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MEXICO MISSIONS REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 2014

 

September presented some ups and downs for us and began with Jeanette taking a flight to Kansas to attend her aunt Carolyn's memorial service. Though the purpose of the trip was not what one would desire, the time with family and friends was very pleasant and even fruitful in many ways. While she was away, Jose made the trip to Victoria, Mexico, alone, something he has rarely done.

 

That same day, a national day of prayer was held in Victoria's civic center with several thousand believers. Representing Cosecha Mundial (World Harvest, our church in Victoria), Pepe was asked to pray at the podium for the state's governor. Since these prayer gatherings have begun, we have, indeed, seen improvements, though there is room for more. After the prayer gathering, Jose got together with our leaders from Victoria in the evening to discuss church plans and activities. The leaders are always quite creative and helpful.

 

While there, Jose received word that our dear friend Don Tino, long-time elder from Rio Bravo, went to be with the Lord. Arrangements were made for the congregations in Mante and Victoria to collect an offering for Dona Maria, Don Tino's wife, which Jose delivered to her when he saw her later on Sunday.

 

That Sunday, Pepe and Sofi ministered very effectively in Mante, and Jose in Victoria. Following the service in Victoria, Jose, Carlos, and Eric, baptized in water seven.

 

From Victoria, Jose headed for Rio Bravo. On the way to minister at a memorial service, Jose was stopped by soldiers at a checkpoint. One of them expressed to Jose his concern about having to kill someone, thinking he would be condemned to hell. In fact, he thought he was already condemned. Jose reassured him that the blood of Jesus cleanses every sin, but that serving as a soldier and protecting his nation is not murder, anyway. The soldier was intrigued and continued the discussion, saying it was too good to be true. He was so relieved to learn that God did not condemn him. Before Jose continued on his way, he gave the soldier and his partner each New Testaments and tracts to share with the others. His partner had been standing in the background listening and nodding in agreement the whole time.

 

Don Tino's son Omar ministered at the memorial service, and Omar's wife Miranda and Nayeli, a sister from Rio Bravo, sang. There was much unity, support and love from all the congregation there.

 

The next day, Jose returned to minister at the funeral while Jeanette headed home from Kansas. During a later conversation, Dona Maria expressed her utter gratitude for all the medical staff who did their best for Don Tino and her desire to tell them so. It was also noted that during the long fight for his health, several people were led to Christ, prayed for by Don Tino and Dona Maria, and ministered to up until the last day of his life on earth.

 

Later that week, Carlos from Victoria joined up with Los Leones de Cristo (the Lions of Christ) from WHFC, including our son Joshua, to minister to Hispanics in Oklahoma where Pastor Max and Linda and Jon and Marissa live and have a Christian camp. The following is a brief synopsis of their very quick yet effective trip:

 

On Friday Sept 12, 2014 Los Leones de Cristo traveled to McAlester Oklahoma to minister praise during Living Word Church’s Annual Picnic. Israel, Rene, Joshua, Willy and Carlos from Mexico made this awesome journey. The trip was planned and ordained by God, but it didn’t come without some challenges. As Carlos was preparing to cross into the USA, an official made it very hard for Carlos to cross over when he learned that Carlos was a Christian, but Carlos remained calm and maintained peace and within the hour he was granted a permit, glory to God. Rain storms also made it a challenging drive for about two hours. As the men traveled, the gas allowance envelope containing $240 was misplaced somewhere between Edinburg and Waco, but the men remained at peace, prayed, and trusted that it would turn up. They traveled until Waco where they spent the night and prepared for McAlester early the next morning.

