Greetings from warm and sunny southern Mexico!
We know many of you are freezing up there in the U.S. of A. but we are enjoying some gorgeous weather down here in Oaxaca. Of course, we would love to have a rain shower since it has not rained since November. But, that's the way it has been in southern Mexico for many centuries so we're pretty sure we're not seeing any rain until late March.
Thank you to all who pray for the work here in Mexico and our family. We are so grateful. You need to know how much we depend on your prayer support. It gives us confidence every day to do the Lord's work. You Prayer Warriors are the ones who pack our 'spiritual parachute' each day. If you don't keep up your end of the work then we go 'SPLAT!' So don't stop praying!
Here's some updates from the past few weeks:
- We were blessed with a great visit to the USA for the Christmas holidays. We love getting to see our families and friends but it is impossible to see everybody we want to see. If we didn't get to spend time with you this trip, please keep us in mind for the next time.
- Liesa (and our Fall 2012 Hands On students) put together a special gift for the kids at the children's home. Thanks to the generous support of First Baptist Oxford, Mississippi, each child living at the home received some new clothes. It was a blessing to see this huge physical need being met by a body of believers in Mississippi.
- Last week, Jeff traveled to some of the 'uttermost' parts of southern Mexico on a research trip with two other missionaries. It was sobering to see communities with little Christian witness. AND, It was so encouraging to hear the stories from the few Christians we did meet. These folks live for Christ while facing persecution that most of us have never faced. Pray especially for Augustine and Lorenza who face so many challenges because of their love for Jesus.
- Haylee and Jackson are back in the swing of things at their school. They brought home amazing report cards and are doing so well. We are grateful for Southern Baptists and their financial support that sends our kids to a great school.
- The Ole Miss Rebels won another bowl game....Yawn. Ole Miss is the 12th best college football bowl program since Jesus was born. Baylor is nowhere to be found on the list.
- It has been so good to spend so much time on Skype and the phone with pastors, mission pastors, and church leaders to talk about missions in Mexico. I was getting a little concerned during the holidays because the phone was too quiet. Now, we're busy! Pray for the Father to send us the Right People, serving in the Right Places, doing the Right Things.
You can join us in prayer:
- Pray for four students and a former colleague who will be joining us this semester. We worked with Sandi in Peru and now she has had a temporary lapse in sanity and is coming to live with us for 10 weeks. Anna, Natasha, Ellen, and Jennifer are all college students giving up a semester to come and serve in southern Mexico.
- Pray for some Vision Teams that will be visiting Oaxaca during the next few weeks. Teams from Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina are making plans to come 'check-out' Oaxaca and determine if this is 'The Place' for them to engage in missions work. Pray for wisdom and discernment for these folks.
- Pray for some great opportunities we have with local churches in the city of Oaxaca. Some mission agencies and missionaries have given up on established, traditional churches in Oaxaca. We're seeking to build relationships with them and help them to see the 'fields ready for harvest' in the mountains all around our city.
- Join us in praying for Second Baptist Church, Springfield, MO. We'll be in Springfield in February to be a part of their World Mission Celebration. Pray for this church to continue to take the Gospel to the difficult places in our world.
- Summer 2013! We have bookoodles of students coming to Oaxaca this summer. It is going to be insanely fun! Pray about the insane part, please.
You all are a blessing!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson