Monday, March 02, 2015

January/February 2015 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

January/February 2015   

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  Micah 6:8
In the face of much fanfare and cause for celebration at IBBM-Tepic during the past 2 months, Micah 6:8 clearly gives us our job description and marching orders for our future as a church and as individuals. Our Father not only gives us instructions for action, but also for our attitude in our walk with Him as we make progress toward His desired destination. God gave the message to the kingdom of Judah years ago, but the directive applies to IBBM-Tepic, and all of us Christ-followers, today: do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
The 20th anniversary of the beginning of the IBBM-Tepic OANSA (AWANA) was a time of reflection on God’s faithfulness and a time to regroup and rally the team for the next 20 years. A group from my sending church, North Village Baptist, traveled to Tepic to join in the commemoration. Barbie (AWANA commander) and Sandy (game director) from the NVBC club came to Tepic 21 years ago to set the initial spark that motivated IBBM to start our own club. We began with only 9 clubbers, and now about 60 come to the weekly Saturday afternoon meetings. Many children have heard and accepted the Gospel, and some now are club leaders. Lots of today’s clubbers are more anxious than ever to follow their example and become future OANSA leaders. Part of the festivities included Sparky’s grand entry to the singing and teaching time. Sparky was wearing the same costume Kiki made 19 years ago when she was still a Tepic OANSA club member. Every one of the talented musicians who played their instruments for the grand entry, and Sparky, too, were once Cubbies that graduated to Sparks, Flames, and Torches, then spent a minimum of one year as Leaders-in-Training. They are now official leaders in the IBBM-Tepic OANSA club. Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed!  May we not forget to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God that He might be glorified with the next generation of His faithful servants in OANSA. Watch Sparky’s grand entry here. 

The upcoming 4th annual Huichol youth camp is also cause for celebration! The Mexican IBBM-Tepic youth leaders are committed again this year to serve as staff, providing music, games, and devotional leadership as they give up Spring Break to follow the mandate to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.
Pastors Martín and Nacho and their wives, Erén and Lorena and I worked together to write this years teaching materials. The theme is ¡LIBRE! (FREE!). The Huichol pastors who will be teaching exclusively in Huichol have translated the material into their heart-language and are hard-at-work to tailor their presentations to the Huichol culture and the 80-100 Huichols who will be coming from 9 different, remote-mountain communities. It’s an exhausting exercise in faith, and in the logistics of transport, housing, meals, and teaching materials.  Thanks for praying!

Still another cause for much celebration is the long-awaited announcement that the IBBM-Tepic property, after four long years, is paid in full; more than $80,000 US! You may remember that the church property that was initially donated, later had to be placed on the market. (If you don’t remember, the original communiqué is here. By faith, IBBM church members committed themselves to the unexpected monumental task, and many of you generously helped out. The last payment has been made, the deed lawyers and the government have been paid for the transaction, and the paper work is being processed in Mexico City; it’s due to arrive any day now. As a memorial to God’s faithfulness and to serve as a constant reminder to continue to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God, we built a baptistery of our own (since the property next door with the horse trough we’ve been borrowing for years has been sold). Several candidates are anxiously waiting for warmer weather to inaugurate it; meanwhile some of the Huichol OT translators are using it to take a quick break and catch some sunshine!

May we humbly serve and glorify our God; may we love, not just have, mercy; and may we act with fairness, honesty, and integrity regardless of whether things along the way go smoothly. “…It is matter for our adoring gratitude that God has stepped out of the infinite to show us what is good, and what He requires…not sacrifices, or rites, or church-going, or almsgiving, though these will follow afterwards, but in holy and humble living.” ~FB Meyer

Assorted digital pictures and videos from the IBBM-Tepic OANSA 20-year celebration.

OANSA - 20 years uncut (13 minutes), and OANSA - 20 years with English subtitles (4 minutes)