 

On Saturday, the men left to McAlester, and the envelope had not turned up, but peace and joy was upon the Leones as they traveled. The Leones arrived at Living Word Church right at 11:00 am, and the fellowship began. The weather was a cold 55 degrees for the Leones. The Living Word Church Praise Team started the picnic by playing the first set, and then the Leones ministered through praise with a versatile style of praise songs including many with accordion. Then both teams played a couple of songs together, and everyone rejoiced as God was praised. During the picnic, a Hispanic lady and her children attended, as the outreach to Hispanics was the main emphasis of the picnic. Manuel and Melissa, along with others, welcomed her and fellowshipped with her. We later found out that the police had been called out to the church because neighbors had complained regarding the noise (anointed praise). They had never heard Leones praising, especially with an accordion. The police arrived and they simply said that it was not a nuisance at all--Glory! The day was a great cool one and everyone enjoyed the tasty burgers and sausage that Manuel Barrientes and Jonathan Boggs had prepared for the fellowship. The picnic ended by 2:30 pm but the party was just beginning. Pastor Max and Manuel had planned a gathering at the farm after the picnic in which some members of Living Word Church were invited to along with the Hispanic lady, Dolores and her family. Dolores gladly accepted the invitation and even offered to prepare a pot of rice for the gathering. The Leones enjoyed the farm and the hospitality given by Pastor Max and Manuel and family. The dinner at the farm was grand, brotherly fellowship with many people showing up. Peace and unity of the body was evident at this gathering, and all were greatly blessed.

 

On Sunday, the Leones returned on their 12 hour trek to the Valley, and as they drove they called the hotel believing that the gas envelope was there. After speaking to someone at the hotel, they confirmed that the envelope with $240 had been returned, and it was placed in the safe. They told us that it would be waiting for us--GLORY to GOD, someone had returned it! By the way, our allowance envelope, when prepared for us by WHFC staff, read: “Leones, be blessed”! We were truly blessed on this trip in many ways! --Willy Contreras, Leones de Cristo

 

As the Leones were up north, Jeanette and Jose headed south, driving much of the way in the rain, like them. It had rained so much in Victoria that the streets were flooded, so the weekly discipleship class had to be canceled, leaving Jose and Jeanette with plenty of “down time” to read and relax. During that time, we learned that the niece of a member was shot and killed by a boyfriend. (Thankfully, she had accepted Christ and was baptized by us some time ago.) We were so grateful that Mario and Rosi, a couple from the congregation stepped up and ministered to the family during this time. Mario said that the Lord had already given him the word to share even before he knew who it would be for. Pepe, Samuel, and others from the congregation also supported the family during the services with music, and personal ministry.

 

Gratefully, the rain lifted the next day, and we were able to hold service which was to also be the day to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. While there, we were so happy to learn that Vicky's sister, who recently lost her husband, requested that Vicky hold a weekly Bible study in her home for the family. Vicky and Roberto already have another Grupo de Alcance (GDA, outreach group) and attend another one during the week, as well as Vicky attends the church's intercessory prayer group. Beaming, the couple expressed such utter satisfaction with their lives now that they are being used for the Kingdom of God and are also receiving from others in fellowship in the GDAs.

 

The celebration of Independence Day was delightful, and the people really came together with lots of food and fellowship. They also were so kind as to celebrate Jeanette's birthday which happens to fall on Mexican Independence Day.

 

The next week we were able to hold the discipleship class. Vicky and Roberto testified that their grandchild was recently born fine despite the dire reports of the doctor. We had prayed together about it the previous week. Also as testimony, Carlos observed that the son of Don Roberto seems to be softening when he used to adamantly reject anything to do with Christians or faith. This change has come about because of the love that has been shown by the church when they visit his father, Don Roberto, who has been bed-ridden for some time due to a foot infection and consequent amputations. (Please continue to keep Don Roberto and his family in prayer.) The son has commented, “When you come visit my dad, he improves, eats better, and is strengthened.” His daughter-in-law was also open to us when we visited Don Roberto. While there, Don Roberto testified of how he encouraged them in their struggling marriage and exhorted them to follow the Word and stay together. He said his words seem to have helped.

 

During the discipleship class, a sister testified of a deep, personal revelation that the Lord gave her. He showed her how a certain attitude in her heart affected her faith and her relationship with her family. Once she received the revelation for herself, the Lord did mighty things in her family, including her mother deciding on her own to attend church with her two weeks in a row.

 

Lucero let us know that in the first 5 weeks of her new GDA, 6 ladies have come to Christ. They are all married and have kids, so we can expect their families to be impacted and come into the Kingdom, as well.

 

Lupita and Rodolfo, long-time members in Victoria, visited the church in Voz and ministered to them. They plan to return regularly in coordination with Rosi and Mario. This is a great relief to us as Voz is in need of more attention than we can consistently give them. We expect great things will result from this for the congregation and the village.

 

The following day, David, Alejandro, and a young teen named Oscar drove to Mante to minister. The Lord had given David the word to share and told him there would be one to accept Christ. When he gave the invitation, at first no one went forward, and David questioned inwardly if he'd been mistaken. But then he saw a lady at the front. However, he “somehow” knew she wasn't the one expected, and before he knew it, another went forward. One of them had recently begun attending Don Gelo's GDA, and the other was a recent widow still grieving. At the altar, they told her that the only way to have peace and healing was to give her life to Christ, so she did. Vicente, who travels weekly from Voz, and Alejandro helped pray with them.

 

Meanwhile, Jose and Jeanette held service in Victoria. There, Rodrigo told Jose of a recent dream he'd had. He later wrote it down so that we could pray about it and gain understanding of its revelation. It is one of the most impacting “God dreams” that we have heard about lately. “In a nutshell,” it speaks of victory over the enemy and salvation for those who would come against Jose. Rodrigo said he has had other strong dreams lately, as Joel 2 speaks of for these last days.

 

The following week, we made a special trip in to Victoria for a wedding. With the assistance of our leaders and Genesis and Samuel to help with sound, music, and other details, the wedding was a great success. Most of all, we rejoice because it was a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with the families most of whom had never attended a Christian wedding. The comments afterward revealed that it was very effective and impressive to them. One of our sisters in attendance told some who said they were so impressed with the nice words of the minister, “This is the kind of thing we hear every week at church. You should come.”

 

We enjoyed a nice breakfast with some of our leaders the next day before visiting Don Roberto and then heading north first to Rio Bravo, and then across the border.

 

While stopping by our Victoria apartment to pick up our things, we were delighted by the music practice of our up-and-coming praise and worship second team. As we entered, we could sense the precious anointing there. A brother fairly new to the congregation is helping them learn their musical and voice techniques. What a privilege to see them all in action, even though many of them are just beginners!

 

Just before we left, with everything loaded in the van, we peeked in the room again and found the newly formed teen GDA rehearsing for the Christmas play. That group seems to have doubled in size overnight! We truly are grateful for David and Paola being willing to take on this responsibility and meeting such an important need.

 

In Rio Bravo, we found our brothers and sisters in Christ consoled supernaturally. At the end of the service, we prayed for Berta who had only attended once before. She told us she had a heart condition. Before we could pray for the physical condition, we prayed for her spiritual condition, and she accepted Christ. Then we prayed for her physical heart and expect a completely clean bill of health.

 

We also prayed for Ernesto who stated that he no longer wants to be rebellious. Later, he spoke with Dona Maria concerning some personal decisions that he was planning. Good thing he spoke with her! What he was planning was entirely contrary to the Word.

 

While we were there, Rosi and Mario, along with Manuel and his wife, visited Voz and ministered. Rosi and Mario plan to return the next week with Lupita and Rodolfo to evangelize in the village as well as minister at the service.

 

Our month of activities ended in WHTC where we attended service joining Pastor Max and other leaders to lay hands on Pastors Jon and Marissa and release them from their position so that they could be free to follow the Lord in future endeavors in Oklahoma. We also laid hands on Jaime and Stephanie to place them “officially” in the position as head pastors of World Harvest Family Church of WHTC. It was a very anointed time followed by an enjoyable fellowship luncheon with all the congregation.

 

What a month! We are so very grateful that the Lord has taken us by the hand and led us through it all. Without Him, this report would not contain the beautiful works of His Body that it does, and the picture that it paints would not be so bright.

 

With love in Christ, Jose, Jeanette, and the rest of the Missions Team

 

I Corinthians 16:13, 14 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.

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