Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30 April 2013 Update!

Hola from warm and sunny southern Mexico!

Just a quick update to let you know we're still alive and kickin' in Oaxaca.  We have been:

  • Finishing up a busy school year with Jackson and Haylee.  Both of them are great students and have had a wonderful year.  But, I know we're all ready for a summer break.
  • Welcoming our new teammates: John, Jenny, Caleb, Luke, Elijah, and Hope McLamb.  We are so thankful to be able to work together with this great family.
  • Preparing for some new assignments.  We've been asked to take on some new leadership responsibilities and it is an over-whelming task.  We're blessed to have some great leaders around Mexico, Central America, and South America and we plan to serve them as best we can.  We're in 'warp speed' mode as we enlarge our focus from Mexico to leadership of work in 16 countries.
  • Getting ready for Summer Missionaries!  We have 3 students from Mississippi and 11 students from Nehemiah Teams coming to Oaxaca in the next few weeks.  Lots to do to prepare for this great crew!
  • Celebrating our Spring 2013 students:  Jennifer, Ellen, Anna, and Natasha are a huge blessing to us.  They have been working hard and have been faithful to the task the Lord has called them to.  Four months is really not long enough to do all we want to do but we sure are thankful these ladies gave up their time to come and serve alongside us.
  • Getting ready for our Spring Retreat.  We'll be headed to the west coast of Oaxaca this weekend for a few days of fun as we prepare for a huge summer.
  • Preparing for IWC Oaxaca!  We have two weeks of youth camp for high school youth from the USA  in July.  It looks like we'll have around 80 folks coming down to learn about missions and work alongside some of the local churches and ministries in Oaxaca.  We are very thankful for this opportunity.
  • Talking with partners.  The Father is opening doors to work with some amazing Mexican believers and there are also a good number of USA churches that are being led to plant churches in southern Mexico.  We're excited about the opportunities ahead.
We are grateful for your prayers and we thank you for your investment in our lives.  You can be praying about the things we have going on.  You are a part of the work here when you pray.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Thursday, April 18, 2013

18 April 2013 Update!

Two Flat Tires and Divine Appointments.

Last week I was traveling through the mountains of southern Mexico with a Vision Team from a church in Florida.  We were traveling in two vehicles and I was leading us through winding mountain roads in Lottie's truck.  We had descended into a jungle valley on the east side of the state of Oaxaca on a road with some really big potholes.  The car with the rest of our team was not able to miss one of the holes and the casualty was two blown out tires.  Everything came to a stop on a hot and humid day and two of the ladies on the vision team were pregnant.  How in the world were we going to get out of this mess?

(The rest of the story is how we know that so many of you are praying for us.)

Immediately, several ladies came out of their home to assist us.  And, when they found out our two ladies were pregnant they insisted on inviting them (and our whole team) into their home.  These were Chinantec speaking ladies but they also were able to communicate in Spanish.  While some of the team went into the home of these ladies, the rest of us managed to get the car off the road and get two new tires from town.  The local police department helped us change the tires and were very concerned about our safety.  These folks went to great effort to make sure this group of folks from the USA were taken care of.

What could have been a long, terrible afternoon turned into an opportunity for the Lord to use several members of a church in Florida to spend an afternoon with some Chinanteco people in southern Mexico.  We were invited into their home and we now have permission to come back any time we are in the area.  This church from Florida now has a friendship with a Mexican family that knows about religion but they may soon hear more about a Savior.  Will you pray for this family?  Will you pray for this church in Florida?

God uses holes in the road and blown-out tires and whole lot of other stuff to get the Gospel to difficult places.  If he can use a hole in the road then I'm very confident that He can use you and me. Let us always be ready.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

16 April 2013 Update!

Greetings from warm (HOT!) Oaxaca!

Tim Carter's Head.
We are very much anticipating the arrival of rainy season here in southern Mexico.  It's been really warm the past couple of weeks and we've had only a couple of days of rain since November.  As you can imagine, we're as dry and dusty as the top of Tim Carter's head (Evidence to the left).  But, we are certainly enjoying the sunshine!

