Saturday, December 22, 2012


On December 22, 1990 Liesa must have been a little out of her mind and said 'I do!'  22 years later we're blessed with two amazing children and we've survived Calhoun City, Gulfport, Kosciusko, Oxford, the Farm in Virginia, Costa Rica, Peru, Brandon, and Mexico!  An amazing ride and a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 December 2012 Update!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We are so grateful for the prayer support
and your financial support through the
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Blessings from southern Mexico!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Not a 'Good-Bye'....Just a 'See Ya Later!'

The Hands On 2012 Crew with our family.
Dear Kimberly, Kelley, Davinity, and Anna,

Tomorrow we take you to the airport and this journey with us in Oaxaca will come to an end.  We have learned that the missionary life is a never-ending series of trips to the airport to say good-bye to folks we really care about.  WE have loved EVERY day that you have spent living 'La Vida Loca Mexicana' with us.  It really does seem like you have been here forever even though it has only been four months.  You are a part of our family and we will miss you terribly when you leave.

Just think about what God has done through you in such a short time:
  1. You have invested in the lives of dozens of Mexicans with your English classes.  You have encouraged them and given them help in learning another language that might just open doors for them in the future.
  2. You have loved on the missionary kids at Oaxaca Christian School and have been an encouragement to the teachers there.
  3. You have learned the importance of knowing and studying language.
  4. You have invested time with our MK girls through Bible studies and spending time with them.
  5. You have loved on the kids at the children's home and spent time helping them understand God's love for them.
  6. You have embraced the culture here and jumped smack dab in the middle of it with a smile on your face so many times.
  7. You have learned to sleep through fireworks, mariachi bands, dogs barking, and that a small earthquake is just not that important.
  8. You have spent time with so many people in Oaxaca and sought to encourage as many people as you could even when you might have really wanted to do something else.
  9. You've been on research trips where a drunk crowd of clowns surrounded the truck and another trip lost in vast fields of sugar cane.  You did this so that the Gospel could go to those places in the future.
  10. And there is so much more...Huatulco, the Zocalo, Monte Alban, riding the bus, Dancing with the Stars, Chedraui, Soriana, Sam's, Wal-mart, Italian coffee, the neighborhood tamale guy....
Thank you for taking the time to come to Oaxaca.  As a missionary, you never know the result of your work.  All we can do is be obedient to the task the Father lays out for us.  You have been obedient to His request to 'Go serve in Oaxaca.'

Our family has grown to love each one of you deeply.  But, we aren't saying 'Good-bye.'  Just a 'See ya later!'  We'll see you again one day...

Because of Him,
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson (and Amazon, too!)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

6 December 2012 Update!

Liesa and Haylee performed in the Oaxaca Christian School Christmas Program tonight.  Here's some photos:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4 December 2012 Update!

From a hotel room in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

There is really never a normal day in mission work.  The only 'normal' is that we expect God to do 'something special' each day.  This day was no exception.

We (Jeff and the Fantastic Four) are on a research trip on the east side of the state of Oaxaca.  This area is mainly vast fields of sugar cane with small indigenous settlements scattered throughout the area.  We were headed down a dusty road this morning when we see two ladies and a little girl walking and Jeff decided we were going to give these folks a ride.  They climbed in the back of the truck (provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering) and were able to sit in the shade of the camper (provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering).  They told Jeff where their village was and we headed down the road (using fuel provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering).

When we arrived at their village Jeff got out of the truck and began to talk with the ladies (The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering paid for me (Jeff) to learn Spanish and I was expecting something good to happen because you all who read this blog are praying and holding the rope).  Their names are Norma, Perfecta, and the little girl is Esmerelda.  It turns out that Norma is a follower of Jesus and has been talking to Perfecta about the Lord for some time.  So, Jeff shares the Bible story of Jesus changing the life of the Demon-Possessed Man (from Mark 5).  Perfecta and Esmerelda are listening to the story and Norma is pulling her Bible out of her purse to find the passage in the Bible.  We share the story and we talk for a while about the need for Jesus in our lives.  Norma preaches a little sermon right there on the dirt road and Perfecta agrees to think about all that we have shared with her today.  (This all happened because so many of you are praying for us and the Father is answering your prayers).

The Fantastic Four and Jeff hop in the truck and continue on our way to find more communities out among the sugar cane. Your giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and your prayers are so important to the work going on here.  Thank you for your support.  Please continue to pray for Norma as she continues to share the sweet message of Hope in the middle of the fields of sugar cane in Mexico.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

29 November 2012 Update!

Please join us in praying for these people groups with whom we are connected and/or working.

  • MSPT
  • ZSBY
  • CCPV
  • H
  • K
  • P
  • OC
  • PC
  • CC
  • CS
  • CY
We do not use real names to protect the ministry that is on-going in those places.

Pray for:
  • God to lead us to the right people who will do the right things in the right places.
  • Open doors in these communities for the Gospel message.
  • Persons of Peace in these communities.
  • A deeper commitment by the churches in USA to learn language and culture in Mexico.

Monday, November 26, 2012

26 November 2012 Update!

Back from our Thanksgiving Beach Trip!  Here's some photos:
Thanksgiving 2012 at Huatulco, Mexico.

The Banana Riding Crew

Getting ready to ride the Banana!

Haylee and Jackson being silly.

Sexy beach bums.

Kimberly and Jackson playing some volleyball.

Mexico's best pastor and his family!

Queen Banana.

Liesa making sure Jackson is strapped in.

At the front of the Banana!

Taking a little tumble.


Part of the Banana crew.

The Holemans and the Fall 2012 Hands On students.

Monday, November 19, 2012

19 November 2012 Update!

Happy Thanksgiving!

For our family, this year has been a blur.  Can it be Thanksgiving already?  We are so thankful for the Father's faithfulness to our family this year.  You folks out there who spend time praying for us are such a BIG part of the many blessings that the Father sends our way.  You are a blessing!

November has been an unexpectedly busy month.  Jeff attended a training meeting in Lima Peru and Liesa has been holding down the fort here in Oaxaca.  First Baptist Church Oxford Mississippi is helping to give a new outfit to the kids at the children's home so Liesa has been busy getting that together.  Haylee and Jackson have been busy with school and their social schedule.  We are furiously trying to get our act together to get to the beach for a few days of fun with some great friends.  We'll be hanging out at the beach with our Hands On students and our pastor and his family.  We're ready for a great time.

We pray that your Thanksgiving Week will be one focused on the Giver of all great things.  He has given us His Son and the command to Tell His Story.  Be sure to do that this week.  Keep telling His Story...

And, Go Rebels...beat the ever livin' daylight out of Mississippi State!!

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

6 November 2012 Update!

Greetings from southern Mexico!

We have just lived through one of the most popular weekends of the year in Mexico:  The Day of the Dead.  This is a tradition in Mexico dating back several hundred years where families gather in the cemeteries around Mexico to pay respects to their deceased relatives.  They bring 'gifts' to the grave sites, spend time cleaning the tombstones, and gather as a family to remember their loved ones.  Some of the folks carry things a step further and try to communicate with their dead relatives through religious rituals.  Most of the folks we encountered were following a family tradition with few outward signs of spiritual significance.  And, that is basically the story of many Mexican families.  Their trust is in their religious tradition and not in a Saving Faith.  If you take away their idols, chants, cathedrals, and rituals there is nothing left.  Please pray for these precious people to encounter the Jesus that is enough:  A simple faith with a hunger for Gods Word, equipped by the Holy Spirit to live a life of obedience.

These past few months have flown by.  There have been so many things that the Father has been doing:

  • We continue to have contact from our Southern Baptist churches in the USA who tell us of their desire to work in southern Mexico.
  • The Father continues to lead us to new people and new places for ministry.  We have prayed for a clearer understanding of the needs of southern Mexico and we learn new things every day.
  • The Benito Juarez Children's Home is a local ministry that  Liesa has fallen in love with.  We are grateful for the opportunity to work with them.
  • Anna, Davinity, Kelley, and Kimberly have been a huge blessing to us.  They are our four Hands On semester workers  who are doing a great job teaching English, tutoring kids, working at the Children's Home, and helping out wherever we need help.
  • Haylee and Jackson are having a great experience at Oaxaca Christian School.  We are blessed that our kids are enjoying life here.
Your prayers are such an important part of the work here.  You may never know the impact of your prayers but please know that we see the evidence of your prayers EVERY day.

Your giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is very important.  Please give through your local Southern Baptist church so that the Light can be taken to the dark places around the world.

