Saturday, September 28, 2013

29 September 2013 Update!

One of the many interesting blessings of being a missionary is that you get to see the Lord do some amazing things right before your eyes.  In these six years that we have served in Peru and Mexico we have seen God pull off some really cool stuff.  Your prayers are always a part of this.  We are so dependent on you doing your part in 'holding the rope' through prayer.  Obviously, you are doing your part.

This week one of our great USA church partners came for a return visit to their adopted community in southern Mexico.  This community is several hours out in the mountains and is only found if you're really searching for it.  This is one area of southern Mexico where there are no life-giving churches.  There are a few institutional churches that are pushing a certain brand of religion. Because of this, USA churches are praying for and coming to southern Mexico to share the Gospel, train Christian leaders, and plant new churches.  This particular church from the USA was hoping to meet some people in this village with the hopes of getting permission to work and live among the people of the village in the future...maybe months down the road.

There is certain amount of fear involved in going into some of these communities.  Cross cultural workers who rarely leave the city tell stories of how closed these communities are to outsiders and how dangerous it is to get out of your vehicle.  I (Jeff) have traveled all over southern Mexico and have yet to find one of these communities.  But, I'm still a little nervous with all of these stories in the back of my mind.  These stories often are more influential on my thinking than, say, the promise of scripture in Joshua 1:9 that assures me that The Lord is with me wherever I go.

God really showed out this week.  I led this team to their village and we got out of our vehicles to see who the Lord would allow us to meet.  We had no place to eat or sleep in the village.  Remember, our intention was to just meet some people and hopefully find an open door into the village in a few months.  However, immediately we were greeted by Ellen* and her children.  We had met them several months ago.  Ellen invited us into her little restaurant and cooked lunch for us.  We then met Jackie* who allowed us to rent some space so that we would have a place to sleep for the night. This all happened within one hour of getting out of our vehicles.  A new friend named Allen* greeted us and showed us around the village.  While in the center of the village I noticed a group of men standing in front of the City Hall building.  I greeted them and introduced myself and sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to speak boldly and ask for permission to live and work in the village.  So, that's what I did.  And they said, 'YES!'  

I was somewhat surprised at this so I went to get the leaders of the USA church that were with me.  I brought them over and again we asked permission to live and work among their people.  Again, the leaders of the village said, 'Yes! We want you here!'  Our next option was to find a more permanent place in the village for ministry teams to be able to live in the future.  Standing beside us was a lady named Lucy* and she spoke up and said, 'I have a place.'

We toured Lucy's place and it was perfect.  Lucy and her husband have basically built a hotel in the this little village.  Remember, this is out in the boonies.  Nobody is coming out here looking for a hotel!  So, in the span of three hours we had met some new friends, gained permission to live and work in the village, and had found a perfect place for ministry teams to lodge in the future.  The Lord is with me wherever I go.  Indeed.

So, here I am sharing with all of you so that you will know that your prayers are powerful.  Over the past months we have seen the Lord take our little plans and make them so much bigger.  He has expanded our influence in exponential ways so that His Name is being proclaimed.  You are a part of this work.  Actually, you are the most important part.  

Please join us in praying for these needs:
  • Pray for Kat, Hannah A., Jasmine, Shelley, Hannah B., and Sarah.  These are young adults who have given up four months to live and serve the people of southern Mexico.  They have long days and some tough assignments.  Lift them up.
  • Pray for Jim who has come out of retirement to spend a few months serving these sweet people in Oaxaca.
  • Pray for two USA churches who will be exploring communities over the next couple of weeks.  These churches are seeking open doors for planting churches among communities in southern Mexico.
  • Pray for Jackson, Haylee, Liesa, and Jeff to be faithful to Jesus and to be able to complete the task given to us.
We are grateful for your partnership in prayer and your giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Saturday, September 14, 2013

14 September 2013

Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf.  You are a part of the work when you pray.  Without your partnership through prayer, we are confident the work in southern Mexico would look very different.  It is our responsibility as missionaries to recruit prayer warriors and keep you informed.  We are grateful so many of you are doing your part.  

We have some busy days ahead so please pray for these requests:

  • Sept 21: Second Baptist Springfield, Missouri sends a team of 'Mission Trip Rookies' to Oaxaca to experience hands-on missions in a cross-cultural context.
  • Sept 22: Urbancrest Baptist Lebanon, Ohio sends a team to continue research and building relationships among their people group.  Pray for continued open doors.
  • Sept 30: Pillar Church Stafford, Virginia sends a Vision Team to visit and pray over the SBY people.  Pray for this team to find favor among their people.
  • Oct 7: SonRise Baptist Newnan, Georgia sends a Vision Team to visit and pray for the CC people.  Pray for this team to find favor among their people and for discernment about the future.
  • Oct 13: Crossway Baptist Springfield, Missouri sends a Vision Team to visit and pray for the MC people. Pray for this team to be led by the Spirit and to build relationships with the small group of believers in their people group.
  • Oct 16: We have two believers from Argentina who will be visiting Oaxaca on a two-week mission trip.  This married couple are praying about a call to missions and want to come as short-term workers to another Latin American country.  We are excited about this opportunity to receive missionaries from other countries other than the USA.
  • Pray for our teammates (John and Jenny) who are continuing work on a Zapotec story set to be used in future ministry.  Pray for success in translation and acceptance by the Zapotec people.
  • Pray for local Community Transformation Training that we are hopeful will help equip more Mexicans for effective ministry and church-planting.
  • Pray for the group meeting at Cuilapam to become a strong church.  The International World Changers teams from July were a huge part of helping this group get started.
  • Pray for the ESL training that is being used to build relationships, share God's stories and to find more national partners to serve as interpreters for short-term workers.
  • Pray for our teammates who are here for the remainder of the year.  Jim, Kat, Sarah, Shelley, Jasmine, Hannah #1, and Hannah #2 are doing some great work.  Pray also for Jose, Moises, and Manuel who are Mexican brothers who we have the privilege of working alongside over the next few months.
Lots of great things are happening in and around Oaxaca.  There are so many great opportunities.  Please pray we will have discernment on what are the BEST things to be doing.

You are blessing!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Pray for this family leading a church
among a community in southern Mexico.
These are the ones who are
GREAT in the Kingdom.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

8 September 2013 Update

Hola! from Oaxaca!

Thank you so much for your prayer support.  We are thankful for the many who are praying for us and the many who are praying for the work that must be done in southern Mexico.  Your prayers mean so much and are a very important part of what the Father is doing.

A very important training event is coming up in January 2014.  We would love for you to participate.  Click HERE for more info!

Here are some important updates:

  • We continue to see more opportunities to work among the unreached communities of southern Mexico.  We are thankful for the good relationships with some great Mexican partners.
  • The Father has sent us some fantastic students for this semester.  Kat, Jasmine, Shelley, Sarah, and the two Hannah's are such a blessing.
  • Our Ready Reserve missionary, Jim, has arrived.  We are so thankful for his willingness to come and serve.
  • Summer 2013 was a busy one but we are continuing to see so many great things come from the relationships that were made.
  • Haylee and Jackson are doing great as the new school year is well underway.
  • Our meeting/retreat in Brazil was a great time.  We were able to get a lot accomplished and to have a lot of fun, too.
Please pray with us about these things:
  • Second Baptist Springfield, MO/First Baptist Branson, MO will be sending a team to Oaxaca this month.  They will be spending time in various ministry projects as well as working at the Lacy Seminary.  Pray for this team as they minister in and around Oaxaca.
  • Urbancrest Baptist, OH will be returning to their people group this month.  Pray for open doors and good relationships to be established.
  • Pillar Church, VA will be sending a Vision Team to southern Mexico to investigate an unreached people group.  Pray for this team to have wisdom and discernment.
  • Pray for our team (Jim, Hannah, Hannah, Sarah, Shelley, Jasmine, Kat, Hope, Elijah, Luke, Caleb, Jenny, John, Jackson, Haylee, Liesa, and Jeff) as we seek to serve faithfully in this great place where the Lord has placed us.
Thank you for your partnership!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Missionaries from Mexico and the USA enjoyed some great training
this past week.  We are thankful for the training provided by Southern Baptists.