I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Summer has come to the shores of Sinaloa. The dew falls heavily some days and it is almost reminiscent of the Oregon coast...except it's about 40 degrees warmer. It's been a very full month both in our household and in our church. You can read more about our various activities by clicking on the blue links within the text of this article.
At the beginning of the month we celebrated Mother's Day with a picnic at the river. Twenty-three ladies came, including several who don't normally attend church. The ladies had a fantastic time of food, fun and fellowship and are considering having small get-togethers more often so that they can reach out to more of their non-Christian neighbors. In a small village where not only do most of the ladies know each other, but they are also related either by blood or by marriage, reaching out is sometimes hard to do. Many times there is a "good reason" why one household will not associate with another household and there are grudges and hurt feelings to be dealt with. These issues are sometimes faced better in a more casual environment, such as a picnic or a volleyball tourney. We pray that God would be breaking down the walls of bitterness, disappointment and hurt feelings among the ladies of Boca del Rio.
Doug's discipleship class continues to meet weekly. Although it is a struggle as we compete with all the other "things" which can get in the way -- friends and entertainment, and even school and family commitments -- it is good to see these young men growing in the Lord. Pray that God would continue to unite this group, that He would strengthen them in their faith and that others (including their families) would be drawn to Jesus through the example of these youth.
We invited the boys and their families over for a day of swimming and relaxing last week. One young man, Abimael, was shocked that his dad came. Chago never goes anywhere with the family. The men had a great time playing volley in the pool and eating seviche. The ladies chatted and relaxed in the shade...although they did jump in the pool for a while, too!
We have begun holding church services upstairs on the new covered patio. The humidity has rolled in, and the sun blazes from sun-up to sun-down, turning the houses and buildings into giant brick ovens. It's been such a blessing to be able to hold prayer and praise meetings outside in the shade where we can benefit from the cool ocean breeze! Click over to our blog to read more about our new "upper room" at the church.
Youth from Calvary Chapel of Compuertas shared a skit which depicted the things which stand in the way of our reaching Christ...and His passion to keep us for Himself. Our church was invited to attend a baptism at the river outside of Los Mochis. It is always encouraging to get together with believers from other churches. It was beautiful to hear the sound of over a hundred people singing praises to Jesus under the shade of the trees which line the river. I was reminded of the Psalm which says that "the trees of the fields will clap their hands" as we praise the Lord!
The following week, another Los Mochis church, Piedra Angular (Cornerstone Church) came to Las Glorias for a youth retreat.
The two-day retreat featured a guest speaker from a church in Olathe, Kansas. Dan Warne taught on the condition of the heart, and the youth were challenged to really examine their motives and attitudes. In the bottom left corner of this picture, you'll notice a young woman, our friend Petra, who is translating the message into sign language for the 6 deaf students who came to the retreat. It was a wonderful, refreshing, challenging and growing weekend, and we were blessed to be able to host these youth!
One added bonus to getting better acquainted with this church is that an opportunity has arisen for Sarah to spend a week-and-a-half in Los Mochis working at the deaf school. She writes that she's exhausted, but very happy to be working with the kids there. You can read more about what she is up to over at her blog...and you'll be as up-to-date as we are! She was happy to learn that they have high-speed internet at the school, but I don't think she has had much free time to enjoy it!
Here is a photo of one of the school buildings, which is also the home of David and Michelle Bonsell, the school administrators.
We knew that the day would come when our kids would begin to step out onto the paths which God had planned for them. It looks like that day is fast approaching! Join us in praying that our children would be seeking God's will for their lives over and above their own wants and perhaps even over and above the wants we, their parents, have for them. We praise God to see spiritual growth and maturity in our children and pray for wisdom as parents.
Thank you for praying for our ministry and our family!!! Feel free to print this newsletter for distribution and to post our Prayers and Praises list -- to your fridge or wherever it will be seen and prayed-over the most!!!
Prayers and Praises:
- Praise God for His continued provision -- in material things as well as in spiritual things!
- Praise God for the faithful couples who have been attending the To Train Up a Child classes at the church. Pray that they would not become discouraged or overwhelmed in the job of parenting and that we would have advice and encouragement from the Scriptures to give to them.
- Pray for the mission teams which will be arriving during the coming month. Pray that God's grace would abound for them and through them as they minister in Las Glorias and Boca del Rio.
- Pray that God would be breaking down the walls of bitterness, disappointment and hurt feelings among the ladies outside the church of Boca del Rio
- Pray that God would continue to unite the discipleship group, that He would strengthen them in their faith and that others (including their families) would be drawn to Jesus through the example of these youth.
- Pray for the Body of Christ in Mexico -- Cornerstone Bible Church, Calvary Chapel of Compuertas, New Life Fellowship, and the Guasave Alliance of Churches specifically.
- Pray that our children would be seeking God's will for their lives over and above their own wants and perhaps even over and above the plans we, their parents, have made.
- Praise God for each of you who has made a commitment to support our family and our ministry either financially or through prayer support. You make a difference!!!