Last weekend we had a great trip with several people from our church to Tutotepec.
Tutotepec is a very small village in the mountains of the state of Hidalgo here in central Mexico. Sara and I had been there several months ago and saw the need of bringing the Gospel to this area and showing the people in the village the love of Christ.
On Friday afternoon our team went walking around the village inviting the people to come and see a movie in the evening. We had a good turnout for the viewing of the Courageous movie, which was shown in the backyard of the family which invited us. After the movie, I shared a little about the importance of being a good father, and being ready for eternity. Several of the people attending showed interest in knowing more about the Gospel. Our team shared tamales and coffee with everyone after the event and enjoyed talking to many people and getting to know them a little.
On Saturday, some of the ladies gave free hair cuts to those in the village who wanted this service. Some of the women hadn’t had their hair trimmed in years! At the same time, others went around the village giving away toys to the children and blessing families with a kilogram of free rice. Still others went to paint a house and do other “handy-man” jobs at some of the houses. Sara and I had the opportunity to counsel a few people as well. Our idea was to bless the people and show them the love of God, and not just preach to them.
We had a great time and see that the Lord is opening doors to minister to the people of this small mountain village. We hope to return with another evangelistic event in the coming months.
Following the service, we all had lunch together at the church. Some of the ladies cooked some meat and cactus plants, and we all enjoyed a delicious meal.
When lunch was over, we drove another hour or so down toward Meztitlán and then up a narrow dirt road high above the river to the community of Itztayatla. Pastor Oscar, who also works as an electrician, met some of the men from this small community as he was working on a construction project with them. He shared Christ with them, and now the entire family serves the Lord. He does a service way up in the community every Sunday evening.
After praise and worship, I shared a message about God being the Great I Am, as He revealed Himself to Moses. As we concluded the service, I had the privilege of leading a young man in prayer to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. What a blessing it was to see another soul come into the Kingdom of God. The tears in the man’s eyes and the hugs of the other men around him were testimony of the sincerity with which he prayed and evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit within his heart. It seems that the others had been praying for him for some time already, and all rejoiced in the fact that he had finally given his heart to the Lord.
We had supper with the group in Iztayatla before beginning our descent from the mountain and the drive back home. It had been a blessed day.
Sara and I were both invited to be the guest speakers at a youth conference in the city of Puebla, in central Mexico. The title of the conference was “Biblical Ironmen”, and we applied many aspects of the Ironman Triathlon to the Christian’s life.
1Co. 9:26-27 : 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (NIV)
Here are a few pictures of the conference. 1) I am teaching about the diet of the Biblical Ironman.
2) Biblical Ironmen Conference, Puebla 3) Sara, teaching a session on “Training to be a Biblical Ironman” 4) Some of the kids at the conference
On June 30, Sara headed to Tula to preach a couple of sessions at a Women’s Conference. Tula is a city just over an hour from where we live. She ministered twice on Saturday to the ladies at the conference. Alejandra, a young single girl from our church, went with her on Saturday morning. I stayed home with the children.
On Sunday morning, Sara and I went back to Tula again to preach at the Sunday morning services. We dropped David and Daniel off at our church first, at about 7:30 AM, since they both had activities to do there. We took only Anna with us.
We had two great services, and the people were receptive of the Word of God.
We came back just in time for Sara to vote, since it was a presidential election day in Mexico. The boys were waiting for us back at home when we arrived.
We had a great surprise at our church for the fathers on Father’s Day. Their children led the Praise and Worship! For over a half hour the children’s worship team led the entire church in song, playing instruments, singing and doing choreography.
Leon and Audrey arrived from Michigan on Thursday, May 24. I went to the airport with Ernesto, a brother from our church. Anna, our daughter, also went along. We brought them here to our house, as Leon and Audrey stayed at our visitor’s cabin. After resting on Thursday night, we took them to the village called Real del Monte (where Sara was born), on Friday, where we had lunch and walked through the downtown area, looking at the shops.
On Friday night, Leon began his series of messages on Biblical healing in our church in Tulancingo. The service was well attended, as he shared his first two messages on this subject. We were able to pray for several sick people who were present at the meeting. Audrey De Haan shared a message with the ladies at a breakfast meeting on Saturday morning. What a great breakfast! The church was full of ladies, many who had never been to our church before. Several received Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and many others received prayer. Leon gave his last two messages on healing on Saturday night, which was also well attended. Several people gave their lives to Christ at the end of the series on Saturday night. All of his messages were very biblically based and doctrinally balanced. Leon enjoyed his tongue tacos (one of his favorite mexican foods) for supper after the meeting before heading back to the cabin to rest for the night.
We had a great time with Leon and Audrey, and their visit was a tremendous blessing for our family and church. Praise God for their lives and ministry!We said our goodbyes very early, as Leon and Audrey left for the airport at 5:00 am on Monday morning to take their plane back to Michigan. Brother Ernesto and his wife drove them to the Mexico City airport, and then came back to our house afterward for breakfast.
This past Friday, Sara and a few of our Children’s Church leaders went to Tula to teach a seminar on Children’s Ministry. Our son, Daniel, and our children’s praise band, together with part of the choreography ministry (including Anna) went along, as well. I drove some of the kids there and came back Friday night with them. They did a great job leading praise and worship for the opening night of the event. Sara and the rest of the ladies spent the night there and taught several sessions on Saturday during the day. They were a real blessing for the church, and the group that attended received great teaching and inspiration to serve in this important area of ministry.
This year’s seminar was called “Strategic Transformation”. The entire seminar was focused on conquering specific mountains in society (including education, arts/entertainment, government, religion, business, family and the media) for the Kingdom of God. I was actively involved in preparing the notebook of just under 160 pages for the 800 students who would attend. I had been working on translating material and preparing my own classes since August. It was quite an accomplishment when I finally finished editing and typesetting the material at the beginning of January.
Our main speaker was Doctor Tim Hamon of Christian International College, from Florida. He shared a series of six powerful messages on the Biblical basis for transformation in the society through the preaching of the Kingdom of God at all levels. Doctor Hamon really challenged all of us through his teaching sessions to think about ways to bring the message of the Kingdom to areas of society many Christians would never consider.
I interpreted for Doctor Hamon’s six sessions. Also, both Sara and I shared our own classes. I did a session called “Redeeming the Arts” and Sara did a session on entertainment. It was amazing how many artists came to me for prayer and encouragement at the end of the seminar. I never have considered myself an artist, although I enjoy music and the arts. But after my session on art, many young leaders identified with my teaching.
Our entire leadership team taught sessions of several topics; we also had the participation of a couple from the church in Cuernavaca that has been involved in politics and business. We especially enjoyed the session about impacting the business world for Christ, which was presented by Kerry Brown (Bill Brown’s son).
We are thankful to the Lord for the opportunity he gave us to bring new inspiration for ministry to many pastors and leaders.