Our hearts are truly humbled as we contemplate the goodness of our God as we have had the privilege of serving our LORD here in the country of Mexico as well as opportunities to preach and to minister in other countries. Yesterday; August 6, we celebrated being here in Mexico as missionaries for 23 years. We crossed the border with the singular mission of learning a new language in order to preach and teach the Word of God to the people that God would give us. We are excited about the successes we have experienced and challenged by the great need still around us.
It is with great gratitude to all of you who have had our backs spiritually in prayer and physically in your financial assistance and encouraging words. Many of you have been with us since we surrendered to the mission field back in 1986 or soon thereafter. We are thankful to you and to our Lord for your faithfulness. We have seen small churches become independent bodies with national pastors. We have had the opportunity to start churches and these also are up and growing, independent and autonomous, with national pastors. We helped to start a Bible Institute that now still exists under the auspices of a national work. We have had the pleasure of seeing men that we trained become Pastors and leaders in these churches.
We now have new Institute classes in two different areas where men and women are learning and putting their education into teaching others. We have written a book on Pastoral Epistles, personal work studies of salvation, translated workbooks and created curriculum for university studies, and are in the process of asking the Lord to help us to establish a learning center for advance Biblical training. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as the world around us in constantly changing.
One of the factors that are changing in the world of missions today is the extreme lack of finances. Many that we have heard of are suffering lack of funds and many are returning to the States to try and increase their support base. This has also touched our ministry here. We have never actually been up to full support but have continued to do the work here and learned to live and work with the funds available.
However, we are feeling the effects severely and will be out for two months this year; September, November, in order to also seek an increase of base support. We are not complaining as we have seen the hand of the Lord working in our lives and in our ministry in miraculous ways. That by definition is His Grace. Our faith has increased and our gratitude to all is enormous. We do believe it to be prudent, however, to do some deputational style meetings. We are to be in several “new” churches during these weeks.
Another factor is the security of our world today. Mexico has seen its share of difficulties in the last few years as more have been killed here than in the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Many have left. We have sought the Lord’s will also as it pertains to the danger around us. The Lord has given us peace in staying and continuing our ministry. Again many are still here and pressing on. My father’s quote that has been a major factor in the life of his children has been, “keep on keeping on”. Amen!
The Calvary Mission is doing well. On Sunday we had 18 in attendance. I think that counting the number of nationals it was the highest number we have had. We praise the Lord for His goodness. On Tuesday two ladies that made professions of faith were in attendance and we were excited to see them. Everyone listened well as we spoke of being ‘revived’ and being ‘quickened’ in Psalm 119: 33-40. The words in the Spanish text are ‘avívame” and ‘vivifícame’.
On Sundays we are studying the book of I Timothy. The memory verse for this week is I Timothy 3:16. We sent four youth to camp this year. Because of the ministry of The Least of These we were able to help them with the cost. Teresia and Alisha head this up with Alisha doing the work of collecting and managing the gifts given and changing them into money to be sent here for the children, those in need, and the elderly as the Lord blesses. Many of you also helped as we were able to meet the need of some here in our town because of a severe flood that hit our community. Through the years we have also helped many in El Salvador with the children as well as those who were affected by a hurricane.
The Oasis Bible Institute is also progressing. The classes here in San Pancho have finished for the semester and the classes on the south side of Aguascalientes are in the final two weeks. We actually have increased in number during the semester. This is unusual and to say the least a very pleasant surprise. Because of our being out for the two months we will begin classes again in January. It is a very difficult decision to leave the work with no one to be in charge. Please pray that God will continue to work in the lives of the new Christians as well as the Institute students.
Teresia and I are well and we want to thank the many of you who helped in the recent need of oral surgery for Teresia. There was extra so that we will be able to continue dental work for Teresia. We are grateful. I am in need of another cataract surgery on the other eye. This one does not seem to affect my vision as much as the last. It is however ‘ripe’ and ready for removal.
We again desire to express our joy at serving our Lord for these many years and our prayer is that we might continue is God’s will as He gives us breath.