Church Increase in Guadalajara
This month I had the privilege of baptizing 8 believers in Guadalajara. Another, in addition to that, was added to the church. So in total, we had 9 believers added to the membership of the church. The majority of these cases consist of new believers who testify to having experienced God’s transforming grace to the salvation of their souls. These include individuals from Catholic and “Christian” backgrounds (it’s amazing how many professing Christians, even in Mexico, are unconverted and duped by a false profession of faith, only to be awakened and converted through the exposition of the biblical gospel). Praise the Lord! These testimonies are truly amazing works of the grace of God! In a couple of these cases, they consisted of young ladies who had been attending our church for a long time but were hardened to the truth and unconverted, and the Lord broke through and shined His light in the most difficult of cases. Soli Deo Gloria.
Establishment of a Girls’ Orphanage
Our team has decided to move forward with the plans to establish a children’s home for orphaned girls. We’re in the process of formalizing these plans through legal procedures while taking the practical steps necessary to initiate and carry out a tentative plan of action. We’ll be in need of much support for this project in every way (prayer, finances, helping hands, etc.). The most probable name that we seem most agreed on at this time is “The Mueller House”, named after George Mueller. Our vision is to provide a safe, loving, nurturing, gospel-centered environment for these girls where they will be loved, cared for, educated adequately, and taught the gospel by word and deed on a daily basis. The caretakers will all be qualified sisters in Christ with good testimonies and demonstrable practical skills that ensure their effectiveness in ministering to these abandoned girls.
The idea is to begin on a small scale by taking in just a few girls, and then as resources permit to expand our facilities to incorporate more girls progressively as time goes by. For those who are wondering, my personal involvement in the day to day operations of this orphanage will be minimal as my role will be more administrative, organizational and pastoral in nature. The sisters involved will be bearing the bulk of the work load on a daily basis. What a wonderful opportunity to practice pure and undefiled religion (James 1:27)!
We ask for prayer as the government has not yet authorized our plans, and we are completely at their mercy in this regard since our plans are contingent on a long and complicated process.
Theological Academy & Leadership Training
Our Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies in Guadalajara is advancing by the grace of God. We’ve finished our course on Old Testament Theology (which was largely an introduction of Biblical Theology as a whole). In less than two weeks, Lord willing, we’ll be hosting a course on Historical Theology from the Apostolic period to the Middle Ages. It will consist of about 20 hours of instruction over a period of 5 days. We plan on having students and a whole bunch of auditors present. Many are planning on coming from out of State as well in order to attend. Very soon, Lord willing, we may be integrating a Systematic Theology course into the curriculum as well.
The theological superficiality in the Latin American church is in desperate need of addressing, and we hope to counteract the negative trend of false doctrine and doctrinal shallowness through in-depth teaching such as in these Academy endeavors, while laboring to see the Lord raise up men capable of rightly handling the Word of truth by providing a free, solid and thorough theological education for them.
Leadership Meetings this Month to Solidify Six Current Church Plants
During the week of our module, we look forward to meeting with key brothers who are in areas of leadership in the church plants and taking much counsel together while strategizing on a work plan to implement in each church plant. Since they will be coming to Guadalajara from each of the respective cities in order to attend our theological module, we hope to use the afternoons when classes are not in session in order to take counsel together and fortify our strategic game plan. These church plants are in Guadalajara, Mexico City, Querétaro, Toluca, Monterrey and Saltillo. These types of meetings are highly fruitful and useful for cooperating to advance the gospel in Mexico and essential to future plans for the churches. I plan to have 5 days of these meetings from the 20-24th of this month, April. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
An “Internship” with a Young Preacher
By God’s gracious provision, a young man who we’ve been working closely with has recently moved to Guadalajara from another city in order to carry out an “internship” with us. His name is Hector. Having a testimony approved by the brethren who know him best, he has been preaching on a regular basis in our church plants and demonstrates a probable calling to pastoral ministry and gifting to teach God’s Word in the church. My plan is to work closely with him for one year in an internship sort of relationship, imparting to him involving him in many ministerial activities while seeking to impart my own knowledge and experience to him in a host of ways, including doctrine, counsel and experience, while taking a “hands-on” approach to ministerial training. After this intensive period, we may consider him as a pastoral candidate to put before the church.
This is an important—and exciting—development for the work in Mexico. My objective is to pour into him everything the Lord has given me, that the work may be replicated in him and multiplied through our combined labors. This is part of our attempt to heed the apostolic injunction, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Pictured to the left is Hector with his wife Karime.
A Little One on the Way!
We’re pleased to announce that Lina is pregnant and is in her second month! We appreciate your prayers for the safe development and delivery of this baby.
Brothers and sisters, our prayer needs are outlined above, and abound. If you could pray for each of these activities and areas of ministry, we would be most grateful. I also need prayer for my vocal recovery as well, as my progress ebbs and flows, and is still preventing me from engaging in what would be my full traveling and preaching agenda. Though I’m preaching on Sundays and teaching in our Academy, I earnestly desire to be able to travel to some diverse places in Mexico to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ and teach his gospel to our contacts—something I’m currently prevented from doing due to (hopefully temporary) strict diet restrictions and vocal limitations. My greatest need at this time is complete vocal recovery so as not to battle with an irritated or sore throat every day.
The Lamb is worthy!
In Christ—Josef Urban
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” -Charles H. Spurgeon