Like every year, July was a month of a lot of coming and going of the members. Lots of vacations! But despite so many being away, the congregations were strong and the services very effective. We were glad for the people to have the opportunity to take vacations, and very grateful that they all returned safely and ready to resume with the activities of the church.


The first day of the month was Election Day in Mexico. It was interesting how every party was represented among the believers, though several expressed that even at the last minute they were still praying for direction before casting their ballot, yet there was great harmony among them. (And still is, even though the choice of many did not win.) The church has learned to trust God regardless of who is president and walk in love with the brothers and sisters. We are all praying that the president-elect, Lopez Obrador, will be surrounded by Spirit-filled believers who will deliver messages from the Lord and serve as godly counsel to him.


One of our intercessors was awoken in the night to write a message. Without thinking, she wrote it by the Holy Spirit and put it on her Facebook page where a friend from another congregation saw it and was led to forgive her family. After being separated for one year, they were reconciled.


A man whose life was gloriously changed when he came to Christ told us that his wife at first was quite hesitant to trust Christians because she has “Christian” relatives who are leaders of churches living in another area who are alcoholic, violent, and very legalistic, including her ex-husband. In fact, she and her children were beaten if they did not attend church. It was no wonder that when she entered our church months after the birth of her premature baby, she appeared quite nervous. But as the church family ministered to them in their time of need, she slowly began to realize that the church family truly loves her and her family. Now she comes in with a smile on her face and readily greets us. In addition, she has returned to her hometown and retrieved her 2 sons who had been left with her mother and brought them to church. We are so very glad for the work that the Lord is doing in this family! (There is much more to testify about them when the Lord allows.)


A lady who had moved from Jaumave with no money and no place to go “coincidentally” arrived at the front door of a member of the church in Victoria. Of course, she was ministered to and provided for, and brought to church the next day where she was introduced to us. Thank God for members who see these opportunities to be light and seize them!


The following week we were so very blessed to spend time with the congregation in the village of Voz Campesina. We arrived unannounced to find Isai cutting the grass before the service. He and his wife Karen are so dedicated to serving the Lord. How grateful we are for them! And so glad we were to be among them that we hardly missed the electricity that had been out in the village during our visit (as well as the water) in the hot, July temperatures (although it is almost always hot in Voz!). Thankfully for them, the electricity problem was corrected soon after the service.


While we were there, we discussed with the church many plans and future projects, including painting the exterior of the building and finally putting up a sign. Steps will also need to be made to prevent water from entering one side where the metal wall is rusting.


Immediately following our visit to Voz, we hopped in the van and headed to Victoria where a night of praise and worship was taking place. We arrived to find the church packed, and the atmosphere charged with the presence of the Lord, with people ministering one to another and others lifting their voices in song and adoration. Actually, long before entering as we approached the building, we could sense that wonderful things were happening inside.


And speaking of wonderful things, the groups that go to minister at the hospitals always return with great testimonies. Rocio, the leader of Victoria's group, reported that the faith of the children to whom they ministered really stood out this time. One girl said, “I read Genesis 1 that says that God created the universe and the earth, the stars, and all. Why wouldn't He be able to heal me?!!” This little girl wants to be a pastor. Another child approached the group in faith asking for prayer for his little sister.


The following week we ministered in Victoria before heading to Rio Bravo where we found the congregation doing well. We were so grateful to see Sister Chela, for whom we had been praying for some time, free from the wheelchair and has plans to get busy in the church (more on that in the next report!). They are also making great progress on the property. The old wall in the front next to the sidewalk has finally been torn down and replaced. It was a real eye-sore! And there are plans for the children's ministry that are very encouraging. Most of the children have grown and have not been replaced, but we believe we have received direction from the Lord as to how bring in more and make preparations and offer them dynamic, anointed services. We're excited about that!


We had a good group in the discipleship class held in Victoria during our next trip in, despite several being out of town. Pepe testified that he had prayed for his uncle regarding a health crisis who consequently improved and was released from the hospital. Rocio's boss told her that his wife is Christian, too. He now asks Rocio to pray over the meals with they eat with the staff. He had stopped going to church with his wife, but when Rocio noticed him very stressed, she urged him to return to church to receive relief. He later informed her that he and his family are once again attending church together. We rejoiced with Rocio for her role as light in the workplace.


