Friday, June 30, 2006

May-June 2006

I am so thankful to send this report of God’s abundant blessings during the past two months, and at the same time, I want to share some pressing needs about which you may join with me in prayer.

This year, 52 mothers, along with members of their families, attended the Tepic church Mother’s Day celebration. Elsa, one mother who entrusted her heart to Jesus last year on Mother’s Day, gave testimony to everyone present of what being a member of our “family” has meant to her. She shared that she has experienced more trials, tests and temptations this year than any other year of her life, yet for once in her life, she has not had to face problems alone. First, our Father has been by her side; and second, she has had the help and encouragement of her new “brothers and sisters” to help uphold her. Elsa brought her own mother along this year, and Lidia along with two other visiting mothers, Irlanda and Veronica, accepted forgiveness of their sins and God’s priceless gift of salvation.

We celebrated the closing awards ceremony for our OANSA/AWANA club followed by the annual “feria”/fair at which the kids spend the Sparky pesos that they have been earning all during the year by learning verses, attendance, bringing visitors, and good behavior. The OANSA leaders devise and manage all kinds of games, food and activities like chili-covered jícama on a stick, hot dogs, snow cones, cotton candy, fishing for rubber ducks in a pool, throwing darts at balloons on a spinning wheel, shooting baskets, Taca-Taca, ring toss, and lots of others where the kids can win prizes if they reach the goal. Our club began several years ago with 9 clubbers, and now over 60 come every Saturday at 4 pm. The kids can't wait for club time. Some of the children who come every single week travel by bus from the other side of town. Some catch two different busses to get here, and volunteers from the Tepic church drive pick-up routes to bring others. Several children have accepted Jesus as their Savior this year and have brought their parents to church.

Jacob and Kiki have arrived back “home” after graduating from ASU. They have converted one of the rooms in the house into a "recording studio," and in spite of some technical setbacks, the Huichol NT audio recording project is underway again. Jake has been spending 10-12 hours a day locked in the room with one of the various volunteer readers, and Kiki and I have been keeping the meals on the table and the enlarged copies printed. Please pray for endurance for the readers, José López, Rosendo, Manuel, Hilario, and Mariano. Manuel especially needs prayer as he has been having eye problems that will probably require surgery, but he refuses to even talk about it until AFTER the recording so his recuperation time won't cut into the project. What a guy! Please continue to pray with us that we will be able to complete the recording and digital transfers this summer and that God will provide the resources necessary to purchase and distribute the Mega Voice Ambassadors in the Huichol villages throughout the mountains.

Another pressing need for prayer is for the believers in Guásima del Caimán, over 80 of them now, who have placed their faith in Cacáüyári, the one true God. The severe persecution has mounted. They have been brought before the municipal judge and his council who threatened to take their fields and crops from them and to banish them from the village. The only elementary school teacher is not allowing the children (44 of them) of the believers to attend the local school, and he refuses to give the Christians the food staples that the government of the state of Nayarit allots through him to each tribal family. They have been cut off from the local water source. Antonio Diaz, one of the new believers traveled to another state to work in some fields in order to purchase enough hose to connect to an artesian well up the mountain. Their first day of receiving water was their last. The hard-earned conduit was slashed in pieces by their oppressors’ machetes. The new believers have chosen to count these trials of their faith all joy; though they are sad for the maltreatment they are suffering, they are more grieved for friends and family members who reject the Way, the Truth and the Life.

One of my very favorite things about being in Mexico is being able to share God’s love and His Word with lots of people who have never heard. That privilege is a direct result of a host of loving and caring people back home who make it possible for me to be here.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3