He is Faithful

Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ. You see what I did there…just trying to be silly. I know my past few letters have been intense. But we serve an awesome God! I am in awe of how the Lord has been using the word of God to speak to my heart. I prayed fervently prior to even considering coming to School of Missions, but as soon as I received confirmation, I knew that the Lord was going to do a special work in my heart. Without question, the Lord has been FAITHFUL to make my calling clear to me week after week.

As a part of the program, several seasoned long-term missionaries came to share with us about their involvement in missions in numerous countries in the world. The strongest point that was emphasized was that we are to be teaching the Word of God verse by verse. God’s heart is clearly shown through the book of Acts. Missionaries are to train nationals and plant churches to the ends of the earth.  We also heard the call to be living examples of Christ as we live out this Biblical model of church cross culturally.  We had the privilege of attending Calvary Chapel Rosarito’s Church Planting Conference 2020. It was very evident through all those attending the Church Planting Conference that to be in God’s will for reaching the world one MUST be a part of church planting in one shape or form. This view is not something that is established by man, but by God who establishes HIS CHURCH through those that follow the Book of Acts template.

On a personal note, I find it is so comforting that God knows exactly what we are thinking and knows what is troubling us. He is such a good Father and knows what we need before we even know we need it. Pastor Bond simply stated that Bible scholars speculate that Saul of Tarsus did not start his ministry until 10-15 years after His encounter with Jesus. Hearing this was so reassuring because I sometimes struggle with the thought that maybe I have been dragging my feet and not listening to the Lord’s call. As I write this, what comes to mind is, “It is not about quantity of time you have been in ministry but quality of time in ministry.”

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should WALK in them.”-Ephesians 2:10

This time next week I will be back in California and will start taking practical steps to align myself with God’s calling on my life. All the knowledge I have gained through all the teachers and long-term missionaries is going to be a valuable tool that I can use as I pursue God’s will for my life. I wanted to thank you for your faithfulness to partner with me and pray for me and I look forward to sharing with you in person when I return.

With love,

Maribel

Packing up supplies to distribute to families from Capilla Calvario Primotapia. I promise 
Tim is not upset he is just asking us a question…lol
Praying and thanking God for their first service back since March
Fun times at Calvary Chapel Church Planting Conference 2020

How Is This Possible?

Romans 10:14-15, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Hold on to your seats because I am going to share some information with you that has forever altered the course of my life. Did you know that there are more than 3 Billion people in the world that have never heard the Gospel? The definition of an “Unreached” person is one who does not have access to a Bible, a church or have any Christian influence in their community. As soon as I heard that so many people in the world die without even being given a chance to hear the Gospel, I knew I had to be a part of the solution. Now that I know about the “Unreached” people groups of the world, I can’t turn a blind eye to this knowledge. The numbers are staggering but through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be a part of God’s saving grace to a perishing world.  

“We should not underestimate the significance of the small group of people who have a vision of a just and gentle world. The quality of a whole culture may be changed when two percent of its people have a new vision.”

Robert Bellah, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

We had the awesome opportunity to go into a remote area to share with the Kumuyey people living on a reservation in the desolate hills. Victor and Sonia Mayoral were called by God to bring hope and love to these awesome people more than 20 years ago. It was a bittersweet experience because the pastor of the area had just recently gone to be with the Lord. But I witnessed God using us to be an encouragement and a breath of fresh air to those that felt forgotten. Through your prayers and financial support, we were able to bless the people with large bags of food and cleaning supplies. It was my joy to share with a group of young girls and see their hunger to learn more about Jesus and His great sacrifice for all people.

In our classes this week the Lord used Caleb Beller (pastor of Calvary Chapel Fullerton) and many other people to encourage me through God’s Word that I am walking in God’s will. He shared the following verses that specifically stated the words “God’s will” in the text:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3- Sanctification- That we become more like Jesus
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- Always rejoice, pray and be grateful
  • 1 Peter 2:13-15- Respecting authority

That alone was enough for me, but God goes above what we can ask or think. God allows trials in our lives because He loves us and wants to build our character. One of my favorite sayings is, “You choose if this will make you bitter or better.” He also emphasized that team unity and being a support to your Senior pastor is absolutely critical. I will leave you with this quote, “When you align yourself with God’s purpose you will see His protection, provision, and power in your life.”

