Evangelism: I am excited about some of the things God is doing here in Cuernavaca and want to share a few of them with those who pray for our family, team, and work. We recently meet as a team and are planning some ways to reach out to the community. One of our families’ supporting congregations the Woodbury church of Christ has agree to help us fund some advertizing for our congregation and for our new interactive video Bible courses that we will offer on August 18th. We have already offered one course (1&2Peter, taught by Arthur Puente from Lubbock, Texas) and it went great for both our members and for making new contacts. We are working with the Mexican leaders on how and when to advertize the video courses and the congregation. The two ways we are working on is through the newspaper and by renting a space on a city bus. We are involving the Mexican leaders in the contacting the newspaper and writing the ads to help them be apart of everything we do. Yesterday I stopped by a taco stand on the side of the road and notice the couple (Gonzalo and Carmen) who sell tacos had a Bible with them, we quickly started having a Bible study while I enjoyed the wonderful tacos (Taco Evangelism!). I learn they attend a Catholic Church but love learning the Bible and have started attending different denominational Bible studies during the week. I told them about the video courses we will be having starting in August and they were really excited. Of course I will continue to visit them to study and eat tacos but I think these courses are very attractive for people of all different church groups. About 80% of the people who are visiting our congregation come because they pass by and seen a sign advertising the congregation and the Bible study center. Please spend some time praying for our new efforts to reach the lost in Cuernavaca. God is good.
In May of 2011 our family moved into a house in the center of the city, our prayer was that God would use us to bring some of our neighbors to Christ. Shortly after moving in we met a women named Sandra and her son Ivan who is mentally handicapped. Sandra’s speaks English very well because she lived in the U.S. and Canada for several years. Sandra had been divorced many years ago and was very lonely as she lived with her son Ivan. She was really open to learning about God’s Word and coming to church but, we quickly realized she had many problems. Sandra was struggling with alcoholism. Over a two year period my wife and I worked with Sandra trying to help her in with her battle with alcohol and other struggles. Sandra wrestled with the fact that God would forgive her of all her sins. As we worked with her she seemed to think that she had to change her life before God would accept her. She faithfully came to a small group at our house and came to our Sunday morning assembly but would not obey the gospel. We studied with her continually and taught her the gospel in every way we could think of. She told us several times she was she was doing better with her drinking and smoking cigarettes and was almost ready to be baptized but she always found an excuse why she was not ready. At times I was almost ready to give up on her but, what a reward it was when she was baptized into Christ. It took two years of Bible studies, prayer, hours of ministering, and lot of faith but when she was baptized it was worth every minute of it. God is amazing!
The are many reason why our family feels called to work in Mexico preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, many of those reasons are drug trafficking, violence, Idol worship, etc. One of the more recent burdens on my heart has been the growth of the worship of the saint of death. I took this photo not far from my house where they sell almost life size idols of the saint of death. This is a belief that started among many criminals in Mexico, but since then has spread into many families all over. Many people who I have talked with have either a friend or family member who owns an image of La Santa Muerte (The Saint of Death). I have copied a link to a documentary about the saint of death if you are interested in knowing more. One of the realities about Mexico is what happens on the south side of the border will sooner or later effect those on the north side of the border. We have much work to do but one thing we love about Mexico is people are very spiritually minded and almost all believe in a higher power so we immediately have a place to start. Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fBT72-hhTs
Today we had another great day in Christ! This is our forth Sunday with over 50 people in attendance (54). What is a little more encouraging is we are seeing our Mexican brothers inviting their friends and family. Please keep praying for the evangelism and growth of the church. Another exciting thing that is happening is the growth of our new convert Adrian. The last couple weeks we are spending a lot of time together studying the Bible and I am trying to connect him to the service of God. Last week I asked him to read scripture in service and this week I asked him to serve on the table for the Lord’s Supper. I am hoping to have him do a talk for the collection next week. We have already had a few conversations about the possibility of him preaching. We have also talked about him starting a prayer ministry by visiting hospitals and praying for the people who are sick. Please pray the Lord continues to work in his heart and helps him to resist the temptations of sin. Next week on Tuesday March 26th we are starting a new video course on first and second Peter. Arthur Puente will be teaching the class and we are really excited. Please pray we can get the word out and many students and possible contacts will be made through this class. The Lord is good, let’s win souls for Jesus!
I want to thank all of our prayer partners for their partnership in God’s mission. The Lord is blessing His work here in Cuernavaca, Mexico and my conviction is that your prayers deserve much credit. This is the third Sunday we had over 50 people in attendance and this was our largest yet (58), God is great! After one week in Christ I am seeing some growth in Adrian who was baptized two Mondays ago. This past Sunday I asked Adrian if he would read scripture in church and he was very excited to do it. After service we had our third men’s leadership meeting and it was our best one yet. There were fourteen men in attendance and the Mexican’s spoke the majority of the time. We are still fine tuning our contact follow-up system and things are going well. We also had another bless as one of the Mexican couples who use to live in Cuernavaca and recently moved to Mexico City came and spent a few days with our family. On Sunday Chucho (Jesus) preached a great sermon. (Chucho) Jesus and Abigail have become extremely involved in ministry since moving to Mexico City and have expressed the desire to go to the Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, TX to better prepare them for full-time ministry here in Mexico. What an awesome blessing to see God rising up Mexican people who want to evangelize their own people. Please pray for the gospel to be spread all over this country that so badly needs it. Thank you for your partnership in God’s mission. Please continue to pray for the many contacts we have and are studying with. Your prayers are an efffective and important part of our ministry!
God is working here in Cuernavaca, Mexico and I would like to share a wonderful story with those who support our family and pray for our requests. Last Sunday a man was walking by the church building and stopped to ask me if we had anything we could give him to eat. I told him we were going to have a Bible study and he was welcome to come in and drink coffee and eat some cookies. I also told him if he stayed for service we would have a potluck afterwards with lots of good food. He stayed and told us he was headed to a Chiapas (most southern state of Mexico) and asked the church if they would help him get to the next town where he could find a ride further south. He expressed that he loves Cuernavaca and would like to live here if he could find a job and a place to stay. I went and talked to one of our brothers in Christ Julio who rents a few apartments and asked him if he would give Adrian a few days to find a job. Throughout the week I met with him and tried to help him find a job. After church on Sunday he came to our house and the subject of baptism came up. We then began to study for the next four hours starting in Genesis until we reached how people were saved in the New Testament (Acts 2:38, 8:9-13, 8:35-38, 16:13-15, 16:30-34, 19:1-5, 22:3-16). It was encouraging to hear his excitement when I told him he did not have to wait until Sunday to be baptized. He said “that’s great because I don’t want to wait that long to start my new life”. I am really excited about Adrian and his desire to follow Christ but he does have a lot of struggles to face and overcome. Adrian lived in the United States for more than 20 years but he lost his permission to be in States after he got into trouble with the law because of a drug and alcohol problem. Adrian has a lot of determination and enthusiasm to face his struggles, Adrian and I are going to start a men’s study at the building this Friday to confess and help one another with the personal struggles we all deal with. This week we will start with anger. God is good and continuing to bless us here in Mexico! Please keep praying for us…
I would like to share a story that touched my heart very deeply. Shortly after our team arrived here in Cuernavaca in 2010 we meant a young kid about 12 years old named Marcos. We were eating as a team at McDonalds and Marcos was asking people if they would buy him something to eat. Our teammate Patrick Garcia quickly took him to the front and ordered him a meal and asked him if he would eat with us. At this time our Spanish was really bad but we did our best to get to know him. Over time I noticed he and his family works on a street corner not far from my house so I began to stop by and talk with Marcos and his mother Elea. Marcos washes people’s car windows and his mom and sister sell newspapers and candy. Over the past year I have invited them to church and offered my spiritual services to them. About five weeks ago Elea told me she was worried about Marcos because he had never been baptized. I responded by saying “I worried about him as well and I would love to talk with him about being baptized”. Over about five weeks I visited with Marcos, his sister and sometimes his mother. I quickly realize Marcos could not read very well. This made things a little more difficult but I took a study where I use images to show the separation from God that is caused by sin (Isa. 59:1-2; Eph. 2:1-3) and how we can be reunited with God though Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8; Acts 4:12; 2:38-41; 22:16; Rom 6:3-7; Gal. 3:26-27; etc). After spending time with Marcos explaining the gospel he expressed several times he wanted to obey the gospel (1Thess. 1:6-10; Acts 6:7; 1Pt. 1:22; 4:17). I took my time because this was and still is a difficult situation. Marcos and his family live about 2 hours outside of Cuernavaca and so the maturing process will have some challenges (Matt. 28:20). His mother is also not to supportive of him being involvement with the church. In the end I thought of the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40; Philip preached the gospel, the Ethiopian eunuch believed, and Philip baptized him into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:26-27). All this started with our teammate buying Marcos a meal over 2 years ago. I also asked for prayers for Marcos a few weeks back, so this is another example of us partnering together for the mission of God. Times like this reminds me of how exciting it is to be a part of the Kingdom of God. Please be praying for Marcos, his family, and the spreading of the gospel. Let’s win souls for Jesus. God is great!
I know I have said this before but I going to say it again, “Prayer and Evangelism go hand and hand”. I had a period of time in November where I was really busy because one of our families were on furlough in the States and I was spending less time in prayer and not sending out prayer requests. I remember being a little discouraged because I was not seeing fruit being produced from God’s Word but the same week I sent out a few prayer requests and I began to see God working in people’s lives. It was a quick reminder to me how important prayer is in God’s mission. Scriptures that really impact me are scriptures like Colossians 4:2-4 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; pray that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Another passage that really convicts me of the need for prayer when trying to evangelize is Ephesians 6:19-20 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Please understand how important your prayers are to the mission of God in Cuernavaca Mexico. I want to thank everyone who partners with us in prayer. I would also like to encourage you to continue praying for our requests, to sent these requests to others who want to partner in the gospel through prayer, take theses requests to your small groups, Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes or anywhere else you think people would love to share in the saving of souls. Pray is a powerful tool at the hands of the church! God is great!
What a wonderful day in Christ we had at La Fuente Iglesia de Cristo. One of our brothers in Christ (Chucho) preached a great sermon, we had a new family visit La Fuente, Teresa the women I asked prayers for was baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3-7; Gal. 3:26-27). Teresa and her husband Jorge arrived in Cuernavaca, Mexico back in October of 2012. Teresa became very sick and went to visit a doctor who is a member at La Fuente Iglesia de Cristo. Daniel the doctor invited them to come to church and since then Teresa has grown tremendously. God has brought us a wonderful addition to the church…
God has open some new doors for La Fuente Iglesia de Cristo. We have been visiting a group of people who are very poor in a part of Cuernavaca called Ocotopec. There are a group of about 40 people who are mostly made up of women and children. Most of these children have only one parent who works during the day and so the children are left to fend for themselves during the day, without food in the house. We have gone and provided a meal, played soccer with the kids, broken a pinata, gave away clothes, and have even begun to shared a little of God’s word. It has been a wonderful blessing to watch our members serve these people. There are a few women who live in cardboard houses. Our intent is to show them Christ through our actions, but the prayer is we will be able to share the gospel with them. My conviction is we could feed the poor, heal the sick, and even raise the dead but if the gospel is not shared we have not done the best we could for someone. Sharing the message of eternal life should always be our goal…..