The new year has started off very well with Pastor Jaime accompanying Willy and Los Leones en Cristo on a trip to minister in Rio Bravo. The following is a condensed report of their visit:


On Saturday January 3rd, the Leones en Cristo were honored to visit their partner church in Rio Bravo along with Pastor Jaime Gonzalez of WHFC. It had been very chilly that week, and this day’s weather was no different, holding steady at about 45. Being in a building that has no windows makes it all that much colder. The Leones and PastorJaime were warmly welcomed by leaders and members of the church before service and great fellowship began. The service then started in a timely manner and the Praises to our Father were very evident. One of the Leones said that he got “lost” while playing because he was so deep in HIS presence. Another one of the Leones then commented as to how easy and special it is to praise our Father in a congregation where everyone gives of themselves to the Father during praise. A peace and joy filled the room and helped warm the place. Pastor Jaime then released a special Word on the Blessing of God and how it has been given to us to help us prosper and live during our life here on Earth. After the Word, the body was greatly treated to some home-cooked dishes “a la Rio Bravo style.” Some delicious foods were enjoyed, but the rubbing of elbows was even better than the food. Cynde also was able to send several of her famous desserts to close the service in great fashion or how it’s said in Mexico, “cerrando con broches de oro!” (loosely translated, “closing with a flourish”). The Lord was magnified on this day in Rio Bravo and Pastor Jaime and the Leones greatly rejoiced as they were part of this glorious day!--Willy


That same day we, Jose and Jeanette, arrived at Victoria and learned of several testimonies. For one, while Mario was out of town working, he was glad to find three other Christians among his co-workers. It appears that the Church is growing all over Mexico, for which we are very grateful. Also, a relative of a member in Victoria took the recently recorded CD on healing to her uncle who was in grave condition in the hospital in Reynosa and played it for him in the presence of several relatives. Normally, they would have been resistant to anything Christian, but as they heard the Word and the songs, they all fell to their knees, weeping from the anointing. The next day, her uncle was up, stronger, and able to eat!


The Lord has presented a solution in Victoria to the problem of the lack of a nursery in a most unusual way that we couldn't have even thought of. Adjacent to the banquet hall that we rent weekly for our services is a space that the owner was using as a bar. He offered it to us for our exclusive us as not only a nursery, but also as a place to meet during the week that will also serve to keep much of the church equipment. It is spacious and very useful to us. Until the Lord provides the congregation with its own property and building, this place will be very practical for us.


At mid-month we stopped by Voz to minister to the people and offer direction for the New Year. The Lord is doing a great work in them, and we can see maturity in some that had been lagging. We were also thrilled to learn that Isai is making copies of some discipleship lessons that we provide the leaders of groups and is sharing them with a co-worker to whom he teaches the Word. The man says that he really is getting a lot from the lessons and finds them easy to understand. Isai also plans to begin a GDA (grupo de alcance, “outreach group”) with co-workers and neighbors where a man has made his house available. Also, Isai recently led a young man to the Lord. On another note, Isai also plans on starting a small business and buying a car (Please pray for his success).


After spending the night at the cottage in the village La Purisima, we returned to Victoria for discipleship class. When asked why Vicky and her husband had decided to have a GDA in their home, she responded, “Because I want God to be praised in my house.” Roberto added, “Sharing Christ is like the desire to eat.” They also have the desire to reach the children of the neighborhood where they preached and took toys for Christmas, with the idea of taking a tent and having a special weekly program for them with the expectation that the children would take the Gospel to their parents. Since there is no church in the area, it seems like a wonderful idea.


They also testified that a nephew had arrived at their house, beer in hand, and asked them to go to his pickup because he wanted them to hear something. When they went, they found he had Christian music playing. That opened the door to a conversation about the Gospel till 3:00A.M.


The next day, we headed to Mante where Jeanette taught the kids and Jose shared the Word with the adults. A 6-yr.-old boy, aching from his parents' divorce, asked Jeanette if God exists. She asked him who created him, and he admitted that it had to be God. Then she explained to him how God helps us in hard times and heals the pain in the heart.


The church in Mante is doing well, and they are beginning several activities this year such as monthly ladies', men's, and youth meetings. Also, two ladies have offered to help teach the children which is a great relief to Juani who has shouldered much of that responsibility. Also, Sister Araceli and others have been visiting the sick at hospitals, praying for them and taking meals for the family members. After one visit, a young lady improved, and her mother and husband accepted Christ.


After the service, the congregation celebrated Jose's birthday, much to his surprise, and we headed back to Victoria along with a member who asked for a ride. We enjoyed the conversation along with way and learned much about God's hand in her life. She said she'd visited many churches during her life, but never really understood the Word until now. After many years, her eyes have been opened and she finally was baptized just a few months ago. She said she'd always thought that she had to be perfect before she could get baptized.


While we were in Mante, the church in Victoria, to help people get to know their church better and encourage people to become more involved, held their second annual Expo, an event that highlights the GDA's and the other activities in the church. Each stand promoted their group and presented pictures and contact information along with cookies and other goodies for the people to enjoy as they strolled from one stand to another. Every group also provided a door prize, and the winners were announced at the conclusion of the event. It was a very enjoyable time of fellowship, and it did result in some people signing up and becoming more involved.


Later that day, we had a very effective meeting and more birthday well-wishes with our assistants in Victoria. Their insight, intelligence, and wisdom are true assets for the ministry. Following a good night's sleep at the apartment in Victoria, we returned to the States.


During the week, two of Pepe's employees drove one of the trucks from his business to Rio Bravo to deliver the window frames and door created by Ruben, a brother from Mante, for the church building in construction. What a blessing!


The following weekend, after spending some very effective time ministering to a couple in crisis, we showed the DVD “Father of Lights,” a very inspiring documentary, during the discipleship class. Afterward, Sister Tere said she will be teaching the children of the people attending Ceci's GDA and asked for materials. They now have 6 kids, but expect many more once word gets out in the neighborhood. Jeanette quickly gathered some things to get her started.


We also rejoiced in learning that Jason's new laundry business is doing so well that he has opened another location. We rejoice in his prosperity and know that it definitely is God's doing.


The next day, Jason, Carlos, and Rocio accompanied the “beginner” praise and worship team to minister at the church in Mante. Both they and the congregation in Mante really enjoyed it, and the team returned to Victoria rejoicing.


Meanwhile, we ministered in Victoria, and the church blessed Jose with more birthday well-wishes, hugs, and yet another birthday cake which he shared with the congregation during the time of fellowship. Also at the meeting, Genesis told Jeanette that she's been asked at her job to provide a program to teach the Word to the children of the employees, ages 6-12, and requested materials to work with. The SuperKid Academy curriculum of KCM which we use in the churches sounds like it would be just right for that, so Jeanette referred her to Vivi to select an edition from those we have. Praise the Lord for such an opportunity that will not only have an affect on the children, but on their families, as well!


Lupita and Rodolfo have been visiting the congregation of Voz regularly and testified of having cast out demons from a lady and then her child the following week. Also that day, a child testified to Jeanette that her aunt had been stopped by the “bad guys” on her way to deliver a cake, but the police “happened” to show up, and they left her alone to safely go to her destination and return unharmed.


A few days later, we visited our brothers and sisters in Rio Bravo and were thrilled to see most of the windows installed. In addition, several shared testimonies with us. A new believer had recently fallen and hit her face and appeared to have broken her nose, but they prayed for her, and by the next day, her nose showed no signs of injury. Another sister told Jeanette about a relationship she'd been praying about for over a year. Finally, the person involved cried out for help and asked for prayer. She ministered to him, and he has been a totally different person ever since. She also testified of being instantly healed of a piercing headache that had lasted for days. Once she decided that was enough and by faith took authority over it, the pain immediately left her.


On the last day of the month, we led the monthly marriage class in Victoria which focused on the “Day of Love and Friendship” (St. Valentine's Day). One couple arrived beaming with joy and testifying of the husband's deliverance from a 47-yr., 3 pk. a day addiction to cigarettes. He said that at the conclusion of one of the first services of the month, as Jose was declaring deliverance of addictions over the congregation, he felt as if someone had poured warm blood all over him and he felt heat inside his body. At the end of the service, feeling dazed, he asked a doctor from the congregation to check him out and told her the symptoms. She astutely “diagnosed” him as being touched by the Holy Spirit. He felt he was walking on air as he headed to his car and hasn't even been tempted to smoke ever since. That same evening, another brother spoke of his freedom from 34 years of alcoholism soon after coming to Christ. His wife told of the family's restoration and miracles that God has done ever since and said, “You just have to believe Him, and all things are possible.” That couple has something to share of God's goodness every time we talk.


What a month it has been! We are so grateful to the Lord for His hand in every part of it and look forward to even more great things ahead.

In Christ, Jose, Jeanette, and the Missions Team


You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11

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