As usual, December was a month full of joy, fellowship, and giving as we went from one congregation to another. In addition to the Christmas festivities, we rejoiced in many blessings from our “normal” activities which began with a wonderful service in Victoria. After the altar call where several received prayer and ministering for various situations, a friend of Lupita and Rodolfo publicly gave thanks to God for the recent release of his niece who had been missing for 3 months.


The next weekend we started our Christmas celebrations with a meeting/party with our leadership in Victoria, followed by a special service and meal in Mante. We enjoyed meeting new people who have begun attending and catching up with the members who had great testimonies of God's hand performing miracles through the prayers of the leaders. The prayer group had prayed for a missing young lady who was found within days. They also witnessed the healing of others, one who had suffered from severe pain.


We spent a wonderful time with the brothers and sisters of Voz Campesina the following weekend after a quick visit with our neighbors across from our cottage in the village of La Purisima. It was great to see Patricio, a recent convert, accompanied by his daughter. He is growing strong in the faith. Lupe, another success story, has been restored in body and mind (as mentioned in a previous report), which didn't go unnoticed by a visitor who knows him. She commented to Jeanette how Lupe has changed.  Jeanette explained to her that it was the hand of God working in his life.  Jeanette passed on the compliment to Lupe who responded that he no longer has any desire to drink. The change is remarkable and dramatic.


Later that day, we met with our assistant leaders of Victoria one last time before we would all go our separate ways for the holidays. The meeting was both enjoyable and effective, taking care of many essential details and decisions and praying for guidance together. For the last two weekends of the month, the leaders would take turns directing the services very effectively and under the anointing.


The next morning was the Christmas celebration in Victoria which began with praise and worship, taking communion (as is our custom with each congregation), followed by a cute play delivering the message of the reason for the coming of Christ to Earth. This play was directed by Sister Sandra, a professional actress and head of Victoria's fine arts department who was only recently released from bed rest in her pregnancy of twins. The fact that they were able to pull off such a production was a real testimony and feat considering Sandra had to do everything while obeying “doctor's orders,” and the actors were unable to run through the play on site until the day of the presentation. The festivities were all topped off with a delicious meal and fellowship.


Our final stop of the month was with the brothers and sisters in Christ of Rio Bravo. The celebrations were held outside (We were so very grateful for good weather!) amid the progressing construction of the church's expansion project. Offerings from Victoria, Harvest Christian Academy, and World Harvest Family Church, to name a few, have helped provide for the soon to be added roof and final details.


It addition to financial offerings, it was so touching to learn that the fifth grade class of Harvest Christian Academy opted to send gifts for the children of Rio Bravo in lieu of the class's traditional gift exchange. Those gifts will go to the children of the congregation and the children of Chela and Oscar's grupo de alcance (GDA, outreach group) of neighborhood children.


The party was a delight, with Willy and his group Los Leones de Cristo leading the praise and worship. Pastors Max and Jaime also honored us by their attendance. Eight-yr-old Melissa, who recently prayed to receive Christ, was accompanied by several of her friends and their families whom she had invited to the Christmas party. According to her mother, as soon as she accepted Christ, she began sharing her new-found faith with her friends. Also as testimony, Dona Maria commented on how quickly and easily people are coming into the faith, having recently led several to the Lord, including some waiters and a young mother who was also in attendance. This young lady remarked to Jeanette that she is amazed at the love that she could perceive in this place. Jeanette advised her to stay connected to the Body in order to continue growing in the Lord.


The youth group members in Rio Bravo are really maturing into great leaders. They are quick to organize the festivities and prepare small skits. It is so rewarding to see how they have grown from small kids with no idea of the concept of church into responsible youth.


It was an absolute joy to celebrate the coming of our Lord with each congregation. Though each is unique and celebrates in their own style, they all share unity, joy, and an abundance of delicious food in common.


To top off the events of the month, we went full circle and ended with attending the special, anointed Christmas service at World Harvest Family Church that began with a fellowship breakfast, followed by praise and worship and specials by several participants. What love! What joy! It was the best Christmas ever, a great way to end the year and kick off the New Year. It promises to be great and full of amazing blessings.


Have a very blessed, prosperous New Year!


Jose, Jeanette, and the missions team

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

New King James Version (NKJV)

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.

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