Tuesday, January 29, 2013

29 January 2013 Update!

Greetings from southern Mexico!

Many thanks to all of you who are praying for the many unreached people groups here.  Your prayers are the most important part of the work here.

We are doing well.  Time is flying by so quickly as we approach the end of January.  Here's some highlights of the month along with a few prayer requests:

  • We have seen an increase in the number of our USA Southern Baptist Churches who have an interest in the dozens of unreached communities in southern Mexico.  Several churches are in various stages of determining their involvement in planting churches among the unreached and under-churched.  Please pray for God to send us the Right People, serving in the Right Places, doing the Right Things.
  • As a family, we are doing well.  Everybody is healthy and busy.  Haylee and Jackson are back in the school mode and Liesa and Jeff are busy preparing for full calendar for 2013.  It's good to have things to do!  Pray for us as we try to balance a busy schedule without losing focus on our family.
  • Sandi Bridges is with us to help with several projects we have going on.  Sandi is the Ministry Coordinator for our International World Changers projects this summer.  She is also helping us with the ESL classes that we are offering in partnership with a local church.  Pray for Sandi!
  • Anna Sanders is here with us as a part of the Spring 2013 Hands On Team.  We'll have two more students joining us in a couple of weeks.  Hands On is a way for college students to spend a semester serving as missionaries.  We are grateful for Anna agreeing to come and work in Oaxaca this semester.
  • February will bring a Vision Team from Urbancrest Baptist in Ohio.  Pray for this church as they seek God's plan.
  • Liesa and Jeff will be traveling to Second Baptist Springfield, MO for their annual Missions Celebration.  Second Baptist is a great fellowship of believes who have been a blessing to us in many ways.  We're excited about being with them.
  • We'll have two more Hands On students arriving in February along with a student volunteer from Texas.  Pray for Ellen, Jennifer, and Natasha as they adjust to life in Oaxaca.
  • International World Changers is coming in July 2013.  We will be hosting two weeks of youth mission camp where teenagers from the USA will travel to Oaxaca to minister cross-culturally in a variety of venues.
  • North Oxford Baptist Church is sending a team in March.  We're excited to have 'home folk' coming to visit and work in Oaxaca.  Pray for them as they prepare.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers.  You are a blessing to us and through us.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

15 January 2013 Update!

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Three Kings Celebration at Casa Hogar Benito Juarez!

El Dia De Reyes, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the Baby Jesus is celebrated in Mexico on January 6 each year.  At Casa Hogar we celebrated this holiday with the children much like Christmas celebrations in the U.S. with family and friends.  We had inflatable games, Domino's pizza, piƱatas filled with special treats, and gifts for each child.  This was a very special time for these kids and they were so excited.  The inflatable games were a blast.  We even had a mechanical bull.  It is an honor to serve along the directors, Fran and Carol Marin, and their staff at this special place. 

A huge THANKS goes out to FBC Oxford, Mississippi for providing nearly 70 kids with new clothes, pants and shirt/sweater for each child at Casa Hogar!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Good bye to Mississippi and hellooooo to Oaxaca!

We've had a fun two week visit to Mississippi but now it is time to get back home to Oaxaca.  We have a busy few weeks coming up and would appreciate your prayers as things continue to roll along in southern Mexico.  Please pray for:
  • Sandi as she comes to Oaxaca for 3 months to help us with several ministry projects.  We worked with Sandi in Peru and we are excited about her coming to our rescue in Oaxaca.
  • Natasha, Ellen, and Anna are three 'Hands-On' students who will be arriving to make a difference in Oaxaca.  We'll be working with them until May.
  • Vision Teams...We have plans to host Vision Teams from churches in Ohio, Georgia, and Florida over the next few months.  These teams will come to southern Mexico to explore opportunities for their churches to plant churches among people groups.
  • International World Changers.  We will be hosting two weeks of 'Youth Mission Camp' in July through International World Changers.  Youth Groups from churches in the USA will come to Oaxaca to learn about missions and serve through different ministry projects.  There is a ton of work to be done before the students arrive.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve in southern Mexico and be supported by your prayers and giving.  Please give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering if you haven't already!

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson