A Timothy Project Partner on mission with God in Mexico’s Heart of Darkness
Hello Praying Friends,
We are back in Festus, Missouri after a long and tiring week in Mexico.
Sunday morning began with a hot breakfast and then even more nourishment through singing, prayer and studying God’s Word. After our morning worship service at the Palmillas camp, we were able to help the local missionaries prepare for a pastors conference this week, by cleaning the meeting area, weeding the grounds and clearing out a storage area. Several of us had picked up a quick moving stomach bug (less than half a day), so we took a day of rest and decided not to go on a planned excursion. We did wind up visiting a town about 30 minutes away for ice-cream and then had a wonderful treat of grilled burgers and hotdogs for dinner with brownies for dessert.
We left Palmillas this morning, at a little after 5, to begin our road trip to the border. We got through the several police checks and border crossing without incident, ate a quick lunch at Whataburger in Brownsville and boarded the plane in Harlingen. We made a quick change of planes in Houston and after the pilots determined a change of routes, because of some bad weather, we arrived in St Louis about 6 pm.
God did a tremendous work in the short time we were in Mexico. Obviously the area we worked at had already been prayed for as more than 25 people surrendered to Christ as Lord and Savior and many we visited were open to hearing the Gospel message and having Bible studies in their homes.
One thing I failed to mention in the last update was we met a Mexican pastor Saturday night, who recently arrived from Canada (as a missionary), to serve at a local Presbyterian church. He is very interested in working with Pastor Mateo and his church. This is a great help, and it is encouraging to see how other churches from nearby towns are participating in what God is doing in the “Heart of Darkness”. God is preparing a mighty work in Ciudad del Maiz and we were honored to be a part of the entire process.
During this journey the Lord was glorified, the church was encouraged and the town, missionaries and your mission team were blessed. Please pray for those who have made decisions to follow Christ, those who want to know more, and for your mission team to continue allowing God to be first place in their lives.
Thank you again for your support.
John, for your Mexico mission team
Day 5 update
Over 160 people were at the crusade. 9 people asked Christ to be their Lord and Savior and are being counseled.
We have a few that are having some stomach issues. The pepto is starting the coating process and we hope to bring back healthy, but tired young people.
God bless and keep you.
John, for your Mexico mission team
We won’t have internet access until we get back to Palmillas tonight (sometime after midnight) so I wanted to share a quick update about our last day in the City of the Corn (Ciudad del Maiz).
After breakfast this morning we had a quick refresher training for the youth on how to share their faith and helped them mark a few key verses in their Spanish New Testaments. Soon after our training, a group from a sister church in a nearby city joined us to go door to door witnessing. We broke into about 9 small groups and went through the town. Some of the students spent their time praying and/or inviting people to the Crusade. Others, through the help of translators shared their testimonies and Gospel presentations. In a 2-3 hour time-frame, more than 15 people prayed to receive Christ as Lord and Savior and/or asked for a Bible study to be done in their home.
After lunch at the hotel, we loaded our suitcases on the trailer, rested for a bit and then walked to the center of town where we visited the local catholic church, went into a few of the local shops, and tried some hand-dipped ice-cream. We returned to the hotel for about an hour and then we were off to the restaurant for our “last supper” (in Cd del Maiz). After dinner, it was time to set up the chairs for the crusade.
The music has begun and over 130 are here already. As the night goes on, more people continue to come in. Most of the youth are taking care of the children while the parents are outside on the patio.
God has certainly opened many doors here which had previously been nailed shut. The power of prayer, the faithfulness of missionaries and pastors, the Bible and primarily the Spirit of God has given life to many who were dead in their sin. We thank you for your prayers and other support while we have been here. It is always exciting to see God changing/transforming lives.
God bless you!
John, for your Mexico mission team
We got an early start on the highways and byways today and we quickly finished distributing packets to the remaing mapped out sections by lunch time. After lunch, we enjoyed an opportunity to rest for a while before setting up chairs for the crusade. The 2-day crusade is taking place in an outdoor patio area with an indoor option in case of rain, about 3 blocks from the hotel.
Because the sun was so bright, we were only able to set the rows of chairs after the shadow from the sun came overhead. While waiting to finish the chair set-up and for our dinner reservations at the restaurant , the group became creative. After a game or two of human chess (I’m still not sure), a few other games and some Bible trivia we walked to dinner.
I suppose I should mention that we have walked substanially these past 3 days. Many of the people we have met here do not own cars and their sandaled feet are their primary transportation over the rocks, hills, dirt, concrete and broken roads. Life moves at a slower pace because of this and the constant heat. Our team expierenced a small portion of this type of lifestyle and after being pretty exhausted, we certainly have an appreciation for the nationals who do it on a daily basis.
Dinner was wonderful and abundant once again and after a brief stop for water at the hotel we returned to the event center for the crusade.
I won’t go through all the details, but the band that came plays a distictive style of music that is very popular here. (An accordian is involved). They sang Christian lyrics and really shared the Gospel throughout their performance. It was well received by the crowd.
A pastor from a First Baptist Church in Veracruz shared the message. He spoke from John 3 and the story of Nicodemus and how God wants to make a change in our lives. God’s Spirit was working in the people there (over 80 adults) and at the end of the sermon, 7 people came to the front of the crowd to commit their lives to Christ. According to the local missionaies this type of invitation is not common, and the pastor would only normally ask to see hands. Their walking and standing in the front was significant for the commitments they were making. The local pastor and members from the church have already made contact to start discipling these adults.
