Brethren and friends,
Much has been happening here and the Lord is being glorified.
Here’s some highlights:
- We are still evangelizing in the city every week with our little group. We are planning to begin evangelizing in new areas in the city starting next month. There are many great places to evangelize in this city and there are countless people. We need more laborers!
- I’m still ministering to the youth/singles group in the church. It has been going well. As one brother commented to me recently, it is one thing to be an evangelist and to jump around everywhere preaching to different people but it is entirely another thing to actually get in the church and minister over time to real people and to see all their faults, problems, and struggles. Please pray that the Lord would pour out His Spirit on this group and convert those needing real salvation, revive those who have fallen asleep in the light, and send those into the fields who are called to reach the perishing!
- We are also discipling a couple of new believers every week in their home. This has been going very well and they are showing signs of growth in the Lord. We now have about 4 or 5 months meeting with them. Part of the Great Commission is not just to preach and to make converts, but to make disciples, to teach them the Word of Christ and to obey His commandments. One true disciple that bears lots of fruit for God’s glory is better than a hundred converts that show little fruit.
- A young woman from the city where we evangelize has now been coming to every meeting in the church and is being discipled by the older women. She has shown a great hunger for the Lord and is showing a lot of signs of genuine devotion to Christ.
- We just finished the evangelism teaching meetings in the church after concluding by teaching for the past month and a half about Roman Catholicism. Most of the people here in the city are Catholics, so we studied their doctrines in comparison with the Word of God in order to know how to best reach them with the truth of the real Gospel of God’s grace. Many were edified and blessed by the teachings, and I believe are gaining confidence in sharing with others.
- I’ve been seeking the Lord for direction about ministry plans for the new year, and it is our desire to continue working in Guadalajara at this time. We have some brethren from the USA coming to visit us early next year, and I still need to work on my Spanish, in addition is our desire to see a more solid work established in this city that will bear lasting fruit. We are making disciples, not just converts. So we need more time here in this city to see a more solid, deep, and thorough work established. I don’t want to move on anywhere else until I see that what we’ve done here will continue to multiply significantly in our absence. I don’t know what the future holds, just trusting the Lord to lead us to do what He wills.
MISSION TRIP TO GUERRERO
The inner regions of the state of Guerrero, Mexico is like a world all of its own. It is about as different from Guadalajara as India is from England. It is rural Mexico where there are still many villages isolated from the Gospel and without any solid Christian witness in their midst. We lived there for 4 months, and now we’re going back for a short visit.
So we’re planning on taking a one-week trip back to the village. We’ll be there from December 26 thru January 3. It is an 11 hour drive from here into the heart of Mexico through the Sierra mountains. This time, we are bringing a team from our church, a group that consists of a couple professional teachers of young children (who are solid Christians) and a couple of brothers. We are excited to go back for a visit and to see the brethren there we know.
We are taking these teachers to the village to conduct a one-week Bible boot camp for the 50+ children who would come to our meetings when we lived there. We’ll be using the town hall in the center of this small town of 600 persons in order to conduct activities with Bible teaching every day for 5 days straight. We have the whole curriculum planned out with activities, and most of all with teachings from the Bible. We’ll also be bringing gifts for the children as well as free Bibles for them to have. When we were staying in this village, we saw the children as a key to reaching the adults, and sure enough, as we ministered to the children, some of the hearts of their parents would soften to the Gospel and they’d want to hear us preach too. Reaching these children is crucial for the future of the village if the Lord tarries, so this is an important ministry. We must suffer the children to come to Jesus. Please pray for us as we go.
We will also be going around to houses and sharing the Gospel with the villagers when we’re there, especially me and the brothers while the women are ministering to the children. I may also be preaching in some churches when we’re there and visit the men in the prison we used to minister to in the nearby town to check up on them and see where they’re at with the Lord. One of the brothers from the prison has been released and he begged me to visit his home when we go so he can have a feast for us and rejoice in the Lord! He wants to buy and slaughter a goat to eat (a delicacy here in Mexico) and have us preach to him and his family. I’m looking forward to it. This brother was in tears when we left to come to Guadalajara, so it will be great to see him again and exhort him in the Lord.
Since we left this area, a couple of sisters in the Lord have also made an exodus from a horrible church they were a part of. The culprits behind their leaving is the truth of the Gospel and some books of sermons by David Wilkerson that we gave them. Now I don’t go around recommending people to leave their churches, but when the church is dead and the leadership is unconverted and more lies are preached than truth and almost every service is a manipulation tactic on behalf of the leadership to extort money from the people, the Word of God commands us to separate from it. So we hope to visit them and see how they are doing in the Lord.
We are hoping to have a safe and fruitful trip. The area is very dangerous, from scorpions to mafia, so please pray for us all to have a safe and successful mission. The Lord’s will be done.
THE NEW YEAR
Another year is coming, and what will it hold? Only the Lord knows. This last year we have seen the Gospel preached to literally thousands of people. Preaching in the city almost every weekend, twice per week, we have seen a lot of people hear the Gospel. Most of them, however, are not from the center of the city but from places farther away, and so it’s hard to keep contact with them. If we had our own meeting place to preach the Word and worship the Lord, I’m am sure we would be able to see more visible fruit from our evangelism. This next year, Lord willing, we may do just that. We had a few steady followers when we did early this last year, and they were very sad to see us stop the meetings in the hotel conference room when we did. So we’re praying about starting a new work, separate from the established church we’re a part of right now. Church planting is a serious calling, and we can’t do it alone. If it’s the Lord will, He will send more laborers to help us.
My Spanish is definitely improving. I’m now at a basic conversational level. I’ve been able to witness and share the Gospel with people all by myself now and understand their conversation. This new year, Lord willing, will see my first sermon preached entirely in Spanish. I’m excited about it. It’s certainly been no easy task thus far. We must press on in the Lord, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!
In Christ –Josef & Lina 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
“If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon