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It's always a "treat" to stop by the cottage at the beginning of the month as is our custom to check on things, visit with the neighbors, and enjoy for a brief time the grove and surrounding nature.  This time, Jeanette had an unusual up-close encounter with an unsuspecting parrot.  She saw it before it saw her, so she remained motionless for some time before he finally moved to distant branches.  The parrots enjoy the limes and avocados, nibbling always halfway on the fruit before moving to the next one.  We thank God for divinely leading us to purchase this property years ago, even before we would know that we would need it for both personal and ministry use.  It has been quite a blessing to us.


From there we made the hour-long drive to Victoria for the weekly discipleship class where we were thrilled to see visitors and others who do not regularly attend.  Among them was a brother who said he left a party to come so that he would avoid the temptations that he has been delivered from.  On another day he had a desire to be with believers and headed to the church building where he was glad to find the praise and worship team practicing. Our desire is that every one of our church buildings be occupied daily with people involved in activities that edify the Body, evangelize the lost, and exalt the Lord.


During the weekly intercessory group meeting, we were discussing how our prayers can be effective, even when they are not the traditional, fervent kind, as we have casual conversations with the Father.  Luz testified that she had commented to the Lord that she was tired of driving a car with standard transmission and desired an economical, automatic, white car.  Soon after, she sort of left the topic "on the back burner" because she wasn't sure about how to go about selling her current car to be able to buy another one.  A few days later, a man knocked on her door, cash in hand, asking if she would sell him her car.  She hadn't even put it up for sale!  Then the Lord directed her to the right car at a much better price than was expected to pay.


A few days later in a conversation with Herminio, he spoke of his recent visit to Rio Bravo with Manuel to minister.  During the service Josue and Kaela led the praise and worship, and the two really flowed well together.  Herminio was especially so impressed with the anointing on Kaela to play the guitar that he felt led to bless her with his guitar and accessories, including the amp, which he sent to her soon after when WIlly and Cynde went to minister.  Kaela was speechless and beamed with joy over the priceless gift that would be used to usher people to experience the Lord's presence and glorify Him!  Jose estimates that people in this ministry have been led by the Lord to give some 15-20 guitars during the 20-year span of history of the ministry (not to mention the donations of speakers and such!)


The following weekend as we approached Victoria, we received word of the passing of the father of lady who attends our services with her family.  So plans were made with Carlos for several of us to attend and serve at the funeral home after the discipleship class.  It was a very anointed service, and as soon as we started peace filled the place and dramatically changed the atmosphere. Through the participation of several leaders, the name of Jesus was proclaimed, and the Gospel was presented to the packed chapel. 


Earlier during discipleship class, Raul testified of the "immense joy" of seeing his family, one by one, coming to Christ.  He said that since he began congregating with us, he wanted his family to experience the same joy and began praying for them.  He thought that his brother Ricardo would be the "difficult" one, but he has entered the faith and now has a relationship with the brothers of the church and is happy. Raul also recently found out that another brother came to Christ a year ago!


Also, Luz testified of the friend of a friend with cancer who has much improved since she shared the Word with her and instructed her in taking communion.


The group in Victoria that visits the hospital monthly continues to impact lives.  One couple, after hearing the Word, confessed that they had been away from the Lord for years and desired to return to church where they are from.  The team happily explained to them all the benefits of being joined to the Body of Christ and urged them to indeed return.  


We also received a call concerning an urgent need of a member which would require some wisdom for us to know how to proceed.  So we prayed about it and waited on the Lord for direction.  The next morning, still pondering it, the solution sprang up!  With a quick message sent to Willy who involved Pastor Jaime who added even more wise direction, the need was provided for within MINUTES.


With school just around the corner, Jeanette's Sunday school class of 9 to 12-yr-olds helped pack and distribute school supplies to the some 59 kids and youth of the church. Supplies were also sent to the 3 other churches as well as to the village of Mariposas where Rosi and Mario minister weekly.


After the service, Jeanette was asked to join Raul, Karla, and the mother of a 12-yr-old girl to minister to the daughter because she had been unable to sleep due to seeing things in her bedroom and experiencing oppression. The girl herself had told her mother that she wanted to get help by going to church where her aunt goes.  When asked if she knew who Jesus is, she answered no.  After she was led to Christ and prayed for, her countenance immediately changed.  Her mother later reported that she has been sleeping well ever since.  Another positive thing was that her father commented that he enjoyed the message of the service. He had expected to be very bored, but was pleasantly surprised.  We hope to see that family again!


We rejoiced with Eugenio when he testified of how the Lord encamped around him a few days earlier.  He was riding his bike when suddenly he was attacked by a dog that was running with a pack.  As Eugenio kicked the dog, he lost control and fell onto the street.  Before he could gather himself, he noticed a car fast approaching.  Instantly, he recalled a conversation in the last class of how the Lord has protected us and saved our lives so many times.  He closed his eyes and felt peace just as the car whisked by.  So close came the car to him that he felt the air move his hair!  When he opened his eyes, the car was gone and so were the dogs.  He felt pain due to the fall, but by the next day was totally healed.


