The weather was an issue off and on this month.  On our first trip of the month, we got within an hour of Victoria and had to turn back due to a bridge washed out caused by Hurricane Alex.  Northern Mexico, including Victoria suffered quite a bit of damage and flooding.  Gratefully, our people were not physically affected, with the exception of a piece of plaster hitting Salomon’s head, requiring a couple of stitches.

The next day was Mexico’s election day, a cause of great concern and prayer due to the recent assassinations of a candidate and others of his party.  Praise God, the people still went out to vote, and the elections went on uneventfully. 

The service that day went very well in our absence.  There were several testimonies, and the Spirit moved on many to pray for each other and on some to ask each other for forgiveness.

The following Tuesday, we visited the congregation in Rio Bravo.  They are doing well and are blessed to have Miranda and Omar visit them regularly now that the Sunday service has been changed to Saturday so that they could take advantage of their time to work with the youth on praise and worship practice and also minister during the services on the same day.  We were not sure if the change would prevent some of the members from attending or not, but are glad to find that it seems to have only affected one member due to work.  We are praying that there be a change in her work situation.

At our next leadership meeting in Victoria, we felt led to let everyone talk and testify about their experiences in riding out the unexpected hurricane.  One sister said she and her family sang and prayed together during the storm.  A large sign fell between two houses, causing some structural damage which the company of the sign has agreed to pay. Several others testified of God’s protection on their cars that were out in the open.  Eric said God kept his electrical lighting and building materials untouched and exactly where they were left on an upper open floor of a high-rise building in construction.

Also during the meeting, Carlos suggested that the church collect non-perishables for the village of Hidalgo which was hit hard by the storm.  The people’s homes have several feet of mud in them, and the only way to access the village at this point is by boat.  The church in Victoria and the one in Voz pitched in with lots of supplies and also purchased another $5000 pesos worth of additional supplies from the account which were taken to a centralized distribution center.

During our visit to the church in Voz, Jeanette was led by the Spirit to speak with three young unmarried, cohabitating couples about being the first to get married in the church in a triple wedding.  In all the years, there has yet to be a wedding there because the cultural custom of just moving in is so strong.  The couples seemed receptive to the idea, though one of them expressed a desire to have her wedding separate from the others.  This strong-hold custom will be broken when they take that step!  And we believe many others will follow their example.

Also during the same visit, a teaching series on videos made by Jeanette and Brenda years ago was given to Clara with the suggestion to use them possibly in monthly ladies’ meetings in the village.  While they have had two ladies’ conferences, there has never been established monthly meetings for them due to a lack of strong leadership there.  The videos and some guidance may help with that.

The next Sunday, Pepe, one of the young men in Victoria, went to Monterrey with the purpose of ministering the gospel to his sister who has up to now rejected it, despite the fact that the rest of the family is in the faith.  But now that she has been particularly hit hardest by the hurricane, he felt she might be more receptive. 

At another leadership meeting in Victoria, Karina testified that her uncle, who was recently led to the Lord by Salomon and Laura when critically ill, is doing much better and just celebrated a birthday that doctors did not expect him to reach.

During our leadership meeting with Vicente and Clara at the cottage, were learned that they led a 17-year-old to Christ in the village of Silva Sanchez, where they often go to minister in homes.  His grandparents have shown an interest in the Gospel, as well, and should soon enter into the faith too. This young man has expressed an interest in participating on the praise and worship team in Voz since he has musical giftings.  Of course, we advised Vicente to disciple him first and have him show his faithfulness to services first before giving him that opportunity.

We were pleased to learn at the meeting that Rosi, a young lady who has returned from college to Voz plans to hold the VBS.  She has a clear gift for working with children, and we could sure use her.

The men in Victoria held their second monthly fellowship, and they took turns giving their testimonies of how they came to Christ.  Anel’s brother who just recently accepted Christ shared that he was impacted by a visit that we made with Salomon and Laura to his mother’s store some six years ago, though at the time he appeared cold and not at all receptive.  It is amazing to note that things done for Christ do make a difference, even when the results do not appear immediately.

The following week, it was the ladies’ turn to meet for fellowship.  It went well, and at the end, it was announced when the next meeting would be.  One lady said, “No!  We should have it more often!” (Realistically, that just isn’t possible, but it is great to know that the meetings are a blessing.)  At the next meeting, plans for the first ladies’ conference to be held in Victoria will be ironed out.

During the last service of the month in Victoria, we were pleased to learn that a man we’d prayed for concerning his heart is doing remarkably better.  Doctors had said his condition was grave.  Now they are saying he may only require a minor procedure.  Praise the Lord!  We believe he will not need any procedure when his healing is completely manifested.

A new believer requested prayer for her brother Rafael who has just been diagnosed with AIDS and is terribly bitter.  We assured her that God heals AIDS and sets captives free from a bitter heart, too.  Also requesting prayer was 12-year-old Luz.  She has been helping her parents minister in Mariposas to the children.  Her cousin Antonio has really enjoyed attending, but his parents have prohibited him from going to the classes, so he’s been sneaking out to attend.  Luz told him he should not do that, so he asked her to ask us to pray for him so that his parents would allow him to go.  How touching!

As this month comes to an end, we are headed to Jose’s homeland of Guanajuato where he plans to minister to his family.  We will also fellowship with a pastor and his family to discern where they are spiritually and see if we should support their ministry in any way.  We have also recently learned that a brother we met years ago is now the youth pastor of a large church which holds a youth camp in San Luis.  We would also like to see if this is something our youth in Mexico could benefit from.
We greatly appreciate all your support and prayers for all these areas and for all who are traveling!
                                                                Yours in Christ,      José, Jeanette, Joshua, and the Missions Team


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