For more information detailed statistics that would blow your mind and break your heart please visit www.joshuaproject.net.

Must see videos:

Reaching the Unreached: https://youtu.be/eIDraNUGerE

Tears of the Saints: https://youtu.be/VtQbzRmmMfk

The Lord is using your prayers and financial support to further His Kingdom and bring hope to His people through the preaching and teaching of His word.

Prayer Requests:

  • Unreached people of the world
  • Which people group God would send me to share the Gospel
  • A new pastor for the Kumeyey people
  • Victor and Sonia Mayoral (empowerment to serve His people)

Praise Reports:

  • God’s faithfulness and provision (my tuition is fully paid)
  • Seeing God’s hand moving in my life and for all the students
  • Knowing I am in the center of God’s will
  • Peace knowing God has my future in His hands
Having fun with the kiddos at an outreach in the Rancho cuarenta community
Lydia and I sharing the Romans Road of salvation with a group of young girls
Putting food bags together to bless people that have fallen on hard times during COVID-19

Making Disciples

GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE NATIONS

THE BIBLE, MATTHEW 28:19

Greeting friends and family,

We are at the halfway mark of our time here in Rosarito, and the enemy is using his sneaky tactics to try to trip us up. Which should not be surprising as he always tries to undermine what God is doing. He has been doing all he can to contradict what God has said since the beginning of time. It is so fitting that in our weekly reading we are going through the book “The Strategy of Satan” How to detect and defeat him. Bold title, right? Just like Satan studies our weaknesses and uses any moment to attack us, we must be able to use the Word of God to stand strong.  In this spiritual battle, I often forget that we fight from victory and the enemy is defeated because of the finished work of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. We can walk confidently knowing that we are on the winning team but let us be keenly aware of the strategies of Satan. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not WAR according to the flesh. For weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty in God to pull down strongholds.” 1 Corinthians 10:3-4a

It has been so awesome to be able to see how God is using pastors and teachers to pour their years of experience into our lives. We had the privilege of hearing from Pastor Mike Thiemann who shared about the heart of the Great Commission and what a disciple is and how to make disciples. Plus, Pastor Joel Garcia was very thorough on how worship is more a heart posture towards God and music is just an extension. I took countless notes, and I know the wisdom they shared with us is something I will constantly look back on as a foundation for ministry. We had the pleasure of having Phil and Joy Metzger share with us their 20 years of ministry and missions experience in Hungary. They were both called individually by God to be missionaries and then the Lord brought them together in marriage to be a dynamic duo for the Kingdom of God. I really enjoyed their meekness, and how they were very straightforward about the ups and downs of the field.  

The main idea that I took away from the class is from 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 were Paul says “I have become all things to all men that I may, by all means, save some.” I loved how Phil carefully explained that we are to be tethered to the message of the Gospel but can reach out without compromise in our life. Something that struck me was three questions he had us think about. First, what can I give up for the sake of the Gospel? Second, what do I take up for the sake of the Gospel? Thirdly, what is non-negotiable of the Gospel? The complexity of these questions made me stop and truly consider the seriousness of following Jesus. I pray that this has stirred your heart to reflect on what the Lord is impressing on your heart at this time. Phil also emphasized the need of learning the language of the people group God has called you to share the Gospel with. Throughout all our classes, language learning has been a key point highlighted. Everything we learn and the knowledge that we gain is simply for the sake of the Gospel, building relationships with true connection, and being an ambassador for Christ to share His truth and love.

