Happy New Year!  This year has already gotten off to a great start.  The Lord has confirmed to us that this is the year of completion and fulfillment of the things that we have been believing for some time.  And we see the same thing happening in the lives of others related to the ministry.

On the day of the first trip of the year, Jeanette received an unusual call at 7:00AM from the mother of a boy who used to be one of her students.  She called to thank her for all she taught her son about the Word and said he now leads the family in devotionals.  At the conclusion of the call, she asked her son to pray for the missions trip we were to take.  He prayed for safety and success.  Later that day, we encountered some people on the highway that caused some concern for our safety, but the situation was resolved quickly, and we continued on our way unharmed.  At that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded Jeanette of the prayer that student prayed that morning and said, “That is why they called.”  God is so good!

During the first weeks of the month, the meetings held at the warehouse in Victoria were quite uncomfortable due to the cold front that reached all the way south.  But those were the last days that we would spend there for service.  The construction of the new building was near completion.  At the last leadership meeting in the warehouse, we were all nearly overcome with emotion as we prayed over Salomon and Laura’s business in gratitude for the 6 years we had spent there.   We realized we were leaving the place that had been our home and where we had seen so many victories and lives changed.

The Lord has honored Salomon recently.  He was voted Businessman of the Year by his peers, but he turned it down, saying it was too prideful to receive it publicly.  We trust that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and serve to please Him.

The following week, the congregation in Victoria met to pray over the new building and give thanks just two days before the first service.  As we all prayed aloud, there was a sweet, melodic hum that filled the atmosphere. Two days later, the inauguration was so exciting, and the entire service was a tremendous blessing for the 170 plus people in attendance.  Among the visitors present was a man named Roberto (who we did not previously know) who donated the new glass pulpit, the 30th he has donated to churches so far.  God has taken him from bankruptcy, alcoholism, and a broken marriage to a new, exciting life.  As the Lord indicates, he adds churches to his list, and then proceeds to make the pulpits in the order the Lord shows him.  He said that the Lord told him to not grow weary in giving.  He also said that every pastor as he receives a  pulpit says the exact same words. (See WHTCMINISTRIES.ORG for pictures of the pulpit, the building, and the first service.)

The week after the inauguration was really the first “real” church service with mostly just the family congregation.  The Spirit moved beautifully as the entire congregation felt drawn to kneel before the altar in gratitude for all the Lord has done.

As if that weren’t enough, we saw God do wonderful things during all our activities throughout the month.  God is sending us new people with great potential.  The numbers of children in Voz Campesina have increased now to the point that it is quite necessary to divide the children into two groups and add on a new room.  As Jeanette came to that conclusion, Sister Clara approached her and said she feels led to teach them.  Praise God for more teachers!

Sister Clara also testified that when they lost electricity recently, the family gathered in the kitchen and quoted scriptures to pass the time.   She was amazed at how many they knew.

Rosi testified that she and her family had gone to the village of Mariposas to clean the lot and prepare it to hold Bible classes for the children there when several kids all of the sudden showed up asking for a class right then.  Quickly, they went to get materials and teach them.  The following Sunday, they returned, and 14 children arrived for class.     

At the leadership meeting, we also heard the testimony about Lilia, an employee of a Eric, a brother in Victoria, who called him crying hysterically and asked if he knew anyone who could counsel her on how to deal with a “BIG” problem (details unknown, except that she was considering suicide).  He immediately called Salomon and Laura who met with her at the church office and ministered to her and led her to the Lord.  She left totally different.  

During our last trip of the month, so much happened that our heads were spinning.  A friend named Martin who has returned for a few months from his missionary work in Europe is in town.  It seems a friend of a cousin of his who is a magistrate (judge named Andres Mesa Pinzon) had a very sick son in the hospital with no hope.  Martin offered to go and pray for the son and the family.  Salomon and Laura went with him, and he led the entire family to the Lord.  The magistrate expressed a desire to learn more about the Lord, and Martin referred him and his family to our church in Victoria.  Jose “assigned” Salomon to be the one to disciple the magistrate since he is so hungry for the Word.  Salomon at first wondered out loud how he could teach someone of such a high position.  We reminded him that Jesus used fishermen to stand before leaders, and that the Lord would give him the words to say by His Spirit.

The following day, we were asked to go to the hospital to pray with the family.  While praying with the family, an elderly woman joined us.  When asked if she too was a relative, she said no.  She wanted prayer for her grandbaby who was just born prematurely was serious problems.  The opportunities to share Christ were just laid out there for us.

The people were so gracious to receive us and again said they would be attending our services as soon as they could; this without us even mentioning our church or the services.  Jeanette gave the magistrate a Bible to help him through this difficult time, and he received it as if he’d received a precious, invaluable gift (which it is!).   Also there was his cousin, a retired general and one of the brand new converts of the family.  He asked us to pray for his wife who was waiting in the car due to an illness, and we did.  

The following day, while we were ministering in Mante, we got word that the son of the magistrate had died (the parents told us earlier that they preferred that he no longer suffer and it was better to release him.) and they wanted us to do the funeral service.  Martin, Salomon, Laura, and some of our praise and worship team were available to minister in a small service to the family at the funeral home that night.  The next day, we went to the funeral home, and Jose shared Word, and we prayed with the immediate family. (They were so grateful!)  Because we had to return to the States, Martin later preached at the funeral and prayed the prayer of salvation with everyone in attendance.

That same week, Martin went to visit an elderly uncle who is in a rest home.  Martin asked if he could hold service with the residents, and all the staff and the director enthusiastically agreed.  He took Carlos to lead the music.  After sharing Christ with them, 70 of them made a decision to accept Him as Lord and Savior.  Now the staff is pleading that we return on a regular basis.

While dining with Martin, he discussed the difficult situations he faces as a missionary to Europe.  He says the Muslims are more prominent there now than ever, and they have placed him on a death list.  One tried to kill him, but Martin said by the Spirit, “You can’t touch me!  My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!”  Then the man fled.  He tells the new convert, “If we live, we live for Him.  If we die, we die for Him.”  He may work all year and see only 5 come to Christ, but when they do, they do not waiver. 

Martin begs us to go and help him every time he visits.  We feel like some day we may establish a tele-conference system in order to encourage him and support his labors there without actually having to travel there, unless the Lord leads otherwise.  Latins are very well received in Europe, and we believe that God has put us in contact with Martin for a reason, so we will be led by the Lord regarding how to proceed.  We’ll be sure to keep you informed.

Yours in Christ,           José, Jeanette, Joshua, and the Missions Team

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