Thursday, December 31, 2015

November/December 2015 Christmas Celebration IBBM-Tepic 2015

Christmas Celebration IBBM-Tepic 2015
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.  Matthew 1:17

Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus accounts for three groups of 14 people from Abraham to Christ – beginning with Abraham to David, then from David until the captivity in Babylon, and lastly, from the deportation from Babylon until the birth of the Messiah. That’s a lot of generations for which God did not spare precious space in His Word to impress upon us readers that instructing the next generation must be extremely important. God’s chosen people were meticulous genealogical record keepers; unfortunately, they were not always so careful to teach God’s precepts to their children. The Babylonian Captivity, for one, is confirmation of the consequences of that.

Investing in the next generation isn’t easy. It involves sacrifice. It involves grace. It involves humility. It involves a future-focus. It involves becoming like Jesus (Frank Powell). The annual Christmas Celebration at IBBM-Tepic overflowed with examples of what happens when church leaders and families do obey the biblical mandate, long-term, to disciple the next generation and expect them to do an even better job of using their God-given gifts to pass on His truth and principles to those that will follow. Check out only a few of many examples from this year’s overflow, standing-room-only, IBBM-TepicChristmas Celebration entitled: If Jesus Had Not Come.

Mishna 2015
Mishna & Jonatán 2000
Mishna was practically born at IBBM-Tepic. Her parents, Hugo and Imelda, are 1st generation believers. Mishna loves Jesus and has worked hard to polish her God-given singing talent and her gifts of teaching and leadership. This year she directed the children’s musical and dramatic presentation. She also acted a key role in the adult program and sang the closing solo: You came to this world to save…You took my place, and my heart lifts your name, oh Lord…

Martín & Jonatán 2015
Jonatán has at least as many ideas as his 1st-generation-believer mom and dad, Martín and Erén. He has God-given compassion and constantly dreams up countless creative ways to reach out to children and adolescents, especially those from the “other side of the tracks.”  He regularly invites a group of VERY “at risk” young guys to camp out at his house or at the church and gets them involved in working together on various church projects. He shares the Gospel with them on their frequency. Jonatán, a university student now, is very talented musically. This year, he instigated a project and coaxed his dad and other men of the church to build an elevated sound cubicle freeing up much-needed space for more seating in the auditorium, and he rewired the entire church sound system. The guy is an A/V genius and loves spending every spare second serving with his whole heart.

José Luis 1991
José Luis 2015
José Luis was in attendance along with his parents, José Luis and Lupita, and his little sister, Carlita, at the very first Bible study in our living room that began what is now the IBBM-Tepic. He is genuine and respectful, expects the best from everyone he meets, loves the Lord, and has been a faithful friend and leader. This year he did a fine job in the lead role in the dramatic presentation of the Gospel for all who heard clearly what a difference Jesus’ coming to earth has and can make. 

I wish I had room to share Carla, Becky, María, Caleb, David, Josué, Shadai, Lynethe, Galilea, Luis, and Pablo’s 2nd generation stories. And I wish I could include stories about Giovani, Christian, Paulina, Daniel, Omar and Karina, who against all odds, have heard the Gospel, accepted God’s gift of forgiveness, and committed themselves, first, to walk in faith and obedience as 1st generation believers, and then, to share the truth with those who will follow their example.

Kirt, Debbie & baby Ben 1977
This month of December marks 40 years since Kirt and I left for language school in Mexico. Forty years is a long time, plenty of time to see the difference that commitment to make disciples, share, and teach God’s Word makes in peoples’ lives from one generation to the next.  May that never cease at IBBM-Tepic. May we always fulfill this promise: 

We will not hide them (God’s words) from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.  Psalm 78:4


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