Over the past three weeks, we have had a balance of private devotional time, communal living, class teachings, and outreaches. This week we were able to come alongside Pastor Martin and his church to help encourage the people, share testimonies of God’s work in our lives, and celebrate all that God is doing in the community of Rancho Santa Cruz. We had a group do a skit and act out a scene from a construction site illustrating Philippians 1:6 were Paul states, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The exciting part is the church is literally in the middle of being constructed. The place was a construction zone! Sometimes, we overlook the importance of how we can disciple children and how their minds are fertile soil that can bear much fruit. Just like we learned in our class this week, we are to be disciples first, and then we can make disciples. Being in partnership with God to be faithful to do His work, and then having the privilege of being a part of pouring into those He has entrusted to us.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Thank you so much for partnering with me in prayer, God is definitely listening and answering them. Stay tuned for how the Lord is working in and through us here in Mexico. If you feel led to partner with me financially click on the Financial partner button below.

Praise reports:

  • God fortifying the call on my life
  • Powerful work of the Gospel in Mexico

Prayer requests:

  • Clarity of where God is calling me
  • Memorization of God’s word
  • Guidance after I return to California

Getting equipped for the battle by reading the “Strategy of Satan” book

In class with Phil Metzger learning about church planting, language learning and culture
Arriving to Calvary Chapel Rancho Santa Cruz a new church plant under construction
Digging rocks out of the side of a mountain to help build a wall at future Women’s transition home
Playing water games with the kids after teaching them about God finishing the work He has begun in their lives

Work of the Holy Spirit

The Church

We have seen a great example of the church body working together as a sending hub here in Rosarito. Pastor Mike Vincent also spoke into our lives about how God uses the local church to equip the people to share the gospel and establish churches as the Holy Spirit sends them. It has been such a blessing to come alongside them and help the ministries that branched from the hearts of the people in the congregation. This week we were able to go to a community where the poverty was very evident along with the sense of hopelessness in the eyes of the people. But as we walked around Colonia San Fernando (a neighborhood) we were able to invite them to a “sanctuary” in the front yard of one of their neighbors’ houses. It was amazing to see how the expressions of their faces changed as soon as they entered. Sharing the word of God and the joy and peace that comes from following Jesus was literally changing the oppressive atmosphere that was surrounding us. I had the privilege of praying and just hanging out with many of the ladies at the outreach and it was such a great encouragement to see God working in their hearts.  Another blessing was we were able to give them large bags of food that are needed through these difficult times of job loss.

Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5

Nothing

When I think back on all that we have been learning and the outreaches we have done, I feel eternally grateful to be a part of God’s work. Along with having class we also have a book that we are reading on a weekly basis. This week we read the book “Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray which absolutely rocked me to the core. The title alone gives you an idea of what adventure we were taken on. Here is one quote from the book, “My Lord Jesus wants me to take the blessed as a worker, and morning by morning and day by day and hour by hour and the simple utter helplessness of one who knows nothing, and is nothing and can do nothing.” Even as I read that my mind already was fighting the thought that “I am nothing.” Growing up in a culture that is continuously asserting that “you need to believe in yourself” this idea of being “nothing” is counter-intuitive. Our Lord tells us in Matthew 10:38-30: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Abide in Him

It is such a wonderful thought that the Lord does not leave us high and dry. This leads me to John 15:4-5 where Jesus tells us, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

What an amazing promise! I have read this verse many times and have been moved but only to get back in the rut of routine and complacency. What I often forget is that I must have a continual dependence on Him and not just a momentary feeling that fades. God is so gracious, and He gives us the promise of the Holy Spirit so we can be filled continuously to glorify God in all we do. In John 15:26 the Lord reassures us with this promise, “But when the [c]Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” Being continuously filled with the Holy Spirit enables us to be bold witnesses for Jesus and without Him, we can do nothing.

Holy Spirit power

Another work of the Holy Spirit is to guide us to do the work of the ministry. We see this in Acts 13:1-4 where Paul and Barnabas are fasting and praying, and the Holy Spirit sets them apart and sends them while the church also fasts and confirms the calling. This is the model of Biblical missions and it has been so encouraging to see how this model is what God intended for His church so that it would prevail. All of Paul’s missionary journeys were to share the Gospel and establish a church that would be equipped to stand in the power of the Holy Spirit. With this foundation of Biblical missions, I look forward to being a part of a team that can help establish church plants in various parts of the world. There is so much more I would like to share but it would take various pages to fully explain the beauty of God’s model from Biblical missions. Please feel free to email so we can discuss this further.

