Saturday, April 25, 2015

26 April 2015 Update!

Thank you to all of you who are praying for the work going on southern Mexico. We are certainly aware of many of you 'holding the rope' so faithfully. Thank You!

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This past week was simply amazing. We wish you could have been able to witness the gathering of several language groups as they worked together to craft God's Word in the languages of their people. As you know, southern Mexico has over a dozen language groups. Many of these people do not have access to God's Word in their heart language.

StoryTogether is a way to train people to translate God's Word into other languages. We were able to help offer a StoryTogether training in Oaxaca this past week. Eight language groups gathered for five days and worked together to get God's Word into their heart language. They also learned how to share these Bible Stories orally so that those who don't want to read or can't read can have access to God's Word. It was an amazing week. Your prayer support was a key part of the success.

Now, these people return to their communities with the task of sharing God's Word. This past week's training was just the beginning of a long process. We have three other trainings planned for the coming year. Please pray for God's Word to be shared in these communities.

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Summer 2015 is quickly approaching. We LOVE summertime because we have the blessing of working with college students. We have a team of 22 students who will begin arriving in Oaxaca on June 1 and will serve until July 20. These students will be learning culture and language as well as doing what followers of Jesus do: Make disciples. Some will be living in indigenous villages, some will be leading sports camps and some will be teaching English. Will you join us in praying for our students by name? Here they are:

Orientation Helper: Jasmine

Zapotec Village Disciple Makers
  1. Brooke
  2. Tory
  3. Devin
Chontal Village Disciple-Makers
  1. Anna
  2. Brittany
  3. Kate
Disciple Making and Teaching English
  1. Erika
  2. Rachel
  3. Lauren
  4. Gabriella
  5. Anna
Disciple Making and Sports Ministry
  1. James
  2. Matthew
  3. Charlie
  4. Emily
  5. Josh
Endeavor Team  Will arrive June 20 and depart July 20.
  1. Faith
  2. Caroline
  3. Hope
  4. Mary
  5. Sara
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Please join us in praying for these additional requests:
  • Our teammates who have children are having a time of retreat on April 30 to May 4. We'll be headed to the beach for some training and fun times! Please pray for safe travel and a great time together. These families face some tremendous challenges in their work. Pray for a time of rest and encouragement for them.
  • Karen Smith Eaton and her team from Texas State University will be joining us May 16 to 26. Karen served on our Summer 2013 team and we are so thankful to have her coming back to Oaxaca. Pray for this team to have great opportunities for ministry.
  • Urbancrest Baptist Church and Sonrise Baptist Church are in southern Mexico this week working among their people groups. Pray for their teams to find favor among the leaders of the communties and for them to continue to build deep relationships among their people. Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel in a way the people can understand and respond to.
  • Second Baptist Church, Springfield, MO was here last week and were able to encourage and train pastors and leaders in three different locations in southern Mexico. Pray for the pastors and church leaders of southern Mexico as they work in difficult places with persecution and in, some cases, isolation.

Thank you all for your partnership in prayer. We also thank you for giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Friday, April 10, 2015

10 April 2015 Update!

Sunset from our neighborhood in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Hola! from southern Mexico.

Thank you for your prayer support over the past few weeks! Your prayers are a huge part of the work going on in southern Mexico.  Here are some updated prayer requests! (You can click on the photos to enlarge them.)

UPDATE! Thank you for praying for the team from a local church in Oaxaca who went to Guatemala last week. Liesa and Jeff assisted in training and sending this group and they had a great trip and were able to help a new church plant, see new believers, and train leaders. It was a great experience and we're excited about hearing from the team over the next few days.

