Dear brethren and friends,
Greetings to you. Here is an update on our recent ministerial activities for your kind consideration. (These highlights are summaries and do not follow in any systematically-connected order.)
Bible camp event in Texas. I was able to preach several times in Spanish to this wonderful group. They are learning and growing in their knowledge of the Bible under the teaching of Benjamin Weittenhiller and kindly invited me to be the speaker at their annual camp. It was lots of fun to preach out in the open air again!
Itinerate Ministry & Trips
Here is an overview of some of my recent trips. Since the last newsletter, I've been able to preach at the following locations:
Antioch Baptist Church (Attica, MI) - This is a church in Michigan that is in the process of Reforming. I've been able to minister the Word of God to them on a couple occasions. They used to be a general Baptist church but have embraced the Doctrines of Grace and are re-consistuting on the 1689 London Confession of Faith. I was able to preach from Romans and Isaiah.
Providence Reformed Baptist Church (Toledo, OH) - A beloved little church in my home town. It is always refreshing to visit them. I preached on Romans 7. This church is driven by a pure, biblical, simple worship that reflects the purity of the primitive church like a beacon of light in the midst of sad, dying city.
New Hope Reformed Fellowship (Door, MI) - This church is a 30-minute drive from Grand Rapids and has invited me to preach on several occasions. They have struggled against the liberalism of their former association and have withdrawn from it in order to remain faithful to biblical truth. I've been able to preach some Gospel-centered sermons from the book of Romans. There has been an encouraging response to the ministry of the Word.
Iglesia Bíblica de MicKinney (TX) - They invited me to preach a series of messages at their annual Bible camp event. This Spanish-speaking church was a blessing to get to know. It is being shepherded by a dear brother in the Lord who has been an encouragement to me. They were very warm and responsive to the Word. I was also able to teach on family worship and some families expressed a desire and intention to engage in it regularly!
Providence Church (Roulette, TX; outside of Garland in Dallas) - This is a warm, vibrant, biblical church that has been supportive of our ministry for years. They have some solid expository teaching that has blessed me tremendously. They invited me to share at their Sunday school hour and to preach a Lord's Day service. At Sunday school, I taught on John 15 and gave a ministry update. For the service, I brought a message from Romans 5. You can find my message on their sermons page: https://providencechurchoftexas.com/sermons/ (dated Nov. 4).
Heritage Grace Community Church (Frisco, TX) - I was able to share a Sunday seminary teaching on "Why we should read the Puritans." There was an encouraging response as many showed interest in this much-neglected body of excellent literature.
Trip to Israel! - More on this below.
Conference in Mexico:
This was an exciting moment for the church in Guadalajara, which has had no deacons until now. The church was planted in 2010 and now, eight years later, the members have expressed their consent in the approbation and ordination of these two men. Praise God for raising up these faithful men to serve the Body of Christ!
Right: Alex (lower left) and Edgar (lower right), two faithful brethren and servants of Christ, are ordained by the laying on of hands by pastors Miguel Fattel (left, behind) and Hector Bustamente (right, behind).
Trip to the Nation of Israel
In October, I took an amazing trip to tour biblical sites in Israel. It was 10 days touring Israel for educational purposes. We learned much about the history, geography, and archeology of the land of the Bible. Pastor Emilio Ramos, James White and I took turns sharing biblical messages at the different sites we visited to our group of 20 people. This was a life-changing experience. We had the best tour guide who unleashed so much information on us over the course of these 10 days that we were dumbfounded by the vast treasure house of knowledge this man has. It has helped me to read the Bible with new eyes. This trip is, no doubt, one of the highlights of my life.
I thank God for Heritage Grace Community Church for inviting me to come. They were the best group a man could have hoped for. It was a delight.
Above: Emilio Ramos sharing a devotional message at Ceasarea by the Sea, where Paul presented a defense to Felix in Herod's Praetorium. Right around where Emilio is standing is where the apostle Paul reasoned about sin, righteousness and self-control (Acts 24:25).
Above: James White shares a message about the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on the top of Mt. Carmel. This is the very site where this amazing event transpired. It was surreal to be standing on the very ground where Elijah invoked fire from heaven and vindicated the glory of the one true God!
Above: Yours truly sharing some devotional thoughts on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, where the Lord Jesus brought up a miraculous catch of fish, calmed the storm, and traveled repeatedly throughout His earthly life.
- We thank God that our daughter, Ariella, recently had her third birthday! May the Lord give her the knowledge and fear of Him from her youngest days.
- For grace, health, and provision to make upcoming ministry trips to Mexico. These trips are very needful and are a fruitful part of our labor but are taxing in their physical demands.
- For speedy and full recovery from a serious back injury. Josef has suffered from a prolapsed disc and pinched nerve for the last two months. It is much better now but continues to be delicate. If it is injured more it could result in near paralyzation for more months to come. Please pray for recovery that Josef may travel to Mexico in the months ahead to do preaching trips and to visit our ministry sites.
- That the Lord would give grace to our family—for a healthy marriage, obedient and happy children, and most of all, that the Lord would do a sound, saving work of new birth in our children.
- For wisdom and energy to engage in serious and deep study of the Word and Reformed Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and for grace to grow not just in head knowledge but in the experiential knowledge of the Savior.
- For help and grace to prepare sermons and lectures, for illumination and unction to preach in churches and conferences, and that the Lord would use this time to awaken an interest in the advance of the gospel in Latin America among the churches and groups in which I’m ministering.
- For necessary contacts to come together and be willing to help us in our project to offer theological and practical training to men—and church leaders—in Latin America. We are looking to establish strategic alliances with other ministries that can help us provide this training and with churches and individuals to support it.
- For the churches in Mexico that continue to worship the risen Christ—in Guadalajara, Mexico City, Queretaro, Toluca, Saltillo, Tepic, and San Martín. That they would remain faithful, remain steadfast under trial, stay true to sound doctrine and sound practice, and be granted much success in their mission and evangelism. And for the pastors leading these churches, namely, for Aaron, Miguel and Hector (including their marriages and families). Also for José and for his upcoming ordination (God willing).
Support for our Mission
If you desire to help support our projects, you can do so here. Alternatively, you can go to the "Support" page on our website: www.josefurban.org. We are very grateful for your support. It enables us to continue our work as we labor in the gospel of Christ. Without it, we could not do what we do. May the Lord richly bless all those who help us press on for the sake of the Name.