MEXICO MISSIONS REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 2018
The activities for September started off with a joyous occasion as the ladies' group in the village of Voz celebrated their first anniversary of monthly meetings. Luz Elena and Rocio travel from Victoria to disciple the ladies and have been able to observe very positive results for their efforts. The ladies are much more open and eager to participate as they have grown in the Lord. We are so very grateful for this very effective ministry in the village.
The same day, the weekly discipleship class took place in Victoria, followed by a dinner and meeting with the council leaders where we discussed future activities, plans for obtaining church property, the design of credentials for each leader, and various other issues related to the ministry and its members. It is always a joy to fellowship with them and glean from their wisdom, insight, and energy for the ministry.
Of course, the next day there were services taking place simultaneously in Rio Bravo, Mante, and Victoria with some from one area sent to another to minister. It really is a beautiful thing how the ministers “over-lap” and compliment the activities of the each other's congregations and fill in where needed.
During the altar call of the service in Victoria, the young-adult daughter of an older gentleman accompanied him to the front for prayer for his knee which he could not bend. Jose laid hands on him and asked him to do what he hadn't been able to do. Right away, he started lifting his knee and high stepping to the amazement and delight of his daughter. The two left praising God.
The following day, the group from Victoria participated in their hospital ministry. In addition to having an impact on the lives of the people they touch, the members of the group always comment on the joy that they experience in participating and actively sharing the love of Jesus to the people in such desperate need. Mante is experiencing the same joy as they visit the hospital weekly to pray for the sick and take food to the family members who remain at the bedside of their loved ones. Of course, they are also quick to share the Gospel, as well!
In addition to leading the hospital ministry in Victoria, Rocio G. leads a grupo de alcance (GDA, outreach group) and reports wonderful things taking place there. Two ladies from Reynosa who are members of a very restrictive denomination have noted the freedom in Christ that is experienced in the GDA meetings. They haven't yet attended our church services, but when they do, they will be transported to a level of even more freedom! A doctor who had felt much condemnation and rejection from God has also begun attending the meetings. She commented the day after receiving much ministering that she was so full of spiritual food from the night before and expressed a desire to attend our church.
The next week, while Jose stayed in Victoria to minister, Jeanette enjoyed a precious time on the road with Carlos, Vivi, and their daughter Sofia on their way to Mante where Carlos joined the praise and worship team to lead us in song and Jeanette shared the Word which was very well received. The people's appreciation for the Word is truly thrilling. When Jeanette and the family arrived, there was an elderly brother sitting with his Bible open and sharing something with his grandson seated next to him. So enthralled were they in their discussion that they hardly took the time to say hello. Then another family came in, and while they were seated, the husband also had his Bible open and he was enthusiastically pointing something out to his wife. When Jeanette went by to greet them, they included her in the conversation. How encouraging to see their love for the Word!
We were also glad to hear that the church in Mante will begin using their van to pick up people who have no transportation. Also, in a conversation with Cristian, a young man who was instrumental in the salvation and healing of the marriage of his parents, we discussed how quickly he has learned to play instruments and participate in the praise and worship. He has only been playing guitar for 9 months and the bass for 5 months! In addition, he has also learned to play the keyboard with the help of his girlfriend. He has also expressed the desire to help in the children's ministry, which would be greatly appreciated.
The fifteenth of September is always a big day in Mexico as they begin celebrating their independence which culminates at midnight with shouts of “Viva Mexico!” (long live Mexico). The congregations all enjoyed the festivities but were quick to say that they really celebrate their independence that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. So their services and activities were all centered around Him.
In Victoria they had an anointed night of praise and worship, followed by a meal, games, and prizes.
They also took the time to honor Jeanette with for her birthday which falls on their Independence Day. That evening we were also so glad that Isai and Karen traveled from the village of Voz to join the musicians in the service and fellowship with the congregation. We were also so glad to see Ana, a physical therapist who some months ago moved to Monterrey to open a clinic where she plays Christian music and offers Christian publications, many of which were developed “in house.” She has many Christian clients, but some Jehovah Witnesses, as well as others who are not yet born again, also go there and comment that they feel something special in the atmosphere there.
