July was the month of weddings!  With each one being an opportunity to share the Gospel with unsaved loved ones both during the ceremony and in one-on-one contacts, it was a joy to be involved in three unions in matrimony.  For many it was the first time they witnessed a Christian wedding, and their first visit to a Christian church.  A sister of the bride in one wedding told Jose she couldn’t stop crying during the ceremony and wanted to know why.  Jose told her the Holy Spirit was calling her to receive Jesus.  She simply said OK and thanked him before walking away.  During the reception of one of the weddings, the bride introduced to Jeanette two friends from elementary school.  All three of them have separately entered the faith and attend good churches in Victoria.  The bride was the last of the three to do so.  The three held hands and rejoiced that they were all in Christ. 


In addition to the weddings, Jeanette also attended a bridal shower for Sofia, Pepe’s fiancée.  The Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit were prominent in every aspect of the elegant affair, which was especially important because of several friends and relatives of the bride who notably were not Christian.   At Jeanette’s table, the conversation quickly went to testimonies given by two ladies who were so grateful to God for their recent conversions and new lives in Christ.  They couldn’t stop talking about all the things God has done for them.  One lady, Marilu, accepted Christ after attending church with the intentions of talking to the pastor, Jose, about her son, a sporadic member, which she did.  And she continued attending, bringing along her husband and the rest of her adult children.  The other lady, also named Sofia, the girlfriend of Chuy, accepted Christ in the convention when Jeanette gave the invitation by the Spirit for those who wanted a new life to go forward.  God has completely changed her life and healed her relationship with her parents.


On the first day of the month was the culmination of the praise and worship conference led by Willy in Victoria.  With Miranda and Joshua accompanying him and the praise and worship team as they led the congregation, the anointing flowed marvelously during the service.


After the service, there was a meeting with the Sunday school teachers and the welcoming of another teacher for the 9 to 12 year-olds, another meeting at the same time with the nursery teachers and the parents of the smallest children to better establish the program, and intense ministry with a sister who has battled quite a bit of oppression in her life.  All this was followed by a lunch with those visiting from the U.S. and Salomon and his family before heading home.


During the next trip we were so pleased to learn that Chano and his family accompanied a GDA (outreach group) in their visit to a hospital to minister and provide food for the families of the patients.  He said he felt it was time to not only receive, but to begin giving.  This family has grown leaps and bounds since coming to Christ not long ago and being delivered from bondages.  Chano’s relationship with his family is much improved, and he has been healed from a skin condition and severe insomnia.


Jeanette shared a dream God had given her to the congregation in Victoria regarding the “simple” topic of forgiveness.  It impacted several people personally who later made life-changing decisions and actions. 


During the same service, Don Roberto, an elderly new convert confided in Jeanette that he signed over everything to his son, and now his son refuses to support him financially.  Please pray that his son come to Christ!  Jeanette reassured him that now that he is in Christ, he no longer has to put his hope in any man, but in the Lord and that the Lord promises to provide his every need.  With that, Don Roberto simply accepted it as truth and relaxed.


The Lord impressed upon Monica to use and adapt a program from the first ladies’ conference held in Victoria and based on a message from World Harvest’s ladies conference called “Your Beauty Make-Over” for her GDA.  How nice to know that programs given by the Holy Spirit years ago are still effective and being used today. 


Salomon and Laura returned from a visit to Ft.Worth where Laura has relatives.  They were beaming with testimonies from their time spent with them.  Eight years ago, Laura began to sow seed in them and share the Gospel.  Now, every one is saved and attending church.  They were still full of questions and hungry for more, so there were many late nights of deep discussion of the Word.  Salomon and Laura thoroughly enjoyed their trip.


At mid month, we were blessed with an entire day at the cottage without commitments.  The weather was perfect with pleasant temperatures and a light breeze.  We enjoyed sipping coffee on the balcony while appreciating the mountainous view and watching squirrels frolicking in the trees and feasting on the fruit.  We also managed to get in a nap or two, do some studying and a few chores including repainting some living room furniture.  We even had time to chat with the neighbors.  All in all, it was a great day of rest in preparation for Sunday’s fairly long day and in recuperation from some challenges from the previous day.


