We waited until the second week in January to make our first trip of the year, though ministry activities continued seamlessly in our absence.  As usual, Miranda and Omar provided great leadership in Rio Bravo with Don Tino and Dona Maria, the leaders in Victoria led the services both in Victoria and Mante, and Voz Campesina continued with Vicente and Clara.  Rosi and Mario have remained faithful providing services to children and teens in the village of Mariposas and Maguiras for several years now. (There are two small churches in the village, but neither ministers to children.)


On our way to Victoria, we received a call from Carlos asking for prayer for Vivi’s grandfather who was in a coma.  They were on their way to pray for him.  We later learned that after prayer, he came to, recognized everyone, and was able to hold conversations.  Carlos and Vivi took the opportunity to lead him to the Lord.


At the leadership meeting in Victoria, Mario expressed plans to begin a GDA (grupo de alcance , “outreach group”) with his family this year, stating, “Let it not be because of my negligence that my family not come to the Lord.”  His expression from his heart was quite impressive.


Salomon hired a new manager for his second local.  Since being hired, he has begun attending Salomon’s GDA faithfully.  He can already see God’s hand on his life.  While climbing a tall ladder, it slipped and he fell several feet.  According to the security video, the fall should have injured him gravely, but miraculously, he walked away with only minor bumps.


One of Salomon’s sisters-in-law was at his house with her boyfriend one day.  The two men started talking, and Salomon led him to Christ.  Salomon said it was one of the smoothest and most natural conversions he had ever been involved in.


Salomon was recently invited along with several pastors in the area to a luncheon given by the country’s largest bus company to discuss how the ministries could minister to the employees and the passengers.  The owner is a Christian and earnestly desires to use his company for the Kingdom of God.  He is requesting special services for the employees and videos to play on the busses, to name a few of the ideas. What a beautiful opportunity!


The day after the first leadership class, we had breakfast with Salomon and Laura, Pepe and Sofi (newly weds), and her previous pastors from Amor Viviente church (Living Love), a church of some 1,500 members.  Since they pastored Sofi for her entire life before she married Pepe, we felt it fitting to thank them for being so gracious to “pass the baton” to us and release one of their church leaders to us.  Pastor Ercel Lewis (whose pastor is John Hagee) testified that he ministers regularly to the federal and state police and soldiers in the area, and has arranged for counterpart ministries in other areas to do the same.  The commander of the federal police requires attendance, telling the subordinates that they need this now more than ever.  The Lord is working in ways beyond that which we could think or imagine!


Pastor Lewis also brought up an opportunity for pastors of larger churches to mentor some from smaller, struggling churches who had approached him for help.  A meeting of the pastors, which Salomon also attended, took place after we spoke.


Our first visit to Voz for the new year went well.  Jeanette wanted to do back flips and cartwheels when she heard a four-year-old girl say to her, “Teacher, I love you!” and gave her a hug.  Believe it or not, this was the first verbal expression of love in this class ever. The children are not accustomed to hearing that they are loved at home; therefore, expressing it is not a part of their normal conversation.


The Lord is doing great things in Rio Bravo.  They testified of leading four people to Christ this month.  The members are more and more active in participating and living out their faith.


In our first service in Victoria, there was a baby dedication.  The members in Victoria do these things in a big way and invite family and friends to witness it, which is a great tool to bring people to Christ.


As previously reported, Fidela now attends the church in Victoria as she has moved from her village to work.  However, in a recent visit to the village, she was asked to share at the church and was privileged to lead to Christ a girl visiting from Mexico City.


Salomon’s son-in-law and daughter donated four solar panels to the church in Victoria to help reduce electricity costs (which are outrageous).  Alex had purposed in his heart to donate a panel every time he reached a certain sales quota.  What a tremendous blessing for the Kingdom of God.

In our next visit to Victoria, Vivi testified that after less than six months on the job, she has been promoted.  God is prospering his people!  In fact, in Victoria, a congregation of about 200, we can only name one person who is unemployed.  He hasn’t been an active member and was only recently was laid off.  In all of the churches, everyone has work.  This is quite amazing, considering the situation in the country.


At the leadership meeting, Juan Carlos asked for prayer for a cousin with muscular distrophe who has refused a lung machine that he needs.  The next morning, he was breathing better without the assistance of a machine. 


The monthly men’s and women’s meetings went very well the following day.   Juan Carlos who has been praying for his family to come to Christ took his mother to the ladies’ meeting where she accepted Christ.  In addition, the dynamic activity was very effective among the ladies; so much so that Martina asked for samples of it to use in the group in Mante.


After the meeting, we went to Chano’s restaurant for dinner.  During a conversation with him he said, “Before Christ, I trusted totally in my own abilities to make a living.  Then I accepted Christ, but put my trust in the brothers and sisters to help me.  Now my trust is in the Lord.”


During service the next day in Victoria, the mother of a ten-year-old girl sent for Jeanette to pray for her daughter where she was lying down in pain on chairs during the service.  Within minutes of prayer, she was up and around.


During our last trip in, we officiated Yahaira’s Quinceanera (a 15th birthday celebration) in Mante, another opportunity to share the Gospel to unbelievers.  Attending the event were the parents of the baby born very small a little over a year ago.  We had heard about the life-threatening situation while at the Christmas party in Mante and began to pray.  Several medical professionals were in attendance and jumped into action.  Now one year old, he was a delight to hold and see that he is truly a miracle baby.


We enjoyed chatting at the table.  The subject of Cinthia, a new convert, came up who had acted as a “peace-maker” at her job.  She intermediated between two ladies who were at odds with each other, one being a Christian.  She ministered to them, prayed with them, and led the two to reconciliation as they embraced in tears.   Imagine what she will achieve when she matures in the Lord!  Also during our conversation, Salomon and some others decided to calculate the number of miles we have traveled during our ministry in Mexico.  According to them, it would be enough to have circled the earth eighteen times!  No wonder we needed a new van, which the Lord provided us this month!


While we were in Mante, Willy and his group called “Los Leones de Cristo” (LLC) were ministering in Rio Bravo. After their bimonthly meeting, they had a desire and were led to minister in Rio Bravo.  The day of the service, Bro. Alberto blessed all the brothers by picking them all up in his vehicle and taking them to Rio Bravo.  LLC arrived at the church and were greeted by several of the youth/praise team already preparing themselves for a great time of fellowship.   LLC were joined by part of the Rio Bravo team in praise and were able to minister to the Lord in a new level of worship.  Brother Willy shared the Word on keeping your eyes fixed on the Word/Lord, and the church received the message gladly.  As the service ended they continued in praise led by the Rio Bravo Praise Team.  The Rio Bravo Team is excelling in what they are doing, and their faithfulness is evident.  They rejoiced in being blessed by a member of LLC with some new additions to their sound system.  After the service LLC had a great time of fellowship with the leaders of the church. LLC were very blessed in ministering to the body in Rio Bravo and traveled back to the USA very thankful to God for His grace and mercy. 


LLC will now be ministering monthly at special men’s meetings at World Harvest Family Church. The focus will be a time of worship and thanksgiving. 


Our very last activity for this month, following the regular service in Victoria, was to begin premarital counseling for a fairly new couple named Jose Alfredo and Lizeth.  At our urging, they also attended the monthly marriage meeting held the evening before while we were in Mante.  Alejandro and Karla led the meeting which went very well.


We rejoice in the great beginning of the new year that the Lord has given us and look forward to lots more opportunities and testimonies that lie ahead.


Yours in Christ,                         

Jose, Jeanette, and the Missions Team                                      

Eph. 3:14-21

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