I am so sorry for taking so long to get a newsletter out to you. The ministry keeps growing and we are reaching out to more people with the Gospel and doing our best to supply for the physical and economical needs of the local communities.
Another year has gone by with many tests and trials, but also very many blessings in many places and many ways. When God abundantly blesses, the devil gets mad and will try to destroy but will not succeed since we have God on our side.
One great blessing this year was a group that came from Nelson, B.C. and built a house for our Pastor Hector and his family at the church, La Gloria, which is about 20 miles south of Vicente Guerrero. Due to some obstacles, the house has more recently been completely finished and fully furnished. He and his family are moved in and happy to be there and in closer contact with the people. This church is growing and continues to be full every Sunday and sometimes Tuesday nights as well. The past two Sundays there was not even sufficient seating for the abundance of members in our flourishing congregation. Even Tuesday nights, despite the cold and the fair distance many of them must walk in the dark, adults and children alike come rejoicing to the house of the Lord. In the picture to the right are some women from the church receiving blankets. Our assistant Pastor Andres has also been blessed with this opportunity to serve in La Gloria. On a daily basis, in order to make a living, he goes around to local businesses in his wheel chair to sell newspapers. I even saw him doing this one morning in the rain with his newspapers covered in plastic.
San Telmo (22 miles north), where we go each Thursday, just keeps growing. Each week, we have at least 150-200 children and many adults. The older class (10 and over) has over 50 kids and now they have Bibles and are rewarded if they bring them each week. During the class, they look up where the lesson is from and various participants will stand up in front of the class and read a verse of that week’s passage. My desire is to plant God’s Word in their hearts. Just yesterday, twenty-seven youth received diplomas for three months of faithful attendance to their class in San Telmo (pictured above).
The grand opening of the daycare center in San Telmo has been held up because we have not been able to get the fire inspectors from Ensenada to come down. I hope to get together with him on the 15th of February – either he come to the daycare or sign a paper giving us authority to open.
We are still working with women every week at the rehab, La Esperanza (pictured on the right).
Camp San Francisco ministry, where we go every Friday, is also growing (pictured on the left). The place we have been given to worship is packed to capacity every week and after singing the children go to another place and sit on a tarp for their lesson and learn their memory verse.
In every outreach, we give out cards with a verse to memorize for the following week. If they can independently recite the verse, they will receive a reward and another for bringing their Bible.
Even the men’s rehab in El Socorrito have started memorizing Bible verses. Many are participating in this and receiving their rewards as well. Not too long ago we even had a baptism in the ocean for some of the men (pictured below).
Saturday mornings we leave by 8:15am with the van for the disabled to pick up children and one adult to go to the ministry of “Horses of Therapy.” We pick up the disabled people along the way and transport them south to the center at the end of Lazaro Cardenas where they have two horses. We leave the van with the teacher and he picks up many more in that area and takes them home after. He has this place open on Saturday and Sunday morning from 9-12. After he finishes on Sunday, he brings the van to our church, La Gloria, and after the service there, one of the workers brings it back to the Foundation. We have seen good results from this.
Besides all the outreaches, needs come to this place every day. We try to help every need with food, clothes, and many other needs. Yolanda is such a faithful worker in the clothing room and does a great job ministering to the needy. When she can’t handle it, she comes to me for a decision.
Christina is still helping in the office and tutoring a boy in anther ministry. She helps a lot to make beds and keep the dorm in order. Also, she comes on Wednesday to visit the girls in the rehab.
There are other faithful helpers who come on the outreaches such as Virginia, Nancy and her daughter, Ana, Pasqual, Arturo, Marisol and her husband, Juan, Rocio and her children, Carmen on Sunday, and Marítoña on Wednesday. Marisol and Juan are Arturo’s daughter and son-in-law and have joined in the ministry in music, teaching, and whatever else needs to be done.
With all this, there is a lot of money spent on gas. January taxes had to be paid, insurance, new stickers on the various vehicles, etc. Repairs on the vehicles is ongoing and equipment here as well. Now we need the title on the dorm. Sometimes finances are so low, I don’t know what we can do but cry out to God to supply. Some helpers are on paid staff and others are volunteers.
We were so sorry to see Abe and Emily have to leave because of a death in the family and health reasons. We are grateful for what they were able to do while here.
It’s sad how some groups have cancelled for fear of the news in Canada and the U.S. In reality, it is safer here. I exhort you to trust in God and come. The needs are so great. I am very grateful for those who have come.
Christmas came and went. The first of December, I wondered how we would ever meet the needs for gifts and food during the Christmas season. On December 10th, I held a Christmas party for all my helpers and their children, 35 people in all. We had it in the dorm and with the help of a Canadian family we served a full turkey dinner and had gifts for everyone. Each year we help with turkeys and a gift for the seniors. This year, there were 130. Three turkeys served them all and each received a lap blanket along with a cloth gift bag, sewn by my daughter Judy, full of goodies. For our other ministries in Zapata, Rancho San Francisco, our church north of here and our church south of here, God miraculously provided gifts for all which amounted to about 400 children and 80 adults. Then, the Mexican Christmas was celebrated on the night of the 24th, and we celebrated again on the 25th with a dinner hosted by Emily and Abe. It was a great dinner which we all contributed to. We also had a Christmas celebration dinner, prior to Christmas, with the men at the rehab in El Socorrito and another with the women of the rehab in La Esperanza. For New Years, we joined the men in the rehab, El Sembrador.
All in all, in this year there have been many struggles and trials but we serve a God of the impossible and He has not failed.