Sunday was indeed long.  We drove to Mante, 2 hours south of Victoria, to minister in the service.  After lunch with the host family, we began our drive home and were delayed over an hour and a half at a military check point, getting us home around 9:00PM.  Despite the long day, we were very glad to visit the brothers and sisters there and encourage them in their walk with Christ and in their efforts to complete of their building.  Salomon and Laura ministered in Victoria in our place and had a very successful service.


This month Victoria held their second VBS with about 37 children in attendance.  At the closing service, there were lots of proud parents and grandparents who had never darkened the doors of a Christian church.  It was the first time they had ever heard the Gospel.  So far, we know of one adult accepting Christ that day.  Someone reminded us that just last year there was a couple that attended the closing service and stepped right into the Kingdom of God whole-heartedly.  Soon they were baptized and became an important part of the Body of Christ.  They have been faithful ever since.


Pepe led the men’s meeting this month and showed great growth and maturity as he taught the Word.  We look forward to seeing how he and Sofia serve together once they are married.  (She is from another church, but has agreed to attend ours as she submits to the head of her marriage.)


At a leadership meeting at the cottage, Fidela, the widow of Tony who had pastored with her in Voz until his passing 7 years ago, told us she is entering a new phase in her life.  Her son is continuing his studies in Victoria, so she has decided to leave her village and go to work there.  The Lord has provided her a house to rent and has furnished it.  Her job is pending, but she trusts God for provision for every need.  She will attend services in Victoria, and we are eager to see where God places her in the ministry there.


During our last trip of the month, as we neared to the cottage, Jose noticed a problem with the breaks, which was confirmed after a quick check upon arrival.  He dropped Jeanette off at the cottage which was without electricity due to a recent thunderstorm and headed to the mechanic’s.  He totally lost brakes as he arrived.  With the monthly marriage class and a wedding rehearsal planned for the evening in Victoria, it was urgent to repair the breaks as soon as possible.  However, the mechanic couldn’t assure Jose that he would have time to get to it that day.  He would call us if/when he finished.  Not much later at the cottage, we noticed that the cell phone usage had been restricted due to the military’s attempt to cut communications of the cartels.  So we had no way of knowing if the van was fixed, and no way of letting the people in Victoria know of our delay.  All we could do was chuckle at the predicament and trust God.  Just in time, Jose noticed that phone service had been restored and called the mechanic who told him that the van was ready.  We had just enough time to load up and drive to the church in Victoria where we arrived precisely on time for the meeting.


Salomon and Laura led very effectively the marriage class.  There, we had the privilege of meeting a new convert named Daniel and his wife.  He came to Christ after “by chance” watching a Christian program.  He then told his wife that he wanted to go to a church and she agreed to go too.  She asked a friend if she knew of one and was referred to ours.  Daniel expressed a great desire to learn the Word because he wants to know how to lead his marriage of only 3 months.  Since his conversion, his relationship with his father has been healed and he was delivered from insomnia.  Before being saved, he started drinking a beer, then 2, and then 3 1/2 along with sleeping pills in order to get some sleep.  We got to know them better and learned much about him the next day as we ate lunch with them after service.


At last month’s visit to Rio Bravo, Jose prayed over Osiel, a 9-yr-old and by the Spirit called him a preacher.  Later this month, Dona Maria said she and Don Tino were eating at his house when Osiel began to “preach,” beginning in Genesis all the way to Christ as he shared with his friends.  He said he couldn’t stop talking.  His mother Chela wants to start a GDA with his neighbor friends.  What a great idea!


There is one more to pray for that has been snatched by the cartel: Felix, the brother of a member in Victoria.  We would greatly appreciate your prayers for Mexico and the Church, as well, as they daily face many difficult challenges.  Pray that justice be done, that the enemy be exposed, and that the entire body of Christ be protected in every way.


We love you and are grateful for the part you play in God’s work in Mexico.

                                                                                                                     In Christ,  Jose, Jeanette, and the Missions Team

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