I pray that God has ministered to you and stirred your heart to pray for His Spirit to continue to move through this world. Words cannot express how grateful I am for you coming alongside me in this incredible journey the Lord has me on. I look forward to hearing from you and in God’s timing to also have a cup of tea or coffee with you (or maybe two:)

Praise Reports:

  • Learning so much about Biblical missions
  • Having time to seek God’s will for my life
  • Seeing God’s Spirit move in powerful ways
  • Only needing $300 to pay off tuition (due August 1st)

Prayer requests:

  • To absorb all the Lord is teaching me
  • Stand on a theological conviction of God’s model for missions
  • To be a vessel filled with the Holy Spirit to further God’s kingdom
  • Confirmation and guidance as to where God would lead me in the mission field

With love,

Maribel Blanco

Mari.wfg11@gmail.com

We are having a group discussion about God’s Biblical model for missions
Sharing the Gospel in a park in Rosarito and making crafts with the kiddos
Spending time with Erika and listening to how we can pray for her

Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is STAYED on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord is everlasting strength.

Greetings from Rosarito,

As we’re wrapping up our first week here at Calvary School of Missions, the Lord has been bringing to remembrance all the pivotal moments in my walk with Him. Going back to the day the Lord got a hold of my heart and the amazing journey He has had me on. It has not been without trials, but He never promised us that it would be easy. He did promise that we would never be separated from His love (Romans 8:38-39). That love has been able to sustain me through the ups and downs of life and now a driving force to share that love with all the people the Lord puts in my path. God has been so faithful to guide me exactly where I need to be as I just seek for His Kingdom and His righteousness. One of the books that we will be reading is “Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray which I know will be life altering for me.

A group of people standing in front of a building

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Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

It’s such a blessing to be around awesome servants who have “radical” hearts to share God’s love with others. It’s so beautiful to see all the different unique personalities and the giftings God has put together in this group. One of the emphasis of our classes has been the Purpose of the Church and the calling on each member of the body to share the Gospel. This week my mind has been overwhelmed, in a good way, by all the great truths the Bible has plainly laid out for us. I love how God makes it so clear in the Bible, from the beginning, that His heart is to have relationship with His creation. Just like in the Garden of Eden when mankind chose to rebel against God but He lovingly continued to pursue them. In His mercy and grace He sent Jesus to restore our relationship with Him. “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” 1 Corinthians 5:20.   

I am translating for my friend Rachel as she shares the story of Jonah in the HomeX community

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One of the many highlights of this week has been visiting HomeX in the outskirts of Rosarito. We had to drive up a bumpy dirt road with our hers bobbing around which is typical. Aaron and Jena made it a very enjoyable ride as they shared the missionary journey the Lord has them on in the 10/40 Window. They lightheartedly talked about all the rough terrains they have had to travel to reach the “unreached” people groups around them. They even called the road we were traveling a “cute” road in comparison to many roads they have traveled on. This was a sobering thought as I reflected on how the Lord has to prepare us all for all the “rough roads” we will have to navigate through life. When we arrived to our destination, we were all so encouraged and fired up to share with the people of the community. One of my favorite things to do is work with children, and I had the privilege of translating for my friend Rachel as she shared the story of Jonah with the kiddos. I had a great time coming alongside Pastor Eddie who has faithfully been doing a home Bible study in the community for about a year now.

Thank you for prayerfully and financially supporting me as I follow the call that God has on my life. You’re in my prayers, and I look forward to sharing my journey at CSOM 2020 with you! If you’d like to partner with me click on the link below. Lord Bless you!

Giving Link: https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift2?giftid=213B1B3DBE67476

Praise Reports:

Arriving safely to Rosarito

Seeing God’s hand work in uncertain times

God’s people being built up for the work of the ministry

Seeing lives reconciled back to God

Prayer requests:

God’s provision for all the students

For God to continue to draw others to Himself

Unreached people groups of the world

For confirmation and direction for where God wants to send me in the world