We hit the ground running this month with the much anticipated eighteenth annual convention held in Cd. Victoria, Mexico. In addition to all the preparations of things that needed painted, polished, pressed, and otherwise prepared, on the weekend of the convention there was a flurry of thrilling activities that further brought the representatives of the five congregations into loving unity.


Because every year after past conventions the people commented that the convention went by too fast and they wanted more, for the first time ever, we extended the convention activities to 2 days and offered workshops (6 in all to choose from) on Saturday afternoon followed by a powerful time of praise, worship, and ministering one to another. The evening was concluded with a pleasant time of fellowship and a small meal.


Throughout the evening, the Lord's power was greatly manifested in many ways. One sister was healed of a severe, debilitating back pain. A child was healed of a stomach ache. A lady went forward for pain in her knee. Upon laying hands on her, she felt a “pop,” and walked away fine. Another person who was scheduled for surgery for a hernia said after hands were laid on her, she felt like she had been punched in the abdomen. She looked around to see who had hit her, but the one who had prayed for her had moved on to the next person, and she stood alone. Then she checked and found the hernia was no longer there! Cataracts were also removed from someone.


The whole time was just amazing. One of the young ladies from Voz commented that she felt the same awe as she had when she first experienced convention as a child. We were so glad to hear it expressed in such a way and hadn't really thought about how children must perceive such an event.


The workshops were a BIG hit. Every one was filled to capacity. The topics were “Victory in Finances,” “Youth with Purpose,” “Power in Your hands and in Your Mouth,” “Beyond the Walls of the Church Building,” “Freedom in Christ Jesus,” and “The Race (a testimony of resting in the Lord).” Participants chose 2 of the topics to attend.


After Saturday's event, it was really neat to hear that some of the folks from Edinburg, Rio Bravo, and Victoria went on a “taco run” together and ended up going to the hospital to pray for the uncle of one of the brothers. Everyone who went commented on how that experience was quite a blessing to them.


The next day, we all returned for a Spirit-filled service with amazing praise and worship and an anointed message delivered by Pastor Max, the founder of World Harvest Training Center, followed by more great fellowship, music, and a delicious meal. Also included in the activities was one to encourage the people to mingle and win prizes. The people also left the convention with lots of helpful materials of their choosing free of charge from the products table made available to those in attendance throughout the convention. Items were donated from Andrew Wommack's ministry and the members of the congregations.


This year, we were also blessed with lots of help with the children. This is so vital because with plenty of help, they go in shifts and can also be with the adults for a part of the service. In addition to the generous help from each congregation, a man who occasionally visits the congregation in Victoria was there one week prior to the convention and heard of the need for help and offered to provide Christian children's entertainment for an hour, no charge. He had just begun a business of children's entertainment for parties and such. This alleviated much of the need for “man power” and was a tremendous blessing.


We were also blessed this year by the attendance of pastors Javier and Loyda of Guanajuato who had been the pastors of Jose and Jeanette in the first year of their marriage and had baptized Jose in water. They were accompanied by a couple from their church. It was truly an honor to have them in attendance and spend time with them. It brought back many memories and renewed the friendship.


Just days before the convention, a sister in Victoria had to put her faith to work. She spilled boiling water on her arm and leg which should have left her at the least with blisters and at the worst prevented her from participating in the convention. She prayed and declared her healing, and within one hour, all evidence of the burn was gone. Praise God!


After the convention, the ministry continued, “fired up,” and ready to live life by faith to the fullest and experience the power of God both individually and as a Body. Just as had been prophesied, more promotions have taken place this month! Also, the Lord has moved on behalf of some members to better accommodate their schedule—something some said could not and would not be done. In fact, for one of the members, without even requesting the change, the boss went to her and offered it, even though HE was the one who had said there would be no changes allowed.


In the village of Mariposas, Rosi and Mario, who minister there weekly, reported that a person with a cracked skull is doing much better after having been prayed for. Rosi and Mario have been faithfully ministering there especially to children every week for years and have seen the children grow up and now send their children to the special Bible classes.


About a week after the convention, Don Roberto, one of our faithful elderly members went home to be with the Lord. He just went to sleep and was transported in an instant from this world to the presence of God. Though he stood in faith for years for his family to come to Christ, we know that his prayers are still before the throne of God and we will see them occupy his place in the church one day. The funeral was a wonderful opportunity to sow plenty of seed in the hearts of his loved ones. It was reported that the place was full of the Lord's presence; several from church participated with singing, sharing the Word, and explaining the plan of salvation. The family was very receptive. We are particularly grateful for that since in earlier times, there seemed to be hostility against the Gospel. The very fact that the church was permitted to serve in such a prominent way in the funeral is quite significant.


The sister of other members of the church in Victoria who has yet to fully enter the faith recently called the believers to pray because there had been an accident at her work site. That day there was no electricity, so they had given their workers a day off. Sometime during the day, the construction at the work site fell down. Immediately, she asked that the believing family members pray that there would not be any injuries, that there would be no “cover-up” of the facts, and that the favor of the Lord with be with them. After prayer, the good reports were that none of their workers were injured and there were no others from other crews seriously harmed. And despite the attempt of one “sub-boss” to blame the sister's husband for the accident, it was determined that another engineer was responsible. They all praise God that there was no loss of life in the potentially very tragic situation.