Thank you for being a blessing!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 October 2012

The first Bible verse I (Jeff) ever memorized was Proverbs 3:5-6.  The Bible says:

This passage has been sort of a 'life verse' for me as I've tried to follow the Lord through the years.  I like it because there's so much wisdom in it and because there is also so much hope. There is also the instruction to not lean on my own understanding and that is certainly a daily temptation.  My family and I know that a God-directed path is really the only path for us.  We are at a loss for words in describing how trustworthy our Lord is and how much He is worthy of our 'acknowledgement.'  It is now November and as we look back over the past couple of years we can see the path He has directed.  We have learned quite a few things:

  1. Trust God.  There have been some very difficult days here in Mexico.  The transition was much harder than we imagined it would be and we had a mountain of doubts.  But God has been faithful through every storm and has directed our path.
  2. We're Not Going to Understand Some Things.  There's a ton we've learned in this area.
  3. Our Ways Must Honor the Father.  Measuring our ways so that they bring honor to Christ has kept our mouths shut many times this year and allowed the Father to work on our behalf.
  4. His Path is All That Matters.  There's no better place to be than on the path He has for us.  We certainly would not have chosen the bumps that we encountered these past couple of years but we're convinced the Father is using those to make us more like His Son.

Our family has been blessed beyond measure in so many ways and we are so thankful for all of you who pray for us and 'hold the rope' through your financial support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program of Southern Baptist churches.

Upcoming Events!

Dec 15...We'll be headed home to Mississippi for Christmas!
Dec 16...Morning Worship Services at First Baptist Oxford, Mississippi.
Dec 23...Open.  Contact us if your church needs a missionary speaker.
Dec 30...Open.  Contact us if your church needs a missionary speaker.
Jan 2.......Back home to Oaxaca!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Strike Up The Band

Psalm 101:1  I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music.

Who do you make music to?  That's the question the Lord asked me during a recent trip to an indigenous village.  This village is like many communities here in southern Mexico.  Simple.  Poor.  In the eyes of the people living there: Forgotten.  We were visiting this village with the hope of finding an open door for future ministry.  Our missionary assignment is to partner with USA and Mexican churches so that communities with no churches will be able to have a church.

Usually when I enter a village I follow a simple plan:  Talk to people.  There is usually a small store in each village and that is usually where I start.  I'll buy a coke and try to start a conversation.  That is exactly what happened this time and I was able to have a conversation with a lady about her village.  I usually try to ask about things the villages take pride in but I did not have to ask in this particular village.  This lady told me (and the folks from the USA who were with me) about a group of young people who have been learning to play musical instruments.  'In fact,' she said, 'they will be practicing in just a few minutes.'

We were interested in hearing these young folks play their instruments but we had no idea what to expect.  I've certainly had long nights in some villages as the local 'band' played for weddings and celebrations.  I wouldn't consider these experiences to be very 'in tune.'  But, we really wanted to get to know some folks in this village so we gathered at the school for the rehearsal.

We found a group of thirty teenagers who had a whole orchestra of instruments.  The Mexican government was providing a music teacher for this village.  When the music started we were very impressed because the students could play very well.  We were even more impressed to know they had only been playing the instruments for a few months.

This orchestra played on for hours filling the village with familiar marches and patriotic anthems.  But, there is no church in this village to help people make music to the Lord.  Our prayer is that a church from Mexico or the USA will come and seek to start a church among these precious people.  This village band could learn how to make music to the Lord if someone would be the missionary to this small people group.  Will you join us in praying for the village of PV?  Who do you make music to?

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 October 2012 Update

Many, many thanks to all of you who pray for us!  Your prayers are a constant help and encouragment to us.  Thank you so much for you concern for us and what the Lord is doing in southern Mexico.

Is it October already?  Wow.  It just seems like yesterday we were driving into the city of Oaxaca and learning our way around.  Now, we're coming up on a whole year and it seems like every day we find something new about this place and culture that we did not know.  We still have mucho to learn.

With our vehicle situation being disheveled for the past few weeks, our ministry plans have been inconsistent.  But, we welcomed a team from Walhalla, South Carolina's College Street Baptist Church who came down to continue to search for their place in God's plan.  We had a great few days supporting this team.  We were able to work under the leadership of another worker here and it was such a blessing to see doors open for the future.  We were able to visit house churches and traditional churches.  We were able to visit with many area pastors in a  people group that was labeled Unengaged, Unreached just a few months ago.  Your prayers were such a huge part of the week.

We will be concentrating on training and research for the next couple of months as we do not have any teams scheduled until after the Christmas holidays.  There are many communities around the city of Oaxaca that must be visited and research conducted.  There are also people groups around southern Mexico that we must visit and find out if there is a need for church-planting among them.  Pray for the Father to lead us to the right places.

