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

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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