International Ministries

Seven Days, Seven Churches, Seven Friends

March 6, 2015 Journal
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Seven Days

Last week we flew back to La Paz for seven days.  We have to admit that leaving snowy, cold Philadelphia for sunny, warm Mexico was not too great a hardship!  Why did we return during the middle of our year of U.S. assignment?  To officiate the Celebration of Life memorial for our dear friend Fidel Herrera.  Fidel and his wife Eileen moved to La Paz the same year we did: 2000.  Shortly afterwards, they began to attend the English Worship Service we started at the request of the Mexican Baptist Southern Baja Convention.  Fidel taught English as a Second Language for over 50 years.  In La Paz, he taught at the University, facilitated countless Conversation Clubs, and also led English workshops for the Baptist churches.  He and Eileen truly lived “Love God, Love Neighbor,” the two greatest commandments given to us by Jesus.  On the day of the memorial, a 100 people gathered to celebrate the impact of Fidel on their lives.  Mexicans, Canadians, and Americans shared memories--laughing and crying together.  Minus the tears, it was truly a glimpse of heaven on earth!  We are blessed to have friends and donors like Fidel and Eileen.  Our lives and our ministry are continually shaped by people like them, and people like you.

Seven Churches

We also had the opportunity to have a breakfast gathering with many of the Baptist pastors and leaders during our week in La Paz.  We met in what will one day be the kitchen of The Theological School.  This is a special project that we are accumulating funds for in the hopes it will be completed in the next two years.  As we fellowshiped with our Mexican colleagues, we learned that their vision for the next two years is to start seven churches along the Southern Baja peninsula.  When was the last time you sat down with a group of church leaders and heard them share a similar vision?  It was exciting to hear their passion about this project!  Please pray for President Rafael Loera and the other convention leaders as they seek God’s direction to start churches.

Seven Friends

As we re-connected with friends over the last week, we just want to mention a few of the stories we heard that especially touched our hearts. 
   
Susu is starting a horse therapy ministry for physically and emotionally challenged kids.  She has two horses and is seeking a third.  Social services in La Paz are thrilled with her endeavor and can’t wait to partner with her!
   
Alejandra is engaged to Gabriel and planning her first wedding after waiting for 40 years.  She glows with the anticipation of finally being wed to a man who is also a follower of Jesus.

Oscar is working on his bachelor’s degree in Education.  He leaves the house at 7am to teach, and then goes straight to night classes, usually not returning until 8pm at night.  But then he helps his wife Anahis with their toddler, assists with dinner, and doesn’t start homework until midnight or 1am.  But he said, “My family is important! I’m not going to lose touch with them during this time.”

Isai is the six-year-old son of friends of ours.  His mom told me, “Isai prays every night for your family.  For your safety.  For your children.”  Wow!  A prayer warrior growing up right in front of our very eyes!  It made me want to cry.

Bonnie & Paul Cronin opened up their home to us and showed us hospitality extraordinaire!  They spend their time between Denver, CO and La Paz, Mexico.  We appreciate the way they can make us laugh and relax.

Peter Lim and his wife Sherry are volunteering in La Paz for six months pastoring Crossroads.  Peter’s gentle nature and authenticity as he shares the Gospel nurtured our souls on the Sunday we listened to him preach.  We are thankful for people who volunteer their gifts cross-culturally.

Thank you for your prayers.  We are about to leave for a trip to visit churches in Western New York.  Somehow, we think it will be colder than La Paz!

Blessings
David and Joyce