Last month ended with a visit by Manuel and Melissa from WHTC to Rio Bravo to minister on the husband’s responsibility in the marriage which was a word in due season, according to the feedback given.  In addition, they took the time to pray for several people.  The folks in Rio Bravo have always been hospitable and receptive to the word. 


Also ending the month, Harvest Christian Academy collected an offering totaling $1000 for the church in Rio Bravo to help with their building project which turned out to be just over the projected amount needed for the next phase.  Incidentally, a video on the recent music conference held there and put on by Brother Willy and several members of the praise and worship team from WHTC posted at WHTCministries.org is well worth watching to get an idea of the construction, the young team in Rio Bravo, and what God is doing through them and those who spent the weekend working with them on each of the instruments.


Sami, their guitar player, recently turned 15 and celebrated her quiceanera.  She has been in the church since she was 2 yrs old, and it has been a joy to watch her grow into a strong member of the Body.  Her desire for her birthday was to introduce her friends to the church so that they would come into the faith as well.  Miranda and Omar conducted the service, and Willy played a special with Bobby and Jon from WHTC. 


Chela’s GDA (Grupo de Alcance, Outreach Group) of children and teens in Rio Bravo is growing leaps and bounds.  They now receive 20-28 in their back yard to teach them the Word.  They have fun activities and even provide them snacks, which is a sacrifice and labor of great love for this working class family.   It’s been worth it all.  So far, 6 have prayed to accept Christ as Savior.


At our recent visit to Rio Bravo, a young mother named Nadia accepted Christ when Jose called her forward to give her a word from the Lord.  We also prayed for a stoke victim who attended for the first time, despite the families’ wishes that she not.  There was also a word of knowledge which only could be known by the Spirit for a young teenage couple.  Shock was written all over their faces when they heard it.  They received the word and prayed with us.  Also during our visit, we learned that some of the congregation went to pray for a sick child in the hospital and ended up leading 12 of his family members to the Lord.


For the first week in October we felt led by the Spirit to send Fernando and Martina, a couple from Victoria, to Mante who had never gone to minister.  Sensing they may be the couple to go more regularly and establish more stability there, we wanted to see how they would do before discussing first the possibilities with them.  They had a great time and got a lot accomplished.  They came back bursting with enthusiastic ideas and a desire to return more frequently.   In fact, Fernando typed up an ambitious proposal for growth and raising up leaders in Mante which he desires to implement by co-laboring with Carlos.  We encouraged him to go for it, and we will just let the Lord reveal His plan in all this.


Fernando and Martina also have a GDA in Victoria for youth.  It has been quite successful.  This month they held a parent/son-and-daughter banquet so that the parents could become familiar with the church and meet the leadership.  They also wanted to expose the parents to the Gospel.  For many it was to be their first time ever hearing it.  Some 50 people were present.  Just before concluding the event, the youth were asked to go forward with the parents facing them to pray.  They were led in a prayer of restoration and forgiveness for those who needed it.  Judging by the tears and their response, most received.  Then, when asked who would like to receive Christ, at least 8 raised their hands and prayed.  Several returned the next day to the Sunday service.  We believe they will make the church their home.  Days later Martina led one of the mothers to Christ who showed up saying, “I need a change in my life.”  Martina plans to have coffee with the moms sometime in the near future to reach more.


Immediately following the banquet, the church held the monthly men’s and women’s meetings.  Five from the banquet stayed to attend.  Manuel, the new convert from Salomon’s GDA testified of how he came to Christ after following into deep depression due to losing his job.  His friend Daniel, still “on fire” from recently entering the faith, invited him to the GDA, and he was set free.  Unbeknownst to Manuel, while he was sharing his testimony with the guys, his wife, just 2 weeks old in the Lord, was sharing how Christ literally gave her and her family a new life.  His niece also accepted Christ at a subsequent GDA meeting.  Manuel’s wife later asked Jeanette to pray for her 18-yr-old son Santos who was resisting these abrupt changes in his family.


The next day during service, he attended.  Jeanette felt led to introduce him to Carlos and ask Carlos to explain what God did for him and how he changed his life.  The two hit it off great with much in common.  By the end of the service, Santos gave his life to Christ too, in addition to 2 others who went forward: Montse, age 11, and Fernanda, age 15! 


At the first leadership class of the month in Victoria, Dante shared what he learned at a conference on growing the church through home cell groups in Guatemala that he and Monica had recently attended.  Monica built on that topic the following week.  The conference focused on teaching people to make disciples (not just converts) who will in turn do the same, and so on. 


At the leadership class in Voz, Jeanette taught the people on the joy of giving (not just money, but also ministry, etc.).  We pray that the people will gain a true appreciation of what it is to be like God Whose nature it is to give in love.  We know that is the key to building strong leaders in the Church.


When Carlos and Vivi’s GDA made their monthly visit to a hospital, Carlos took a guitar and some 50 people gathered around.  He and others sang, prayed for the sick, shared Christ, and fed the hungry.  Some of those who prayed for the sick did so for the first time and boldly as never before.


