell earlier that day.

 

Elizabeth, a relative of the family, lives in the U.S. but has a real heart to bless the church and the ministries, especially those in the villages. In the past, she has sent backpacks and school supplies, as well as other things. This time she brought with her on her trip to attend the wedding jackets, toys, and candies for Christmas for the children of the villages.

 

The next morning we met over breakfast with the leaders of Victoria and enjoyed great fellowship as well as discussions of plans for the ministry. The Lord has provided very faithful and wise leaders, and we very much enjoy spending time with them. Later that day, we held the discipleship class and had a great talk on the importance of the Body of Christ.

 

The service the next day was very satisfying as lots of needs were met and we received many good news reports from the members before, during, and following it. Several went forward for prayer at the altar call and received. Immediately following the service, we headed for Rio Bravo for another service. We were so glad to hear that there is a new Christian radio station in the area, and they are asking for participation of church leaders. Mari plans to take them KCM magazines with the church information attached to them because they want to know where the local churches are to refer the new converts.

 

Miriam, though she attends the church in Rio Bravo, lives in Reynosa and has begun a GDA for the neighborhood children, and is having great success. She has a real gift for teaching children.

 

That was our last meeting we would attend this month so that we could celebrate Thanksgiving with family, including Jeanette's mother who flew in for the occasion. Meanwhile, the leaders in Victoria held the marriage class and showed the movie “War Room,” a very recommended movie for everyone, but especially for couples in crisis.

 

What a nice way to end the month and look toward December. We appreciate so much the love, prayers, and support of so many who desire to see the Gospel spread throughout Mexico and wish you all a very merry Christmas.

 

With love in Christ and sincere gratitude,

Jose, Jeanette, and the Missions Team

 

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

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