While Jose and Jeanette ministered the next day in Victoria, Isai and Karen went to Mante to minister and celebrate with the congregation there. Isai made sure to take his accordion, to the delight of everyone.
Meanwhile, Willy, Herminio, and Dan visited the folks in Rio Bravo. This was Dan's first trip to the church there, and he was very effective in helping minister to the people during the service. Willy joined the praise and worship team in a great flow of praise. Herminio then ministered the Word and taught on the glory of the Lord. The people were very receptive. Several received prayer and a special personal word during the altar call. The men were blessed to see young men visit the church, as it is vital that men lead their families in the Word of God. After feeding the spirit and soul, everyone enjoyed a special meal of chicken in mole sauce, tamales, and some great side dishes prepared as only the ladies of the church in Rio Bravo can do. They had a great time together in spirit, soul, and body!
The following weekend, Jeanette enjoyed time with the ladies of the congregation in Edinburg in the two-day ladies' conference. The weekend's ministry activities ended with a visit to the congregation in Rio Bravo where they blessed them with a delicious meal and birthday cake after the service. During the service, Jeanette ministered with the kids where the topic was on testimonies. A 7-yr-old told of being healed of various ailments and injuries. He also described the experience of being saved as “like having a big door that kept me in darkness until faith in Jesus opened the door and the light came in.”
We also learned that the daughter of a couple in the church went to Dona Maria's house for help for marital problems and was led to the Lord. Her husband is a Jehovah Witness and does not allow her to attend our church services—YET! Please keep her and her husband in prayer for complete restoration through Jesus Christ.
Earlier this month, Nayeli took a co-worker to church. They stayed after to talk with Dona Maria who led him to the Lord as tears poured from his eyes. He has been faithful to attend ever since, missing only when he had to work.
As another testimony, Sister Lupita's son has been clean of drugs for one year and is in the faith! To avoid the usual contacts, he has left the area.
The construction of Rio Bravo's building is coming along nicely. They are working on the exterior entrance now. Inside, all that is left is to build the stage and put a finish on the concrete floor. The end is in sight!
A few days before returning to Victoria, Jose and Jeanette attempted to get the permit for the vehicle in addition to their personal permits, but encountered issues due to a “flaw” and inconsistency in the law. However, the problem in no way caused them any concern. They just prayed and went to another bridge where they were in and out without any hindrances from the officials. In fact, Jose had such favor that the main official gave him his name and offered to be of assistance for any future needs for vehicle permits. Praise God!
Rains from surrounding storms threatened our last trip of the month, but after prayer we advance in confidence and only encountered a brief time of rain on the highway. Had it rained even just a little more, we would not have been able to get there as the water was over some of the river banks and up to the highway. Thankfully, we were able to go all the way to the cottage and visit our elderly neighbor and her daughters before attending the monthly marriage class where we showed the movie “Fire Proof.”
During the service in Victoria the next day, two children from Jeanette's Sunday school class prayed to accept Christ. In addition, a sister who had recently been prayed for because she was unable to swallow food due to a spiritual oppression testified that she is free from all fear and now able to eat. And for a nice ending to the trip, we baptized a young lady who only 6 months earlier wanted nothing to do with Christianity. She and her family have suffered so much because of the spirits of darkness that had oppressed them (so many violent destructive things!), but now, one by one they are coming to Christ and being set free. So we rejoice greatly in her professing Christ as Savior and submitting to water baptism. It truly is glorious!
The activities for the month of September have been thrilling and quite satisfying, but we always look forward to what likes ahead. If things go as planned, there will be lots to write about next month, so we will be sure to keep you “in the loop.” Thanks so much for your prayers and support!
Yours in Christ,
Jose, Jeanette, and the missions team
“For we who have believed do enter that rest,...” Hebrews 4:3a