The Lord is working in Rocio and Karly's family!  Their sister and her husband who had expressed resistance to the Gospel took communion together in the hospital alone while there for tests before Rocio could get there to lead them.  She had already done so with them in days past, and they had seen the Lord work on their behalf.  The brother-in-law was just about to be taken for more blood tests, and the two felt it was urgent to take communion before he left.  Not long after, they received word that all tests were negative.  No bad results!  The only thing they could find was a deficiency of vitamin B, so they sent him home with dietary instructions and supplements, and he is doing fine.


We heard another wonderful testimony from Sister Martha who one day felt compelled to visit a brother-in-law who had been seriously ill.  She walked into his room and led him to the Lord.  Just 2 or 3 hours later, she got word that he had gone to be with the Lord!  At the burial, still led by the Spirit, she spoke up and shared the Gospel.  She also later had the great privilege of leading her father who is in his 90s and in poor health to Christ.  Her husband also recently shared Christ with a very close friend, a mason, by phone.


Some of the folks from Sister Cristina and Brother Cuco's home group went to pray for a man who hadn't had any bowel or urinary movement for about 2 weeks, and doctors were preparing to operate.  While praying for him "everything flowed." This group has many testimonies but are not always quick to let us know about them unless directly asked.


Sister Rafa testified that, after suffering from a stomach ailment for 3 months, unable to digest food and vomiting nightly, was healed after being prayed for in the intercessory group.  


A team from Victoria drove on an early Saturday morning to Mante to minister to the children in a "mini-VBS" since the congregation there was unable to hold a full vacation Bible school this year.  The response was great!  About 25 kids attended, and one of the teachers who is from there but attends Victoria's congregation stayed behind to teach a second day of the lessons during the Sunday school.  In addition, the teachers there plan to complete the lessons by teaching them every Sunday until they are done.  Glory to God!  We are resolved to never give up territory that the Lord has given us to the enemy!  There's always a plan B!  The same team plans to do the same thing in Voz next month where "man-power" is a little limited as well.


The team returned to Victoria later that afternoon, and many of them went to the church after only a couple of hour's rest to join us and the praise and worship team for a fellowship under the palapa, a thatched gazebo.  Rodrigo cooked a spectacular meal, and the time spent together was very enjoyable and effective.  


The next day, Raul returned with us to Mante to attend Sunday's service in which we ministered.  After a message brought by Jose, we all prayed for many with health issues.  Earlier in a conversation, Sister Araceli testified of having been prayed for when she had an extra heart beat years ago.  Since then, her heart has been fine.  We also rejoiced in the fact that Brother Gelo, an elderly member, was uninjured after falling 10 feet from a tree that he was attempting to trim.


We very much enjoy the ride to Mante and the conversation that ensues with Raul or whoever drives us from VIctoria.  It's when we learn much about the things that the Lord is doing.  Raul told us that the men's ministry is doing so well that they are communicating among each other between the meetings and often, in excitement of the up-coming meeting, message asking what to bring and what the plans are.  Praise God!  Edifying the men of the church is a priority of the ministry, for we realize that as they are strengthened, so are their families, and so is the Church.


That same day in Rio Bravo, 5 people were baptized!  Among them was a young man who is engaged to Sami, a long-time member.  We rejoice in all of them being baptized, but are also very glad that this man is growing in his faith and becoming an integral part of the Body.


Dona Maria, of Rio Bravo, also told of the mother of a young lady who was sent home from the hospital to die.  The mother went to the church tearfully begging for help.  Dona Maria prayed for her and went the next day to the lady's house to pray for the daughter.  The father was also there and listened attentively as she shared.  Dona Maria expects the complete healing of the girl!


On the final weekend of the month, the leaders of Victoria held the monthly special youth meeting and spoke on the topic of healing, including physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.  About 20 teens were present and received all that was shared with them.


The next day, Rocio, Luz, Rosi, and Luz Maria went to Voz to minister and host a baby shower for Cinthia who is due any day.  After ministering to the ladies first with the Word, an invitation was given to receive Christ to which 6 in attendance, all relatives of the father of the baby, positively responded and expressed a desire to continue attending services.         


We are expecting big changes and growth in Voz.  An acquaintance of Isai out of the blue called him and said that he wanted to attend the services.  This is what we have been praying, that the people of the village begin to see the church as a lighthouse and be drawn to it.


That evening the monthly marriage class was held in Victoria, with David and Paola leading it.  We rejoice in the maturity and revelation with which they taught the class, though they have only been married for just a few years.


Though we experience many joyous occurrences throughout the month, we also face things that truly require the strength that only comes from the Lord.  Such was the case in the passing of our dear sister Melissa Barrientes of the Edinburg congregation.  Though she certainly has received her complete healing now that she is with Jesus, we are the ones now to rely on His healing in our hearts here on earth.  Melissa sowed much seed in our lives and the lives of so many in the Rio Grande Valley, Oklahoma, and in Mexico, where she on many occasions ministered both in song and in word, not to mention the impact she had on many through the love that she shared so freely.  We are eternally grateful and blessed for having known her. 


In all things we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ and we press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling!  Thanks so much for your part in this wonderful adventure here in the Kingdom of God!


With love in Christ,

Jose, Jeanette, and the Missions Team


“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" 

(II Pet. 1:3)




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