Please join us in praying for the following requests:

  • For the Father to lead us to the right places to work.
  • For our four semester workers to finish strong and be encouraged by their obedience to come and invest their lives in southern Mexico.
  • For Haylee and Jackson as they study and learn and minister.
  • For Liesa and her ministry at the children's home.
  • For Jeff as he is traveling over the next few weeks in Mexico, the USA, and Peru.
  • Need a good missions prayer guide?  CLICK HERE!
Thank you for your prayers!  You are a blessing!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 October 2012 Update!

Philippians 4:5-6
English Standard Version (ESV)

5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

People we're thankful for:
  • Our families...for sharing us with people far away and being so supportive.
  • Our friends...for 'holding the rope' in so many ways to allow the Gospel to be taken to the ends of the earth.
  • First Baptist Oxford...for being a great example of a 'sending' church.
  • Former students around the world...for making us so proud to be a part of your lives and what God is doing through you whether raising preschoolers in the USA, running a business or serving in very dangerous places.
  • Fellow workers on the field...We learn so much from you. Thank you for your obedience.
  • Southern Baptists...for being used by the Lord in so many ways every day.
  • Those in leadership over us...Thank you for your commitment to the task. 
Blessings to all of you!

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Click the photo to enlarge. Save it and print it and share it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

1 October 2012 Update!

Hello to all of you out there!

Thank you so much for your prayers over the past few weeks.  Your prayers are very important to the work here and we're grateful for your partnership as you 'hold the rope'.

Here's a few highlights from September:

  • We celebrated Haylee and Jeff's birthdays this month.  Thank you for the many birthday wishes!
  • We have four Hands On semester students here until December.  They are a huge blessing and are involved in teaching English, tutoring at the school, loving on kids at a children's home, leading Bible studies for Kid Missionaries, and finding random places that even Liesa and Jeff have yet to discover.
  • A Vision Team from a church in Louisiana is partnering with a Mexican worker in engaging the SFU people group.  The church has excellent leadership and we are thankful for the commitment they are making to this people group.
  • The JEEP LIBERTY is back!  You may remember that the JEEP died on August 5 and has been on life support ever since.  We have been waiting on parts from the USA for several weeks.  Finally, we can get out to our people group assignments again.
  • The ESL classes that the Hands On workers are leading are going very well.  We have partnered with  our church to offer classes two evenings per week.  We have classes for kids and for adults.  We are praying for relationships to be developed through these classes that will lead to more Mexicans involved in missions.
October will be a busy month.  Please pray for these:
  • PartnerConnect Training.  Jeff will be leading a webinar entitled, 'Missions and Ministry' on Tuesday, October 2 at 7 pm Mississippi Time.  This training class is for EVERYONE and we'd love for you to participate.  Go to this website to register:  If we get finished with our assigned topic we'll also discuss SEC football.
  • Our dear friends from College Street Baptist Church in Walhalla, SC will be coming to Oaxaca on October 4 to 9.  Randy and Sharon and their crew have been so good to us over the years and we're excited about working with them again.
  • A Vision Team from a church in Texas will be coming to southern Mexico later this month.  Pray for the Father's plan to be made known to them.
  • Kelsey is getting married on October 27!  Jeff will be traveling home to Oxford to officiate the wedding of Kelsey and John Robert.  Jeff is hoping his officiating skills will be better than the replacement officials that the NFL was using.  We'll see!
May the Father bless each of you as you are such a blessing to us!

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

18 September 2012 Update!

This week has been HAYLEE WEEK as we have celebrated her 16th birthday with several parties.  Here's some photos:

Great friends!

Even the chef at the Taco restaurant gave Haylee a gift.

Tacos!  The reason we're all getting fat down here!

Hopey and Haylee.  We love our cousins!

Aunt Jenny McLamb made a Hunger Games cake!

The silly boy McLamb cousins!  They Looooovvvveee Haylee.

Another Party.  More Friends!

More friends!

Jackson is definitely up to something... we just don't know what.

Hopey and Haylee blowing their horn.

Elijah and Jackson.  Two peas in a pod!

New shirt from Aunt Jenny and Uncle John!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thank You for FIVE YEARS!

On September 12, 2007 we were appointed as missionaries.
We have been blessed to have
the prayer and financial support
of Southern Baptists for FIVE YEARS!

(and we get a pay raise, too!)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pray for the Fantastic Four!

We have the best Hands On Missionaries on the planet!
Pray for A, K1, D, and K2 as they minister in southern Mexico this semester.  They are here with us until December.
To learn more about Hands On click HERE!