February - March Mission Update: Spring is in the air!

Spring in Sinaloa is a beautiful time. The nights are still cool (cold tonight!) and the days are warm but not hot, AND there are no mosquitoes, which is definitely a blessing. Walking through our quiet village, listening to the waves on the beach and the eagles circling overhead, I understand the Psalmist:

Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

In Las Glorias, one can hear creation singing!

It’s really hard to believe that it’s already time for our semi-annual trip to the states. We’ve been working hard on many projects for the past few months and this has caused the months to simply fly by.

Many of our friends and family have been asking us on Facebook when we’re traveling, where we’ll be stopping and how far north we’ll be going. Here’s our schedule, finally!

March 1 (Friday) – Leaving Mexico and driving to Arizona
March 3 (Sunday) – at Saguaro Canyon Evangelical Church, Tucson AZ
March 10 (Sunday) – at Magnolia Presbyterian Church, Riverside CA
March 15 (Friday) – at Happy Trails Christian Fellowship, Surprise AZ
March 20 (Wednesday) – Heading back to Mexico

It’s a very quick trip this time, and we’ll only be traveling as far north as Riverside. Semana Santa (Holy Week) starts on March 24 and we feel it necessary to be here for that important week. We are planning a longer trip in the summer so that we can travel north to see all our friends and relatives in Oregon and Washington. In the meantime, you’re all in our prayers!!!

Also, we had been trying to figure out a way to travel to Kansas this spring, but were just unable to make it work. Lord willing, we would like to plan a trip to Kansas next spring. We’ll keep all you Midwestern relatives posted!

I believe that the biggest accomplishment of the past six months was the completion of the 3rd module of Master’s Bible School and the graduation of 20 students. Hurrah! We've actually hosted both Module 2 and Module 3 since our last furlough, so it really seems that all we’ve done is prepare for Bible school and host Bible school and recuperate from Bible school for six months! It’s been a ton of work, but the blessings have abounded as well.

Joaquin's doughnut business is booming!  He's selling 200-300 doughnuts per day on the weekends!  Wow!
One very nice benefit of having a large family is that we are able to be involved in many different ministries and activities – practically simultaneously. We want to share a few highlights from several of the different ministries and projects we’ve been involved in.

Home fellowship – Meeting every Tuesday at the Aposento Alto (behind our house) our fellowship group continues to grow both spiritually and in numbers. It is a wonderful thing to see new believers in our community as well as many who are just curious about God (or about us!) and looking for healthy friendships and fellowship. We continue to have supper together each week after the teaching time and it’s been wonderful getting to know our neighbors better. Last week we had 42 people…13 of them were under twelve years old.
     • Pray for this ministry: That God would continue to bring people in from our neighborhood. Our desire is to see all of Esteban’s and Ramon’s families come to a saving knowledge of Christ. To be honest, that’s pretty much everyone in Boca del Rio and Las Glorias, so pray with us! Pray also for the families where only one parent is attending. In most cases, it’s the mom who is attending with the children, so pray specifically that God would raise up the heads of the households.   

Men’s Ministry -- Every Thursday morning at 6:30, a group of motorcycles and bikes converges on our house. The ten men meet for coffee, cookies and a time of prayer and study in the Word. They are reading through the book “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”. Also, on Saturday afternoons a group of men pile into our little white pickup and head to Guasave to play baseball at a “baseball outreach” in Tecomate.
     • Pray for this ministry: That through their time in the Bible study, the men would develop a deeper understanding of God’s word and a closer relationship with Him. Pray that the Christian men and youth who have been attending the baseball outreach in Tecomate would be lights shining out in a dark place and that God would be glorified through their testimonies. Pray that men in the neighborhood of Tecomate would have a hunger to know more about Jesus Christ.

Women’s Ministry -- Every Thursday afternoon, a faithful group of women gathers at Lupita’s house for a time of prayer and study. We also have been going through the “Stranger” book. We go slowly, as there are many questions, but we are all learning a great deal.
     • Pray for this ministry: That God would continue to grow our group. Lupita’s neighbors have begun to stop in for the study as well (one of those is Ramon’s granddaughter!) and we are praying that all of the ladies who attend on Tuesdays will also make the commitment and sacrifice to come on Thursdays. Pray for wisdom as Luz and I (Rebecca) answer tough questions of doctrine, tradition and misconception. Although Mexico is a traditionally Catholic country, most people in our village know little to nothing about the Bible.

Youth Ministry -- On Friday nights, Joaquin travels to Boca del Rio and Alamito to bring youth to the Aposento Alto for youth night. Turnout has been really good and attendance continues to grow. Once per month, we have a “movie night”, which has attracted as many as 50 youth. Although we don’t put a lot of stock in numbers, it’s really great to see all of the youth together in a healthy environment “hanging out”. Joaquin is a gifted teacher and has a talent for connecting with the young people and speaking to their hearts.
     • Pray for this ministry: Praise God that we have the pick-up truck to be able to haul teens around in!!! It has been an indispensable tool in this ministry. Pray that God would capture the hearts of these young adults. Several of the teens have also attended our Tuesday study and many arrive at our house early on Friday on their bikes so they can hang out before the study. Pray for Luz and Joaquin as they prepare for a more intensive Bible study specifically designed for young ladies and young men separately. Pray that God would give them wisdom as they begin these studies.

Children’s Ministry -- We’ve been working on including the children in our Tuesday night study and we are seeing some good fruit from our labors. As mentioned earlier, nearly 1 in 3 attendees on a Tuesday night is under 12. One young man, Andres, comes by himself!
     • Pray for this ministry: Pray that God would be unifying the family. Pray for wisdom as we enter the summer – we’re praying about a weekly “Children’s Church”. Pray that God would raise up workers if He desires that we start this ministry!

Family Stuff
• Sarah graduated from Tres Cruces Bible School in January (Yay!) and is currently living in Oregon. She is working at Subway and praying about a possible mission trip to North Africa. Pray for wisdom and direction!
• Caleb will be leaving us at the end of March to live in Chico, California. Lord willing, he will be working in Chico and saving money for college for the next year. The plan is for him to study welding at Butte College and to enroll in January of 2014. Pray for God’s provision for Caleb’s education!
• Jessee, Seth, Andrew and Evie will continue to homeschool in Mexico. Our once-large family doesn’t seem so large anymore. Crazy. Pray for continued wisdom and insight as we train our kids and that we would be good examples to the families around us.

And pray for us as we get on the road in a few hours!

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