We continued rejoicing as we prayed for Dacia who had used a crutch for 17 years. As we prayed, she walked back and forth free from it! Interestingly, during a time of praise and worship in service days earlier, another sister was worshiping and praising with all she had. Then within her spirit she said, “Oh Lord, how I long for Dacia to dance like this.” She later called Dacia and told her about it, to which Dacia replied, “I was just telling the Lord how I longed to dance like you.” We continue to pray for her other health issues, sure that she will live whole and free from them.


We also learned that another lady who had suffered from debilitating headaches was completely healed when the congregation prayed for her, as subsequent tests by the doctors confirmed.


Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) have been in full swing, with Victoria kicking it off. We praise God that 130 kids attended, a number exceeding our expectations. There was much word-of-mouth advertising, and several members placed window sunscreens on their cars announcing the event which caught the attention of many who asked them about it. And a co-worker of one of the ladies said, “Hey! You haven't invited my kids to VBS!” Of course, that was rectified immediately! We rejoice in all the adults and youth from the church who came together to help. In fact, many used their vacation time to do it! And a lady who isn't from our church sewed and donated specially designed curtains for the theme that would cover the interior walls of the sanctuary. Those and all the materials were passed to the congregation in Mante for their VBS to take place in August and eventually also used in Voz, Mariposas, and Rio Bravo before returning to Victoria for storage.


The VBS was thrilling for both the children and the adults. Since the theme was on super heroes, the kids were also taught on the heroes of the community. Organizers were able to secure visits from an emergency medical service doctor and his ambulance, firemen and their truck, and 2 members of the police force. The kids were so impressed! But the Lord was also working in some of the visitors. A policewoman who was sent by her superiors arrived with great trepidation evident on her face. She wore around her neck a medallion of the grim reaper (the “most holy death,” as they call it, and to whom many pray). But as she observed the church in action in love and peace, she discreetly tucked it in her shirt.


We were so glad to hear these reports as we met with the leaders over dinner. We also rejoiced together over the completion of our registration papers, after several years of delays. When Carlos was notified that only thing left was for a leader from the ministry to sign, he, accompanied by Juan Antonio, a dear brother and co-laborer, traveled to Mexico City to sign and obtain the documents. In our meeting, copies for each member of the church's council were distributed, and we all laid hands on the originals, giving thanks and declaring God's purpose for them. With this stage completed, steps are now being taken to include the other congregations in the registration, and we are now in a position to purchase property for Victoria as the Lord directs and provides.


The next day, we drove to Mante for service while the church in Victoria held their closing service of VBS in which 9 new families were in attendance. Our time with the church in Mante was pleasant. We prayed for everyone who would help with the upcoming VBS (lots of help!), as well as for other needs. A brother who had been injured when he was kicked by a cow entered with crutches and walked out without them! After prayer, he began walking all around the building smiling and said, “I told everyone that today is my day that I will walk free from crutches.”


We learned the following week that Mari and Tono were invited to speak on a Christian radio program called “Impacto de Dios” (Impact of God). Their main purpose was to invite people to church, but the host also led them into a discussion on godly marriage. We thank God for this opportunity.


In the marriage class at the end of the month in Victoria, there were understandably less couples, but it was a very enjoyable time as we discussed ways to promote unity in the couple. Testimonies came up in the conversation while we waited to begin, including one of Raul and his son while they were in Cancun on vacation. The waves were too high and dangerous to get in the water, so Raul took advantage of the learning opportunity and told his son how Jesus rebuked the waves and that they could, too. So they did, and there was complete calm, so much so that other people began to come to the beach and get in the water, and the sand castle that they were finally able to build remained even the next day.


In our final service of the month in Victoria, an elderly sister told us that she turned down going on vacation with her family because she didn't want to miss church! Indeed, the services with the brothers and sisters are always refreshing.


It has been a good month, but we would greatly appreciate your prayers as we do face many challenges. Thanks so much for being a part in the work that the Lord is doing in Mexico and all around the world!


Yours in Christ, Jose, Jeanette, and the missions team


For we who have believed do enter that rest,...” Hebrews 4:3a

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