Monday, October 7, 2019

Perspectives Missions Course in Puebla - Aug 2019

We are halfway through this 15-week missions course that God has used around the world to mobilize His church for His global purpose.  We are excited to be part of that history here in Puebla!

We meet every Monday night from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Puebla Bible Seminary with over 50 students.  The first half of the course was focused on the Biblical and historical perspectives, and the remainder is on the cultural and strategic perspectives.

The Mexico Perspectives Director and his team came to Puebla for a weekend in June to train our team to facilitate the course.  God has given us a great coordinating team including the Seminary, Avant missionaries, the Puebla branch of Comibam, and other missions leaders to recruit lots of students and make this happen!

Most of the 15 speakers are Mexican pastors with a vision for missions that have taken Perspectives.  This first session on August 12 was full with nearly 80 participating--more than 50 students, our team of about 10, and 20 visitors that were welcome during the first 2 weeks only--perhaps they will take the course the next time!

Our church in Roseville helped with scholarships for 13 seminary students taking the course (pictured here), and also to provide discounts for the 10 pastors participating.  We also have 6 Avant missionaries enrolled.  Praise God!

Stu coordinates the 7 mentoring groups at the Seminary--here are Stu's guys and Cristina's gals in our home for a combined session after lunch.  Four of these students are taking Perspectives.

Stu shared lesson 6 as an instructor on September 23, and will also teach the final lesson 15 which has a focus on ongoing application of what we have learned following the course which ends on December 2.  Pray for opportunities for collaboration among this large class!

A Visit from our Sending Church - August 2019

Jan and Pam from our sending church in Roseville, Minnesota, came to visit us for a week (Aug 9-17).

There was lots of work preparing sandwiches for nearly 80 people for our first Perspectives class--50 students, 10 team members, and 20 visitors.  Thanks!

Jan and Pam had a chance to share a meal with our team of Avant missionaries--four couples and a single.

They also met with Seminary students after chapel

We traveled to Mexico City to see Pastor Erik and his wife Patty with whom we served for 17 years planting churches together.

The Villa mother church where Pastor Erik serves is progressing in the construction of a second floor for Sunday school rooms.

We also visited Rodrigo at his shoe repair shop.  He and his wife Julie lead the Joyas Church that we started before moving to Puebla.

Jan and Pam also joined the Church Missions Network session where we prayed for the Andrade family that hopes to serve with Pioneers in Italy.

After the Mission Network, tacos of course!  We were joined by Pastor Pablo and his family and a member of his church, Isai, who produced the puppet show we presented in the Zoquiapan Easter missions trip.

Jan prepared her world famous lasagna for us!  Jan and Pam, thanks for coming to Puebla!

Summer Missionary Training & Clubs - July 2019

We trained 23 youth for a week that were sent to serve among 20 local churches to evangelize children for 3 weeks throughout 6 states in Mexico (July 12-Aug 10)

Our youth and leadership team are excited to be celebrating 20 years of ministry this year.  In February 2020 we are planning a big event with past youth that have served and churches that have received our teams.

We always enjoy teaching the youth to prepare Bible lessons for children to share the gospel with unbelievers and discipleship teaching for believers.  This year the lessons were based on the life of the apostle Peter.

Oscar shared the missionary story for this year, Ti-Fam of Haiti.

Our youth learn the songs for the kids clubs with lots of aerobic exercise.

Our leadership team rejoiced to hear testimonies of the youth at the end of the summer.

We attended the last day of the Summer Missionary kids club in the Sembrador Church where we served for two years.  In the 20-plus clubs throughout Mexico, we had 885 total children participate and 203 of them put their trust in Christ as Savior!

Erica's Graduation and Trip to England - May 2019

We are so proud of Erica's graduation as a nurse from Liberty University in May!  Here are some pictures of our celebration with her, and a family trip to England.

We had to get to the stadium very early to find a seat on May 11.  The processional of 8,000 graduates took 2 hours!

We actually saw this photo on Yahoo News--can you see Erica playing cards with her classmates during the processional?  A politician made a comment that nurses spend much of their 12-hour shifts playing cards, so they built that theme into graduation day!

We are very proud of Erica!  She studied very hard at nursing school--and she did it!

We planned a 2-week family trip to explore England and enjoy time together as a family, and with dear friends who live near London.

Danny thought we were so close to Paris--we just had to visit!  Two overnight buses, 15 miles of walking along the Seine River, and 14 hours in Paris!

We even got a picture at Downing Street! :-)

This is the hospital where Erica began working in the emergency department in August.

Missions Trip to East Huicholes - April 2019

Several of our experienced Summer Missionary youth are interested in serving as career missionaries.  This year we coordinated a missions trip for them west of Guadalajara with the East Huichol ethnic group.  Fernando Amezcua led the trip as president of our missions agency FAMEX.  The only downside was that the dates coincided with our trip to Zoquiapan--so we were not able to join them!

The team included 13 from our Summer Missionary ministry (mostly in back row), plus some from Fernando's church in Guadalajara about 4 hours away.

Our Summer Missionaries sit in the front of the church service.

The week was primarily an exposure trip with a relational focus, but they did plan specific activities for the children.

The Huichol dress is very formal and colorful.

The women usually wear long colorful skirts.

The Huicholes are known for the artisan work including these woven beads.

Our youth love to work with children.

The Huichol children also like to laugh and have fun.

Church Missions Network Missions Trip - April 2019

Last fall Pastor Pablo suggested that our Church Missions Network plan a missions trip during Easter.  During February, March and April we did training to help prepare the team to evangelize adults, children and youth. 

One of the churches lent us this van for transportation of 15 members and lots of clothes, medicine, and materials for the week of ministry (April 22-26).

On the left, Luis and Julie are the Mexican missionary couple in Zoquiapan, 3 hours north of Puebla.  Our team included 15 members from six churches in Puebla--most had never been on a missions trip.  Luis was a Summer Missionary with us in 2010, his wife is a medical doctor.

Here are the kids activities in Zoquiapan among the ethnic group Nahuatl Puebla Sierra (descendents of the Aztecs).

The residents of nearby Ecatlan, just 20 minutes from Zoquiapan, were excited to look for clothing for their families.  This built trust and relationships in this community where Luis was just beginning to contact this Coyutla Totonaco ethnic group.

Our team planned lots of fun activities for the kids as well as Bible lessons.  

Dr. Julie gave free checkups and two nurses on our team helped her distribute medicine and explain instructions.  We had great conversations in the waiting room (a local government building).

Javier gave massage therapy to many people with injuries.  Pedro is one of the believers in Luis' church in Zoquiapan.  God used Javier to open doors by treating some that turned out to be family members of leaders in the community.  One couple who trusted Christ though contact with him was baptized a month after we left.

Pompeyo was so excited about the team's arrival, that he invited me to his house to give me a basket of fruit for the team.  Since Spanish is his second language we were not sure he was understanding spiritual truth we shared with him, but see what happened below...

A member of the team who is a musician and architect designed a puppet show for the kids.  The team practiced their parts to follow the recorded music and voices.

Several kids and adults as well were very attentive to the message, "You are special to God."

Several from the community came to sit down, but others watched and listened from their homes.

Luis gave an evangelistic message to repent of sin and trust in Christ, and seven people came forward to pray with him-- which is a big step in a small town to make a public decision for Christ.  One of them was Pompeyo--Luis is praying with his hand on Pompeyo's shoulder.  After the team left, Luis began Sunday studies with these new believers to start a new church plant!