A cousin of the family, Wendy Rojas, for whom we have been praying healing of cancer, recently had a cerebral attack and lost consciousness. But just seconds before, unable to speak, motioned for a piece of paper and wrote, “Tell them to pray for me.” Doctors said she was in grave condition because of the problem in the brain and the cancer. Several family members traveled that night to be with her, and others joined together in the believers' home to pray that she would rise up from the bed and declare what Jesus has already done for her. In the early morning, the Holy Spirit woke up several to continue interceding for her. Hours later, she awoke with all functions of her body intact. They repeated the brain scan and found everything to be normal for which the doctors could offer no explanation. They were completely surprised, but the believers knew it was a glorious miracle and continue to declare the complete manifestation of health in her and the salvation of the entire family.


There is much to report also about this month's hospital ministry in Victoria. In addition to sharing the Word, they took communion with the people, explaining the significance with regard to not only their salvation, but also their healing. Then they went about praying for those in need, and the presence of God was so beautifully sensed in that place. Several accepted Christ (some 5-8). They also encountered 2 families to whom they had ministered months earlier; one awaiting results of tests on a baby named Edson who is said to have a genetic defect that affects his kidneys and glands. They prayed together, and when the results arrived, the doctors had to retract all the dire diagnosis. The baby now only goes for follow-up. He is growing strong. They are from Mante and plan to attend the congregation there.


Sol, another baby, was also prayed for by the group. When they had last seen her a month earlier, she was not expected to live through the night. When the parents saw the group from the church, they rejoiced and testified that the baby is improving. Everyone praised God and declared that Sol and Edson will grow in the knowledge of the Lord along with all their family.


They also prayed for a 16-yr-old named Oscar who “has” cancer in the lungs and the liver. That night he, along with his mother, put his faith in Jesus. There was such an anointing that all the team wanted to do was go around and pray for the sick!


Rocio, the leader of this group, was asked to speak at a secular conference for the Day of the Woman on “The Value of Women.” She asked for prayer and said, “I cannot keep quiet about who we are in the Lord and what we mean to Him.” What a wonderful opportunity and honor!


This month the Rio Bravo congregation began SuperBook Club to reach the kids in the neighborhood on Saturdays with also the intention of bringing the families into the congregation. The response has been great. Also, Dona Maria has also been quite busy ministering beyond the church building. Among the many she visits, she was led to look up old acquaintances and led one lady to Christ. She expects to begin a GDA (grupo de alcance, outreach group) at her house in hopes of reaching the family. She has also visited almost every day people who have either slipped away from the church or need to begin. She and others have also gone to minister to Chela who continues to face health challenges. Thank you for standing with her in faith.


There are good reports coming from Mante, as well. A brother who is a baker and delivers bread to several neighborhoods has been identifying people in need of the Word. Since he has a rapport with the people, they receive him and Sister Araceli into their homes for Bible study, which, in effect, have become GDA's. So far, they are impacting 2 families in 2 different areas, but he already has others in mind, as well. It is planned to use the church van to pick them up so that they can also attend church services.


The congregation in Mante also has a hospital ministry. They go once a week, sharing food both, natural and spiritual, to the families standing vigil for their loved ones. There are great opportunities to reach people for Christ in such circumstances!


Monthly ladies' meetings continue in Voz with Rocio G. and Luz Elena from Victoria, for which we are ever so grateful. We also praise God for Isai and Karen of Voz who continue to support not only the work in the village, but also often travel to Mante to help with the music and occasionally minister the Word. Their support is invaluable to us and the Body!


The last trip in for the month was an “adventure.” We had to obtain new permits and planned to stop by at the bridge on our way in for them. However, due to the construction project going on there, electricity was cut and wouldn't be on for “a couple of hours.” We doubted their accuracy in estimating the time delay, so thought it best to obtain the permits in Progreso, something we hadn't done in years. Now we remember why. For anyone wanting to get some exercise in patience, that is the place to go! One bright spot in the whole thing was that the time change had not yet taken place in Victoria, which gave us a “cushion” of an extra hour gained on the trip. We made it to Victoria with just a few minutes to spare before the monthly marriage class which this time was very effectively held by David and Paola.


Those small bureaucratic inconveniences do not compare to the wonderful experiences that we have on every trip with our faithful and loving brothers and sisters in Christ. We are so very grateful that the Lord has placed us in such an enjoyable and satisfying service with some absolutely amazing men and women of God. And we also thank God for all who are united with us in faith, prayer, finances, and support of every kind so that the world would know that Jesus Christ is alive and well and that there is true life in Him.


During the discussion the next day with the Sunday school class of 9-12-yr.-olds, a kid asked why we partake of communion when Jesus already did it all for us. He was drawing from the information given of the Exodus story and origin of Passover and how Jesus is our Passover. Of course, it was explained that Jesus asked us to do this in remembrance of Him. Then the boy asked how often we should do it. What a deep thinker! Later, Jeanette told the class that they would be joining the adults at the end to hear more of the teaching on the subject and take part in communion. One boy expressed shock that the adults would need such a teaching and how it was that they didn't already know it. Chuckling inside, Jeanette explained that it is always good to review such an important topic and, besides, some people are new. That explanation satisfied him.


The craft completed in class covered Isaiah 53:4, 5; Luke 4:18; and John 10:10. It was great to hear that the kids had plans for their work of art. One planned to give it to an uncle who “really needs it,” and the destination of another was the refrigerator where all the family could be reminded of the truth of Jesus.


As the service with the adults concluded in song, 2 brothers, ages 11 and 13, could be seen one arm over each other's shoulder, with the other arm lifted up, joyfully singing to the Lord with all they had. So beautiful! What a privilege we feel to be able to witness such genuine expressions of love and the joy of the Lord among those with whom the God has sent us.


We pray you had a very blessed Resurrection Day celebration. We certainly did!


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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