December’s activities involved a lot of eating and fellowshipping, of course. We started off the month celebrating Christmas with the brothers and sisters in Mante. It was good to see they remain faithful. They desire to purchase land and begin building. Until then, they are still meeting in the carport of one of the sisters. Please be in prayer for this congregation to grow and move into a building.


The following day was a regular service in Victoria in which Jose prayed for a person with hearing loss who was healed. We also learned that Laura’s relations from her dad’s side who live in Dallas are now all saved and attending church! Laura and Salomon have been sowing seed in them for years and now see the harvest. Praise the Lord!


The next Saturday, we attended the Christmas dinner in Voz which was completely financed by the congregation. It used to be that others would provide the food and candy bags. God is prospering them, and they've been able to pay for their own expenses for the last couple of years. We were also very glad to see that the widow of Don Pedro is doing quite well and is the one who comforts her son, instead of the other way around.


From Voz, we headed to the celebrations in Victoria. They began with praise and worship, followed by a play put on by the young adults (which was a great success and surpassed all expectations, despite them never having had rehersed with the complete group!). One young man who had not been very consistent in attending church recently took his girlfriend named Sandra who was then led to the Lord by Laura. Turns out that Sandra is an actress, so she was able to advise the group on how to put the play together, and she also provided the costumes, in addition to acting in the play. God’s timing for everything was perfect.


To conclude the program, there was a final procession of the children dressed as the characters of the Christmas story singing “O Come Let Us Adore Him” as they walked to the front. Then, the approximately two hundred people in the congregation were invited to join the children in the front to adore Him, as well. It was a moving moment. As people returned to their seats, Jose explained the way to receive Jesus and led the audience in a prayer to accept Him. It all went so smoothly, and the atmosphere was charged with joy, peace, and unity as we transitioned from the program to the meal. Even the invited guests seemed very much at ease and glad to be there.


The next morning we had our regular service in Victoria. Mari, one of Salomon and Laura’s maids, has been attending services with her children and her husband who has had a drinking problem. Ever since he started coming, he stopped drinking. The guys at his work make fun of him, but he is not moved by that. In addition, he used to work seven days a week, but has stopped in order to attend service. It is a beautiful family, and we really look forward to seeing them used mightily by God.


Another family that we have our eye on in Phillippe (from France) and Rocio, and their daughter Jade. We were able to get him a Bible in French and hope that he will grow even more quickly in the Word, being able to read it in his own language.


The following weekend, we met some interesting people. One, by the name of Israel, said he is a member of the Gulf Cartel. We urged him to get free from the lifestyle of destruction and handed him some tracts that would show him how. He quickly folded them and stashed them in his pocket. After speaking with him for some time, we were on our way. Pray for him and those around him to come to Christ and be free from the ugly bondage they find themselves in.


Just down the road, we met another man who was the complete opposite. He has a citrus stand and a small hand-made sign that says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything.” The sign intrigued us and is what led us to stop and buy from him. Joy was all over his face. He said he didn’t know how to write very well, but God showed him how to make his sign. Since putting up the sign, his business has really prospered, and even people stop by to GIVE HIM fruit to sell. They have also given him Bibles, among other things. We handed him some tracts to give to his customers, since he obviously has a ministry right there on the side of the road. Praise God there are firm believers like Pedro Banda in Padilla. We pray blessings on him, his family, and his church.


While we were busy “meeting new people,” the praise and worship team from Victoria was in El Barretal for a youth conference where they had the privilege of ministering in music. Later, the church also had the blessing of providing the church van to a group that was from Valles in order for them to return home after their van had broken down. It is a joy to be able to help other brothers and sisters in Christ!


Later that day, after making some visits, playing a little soccer, sharing a meal with some brothers and sisters, we had a nice chat with Salomon and Laura. During the conversation, we had to chuckle when Salomon said he met a man from Padilla and began to square off to introduce him to Christ. Meanwhile, the other man was doing the same! When they both realized what they were doing, they just had to laugh.


The next day was a busy one. We had a beautiful, anointed, baby dedication service to dedicate Ana Camila in Victoria. It was another great opportunity to evangelize the lost family members in attendance. During the meal that followed the ceremony, we heard the testimony of Sister Blanca, the grandmother, of another grandchild we’d dedicated about six years ago who was recently run over by a car. The initial reports were bad: concussion, spinal injury, no feeling in the legs, etc. Blanca prayed all the way to the hospital and laid hands on him. She found Gael alert, with no head injury, and he could move his legs. He only had a bump on his head and his baby teeth had been knocked out, and his leg is sore. Nothing serious. Praise the Lord!


After that reception, we jumped in the car and headed for Rio Bravo for their Christmas party. It was a beautiful service. They had a children’s group (mostly pre-adolescents) led by Miranda and Omar--play the praise and worship songs with guitars and a keyboard. We were so glad to see their participation and the hope for the future praise and worship team in them.


The people in Rio Bravo are prospering, just as we have been praying. There was an abundance of food, and Chela and Mona’s new business called “El Nuevo Amanecer” (The New Dawn) is thriving. They make tortillas, beans, and other Mexican foods in a small stand on the corner. The church has only one more payment, and they will be done. They sold the other property that had been donated in payments, and that has enabled them to make the payments on the property. Also, Brother Oscar plans to return to Queretaro to minister to his family, and the church will help support his trip. Things are looking up for Rio Bravo after a time of perseverance.


Miriam, age 19, continues to ride the bus from Reynosa to attend church in Rio Bravo. She takes two brothers with her and has to change buses along the way. We are amazed at her dedication and maturity. However, one brother, Miguel, seems to be more influenced by the world. Pray for him. As a small child, he and his sister had a unique experience during praise and worship service when they had just begun. Jeanette reminded him of that experience and told him that nothing else will ever come close to that.


While you’re praying, please remember Don Tino from Rio Bravo for complete recovery and divine health in his body. He had some heart trouble recently.


For the remainder of the month, leaders from each congregation led the services. We are so blessed that God is raising up strong, faithful leadership in each church.


We appreciate your prayers for them and for us. Continue to agree with us in faith in the Word for success in each trip and no interference in any way from the enemy. We ask that you continue to declare Psalms 121 and 91, and bind the spirit of violence and call out for justice over Mexico.


As we enter the New Year, our focal scripture is 2 Tim 4.2, “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”


Have a blessed, prosperous 2011 !!! José, Jeanette, Joshua, and the Missions Team

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