We started the month off with a change in venue for the leadership classes involving Voz.  Since Fidela has moved to Victoria, it’s become more convenient for the folks of Voz to attend classes there in the village instead of meeting at the cottage about a 45 minute drive away.  We held it an hour before service and were glad to see more attend because of the change.  Our discussion focused mostly on raising up more leaders from within the congregation and including the adolescents.  It is of great concern to us that most of the people do not seem to possess a desire to participate in serving, only in receiving, this despite many years of observing us model it.   Please pray that the people would share our vision and appreciate the joy of giving.


While we were in Voz, Carlos and Isai ministered in Rio Bravo.  They’d been wanting to visit their brothers and sisters in Christ for some time.  The service was powerful and many received healing and a word from the Lord.  While staying at Don Tino’s and Dona Maria’s, a spontaneous time of praise and worship erupted among them and all who were at the house, including Omar and Miranda.  It was a glorious time!


That same weekend, Salomon’s son Dante ministered in Mante and had a great time.  Mante has been a great instrument in the development of ministerial gifts as Victoria sends someone weekly to minister until the permanent leader is provided by the Lord.  A couple that has been with the church in Victoria for about a year, Fernando and Martina, have just joined the ranks of those to minister in Mante.  The Lord has shown us that they, too, will be very useful for the Kingdom of God.   


In the service in Victoria, the elderly gentleman named Don Roberto who recently came to the Lord, showed Jeanette a letter he’d received from a niece living in Los Angeles.  She wrote pleading with him and the family to receive Christ, the giver of true life.  She hadn’t yet heard that he has already experienced new life in Jesus and now has joy, but her letter was bold and loving.  We reminded him that he and his family shall be saved!  God is already moving.   Your prayers for Don Roberto’s son and his family to enter the faith Jesus and be set free are much appreciated.


The church in Victoria held a special celebration of Mexican Independence Day.  They really did it up grand, complete with booths of games, photography, a style show of the traditional dress of the various regions, and authentic yummy foods.  But most outstanding and notable by all was the atmosphere supernaturally charged with joy and mutual love one for another.  There were many guests present, and all commented that they noticed the same thing.  Having fun is an important part of the functioning of the church.  It promotes unity and attracts the lost.


Monthly the church holds meetings for young adults, ladies, men, and married couples.  A new system that encourages the involvement of each GDA has recently been implemented and has been very successful for the ladies’ meetings and other events. 


At a recent ladies’ meeting, a lady from Cristina’s GDA who attended for the first time commented, “It’s like I had a blindfold on that has just been removed.  Cristina has persevered for 2 years in her GDA and is just now seeing the fruit.


At the marriage class, this month’s topic was on finances.  We were shocked to learn how many people knew of couples entering marriage keeping their properties and earnings separate.   At the conclusion of the class, a newly wed who just recently entered the faith commented that she has some work to do and wished she’d known then what she knows now.  Her husband was away on business, so she took lots of notes to share with him.


During one trip on the way to Victoria’s leadership meeting, a sign was spotted erected at the entrance to San Fernando, one of the areas most affected by the cartels and violence, which said on one side, “City of faith, peace and love:  Zion, the place where God dwells.”  And on the other side, the sign said boldly, “The wings of the Father, the salvation of the Son, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit dwell in this place.  Isaiah 60.”  Someone led by the Spirit staked their claim on that territory in faith, something Jeanette had wanted to do for some time in Victoria.  It took more than one trip, but she got pictures of both sides of the sign.  At one passing, the sign was down.  By the next time, it was posted again by some perseverant believer(s).  Every time we pass by there, we will join our faith with those brothers and sisters in Christ who have endured tough times and are overcoming.


The leadership class was a precious time of ministering one to another.  It was interesting to later find out that three different people told one brother the same message from the Lord, each confirming the other without knowing what had been previously said to him.  Several other powerful words of wisdom, knowledge, and prophecy were given to and by the members.


During another leadership class, Pepe testified of Lauro, a friend he had been invited to church who finally went a few weeks ago and enjoyed it very much.  When he commented about it at a friend’s house, the friend’s mothers who practices witchcraft told him if he continued going to church, that a loved one would die.  He was afraid to return since a brother has cancer.  Then he thought about it.  At church he felt peace; at that house he felt fear.  It occurred to him that it wasn’t right and decided to return church.   


Pepe was asked to pray for that brother with cancer in the hospital.  He went and led him to the Lord just 2 days for he died.


This month we were given two opportunities to share New Testaments stuffed with Gospel tracts to a total of four members of the Gulf Cartel.  One of them actually said that his mother is an evangelical Christian.  Jeanette told him that his mother most assuredly is praying for him and that we would pray for him, as well.  We told them that God desires to give them a much better life and that they need to get right with God because they have no guarantee of tomorrow.  All listened intently, but especially the youngest one in the back seat.  We pray other Christians will water the seed that was planted.  Though we don’t know their names, please lift them up in prayer that their eyes be open to receive the Gospel, for their own benefit and for the good of the nation.


Recently we have heard much about the eminent release of Isaac Rodriguez.  We are not sure what the delay is, but we keep hearing reassuring comments that his release has been agreed upon.  Please continue to pray for him.  Even after his release, he will need much spiritual intervention and restoration.  In addition, he will especially need to hear the Gospel most likely.


The 8th was a special day.  The churches came together to worship God and pray for the nation of Mexico.  When the nearly 5000 people began to sing, “How Great Thou Art,” and other anointed songs, the glory of God was so evident and seemed to be the closest thing to heaven experienced in some time.  At the conclusion of the service, no one wanted to leave, so the band continued playing praise songs.  Suddenly, the isles filled with people lifting their hands and voices and leaping for joy.  This went on for quite a while.


Fernando and Martina took their GDA of adolescents to the prayer event.  Most had never even entered the doors of a Christian church, much less experienced anything like that, coming from Catholic homes. 


The following day, while Carlos preached in Victoria, we drove another 2 hours south to Mante to minister.  Sister Araceli testified that she shared the vision of the church to a city commissioner and asked him to pave the road in front of the new building that is nearly completed.  He expressed gratitude for the church’s vision to train up the children in the ways of the Lord and to teach the adults how to be free.  He said he would help, and asked for signatures of all the adults of the congregation as evidence of their membership and commitment, which she collected the day we were there.   We look forward to the inauguration of the building soon.


Before heading back into Mexico for another trip, we sent Joshua off to Texas Bible Institute.  He and 4 other guys from WHTC are studying there.  All were accepted into the school’s praise and worship band.  Joshua is also in the guitar club and in an exhibition band for the school’s special events.  He thinks he may also join a choir.  In addition, the director has discussed giving him direction over another band.  Joshua says the courses are plenty challenging, though the subjects’ titles seem basic.  That’s good for him; he needs a challenge.  All-in-all, the experience seems to be very rewarding for him.


Salomon and Laura invited 3 new couples to the house for dinner at midweek.  The conversation turned quickly to testimonies and the Word.  Many shared their delight of the new life that they have found in Christ and how they have been set free from bondages.  As the guests were leaving, one man said to Salomon, “I need God in my life!”  Salomon, surprised by the comment, asked if he’d ever been explained the Gospel, and he said no, this despite having attended occasionally a church where a relative ministered.  So right then and there, Salomon led him to the Lord.  His sister and wife have also come into the faith in the GDA meetings.


Salomon and Laura have made time weekly to minister to a young man in need, a GDA, an intercessory prayer meeting (Laura), leadership class, and frequent church activities on Saturdays, in addition to Sunday services.  They are hard to keep up with!


In a way, it can be said that the church in Victoria played a part in a new GDA begun in the U.S. side.  A lady in a GDA in Victoria referred her cousin who lives in McAllen to WHTC to a GDA.  At the time, there wasn’t one for her, but it seemed like a great idea to begin one for Spanish-speaking ladies.  It also just so happened that Marlen who used to attend a GDA in Victoria now lives in the U.S. and has become an active part of WHTC.  Now she attends the new one.  Monica, who attended for the first time, received a word from the Lord that she would have an intercessory ministry.  When hands were laid on her, she felt warmth go through her.  She said she prayed for people all night, saying words she didn’t even know where they came from.  The next day she was hit by a drunk driver, but there were no injuries, and she was kept in complete peace. 


At a recent service, the cousin of Cristina went forward for prayer saying she wanted to share this new experience with other people.  Jose asked if she had prayed to ask Jesus into her heart.  She replied no, so he first led her to the Lord.    At another service, Eric’s parents went forward.  When asked what they wanted prayer for, the father said directly, “We’re convinced now.”  Jose led the two to the Lord.  Eric has been praying for them for at least 8 years to enter the faith.  Now they arrive to service literally beaming with light in them.


Lately, to collect the offering in Victoria, they started putting the buckets in the front and people would go forward to give their offerings while the congregation would sing a praise song.  The first time we saw this, it was astounding to see the people literally rush to the front to give.  Even in Sunday school, the children have asked to give their offerings in the same way instead of passing the container.  And they do so enthusiastically.


During our last visit, we joined Salomon and Laura to pick up Monica and Dante from the airport after attending a week-long conference in Guatemala.  They shared their newly acquired knowledge and excitement with us until late into the night.  What’s good for them will also be beneficial to the Body of Christ.     We'll keep you updated on the benefits and the great things the Lord is doing through His Church. 


 In Christ,  Jose, Jeanette, and the Missions Team

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