The Hand of God in Oaxaca Jan-July 2020
Dear Prayer Warrior of the work of Northern Light Ministries in Mexico,
Isaiah 41:10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
These past months have been difficult for the world as a whole. We are separated from each other by geography as well as social distancing measures. God reminds us that he will not distance himself from us. Be blessed as you follow what God is doing in Oaxaca.
January - July
Rev. Diego Gutierrez, Luz Elena (Pastor Senen's daughter), Jared, Diegito, Isabella (left,middle)
Chuy (Jesus) Sanchez, Marisol, and Naomi (right)
A church building (templo) was begun in Nov. 2019. A team from Baja California stayed 2 weeks. The work continued with funds from NLM, employing men from the church who no longer had work because of the COVID shutdown of Mitla. Teams scheduled from the US could not go, but sent funds. Many of your gifts have also gone to this cause. Diego is hopeful the government will allow churches to open in a week or two. The ministry in Mitla has grown by the hand of God and his servants.
The progress in photos:
Our plans to relocate to Oaxca were changed by the accident and health. The Lord had chosen Associate Pastor Esteban and Evy Rodriguez, and sons Ian and Matias, graduates of the Seminary, and their two young sons to begin the establishment of a Seminary in Oaxaca and plant a church there. In January we asked them to consider Oaxaca as a mission destiny full-time. They said yes immediately. They had known for some time that they were called of God to Oaxaca. This is a "couple of gold".
When we discovered I had lung cancer in February, Don and I looked at each other and said, "The Lord prepared the house and the car for them, it was not for us" We were thrilled. The hand of God was upon us and His work in Mitla.
Ramon Ross Camacho (Ramon Ross Rubio's son)
began his one year internship in Vizcaino, Baja Sur. He was then sent to Mitla in February to work with and learn from Diego to complete his internship. He was a wonderful partner for the ministry. Diego needed help.
Ramon ministered in Mitla, Barrio de Ceniza and in Chapultepec. TheLord called him as well to become a full-time missionary to Oaxaca. He will continue as an Associate Pastor with Diego and has a desire to plant a church some day as well. The mighty hand of God provides for his burdened servants and inspires new "laborers for the fields are white with harvest".
Barrio de Ceniza
The Barrio de Ceniza is without a full-time pastor. The Koininea church in Mitla sends servants of God once a week to serve them. Ramon Jr., Jesus (Chuy), at times Diego go to Barrio. Alejandra is a steadfast believer who maintains unity in the small flock there, We praise God for her. God's hand of peace and mercy have transformed her life and her love for Jesus.
Rev. Senen Ruiz, pastor, Bernardita his wife, Sarah (17) and Salmai (15)
Salmai's quinceañera first of July. COVID prevented a beautiful ceremony. She understood. Sarah had her quinceañera two years ago. It was amazing and the two girls dressed beautifully for that event and were baptized together in the church. One of Salmai's desires was to have a cell phone. We gave her a cell phone. She was thrilled.
A home for the Pastor Senen family began in December 2019. The progress in photos:
This ariel view was taken by Diego's drone. The church, El Camino de Paz, in the forefront. To the right (in this picture) of the church is the church kitchen/dining room and Sunday School room. Behind the church on the right is the original Ruiz family home, now storage and a bedroom for Berna's elderly father. To the left of the original home, is the new house, to the far left remains the dear to our heart woodburning kitchen where we drink coffee and maybe eat sweet bread, talk, laugh, share stories, share burdens and God's blessings, pray, and read God's Word, and get nice and warm.
Ministries: Compassion Ministry and Outreach using Bible Studies
For 12 year Senen and Bernadeta have prayed that his sisters would come to Christ. Only this last year did they give their hearts to Jesus. This home is the home of Senen's sister who rejected Senen and the Lord all these years. Her husband, children and spouses have also received Christ. One sister recently died from COVID. She gave her heart to Christ the day before she died, and some of her family also have followed their mother's testimony.
Bernardita and another sister from the church share the Compassion ministry. One elderly blind lady lives with Berna and Senen. Her tender loving care brings all of her patients to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Hand of God has been seen by everyone in the village of Chapultepec and the reward of souls searching for hope and forgiveness has come to Senen and Berna. Now their "children in Christ" are maturing and seeking God's will for their lives in ministry.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRAISE AND INTERCESSION
The Rodrigues family and Ramon Jr. will fly together to Oaxaca the last day of July 2020 to begin their ministries. There will be Education expenses soon as they begin to form the plan,visit the other ministries to meet future students and launch the Bible Seminary of Oaxaca, a co-seminary with SBB in Baja.
Pray that the group of believers who have received Christ and ones that are added in Plan de Ayala will become a new church plant. We pulled out of Plan de Ayala a few years ago because of the backlash from the familes, especially Senen's sister.
Praise God for the many men who have come to Christ. Heads of families, some now anxious to study to become ministers of the gospel and church planters.
Praise God that He provided for our goal of providing used cars and pickup in good condition for your sent missionaries in Oaxaca, and those in need in Baja California. You have been part of us being able to purchase vehicles for Pastor Diego, a pickup for Pastor Senen, a nice car for the Rodriguez family, a car for Luz Maria in Papalote who works in the Asael Ministry serving handicapped children and their mothers and families. Diego donated his car to Chuy and Marisol. We have assisted in the purchase of Pastor Junior's car. Pray for a car for Pastor Lazaro in Vizcaino Baja Sur. He must have a van that will last. It will be used for personal needs as well as for the church. The expense will be around $10,000. Looking for a used van (2010-2015) and must have a Mexican license. The search is on....God will provide in His time.
Pray for the families in Mitla and Xaaga to whom the Mitla church has been ministered to with food and reduced prices for protein. Pray that they will consider coming to the church when it opens again soon. There were more than 80 families around the Mitla Church that were blessed.
Pray for encouragement for the people of Barrio de Ceniza.
Pray for the many who are now in Bible Studies and discipleship classes in Chapultepec.
Paul writes words to the Thessalonian church that are so true for Don and I at this point in our lives. We want to share this with you. All of chapter two is wonderful and reflects our thoughts and hearts too.
1 Thessalonians 2: 17, 19 and 20
17 Dear brothers and sister, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you.
19 After all, all what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!!
20 Yes, you are our pride and joy.
Dearest prayer warriors and supporters. Praise God for you. You don't forget His provisions for you, and you pass them on to His ministries around the world. There will be great reward for you.
We love you too. Keep us in your prayers. We pray for you. God is good.
En Su Servicio, Hermana Ilene and Hermano Don