Thank you for your prayers over the past couple of weeks.  Let me give you a quick update:

  1. We asked you to pray for a Vision Team from Florida.  Update:  We had a great week with the great folks from Shindler Drive Baptist Church.  There are great opportunities for them to connect with unreached communities and also indigenous churches.  Continue to pray for them as they decide where to begin work.
  2. We asked you to pray for a Vision Team from North Carolina.  Update:  The North Carolina church is here right now looking at different options for connecting their church with the people of southern Mexico.  Please keep praying for this.
  3. Our student workers..Natasha, Anna, Jennifer, Ellen..continue to do excellent work.  Pray for them this week as they travel out to a village to learn about indigenous culture.
  4. Plans are coming together nicely for a strong group of summer missionaries.  Please continue to pray that we'll have the Right People, in the Right Places, doing the Right Things.
  5. The McLamb Family!  Please continue to pray for this family as they adjust to new ministry opportunities and many new options for reaching southern Mexico.
We always are blessed by your commitment of time in prayer.  Here are a few more prayer requests!
  1. Pray for a team from Missouri here this week on somewhat of a Re-Visioning Trip.  Pray for clear direction about their connections in southern Mexico.
  2. We're very much looking forward to John Edie being here next week to lead a training for local pastors at the Oaxaca Seminary.  Pray for this training event to be effective.
  3. Jeff is leading a training at a local church in Oaxaca each week for the next five weeks.  Pray for this local group of believers who are very interested in missions and their part in connecting to the unreached of southern Mexico.
  4. Jeff and Liesa will be transitioning into a temporary role of leadership of our Connecting Cluster personnel in the Americas.  Pray for this huge task.  Pray that we'll remain focused on the work we're called to complete in southern Mexico.  Pray that the Childers are not granted entry into the USA and they can immediately return to Mexico to take this job back.  :-)
  5. Ole Miss BSU returns to Oaxaca for the second time this semester in May.  Pray for them as they prepare for the connections the Lord has for them in Oaxaca.
Thank you for your prayers!  You are a part of the work when you pray.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Saturday, April 6, 2013

6 April 2013 Update!

Dear praying partners,
Thank you for the prayers on our behalf.  We depend on each of you to help us with this immense task of planting churches among the unreached and unchurched of southern Mexico.  We understand that the work is the Lord's.  We are simply his instruments and we want to be the 'Right People, in the Right Places, doing the Right Things.'  Your prayers are a key component of the work.  They are even MORE important than us being here.  We depend on each of you more than you know.

Please pray for these things:
  • Pray for Vision Teams from churches in Florida and North Carolina who will be coming to southern Mexico in the next two weeks.  These teams are seeking the Father's plan about their involvement in planting churches.  Pray for discernment and wisdom for them.
  • Pray for our student workers serving with us this semester. Anna, Natasha, Jennifer, and Ellen are serving in amazing ways.  Pray for them to have open doors to sharing the Gospel during their final six weeks here.
  • Pray for a wonderful group of summer student workers who will begin arriving in May.  We have 15 college students from all over the USA coming to learn about the wonderful people who live in southern Mexico.
  • Pray for our new teammates: John, Jenny, Caleb, Luke, Elijah, and Hope McLamb.  We are grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside this family who mean so much to us.  Pray for them and us as we seek to be the most effective 'clay' in the hands of the Potter.
Thank you for your prayers!  Here are some photos of the last few months that we want to share with you (Just click on the photo to enlarge them.):

Jeff and Haylee.

The Easter Bunny stopped by Oaxaca!

Crazy Cousins.

Fish Robinson (from North Oxford Baptist Church) and Jeff have served
on four continents together telling people about Jesus.

We were blessed to work with Sandi Bridges in Peru and now she has
blessed our family in southern Mexico.

This is our family and the wonderful students the Father has sent to work
with us during the Spring 2013 semester.

Haylee and our sweet friend Edu!

Haylee with an attitude during Field Day at Oaxaca Christian School.

Jackson being productive...in his own way.

Jackson thinks this is a game.  Actually, it's another way to get
him to take a bath!