Emotional well-being of our family: After six-months of being on the field we feel very strong about how well our family as a whole is doing on the mission field. Our adjustment to living in a new country has been relatively smooth. Our family is very active and involved in the culture; we are making relationships with national Christians and non-Christians. Not to say there has been no issues but we have not had to deal with anything different then the things we dealt with as a family in the States. Our daughters have made strong relationships in the youth group and are doing well. One issue we see is there are not many girls in the youth group but so far it has not caused any problems. Our marriage is strong, but not to say that we have no room to grow. There was a period in our initial time here when we were making unnecessary comments toward each other but as we have settled in those things have smoothed out. We now believe it was an effect of the stress from moving to a new culture. We have been faithful to our date night and believe it has made a difference in the health of our marriage. Though we are extremely busy we are spending time as a family and taking time for one another.
Spiritual well-being of our family: At this point we feel equally strong about the spiritual health of our family. We are finding different ways to feed ourselves. It seems as if our three oldest daughters are finding that the youth group and activities are keeping them focused on God and why we are here in Mexico. As for myself I have been able to stay very consistent on my daily study- time in God’s word. My wife uses various study guides to help her in her personal Bible study. On Sunday mornings we worship as a family in English before attending Spanish service. My youngest daughter (Serenity) does very well in her Sunday morning Bible class in Spanish. We also have a small group in Spanish at our house on Thursdays where we sing hymns and study God’s word. We are also finding strength in spending time with God’s people all through the week. My youngest daughter Serenity and I have a daily prayer time where we pray for certain request:
Spiritual & physical protection here in Mexico
Spiritual well-being of our daughters
Our team and our future decisions (various things)
Christian husbands for our daughters future
Raising up truth seekers & leaders for our future work
Lost family members
(Luke 11:1-13; 18:1-8 have convicted me in the value of consistently asking God for important issues).
Culture and language progress: In the six-month we have been in Cuernavaca, Mexico every family member has been involved in intense language study. Our four daughters went through six-weeks of immersion language study at Chac-Mool Spanish Institute, and have since then been working with a tutor once a week for three hours. My wife and I went through twelve-weeks of immersion Language Study also at Chac-Mool Spanish Institute and since then I have been working Lourdes (New Convert). I plan to be starting to work with a man named Marco who is a Spanish teacher who has over ten years of experience working with Church of Christ missionaries. We are also spending time speaking Spanish in our small groups and by having people in our home. We all have read or made comments in our small group in Spanish. My daughters and I take the bus at least once a week to visit the city center where we interact with various people in the market. Taking taxis, buses and getting me hair cut have been helpful challenges and lessons.
Team health: Our team is also doing very well in this first six-month of adjustment. As a team we have not been spending a great deal of time together because of language study and the fact that we are building relationships here in Mexico. As we approach this second half of our first year we will be more intentional in meeting on a regular basis. We already have team meetings, men meetings, and women meeting on the calendar. Relationships between teammates have not been an issue at this point. But there have been a few small issues. Brandon’a Garcia underwent surgery on December 2nd and is now recovering. The Simms had to deal with an intestinal infection that their youngest son Isaiah (1yrs old) had and was in the hospital for a few days.
Kingdom involvement: Even though we have been concentrating on culture and language we can see how God is using our family. I have already shared how God used our team to bring a person (Lourdes) to Christ. I have now preached two sermons in Spanish and I am involved in the Sunday morning service on a regular basis. Sometimes it involves reading scripture, leading prayer, and serving the Lord’s Supper. Our family has a small group in our home on Thursday nights and three of the nationals have now led the small group. We have seen how God is using this small group to mature the national Christians. We are able to minster to some of the brethren who come to the small group. We also have a man named Jose Luis who has been attending the small group and is not a Christian. Our family has made several relationships with lost people here in Cuernavaca. We have already had two men in our home that I was able to teach about the historical reliability of the Bible, and tell them about Jesus and what He has done in our lives. God has put a few men in my life like Julio and Miguel who I am able to somewhat mentor. Last week we talked about starting a small men’s accountability group. Just like Paul said we are to plant and water seed (1Cor.3:6-9).