Salomon and Laura’s daughter Karla who also has a GDA said she intends to have a dinner and invite the ladies of her group and their husbands in order to expose the husbands to the Gospel and thank them for supporting their wives in allowing them to attend the weekly GDA.  Her husband Alex would also be there to give a man’s perspective.


Karla told of an acquaintance who has a reputation much like that of the Samaritan woman.  Karla wanted to invite her to the GDA, but wondered how the other ladies would receive her since everyone knew of her lifestyle.  The Lord told Karla that since He is not a respecter of persons, then she should not be either, so she knew she should go ahead and invite her.  The lady was thrilled by the invitation, but then hesitated and asked if Karla was sure it would be OK with the others since she has experienced the shunning and rejection of many.  Karla reassured her and encouraged her to go.  Though there were some “raised eyebrows”, she enjoyed it greatly and plans to return.


In Victoria Sister Mirta testified to Jeanette that while her sister-in-law was in intensive care after a complicated delivery, she took the newborn to care for him.  The baby would not stop crying, so she took him back to the hospital but was told he was just hungry.  Then she took him to a doctor who told her to bathe him.  While bathing him, the infant died.  Mirta refused to receive the death in her arms and called out to God.  After several minutes, the child came back to life just as the ambulance arrived.  He was later diagnosed with a deadly virus for which he received treatment and is doing well now.  Mirta also prayed for her mother-in-law who was in immense pain due to hip surgery.  No medication was able to ease the pain, but Mirta’s prayer gave her relief.


Two more members of a cartel now have New Testaments and Gospel tracts in their possession.   We rejoice and trust that His Word performs its perfect work in them and that the literature will fall into the hands of many others.  We’ve also lost count of the number of soldiers who have received the same New Testaments and tracts.  One recently responded with gratitude that he really needed it as he and his fellow soldiers have been under great stress lately (We can only imagine!).


On another trip we were delayed 45 minutes by Mexican bureaucracy when obtaining new permits for the vehicle and for ourselves.  Though it could have been exasperating, we refused to allow ourselves to get annoyed and chose to stay in the joy of the Lord.  Later, the Lord showed us that the delay was to our advantage.  He sent a convoy of soldiers to “escort” us much of the way.  Had we not been held up, we would have missed them.


Pepe and Sofia got married this month.  We recall vividly how he came to Christ just a few years ago and now is married to a godly woman from another church.  They chose to be married at a 200-yr-old X-hacienda about an hour’s drive from Victoria where there had been frequent reports of cartel activity.  Many people were very apprehensive about attending.  The morning of the wedding, the Lord gave us Isaiah 55:12 to reassure everyone that it would be an occasion of great joy and that all would be fine.  And it was.  Also, it had rained the day before, leaving the vegetation green and lush, and the day of the outdoors wedding was bright and sunny. 


During a dinner for Laura’s birthday, Jeanette enjoyed chatting with Laura’s sister-in-law Karla who shared lots of testimonies including that of how her husband and Carlos went to pray for her mother’s boyfriend in the hospital and led him to the Lord.  Her mother has had a hardened heart and refused to discuss this faith thing.  But Karla’s 5-yr-old son has been telling her about Jesus and inviting her to church.  So one day, she told Karla she would go just this once.  The mother later said she could feel the presence of God even as she entered the building and struggled to hold back the tears.  During the service, so impressed by the service, she attempted several times to contact her son to get him to go too, but he was sleeping in late.  At the end of the service, she went forward for prayer, and the tears flowed.  Now she talks of returning with her boyfriend and son.


At another church service in Victoria, Pati testified that she had asked God to anoint her hands to pray for the cancer patients where she works.  She prayed for one who was dismissed from the hospital the following day.  When the family of another patient heard about it, they asked her to pray for him, too.  She has her ministry there!


Jose felt led to let the congregation in Victoria know that we would not attend for 2 weeks in a row due to our trip to visit Joshua at Texas Bible Institute and then help with Harvest Fest the following week.  (He hesitated to tell them because some have tended to skip church when they know we would be away.)  Then a brother told Salomon that he felt the church should collect an offering for Joshua.  The church enthusiastically gave the equivalent of $400!  It sure was reminiscent of church of the New Testament that would send offerings by way of some traveling brothers to bless others in the faith.  Wow!  


Our visit to TBI was very wonderful.  We hadn’t seen Joshua for 6 weeks.  We also got to see others from WHTC there and meet many new friends and the anointed staff.  We are so grateful for those who are investing in Joshua’s life and in the lives of so many.  Joshua is being challenged beyond his comfort zone and is enjoying every minute of it.


During our absence, Salomon preached in Victoria while Fernando, Martina, and Dante returned to minister in Mante.  Attendance in Victoria did not drop in our absence, and both services went very well.


Each trip is like opening a box of surprises only to discover there are more delights within them.  The testimonies are so intertwined that it is very difficult to convey them in such a short space.  Suffice it to say that God is changing lives and doing great and marvelous things as He said He would.  We can hardly wait to see what God has for November’s report! 


Have a blessed Thanks Giving Day! 

In Christ,

Jose, Jeanette and the entire Missions Team

Psalm 103:1-13

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