January gave us a glimpse of how things may feel when Jesus comes back, in fact, it made me question how close we were to this time. We experienced some interesting things waiting in lines for petrol for 3 hours. Some friends waited in lines this long and didn't even receive gas due to it running out. Others waited in line and only were allowed $20 dollars worth. The bus and taxi transportation had half of its workers working, and there were rumors that if this petrol problem continued we would have a lack of food in the grocery stores and markets. At first look it's easy to want to stress about what was going on in the world around us but than we had to say, “God has a plan and we can trust in whatever he is allowing.“ The second time we needed petrol we only waited in line for 40 minutes and I rejoiced, I felt blessed, and we were so excited that God allowed such an easy line for us when we knew people were still waiting for hours. To think I would actually be thankful to wait in line for gas for 40 minutes is crazy but the perspective was different, and I thanked God for changing my perspective. Now things are better the lines are not crazy anymore, it may take 5 minutes but there is still quite a few gas stations not in service. I hope I never take filling up at the gas station for grated again. We are blessed to have a car that gets us from point A to point B in a short period of time.
The woman who wanted us to do the bible study in El Salto has not communicated with us about starting it back up at her house again. With the last 5 months of walking through Romans with her, her family, and friends. We are hoping we have encouraged her enough to read her bible on her own and run to the Lord daily.
We visited 5 different families in this area, checking in on them after the Christmas break. We heard some amazing and great stories about Pablo shining Jesus in this community and at work since he has been back from rehab. We are in prayer for his wife who is still wavering in her faith. She has a lot of questions. We are so happy to be here to answer them and encourage her. Please be in prayer for Pablo to continue to stand strong in the Lord and for his wife to have her eyes opened to Jesus and Jesus alone.
When we came to visit and check in on the people of El Salto we received a phone call from two different parents concerned for their 23 year old son and pregnant 22 year old daughter who are both struggling with drug addictions. (They are cousins). We met with them and prayed. One of the women had us come back and talk to her daughter about getting more information about the Christian drug facility. Both parents heard about the success of Pablo and wanted to see the same story for their children. It’s amazing what one testimony can do for the Lord and the community.
The same day we visited everyone we read about the Samaritan woman and how her testimony changed the town for Jesus. We are hoping the same for this community.
The next week we brought the 22 year old Woman to an appointment with the drug facility, but due to her bei already 6 months pregnant they could not accept her. They do not want her to join them unless she could commit to 8 months. So we told her we will pray for whatever God has planned but in the meantime we can do a bible study with her. She said she would like that so we started this last week.
We studied Jeremiah 29:11 and talked about how God still wanted amazing things for the Israel people (His people) even when God allowed them to be placed in captivity for having idols. They were in the wrong but God still wanted to bless them, give them hope, and a good future. God feels the same about us when we ask for forgiveness and turn from our sins only he has the power to change our lives!
We also looked at Psalm 139 and how God loves her and knows all the details of her and this baby inside of her. After this her mother asked some questions about the catholic faith and worshiping saints and angels and the dead coming to visit (Dia los Muertos/ like Coco the movie). Jose was able to show her in 3 different passages where the Bible clearly states to only worship God alone, and that the dead do not come back to this earth to visit. We also went over the enemy and how he does not want a good future for us/her so he will lie and decieve us anyway he can. We showed her how to study the bible using S.O.A.P. and how when we focus in on the truth of God daily we can trade the lies of the enemy for the reality of what Jesus says and what the bible says.
After the questions we realized the study went on for 2 hours. The 22 year old woman said usually I am very distracted when it comes to anything about God but today I really enjoyed it. We left her with spirits lifted! They really appreciated the time. So glad God is able to use us for His Glory. Thank you Jesus!
In January the presidency changed here in Mexico along with some assistance to the Soup Kitchen. They are no longer receiving government assistance. This has rocked things a bit. We are praying for what God is doing here. The first week we were back, only 9 kids showed up for English Class and 5 boys showed up for bible study. Before we had about 20 kids give or take every week in the English class and 8 consistently in the teen bible study and 5 moms in the adult bible study. Now things were totally different and I wasn't sure how to feel. We gave it all to God because we know he has good plans and we can trust him regardless. The Soup kitchen usually feeds 100 kids a day so it felt quiet, almost abandoned, and empty. The next week we saw new faces and about 20 kids showed up for english class! We also started a sewing class for the women and girls for a chance for them to sell things in the future. I am able to do this class with the woman who usually cook here. The first class we had 6 total. The second week 20. I felt overwhelmed but know God has this under control. If I just show up and do the best I can do God will move. After the bible study and sewing classes we have been doing worship. The kids really seem to like it so we are excited to teach them english with worship music and then on Thursdays they can sing the song in their own language.
We are studying the Armor of God in Ephesians 6 and how to fight the enemy by truth and the word of God which guards our hearts and minds.
We have heard that the orphanage now only needs $120,000 dollars to move to their new property. We are so happy that there is progress here and movement is happening, Please continue to pray for this orphanage and that they will raise what they need.
Our church visits a different orphanage on the other side of town about 1 time a month. We have been visiting with them for a little over a year now. I Love the kids and directors there. We are praying about being more involved with a bible study and worship but do not want to over commit ourselves. Please be in prayer with us that we will have clear direction from the Lord in our involvement and time.
Speaking at Churches about Foster Care and Adoption
We have called about 7 more churches this month to speak about foster care and adoption. One church said they have very new believers and didn't think we should be speaking to their congregation.
We meet with another church committee this past Tuesday to present what we are going to be speaking about. The meeting could not have gone better. We met with someone who is a phycologist at an orphanage and a teacher at this church of about 1,000 people. He was happy to hear what we are doing and agrees the church needs to be part of fostering and adopting children. Prior to the meeting I was lethargic, nervous, and sick to my stomach but kept telling the Lord, “I am stepping out in your will, not my own. “ He gave us favor and I left so happy and felt fulfilled by walking in faith. He gave me a renewed strength. Thank you Jesus for being Faithful and blessing our time. Please be in prayer for wherever God has planned for us to speak. We are just his hands, feet, and mouths and I just want to be wherever he wants us/me to be. Not our own agendas but His.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1