New Prayer Requests:
  • Pray for Second Baptist Springfield, MO as they send a team to provide some encouragement and training to pastors. They will be meeting with pastors in several different people groups: Chontal, Mixtec, and Zapotec. Pray for safe travel, good health, and the ability to communicate clearly across several language barriers.
  • On April 20, at least six language groups will be meeting in Oaxaca for several days of crafting the Bible into oral story sets for each language group. This is a huge project that will enable the Gospel to begin to be heard and understood among people who speak different languages and do not read. The Bible stories will be recorded and leaders from each language group trained on how to get the Bible to everyone, everywhere. Obviously, there are lot of needs for prayer so please cover us as much as possible in prayer.
  • Karen Eaton (formerly Karen Smith) will be bringing a group of students from Texas State University to Oaxaca in May. Karen served faithfully in Oaxaca a couple of summers ago and we are excited about her returning with friends. Karen made a huge impact on the lives of several families while she was here. Pray for a great time of ministry for her team.
  • So far we have a team of 19 summer students coming to Oaxaca during June and July. Please pray that these students will be ready for the task to which the Father has planned for them. Pray for their personal preparation and that the financial resources will be available to each one so that they can come and minister in Oaxaca.
  • On July 31 we will be headed to Oxford, MS for ten months of Stateside Assignment. There is so much to do before we re-locate. Pray for leadership to be in place so that the work here will not be delayed. Pray for a home in Oxford to be located that will be a good, temporary refuge for us.
  • Haylee begins her Mississippi College career in late August. Pray for the financial resources to be provided and for the details to come together as Haylee begins this new chapter.
You all are a blessing! Thank you for your prayer support and your financial support to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Pray for villages like this in southern Mexico who need to hear
and understand the Gospel.

Friday, April 3, 2015

3 April 2014 Update!

Happy GREAT Friday!

1 John 5:14-15:   And this is the confidence we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

The Lord is at work in southern Mexico.  So many of you are faithful to pray and you give sacrificially so that the message of hope can be proclaimed here.  Here's an update of the past few weeks (you can click directly on the photos to enlarge them.):

 This photo is of a village that is in the heart of a huge group of people who have very little access to the message of hope.  Several weeks ago a church in Florida began to sense the Father leading them to find some way to bring the Gospel to this area of southern Mexico.  Two weeks ago we visited this area and found some great open doors for future work.  Many of you have been praying for this people group.  The Father has responded by calling out a USA church and also a missionary family is planning to move to this area within the next year.  Keep praying!

 Mobilizing Students to be on mission with God has been a part of our calling for over 20 years.  A huge blessing this month was a visit by this group of Mexican students from another city in Mexico.  This was a group of city kids coming to work in indigenous southern Mexico.  The culture shock was real!  But this team offered themselves to the Father for the week and He used them mightily.  We're hoping they will return and continue investing in the people of Oaxaca.  Please keep praying that the Lord will send more workers into the harvest fields here.

Sending Missionaries is one of the important tasks the Lord gave the Church.  We have been so encouraged to be a part of sending a team from our church here in Oaxaca to Guatemala this week.  This is our church's first ever 'international' mission trip.  This team has prepared and are currently in the middle of their voyage to Guatemala where they are sharing the Gospel and leading out in disciple-making.  Please continue to pray for them!

We work in so many beautiful places.  Yet, in all of the overwhelming beauty there is an absence of the Light.  The village pictured here is a place where God is at work.  Please continue to pray for the hundreds of communities like this one in southern Mexico where the Gospel is beginning to take root.  Pray that the Enemy will not delay the opportunity for people to hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel.

Many of you have been praying for this special place over the past couple of years and some of you have invested time in working to establish the church here.  This group began by meeting in a home and now they have moved into a small building.  Our work here in southern Mexico is to make disciples that gather together to form churches.  Healthy churches are the best way to impact generations with the Gospel.  Join us in thanking the Lord for HIS work in establishing this new work and please pray for the group of believers working in a difficult place.

Haylee and a group of her friends traveled out into the mountains of southern Mexico last weekend to help a missionary family.  They were able to help out with some physical labor and also to encourage the teenage believers in the village.  We are thankful for the great work that the leaders of Oaxaca Christian School are doing.  Please continue to pray for Oaxaca Christian School.  We are still searching for teachers for the upcoming school year.  For more info click HERE.

You all are the BEST!  Thank you for your prayer support, your encouraging emails, and your financial support of the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

He is RISEN!

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson Holeman