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MISSIONS REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 2011

Our activities began this month with a visit to Rio Bravo.  We found the church well and growing, with every seat but two occupied, and even more attend for the Saturday night service.  For the expansion project, the building walls have all been torn down with the exception of a small room for the meetings.  The mess was a beautiful sight, as it represents growth, improvement, and vision for the future.  And there is excitement in the air.  Anyone wishing to sow seed in the building project would be greatly appreciated.

While Jose and Jeanette stayed in Edinburg the next weekend to participate in Harvest Fest, the flurry of activities on the other side of the border continued.  Amazingly, while they were away, there was a “velorio” (memorial service in a funeral home), a funeral, someone to visit in the hospital, as well as the regular services, all covered just fine by the leaders.  It gives such satisfaction to know that there are faithful, mature leaders to handle the situations in our absence.

Also that weekend, several from the church in Victoria wearing specially made t-shirts to advertise the upcoming conference for young adults spanned a sector of the city passing out fliers to announce to the event.  They repeated the same activity several weeks in a row in different places, including a public park with special permission.  There they had a booth, a screen with a projector for the promo clips they created, and so on.  

Pepe brought back word from Mante that they have the opportunity to purchase two adjacent lots, one with a small warehouse in need of some work on it.  Three members of the congregation have offered to put up one third of the amount with their own money.  It will be a great blessing for Mante to finally get their own building as they have been meeting outside in a carport for years now.  Another opportunity to sow seed…

The following weekend a quinceanera (sweet 15th birthday special service/celebration) was held in Mante.  Jose didn’t feel comfortable missing two services in a row in Victoria, so he sent Carlos to officiate the service, his first, which went very well.  Some 50 people were in attendance, many of whom heard through the ceremony the Gospel for the very first time.

Our leadership class in Victoria has grown.  Meetings are held in Salomon’s warehouse, and the 5-gallon buckets of paint are serving as seats for the “overflow.”

At the leadership class held at the cottage, we discussed the importance of preparing the people to be able to share Christ and explain their faith.  A children’s program on teaching them to evangelize already being implemented in Victoria was shared with the folks from Voz, and another packet will be shared with Sister Fidela for the congregation she serves in San Isidro (unaffiliated with World Harvest).

That afternoon Jose and Jeanette headed back to Victoria to visit Sister Blanca who had just been dismissed from the hospital.  The doctors have released her because they say there is nothing more they can do for the cancer and liver failure she is fighting.  But when we arrived, we found faith and gratitude.  The many family members testified of God’s provision for the 45 days of hospitalization, the opportunity they had to share Christ with others and pray for them and provide for their needs, and saw many affected and healed as they ministered.  God also sent people to minister to them in their most trying times.  Please continue to lift up Sister Blanca in your prayers and declare manifested healing in her body.  Nothing is impossible for God!

Dante recently returned from a trip to Mexicali.  He testified that during his flight God put him next to a man named Victor who has been divorced for 7 years, and still in pain over it.  The Holy Spirit led Dante to share Christ and lead him to the Lord.  They exchanged phone numbers, and Victor later called to thank him.  Since then, Dante has sent him scriptures, and Victor says his life has changed and he has experienced “marvelous things.”  He plans to visit the church in Victoria when he returns.

We sure had a time in the Lord the next Sunday in Victoria!  It started with Rocio letting us know that she has been holding a Bible study at her home with grandparents and some aunts and uncles, and recently led all five to the Lord.  The gardener has also been included in the group.   Now her goal is to disciple them.  The church in Victoria has so many Grupos de Alcances (GDAs) that we are losing count!

Rafa also let us know of her leading a young mother to the Lord while on a business trip.  She asks that we pray for her 6 month old daughter who is said to be blind.  Rafa also asked for prayer for Luis Martin, a boy whose bones fracture easily, and for Raul Osvaldo who has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor.  In addition, she’d like prayer for her brother Arturo who has liver disease.

During the same service, a man named Cipriano attended with his son and his sister.  We met him about three years ago in his humble restaurant.  Several from church had tried to minister to him, but he was in such mental confusion that it seemed nothing was getting to him.  Apparently, since then, he had been in prison.  Recently, Pepe ran into him and invited him to church.  Cipriano said he wrestled within himself all night until around 5:00AM when he finally came to the conclusion that he needed to drop everything and let God work in his life.  He decided to go to church right then.  He prayed to accept Christ following the service.  Instantly, the man’s countenance changed.  The next week he took his wife and the whole family to church.  We look forward to seeing God’s marvelous work in his life.

Another lady in the service told Jose that she had told her daughter she never wanted to attend another church because she never felt anything.  But right there at her seat during worship, she was touched.  She said the words Jose spoke were directly for her when he spoke of being free from bitterness against God which she harbored for the death of a daughter.  Her husband said for the first time ever, he could feel the presence of God.  There was quite an anointing as we flowed while Jose sang a song God had given him.  It was glorious!

We also came together in prayer for two friends of a brother in Christ who had recently been kidnapped.  We have confidence that they will be released, as all the others we have prayed for (to our knowledge) are free now.

The following week we were invited to attend a special celebration at Rafa’s house as the GDA celebrated their first anniversary with great food and testimonies of all God has done in their lives through the GDA.  Since its inception, there have been approximately 50 salvations, innumerable healings, and countless seed sown in so many lives not only during their meetings, but also in their monthly visits to hospitals.  There were lots of tears of gratitude as they all shared.  One common thread was that they all called the members “family” and looked forward to every Monday.   With this kind of unity, it seems nearly impossible for one of them to fall.  It also seems like this group is numerically ready to split and there are two that seem quite prepared to lead a new group.

The first testimony was of Karla who had just returned from a very intensive law enforcement course that she was selected and sent to.  She said of the several from all over the state who had gone, she was one of the four who passed.  Her faith and the group’s support were what she attributes to her success.  While there, she was also able to lead someone to Christ.

We also rejoiced in hearing that Marco’s dad is perfectly fine after first getting a bad report from the doctor.  After the group praying for him, Marco says his dad now has a much better attitude and is closer to God.

Maribel says that since coming to Christ, getting plugged in to the church and the GDA, she has had less stress.  And at the hospital where she works, the doctor asked her what she does to the children.  They are happier and don’t cry when she’s around.  She says she gives them love. 

Her sister Lily was the first to come to Christ. She gave a spectacular testimony of how God saved her life and gave her a new one, one filled with hope, joy, love, and peace.

The young believer named Juan Carlos joined the GDA soon after accepting Christ.  His family has been in crisis, though he doesn’t give details.  He has already begun to share Christ with his parents.  In addition, he took a friend named Sergio to the previous meeting, and he, too, accepted Christ.  Sergio commented at the party that he can feel an “extraordinary force” of light, joy, and family, an “inexplicable energy.”

Also that night we saw a video on Face Book of the personal testimony of Adan Ramones, a very famous Mexican comic who recently came to Christ and wanted his fans to know it.  During the filming, the couple helping him film it also received Christ.  God truly is pouring out His Spirit!

Willy, accompanied by Ivan and a fairly new member named Mr. Sanchez, visited Rio Bravo the week of Thanksgiving.  Each shared a short message, and the three sang a few songs.  The men expressed their gratitude for the privilege of ministering there, and Mr. Sanchez said he really enjoyed his first visit.

November was full of activities, and December promises to be even fuller, with lots of joy in our celebration of our Savior’s birth.  There will be much to testify, to be sure.  We pray your Christmas festivities are glorious as well.

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2012! –Jose, Jeanette, Josh, and the Missions Team 

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