We returned to the hotel by 10:35, had a quick devotion and were in bed by 11 pm.
Some of the neat things about today: Many of the youth were able to share more as they went door to door distributing Gospel packets. At the crusade, several of the youth were able to understand much of the context of the message by the delivery style of the pastor and the passionate way he allowed the Holy Spirit to move through him. Many of the youth basically babysat the 35 or so children that were at the concert and sang songs, played interesting games and took lots of pictures despite a language and cultural barrier (This turned out to be a “God sighting” for several of them during our devotion time).
Hello to the “other side” (a common expession used for the US here),
e have finished our third day in Mexico and the Lord continues to show His faithfulness and grace. This morning, we finished prayer walking the remaining sections Pastor Mateo (the Mexican pastor we are working with) had laid out. There was a lot of walking today with many hilly roads that were rocky and difficult to pass.
We arrived back at the hotel for lunch and a short break and then began our door to door Gospel distribution with local church members. This was a difficult task for many of our youth as some felt so inhibited by the language barrier (as shared in our devotion time). One of the young ladies said, “all I was able to do was pray” which prompted the local missionary to enthusiastically say that was exactly what needs to happen as it shows our continued dependance on the Lord and is usually a weapon many Christians forget to even use.
After lunch we returned to another one of the sections which had been bathed in prayer earlier that day, and distributed Gospel packets and personally invited everyone to the crusade on Friday and Saturday.
At 6 pm or so we had another grand feast at the restaurant with fried fish, salad, french fries, rice, vegetable soup, hot sauce (on the table for flavor), crackers and bread and a jello cup for dessert. The youth are doing very well at trying the new foods and doing pretty much everything without complaining. This has been a blessing to not only the trip leaders, but also to the local missionaries. They have all been a great encouragement to the pastor and church members, as well as a great witness to the local community.
As mentioned earlier, we had our devotion time at 9 pm and all of the youth were encouraged to share where they saw God work that day and any frustrations they may have had. It was a good time of discussion and prayer. One of our translators, Josue, had one of his uncles die and be buried today. He comes from a close family and though it was difficult for him to not be there, he feels strongly that the Lord wants him here with us.
We begin early tomorrow morning on the street with the invitations and Gospel distribution. The first night of the crusade begins at 7 pm. Please keep this event in prayer as many will hear the message of Jesus Christ for the very first time and still others will be at the point of surrendering their lives to Him.
Thank you again for uplifting us all before the Father.
God bless you all!
John, for your Mexico mission team
There is much more to share, but my fingers are getting a bit arthritic from typing on a keyboard on a phone. We continue to practice flexibility and we continue to see God’s protection. Please continue to pray for the barriers that exist in the hearts of this city to be broken down, and that Christ will be proclaimed as Lord and Savior here.
We return to Palmillas tonight after the crusade and begin our trek back to Missouri early Monday morning. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
God bless you all,
John, for your Mexico mission team
We are settling in for a warm night here in Ciudad del Maiz after a long and tiring day.
We left the town of Palmillas at 10 am today after enjoying a delicious breakfast and loading up the trailer with our suitcases, Gospels, mini-fridge and 5 gallon water bottles. The city we are working in is about two hours away, so after unpacking, eating lunch, preparing Gospel packets and waiting for the pastor and some volunteers from his church it was about 3:30 when we began prayer-walking through the city. We broke into 3 teams of 4 – 5 people with a local Christian, and a translator in each group. What I mean by “prayer-walking” is we basically walked down streets that had been mapped out into different sections and prayed for the Spirit of God to break through the spiritual darkness that is present in each home and business we passed and that lives would be eternally changed through Jesus Christ.
Our groups finished their designated sections and returned to the hotel after about 2 hours. We then walked to a local restaurant which is owned by a believer, (she is staying open just for our team this week) and had dinner there. We ate a hearty heaping of Mexican food including rotisserie chicken, tortillas, salad, pasta, soup, nachos, salsas (red and green), some type of dressing which had steamed cactus and a dessert cup. I think she is prepaing a fish dinner tommorow evening.
After eating way too much food, we returned to the hotel and finished preparing the Gospel packets for distribution tomorrow and Friday (1,800 packets). The youth and leaders really knocked this process out quickly and efficiently. I have been extremely impressed with the hearts of service and flexibility this group possesses.
At 9 pm we had another brief orientation by our local missionary partners and had a tremendous time of testimony, Bible study, and prayer. It is now 11 pm and everyone is asleep and preparing for a busy day tomorrow. We appreciate your continued prayers and we praise the Lord for His protection, guidance and peace throughout this trip.
May God continue to be glorified in and through your lives.
John, for your mission team in Mexico
After a long two legged flight the team arrived at the Harlingin Texasn airport where the were greeted by The Timothy Projects missionaries, Jack and Shei Thomas. After a brief stop for the traditional WhataBuger lunch they crossed the border into Old Mexico. All went well at Mexican Immigration, which can sometimes be a bit of a challange, except one of the team, somewhere in route, was seperated from his passport. You can get into Mexico with out a passport but… You can’t back into the US without one. So the poor lad (mentioning no names) had to return home where he is right now frustrated over his misfortune. But, remmember, God has a purpose in all things.
The above photo is proof that they crossed the Tropic of Cancer, which is less than an hour from their first destination at The Timothy Project campus in Palmillas, about 6 hours from where they crossed the border. They did, infact, arrive safely in Palmillas in time to have evening devotions and a great meal, both of which was much needed.