Wednesday, December 31, 2014

November/December 2014 ...they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered

November/December 2014                     

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.        ~Luke 2:16-18

That Baby in the stable, God with us, didn’t come to eliminate our earthly problems, pain, diseases, or death. He came to conquer death and offer us new life. We, who have seen Him, like the shepherds, have the privilege of sharing abroad so that all who hear it may join us in utter amazement and give the glory to Him. Lots of that “making known abroad” has been going on in Tepic during the past two months, and many have played a vital role in making that possible.
This past month marked 39 years since Kirt and I left for Mexico for the purpose of making known abroad our Father’s provision for all who would accept His Truth. Our good friends, Leonard and Susie Smith, missionaries in Culiacán, Mexico, joined us during that first year in Querétaro, for language training. It was a real joy to have them bring the Good News and an encouraging word this past month at IBBM-Tepic: Leonard presented a 3-day evangelistic conference; and Susie, a well-prepared workshop for teacher training that was attended by all of us OANSA leaders. All that heard them were amazed and encouraged to give God the glory.

A few friends and sister churches contacted me again this year with the encouraging news that they have been praying for us and wanted to collaborate in a tangible project for Christmas. Again this year, the evangelistic effort, Festiniños (meaning “children’s party”), was a “by faith” operation. We completely trusted God to provide the funds for 350 shoeboxes for one Festiniños program in Tepic and programs in churches in three distinct Huichol villages; Zoquipan, Loma Alta and Puente de Carrizal (the newest baby Huichol church). Due to work schedules, the Huichol church leaders opted to celebrate their Festiniños on New Year’s Day rather than Christmas, so pictures of those outreaches will be included in the next update.  

At the Iglesia Bíblica Bautista Misericordia in Tepic, 168 children and many of their parents heard the story of the King who came to offer Himself as the greatest gift ever. Each child received a copy of the booklet to take home, Conoce al Rey (Meet the King) as OANSA leaders acted out the true story of the birth of the King and His plan for salvation for all who would accept His perfect gift. Only time will tell how many of those little children who heard and wondered will accept His invitation.   

One of the little children who received a shoebox gift at Festiniños has just recently begun attending the IBBM-Tepic OANSA along with her three brothers. Her name is Reina Isabel (Queen Elizabeth). Her story reminds me of the reason that the “saying concerning this Child must be made known abroad.When Reina’s mother, Érika, who is now 23 years old, was born, her own mother didn’t want anything to do with her. She eventually gave her to an adoptive mother who died when Érika was a young girl. Érika was left to fend for herself, and as a teenager, she met a man who fathered her two oldest sons who are now 5 and 6 years old. Their father abused them and Érika mercilessly and eventually abandoned them completely. Then Érika met another man who offered to take care of her. He left her soon after with little baby Reina. The story repeated itself, and we met Érika when she was in desperate need, expecting her 4th baby, and abandoned by his father. Érika has been hearing all about THE Father who loves her and will never mistreat nor abandon His children. 
She is learning to trust Him, and she faithfully brings her small children to Sunday school and OANSA. Little Queen Elizabeth (Reina Isabel), along with her brothers, loves coming and hearing about baby Jesus, about God’s love and about the gift He offers, the greatest Gift of all. The three older children participated in the IBBM-Tepic community Christmas Celebration singing their little hearts out with the words to the songs they memorized: We will celebrate with joy; May the whole earth hear; Jesus is born; The Light is here…

Pastor Martín’s son, David, orchestrated and directed a potpourri for all of the IBBM instrumentalists, including 1st-time flautists, Rebeca and María, and the teenaged girls’ choir presented a choral cantata. This year’s celebration was motive to join in with the returning shepherds glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Luke 2:20

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