Launching out in a Church Planting Endeavor
It is our burden and conviction that to have lasting fruit in the city of Guadalajara, we need to work on planting a biblical church. This has been my increasing conviction over time as we evangelize and see the tremendous need for sound doctrine to be taught to those who respond to the Gospel.
We are therefore now launching out with the intention to plant a church in Guadalajara. You can read more about this endeavor here.
Those of you who pray for us, please keep this tremendous work in your prayers!
We started this week evangelizing our immediate neighborhood. Since we’re starting meetings in our house every Sunday, we’re now hitting the surrounding blocks hard with the Gospel and with invitations to come to the meetings to hear the Word of God. We’re going door to door and preaching the Gospel and also engaging all the people in the streets (every evening many people hang out outside in front of their houses). It’s been a great way to reach the people of our neighborhood and we’re praying that God will save souls.
We have preached to many people and many seeds have been planted. A Please pray fervently for the salvation of these precious souls, that God would save them and raise them up as true disciples of Jesus Christ. This Sunday will be our first meeting.
Divine Appointment with a Family
This very week that we decided to launch out and evangelize more heavily with the goal in mind to have meetings and establish a biblical fellowship, we received a phone call from a contact in the USA. He told us that he has family here in Guadalajara and asked us if we could go and preach to them.
It’s amazing to see how the Lord works. The family has recently started to gather together every Friday to pray and try to read the Bible. And they’re devout Catholics! Their meetings grew and people from the neighborhood now come also. They want to learn the Bible but don’t have anybody to teach them, so they were excited when we contacted them and offered to come give them a Bible study. So we went last Friday and there were 6 people present waiting for us to arrive. They were already engaged in prayer when we arrived, and had a Catholic candle burning in the middle of the room. Strangely enough, they were praying and not reciting the Rosary, thank the Lord.
I preached to them from the story of the adulterous woman of John 8, using the Law of God to show that we are all, by nature, in the same place as that woman: guilty, helpless, condemned, and with no hope except to fall at the feet of the only Savior Jesus Christ whose finished work can save sinners forever by grace through faith alone. They seemed to understand and were very receptive to the Word. They admitted that they confess their sins often but never truly repented, and 4 of them said that they were going to repent and surrender their lives to believe in and follow Jesus Christ. We also showed them that Catholicism has many traditions which contradict God’s Word, and that God doesn’t live in temples made with hands but is omnipresent and also dwells inside those who truly love Jesus Christ. Amazingly, they showed no resistance to the Word and seemed to agree with everything. They also asked us to pray for them in the meeting, so we did. Finally, at the end of the meeting, they asked us to come back next week! They said that there’s many more neighbors around there that will come next week and that the reason they didn’t come this time was because they didn’t think we would really show up, but now that we did show up, more people will come. Oh, may the Lord get glory by saving these souls! They are all elderly people, and two of them are blind. May God prepare them for eternity!
We’ve resumed setting up our table in the local street market and have been able to plant some good seeds as we give out tracts, Gospel literature, and Bibles. We’ve been able to talk to men, women, and children.
One man that has come by our booth before returned the last time we were there and asked more questions. We gave him some more literature and preached to him. We also gave him an invitation to come to our Bible study meetings to learn the Word of God more profoundly and he seemed interested.
There are a couple of children who come along with a family member to the market to sell vegetables and they love to hang around us. They have heard the Gospel now a number of times and we continue to spend time with them teaching them. These poor children were abandoned by their parents and live a sad life so it’s been a joy to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them.
Last market day we gave out 6 Bibles to people who came up enquiring how much they cost. We also gave out many tracts and some other booklets, including a testimony of an ex-Catholic priest who came to the truth of salvation by the grace of Christ. We also invited several people to come to our meetings to hear the Word of God. The seeds are planted, now it is up to the Lord to give the increase!
Open Doors to Evangelize a Village
Last month, we traveled about 4 hours away to a coastal town in a neighboring state. Our destination was a small village that we had seen 2 years ago as we were driving through Mexico. Our goal was to find an open door to take an evangelistic film into the village to show it and as the people gather to watch it, preach the Gospel hard and strong. Before we entered the village, we prayed together that the Lord would give us a “person of peace” that would receive us and be our gateway into the village through their social connections. Well, as we went into the village, the first house we went up to was the answer to our prayers! It was a mother and daughter who were very friendly, and received the Word of God with much interest. We preached to them, gave them Bibles, and inquired about the village. They told us that there are no Christians there, and that everyone is Catholic but that the “Jehovah-Witnesses” come there every week also. They were very hospitable and as we inquired about having an evangelistic event in their town, they offered to do the groundwork for us to get all the permission we need. The woman also owns an extra house located on her property that is vacant yet fully furnished, and told us that whenever we want we can stay in that house while we preach through the village! Praise the Lord! We are praying about the right time to go back for a couple days to show the film and preach.
