You can download a PDF version of this update here.
Dear friends, family and supporters,
What a great year we have had so far! It has been an incredibly busy but rewarding couple of months, both with our family and ministry. The purposes of God’s Kingdom have been advancing and we are believing God for even more in the months to come.
Advanced School of Ministry Seminar
The month of January of each year is the time in which we do the Advanced School of Ministry seminar in Cuernavaca. As I am writing this, I realized that we have been involved in this conference for about 25 years, first, helping out by interpreting some of the conferences, and later on with a leadership role. I now take on much of the responsibility of making many things happen on the practical side, so that everything flows smoothly. Among other things, I take care of preparing the student and master notebooks, the visual projections, most of the advertising for the event, get the attendees registered, and together with our team, help make the decisions regarding the future of this ministry.
This year marked a new milestone for us with the conference, as we moved it to a new location with much better and larger facilities. The newer Centro Cristiano auditorium is located just outside the city of Cuernavaca and has a much larger seating capacity and space for parking, restrooms, eating areas, etc. It was much more comfortable for everyone, as we all fit into the auditorium with much room to spare.
Around 1500 people showed up for the meetings, most of which are either pastors, leaders or somehow involved in ministry in local churches across the nation of Mexico. The attendance has grown over the years, as has the impact of these seminars. Each registered pastor/leader receives a book full of strong biblical and practical teaching materials he/she can use within the context of the local church.
Our guest speaker was Jonathan Wilkins, who did an outstanding job teaching many of the practical aspects of leading a church. All of us who are part of the team had our own sessions, and I interpreted for Pastor Jonathan. Our theme was called “Unshakeable”, and we all spoke about the different aspects of God’s word and character which are unmovable and unshakable.
Online Bible School Recordings
Soon after the conference, we were privileged to receive missionary Mark Simpson, who came to record classes for the online Bible School. We had a very busy week with him, as he did 24 classes on the life of Christ (in our little video recording studio), ministered to married couples, leadership, and our local church here in Tulancingo.
The recordings went great. God recently provided us with the funds for a better computer, software and lighting equipment. It is such a blessing that we now have much better equipment to do the recordings, and it made it so much faster and easier to edit and prepare the videos/audios for the Internet. Mark did an incredible job tirelessly teaching session after session on the Life of Christ. By the time the week was over, I had already finished editing all the hours of video and everything was ready online.
Our local church also received so much from Mark’s time of ministry here. He is a gifted teacher with many years of ministry experience in countries all around the world. He ministered very well to our married couples, leaders, volunteers, and the entire church. Thank you, brother Mark!
New Semester of Online Bible School Courses
As soon as we finished with the recordings, we started classes again with our online students. We currently have around 165 students participating in six courses, including “The Life of Christ” which we just recorded. The students are being attended by nine course facilitators, who correct homework, provide insight when students have questions, and are there to encourage their students. We have plans to record at least two or three more courses this year.
Other areas of ministry
Our local church (now called “Desert Streams Christian Church”) is doing well and growing in many aspects. After sending out the church plant to the community of Jaltepec a year and a half ago, we experienced a time of adjustment, but things are picking up again, and we believe the Holy Spirit is moving in new ways within the congregation.
During these last couple of months, we’ve also had the opportunity to speak at two events for married couples and also minister at a church out in the mountains here in the state of Hidalgo. Sara and I have enjoyed these times away from our “normal” activities in our church.
A couple of weeks ago, we flew to McAllen, Texas for our annual Advanced School of Ministry planning time. We enjoyed spending a few days with the team, and especially being with Bill Brown.
We thank each one of you for your participation and support in all we do. Thanks for your prayers, thoughts, notes of encouragement and financial gifts. We really appreciate all you do!