Our activities for the New Year started off with a bang. We first met with the discipleship class in Victoria and shared the vision that the Lord has given us for the year for which there is much excitement and expectation. At the meeting, Brenda testified that she had prayed with the ladies of her GDA (Grupo de Alcance, Outreach Group) for a job with better pay and benefits. Just when she got an offer, her current employer offered her exactly want she'd wanted, allowing her to stay in the job that she really enjoyed.


The following day we ministered in the Sunday service in Victoria while Pepe and Mario ministered in Mante. After ministering the Word, they laid hands on all the children and adults to bless them for the New Year. A mormon lady visited and received a lot. She said she'd never heard or seen anything like it.


In Victoria there were also positive reports. Anel, who had needed a new job for some time, just got a new job with better hours, allowing her to participate more in the activities of the church. Another sister who had recently asked for prayer for her daughter who was quite ill and had to attend to a sick baby alone was healed, as well as the baby.


Chela and Oscar of Rio Bravo made a quick trip to Queretaro to tend to his sister who had recently had a stroke. There, they shared the Gospel with relatives, and four received Christ! In addition, his sister improved greatly by the time they left.


They came back reporting the urgent need for a church in the area to aid the believers in their growth in the Lord. It is difficult to be a believer there, as evidenced by the fact that the children of Christians are not allowed to attend public school. Please pray for laborers into that field, whether they be from our ministry or another.


On the 8th of this month, Sister Licha of Voz went to be with the Lord. Since half of her family is Catholic, and the other half Jehovah Witnesses, we weren't sure how they would handle the funeral and such. When her husband Don Pedro died, the family resisted having a service in the church as he had adamantly insisted. By standing firm, the funeral did, indeed, take place there, and many accepted Christ and received from the Lord that day. We prayed this time the family would have the sense to honor their mother in her church, and they did. One of the daughters who had attended last year's convention was impressed by the love among the people and told the family that it should take place there, and they assented. We were not able to get there, so Vicente ministered at his first funeral to a packed church, with many standing in and outside the building. This was a very important event for him in his growth in the ministry, and he did very well. (Had we gone, he would have respectfully assumed that we should handle the service.) The entire service went very smoothly, and the church was a great support for the family.


A few days later, we visited the church in Voz to comfort any in need and thank them for representing the Body so well as testimony to those outside the church. The church in Voz is beginning to step up and really be light. (Later, Clara told us she had made fliers of the church service info at her own expense and invited the neighbors.)


From Voz, we headed to Victoria for the discipleship class. We arrived a few minutes late and discovered that all of our leaders had been unable to attend, but those in attendance were worshiping together, testifying, and edifying one another, which gave us great satisfaction. Pepe and Lucero, their families, and their parents had gone out to their dad's ranch to give thanks for a successful harvest, which also was cause of much joy for us.


When we arrived, Rocio was testifying of a recent “scare” the family had had when they couldn't locate her nephews due to a series of miscommunications. Through it all, the Lord helped the children and protected them while they and the adults began to put their faith in action to see this through to a happy conclusion.


Also in the meeting, a young believer expressed the desire to evangelize her neighbors and family members. She also asked if it would be OK to share Christ with people who had tattoos showing that they had given themselves to satan. We assured her that even without tattoos, people without Christ have unwittingly done so, too. Apparently, one lady who has a tattoo had visited our church a few years ago, but was conscientious of it, and thinking she would be rejected, never returned.


Mario related an experience of sharing Christ with a co-worker while giving him a ride. Mario used to be quite timid and soft-spoken, so this is a marvelous testimony of the transformation the Lord has done in him. (Please pray for him as he is in need of a new and better job.)


A man who has become quite consistent in accompanying his wife to church, but had not really expressed his faith, told someone that, when asked at work if he still drinks, he replied, “No. I am a 'brother' now.” Recently, he was the one to wake up his wife who had over-slept on Sunday to go to church. God has really done a great work in him through the years, gradually, but thoroughly. Praise the Lord!


The next day at the service we received the great news that the nephew of two sisters who had been accused of a crime he hadn't committed, according to his aunts, had been finally released from jail. A couple of months ago we prayed that justice be done.


During this service, a young girl and her mother went forward to ask for prayer for Jorge Luis Wong Rodriguez, the girl's dad, who had been kidnapped some seven months ago. They haven't heard anything from him since. Your prayers regarding the quick resolution to this situation and peace for the family would be greatly appreciated. (This is the first we heard of the situation.)


A few days later we visited Rio Bravo. They surprised Jose with a wonderful, surprise birthday dinner which followed a service under the stars since the old building had to be demolished to make room for the new construction. Since then, they have completed a room that will eventually serve as the children's classroom. Until then, when then main building is completed, it will suffice for the main services.


Sister Mari, who always has great testimonies to share, ran up to Jeanette and told her another one: A while back, she and her husband had joined their faith in prayer with the leaders of Rio Bravo regarding the sale of some land owned by her father. Within 2 months, some people interested in buying it sought her out at her house. She has no idea how they came to know about the property or how they found her. There was no sign or information posted on it. Though they had hired an agent to sell it, he never could. Within weeks, the sale was final.


The church in Rio Bravo is growing both numerically and spiritually. Some people who had been away for quite some time are returning, and relationships have been restored in love. There is an excitement in the air as if something very big is about to happen. We believe the Lord is maturing the people and preparing them for a real growth spurt when the building is completed. Incidentally, Sister Lupita shared Christ with another customer at her business and then called Dona Maria to go over there and have the “honor” of leading her to Christ. Dona Maria encouraged her to take that step herself in the future.


During discipleship in Victoria the next weekend, Mario and his wife Rosi testified that their 10-yr-old son shared a word in their GDA to the adults. He used bowling pins as an object lesson to discuss standing strong in the Lord.


That evening in the discipleship class the people prayed one for another, and several testified of God doing great things: some received confirmation from the Lord; another was healed “in the soul”; another said his spiritual eyes were open to many things; another received peace, and sadness left. While praying, one said he felt “power erupted in me and the Spirit spoke through me.” It was interesting how one lady who said she had had an argument with her son before coming received comfort and freedom when Mario felt led to pray for her. And he said he felt from her the love of a mother from her, which he'd never had. In addition, his 16-yr-old daughter had felt led to give an elderly lady in attendance a hug and pray for her and later said she felt the love of a grandmother, which she had never had. It was quite a moving demonstration of the love of the family of God.


The next day, we had a wonderful service in Victoria where they gave Jose another surprise birthday party.


The monthly marriage class held the last week of the month went very well. There were five people in attendance who had not attended any services before, including a man for whom we have been praying for years. He is softening gradually.


For the last service in Victoria, instead of having a “normal” service, we held our first EXPO Cosecha (Harvest Exposition) in which there were “stands” for each GDA and church activity with the purpose of promoting all the internal ministries that go on and encouraging all those who are not connected to any GDA or other group (i.e., the discipleship class and the praise and worship team) to sign up and participate. While sipping coffee and sampling the goodies at each table, the people strolled from one booth to another, gaining a better idea of the different areas of the ministry. The event was a HUGE, happy success which has already produced results. We look forward to holding the Expo annually there and, eventually, in all the churches.


As we chatted with the people in attendance, several testimonies came up including one of the Lord calming the weather, another of miraculous provision of money, healing of a back injury, employment gained, the healing of a hardened heart, and a husband suddenly beginning to attend Bible studies. We also learned that in Sister Cristina's GDAs the ladies pray one for another and have been seeing great results. They have also begun to teach each other, instead of relying only on the one teacher.


The following week, Vicente of Voz received word that his brother had been killed in an altercation. Several from the church in Victoria surrounded Vicente and his family during this difficult time and ministered in the services at his mother's home and in the funeral. Vicente was comforted in knowing that he had shared Christ with him. Just days later, Vicente continued with his “duties” in the ministry in Voz and in Mante.


Activities in the ministry are increasing, the Gospel is spreading, and lives are changing! We look forward to what the Lord has in store for February, and we pray that LOVE be lifted up.


Happy Day of Love and Friendship (Valentine's Day)! Jose, Jeanette, and the missions team

1 Cor. 16:13-14 (NKJV)Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.

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