Way of the Master Evangelism Training
Our home church in Guadalajara has finished the basic training course for evangelism and are now going out to the community a couple of times per week to pass out tracts and share the Gospel! The course was a blessing and more are now active in preaching the Gospel to those around them. Here's some pictures; the first of the welcome table as you walk in, and the second of a teaching session.
The pastor who taught the course is also on fire to share the Gospel with everything that breathes now. He has contacted some other churches in Mexico and is planning on teaching the course in them also in order to train more laborers to GO and OBEY JESUS in the Great Commission. Let's pray that this thing explodes and that God raises up more preachers to go into the highways and biways and preach the living Christ. Once a fire gets ignited and spreads abroad it becomes impossible to quench. May the Kingdom of God advance and the truth of Christ be proclaimed throughout Mexico!
This is such an answer to prayer as we've been laboring to help mobilize this church in evangelism for over a year. As I sit here in my study, directly in front of me on the wall is a giant map of Mexico. As I sit here often and read the Scriptures and work on my computer, I look up at that map and sorrow fills my heart that there's so many in this land that don't know the Good News. I pray that God will raise up a movement of sold-out Holy Spirit filled radical soldiers for Christ who are firmly rooted and grounded in sound doctrine and burn with a passion to make Christ known who will go forth and blaze through all the towns and villages of Mexico preaching the risen Christ. Brethren, please unite your prayers together and pray for the salvation of this country. Pray that God would send forth laborers to gather this great, largely untouched, harvest. Get a map of Mexico and hang it up in your prayer closet and pray that God would send hands of MERCY in the Gospel to this poor Lazarus begging for a crumb of the Gospel on the doorsteps of the most "Christian" nation in the world.
Visiting Grace Community Church in San Antonio
Last month we took a trip up to Texas to visit this church since San Antonio is only a couple hours over the border. We had a blessed time and it was encouraging to see how God is saving souls. The picture above is from a weeknight Bible study. It was also refreshing to meet brothers and sisters in the Lord who encouraged us in the mission the Lord has set before us. Lina and I were able to stay with a very kind couple who are leaving shortly to go to Peru for the next several years to labor alongside the Richies among the Quechua people. I was also able to spend time with Tim Conway and another of the elders and get some counsel on some things. The church has a strong missionary zeal that was refreshing. If only every church (that preached the Gospel rightly) had the same passion for missions and church planting I think the Great Commission would be fulfilled by now. They have also just officially planted a church in Corpus Christi, Texas, and are considering a church plant in Laredo along the border also (in case you are in those areas and would like to visit them).
Citizenship in Mexico
We are pleased to announce that after a loooong process of trying to obtain Lina’s Mexican citizenship, we have finally got it (now she has dual citizenship)! We hired a lawyer who has been working on it for a couple of months, and it was a battle but she managed to get it! Due to some complications, the registrar didn’t want to accept her paperwork, but the lawyer actually took her law books into their office and showed them right out of the book that they have to do it. After having their arms bent backwards, consulting their hierarchy of authority, and delaying the process, they finally decided to do it. We tried to do the same thing but they continually denied us, but the lawyer managed to get it done. Thankfully, the lawyer only charged us less than $200 US to do the whole process (which was a lot of work). Now that Lina is officially a citizen now, we need to get her state ID and other paperwork done. After that, we can begin to work on getting me long term residency in Mexico! Once I then become a resident if the Lord permits, we will no longer be forced to leave the country. Praise God!
We earnestly desire your prayers at this time as we launch forth to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of our great God and Savior. Please pray that God would radically save the most vile of sinners and convert them into trophies of His matchless grace! Pray that God would add to our fellowship those who have a heart disposed to truly seek the things of God! Pray that God would bring people to our meetings and touch them by His Spirit! Pray that the Lord would make true disciples in our midst and establish a lasting work in Guadalajara! Please brethren we are so desperate and dependent upon the power of Almighty God to do what is impossible for us as mere men. Your prayers are needed now more than ever.
We are so grateful for the prayers, help and support that the Lord provides through His people. We are supported fully by individuals and churches as we labor to proclaim the glories of the Savior in Mexico. If you would like to help, you can find information on how to support us through the "donate" page of our website.