“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and recognize and honor and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Hi everyone! I want to start off first by thanking you for your prayers for me as I serve the Lord in Tijuana, Mexico and for reading this update.
Wow! What a summer! I don’t even know where to begin! We have all been experiencing a different kind of lifestyle with these very different times that we are living in! It has been quite challenging, but my main focus is to “let my light shine before all.” I love the fact that the gospel is getting out to even more people via social media than ever before. Satan has his plans, but God has even bigger plans and always gets the glory in the end!
We started off our summer with first ever virtual V.B.S. It was a huge success and a blessing for the children in our community. The kids, ages 4-12, did all the projects at home, took pictures and “turned them in” and received prizes for their participation.
We hosted two virtual weddings this summer (only family and a few others in attendance). Both brides are sisters and lived next door to me. I’ve known them since they were toddlers. Sara married Jesus, they both work full time and are very involved in the church and have been most of their lives–worship band and youth ministry. Alex is a missionary here with us and married Sara’s sister, Miriam. They both have a heart for missions. Both couples love the Lord and we are excited to see how He will use them in the future!
We continue to serve the children in our afterschool program by giving out food each month. In August, we also gave them school supplies. They are so thankful for the help they receive, and it is so great to see them, even if for only a few seconds.
We are also continuing to minister to the kids through an application called “Class Dojo.” They see a different video each day of the week, and participate by doing the craft, answering questions about the Bible class, and memorizing the Bible verse of the week… just as if they were attending Sunday School, and then receive prizes for their participation. I also enjoy being with them on Facebook live every Friday at 1:00. Of course I continue reading Bible stories to them Tues. through Sat. on Facebook live. We take very seriously the spiritual growth of the children here at CC Pedregales.
We do not say goodbye, but see you soon to two dear brothers in Christ who went home to Jesus this past month due to complications with COVID. Obed, father of three, husband, and awesome singer/songwriter, and Emanuel, 20 years old. We will miss them, but we know that they are in heaven with Jesus! Emanuel was not able to speak due to his down syndrome, but now for sure must be chatting away with Jesus!
for the families of Obed and Emanuel as they mourn the passing of their loved ones. For comfort and peace from our Lord Jesus.
salvation for the kids and parents of our afterschool program
for the kids to be able to attend school soon. (there are many obstacles here with online learning, as many can’t afford a phone or laptop, and wifi; it’s all costly). When the kids go back to school, we will be able to open our afterschool program and soup kitchen.
for my knees–both are in bad shape. I was approved for a knee replacement for my right knee and will be scheduling it soon.
Javier Gongora is a ministry partner working in Belize that we were able to bless with funds to do COVID relief in his community. With it, he was able to provide groceries to over 20 families in need. These families include parents of little babies and children who are a part of the preschool that Javier and his wife run, church members who are out of jobs due to COVID, as well as pastors in the community who have no income.
It’s a privilege to serve God at Calvary School of Missions (CSOM) here in Mexico. The leaders and students, led by the Lord, got off to a wonderful start and are a little over halfway through. Hopefully, you’ve been able to read our update letters, if not pleaseCLICK HERE to connect with us and update yourself on all the Lord has been doing in and through our team.
One of the unforeseen blessings during our school has been the ability to develop and serve church plants and their communities with Covid relief feeding programs. We’ve had opportunities to visit many families in need. So many people here in Mexico as well as the rest of the world have been devastated by this pandemic. God is sending out CSOM to meet both spiritual and physical needs.
Work places have closed down here in Mexico leaving individuals unable to provide for their basic needs. Families who were already living hand to mouth, meaning weekly checks for their work go directly to essential physical needs such as buying groceries and paying rent, are now left wondering how they will provide. Warehouses, factories, and stores have been closed down which means no work for so many. Unlike in America there is no Social Security system, there is no government relief checks, and from a human standpoint that brings about a sense of hopelessness and fear.
We’ve been able to visit, pray for, present the gospel to, and feed over 100 families by God’s grace and provision. As we move forward in the school, we have identified many more opportunities ahead of us to show the people of North Baja the God has not forgot them, He sees them, and He cares about their situation. More than anything we need your prayers as we step out in this venture of faith to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As well as, there is an opportunity to financially partner with us to meet both physical and spiritual needs of those devastated by Covid. CLICK HERE God demonstrated His love for us through the cross of Christ. He didn’t just tell us He loves us, He showed us, and we have had the opportunity to not only tell people of the love of God but to show them.
Thank you for partnering with us however the Lord leads you.
Calvary School of Missions class of 2020 Rosarito, Mexico
The school is well on it’s way, and already we’re seeing God birth new and deep truths into the students hearts and minds. One of the main focusses of the first 2 weeks is laying a biblical foundation in missions. This section of teaching is titled, “The Purpose of the Church”. Pastor Trent is walking the students through the Bible and unfolding the truth about why the church exists and what our role is in fulfilling that purpose on earth.
We’ve enjoyed, not only great teachings, but also sweet times of prayer and worship, COVID outreach to suffering people groups in communities surrounding the work here in Rosarito, and fellowship with one another as we become unified as one body. In the words of one of the students, it’s been “RADICAL”. Students are sharing the gospel, stepping out of their comfort zones, and leading people to Christ for the first time. Several times a week, we open up a time of debrief. Students have the opportunity to share what God is doing in their hearts, how they’re being stretched, overcoming personal struggles, and what they’re experiencing through both teachings and outreaches.
Please continue to pray for the students as their minds are being shaped to think biblically about world evangelization and the Great Commission while learning to completely surrender any of their personal plans that may not be what God has for them and their future. Some are asking for prayer for confirmation of calling, whether that’s to Go themselves to the field or stay here send others well. Other students need prayer for direction of where He would want them to minister cross-culturally.
These kids love Jesus with all their hearts! The leadership is fired up and excited to see what God has for them individually. Our heart is to help facilitate discussions and deep prayer time that bring about a clear vision of God’s plan from the beginning of time and help them find out what their part is in fulfilling the great commission in their lives. Please pray for the leadership to have wisdom and anointing to lead well and teach well. Pray for protection over the school against illness or injuries. We are taking every precaution possible to keep germs out, but would also ask for God’s divine protection so we can finish the school with all students healthy and strong. Thank you all! We’re abundantly blessed to link arms with you all as we seek to partner with these students and get them to where God has called them successfully.
As many of you may already know I have been praying for the past year for the country of Jordan. I first heard of a plan to establish a Bible College in Jordan a year ago, where Jordanian nationals as well refugees could be taught the Word of God and raised up as leaders and pastors. I had little interest in going myself at this time, but it was on my heart to see others go and so I began to pray for the country and the potential school. Fast-forward a year and now I find myself praying not only for the country daily but that if it be God’s will that He would send me there as a missionary. For the past few months I have been praying that I could go on a vision tour sometime in the beginning of 2020. I was praying that God would provide the finances necessary but also that we would be able to work out the logistics of the trip. I am overjoyed to announce that God has answered the beginning phases of those prayers. After some prayer I sat down to do a bit of math and figured out that by God’s grace, the generosity of some of you who have partnered with me and my own finances I had enough to purchase my tickets. However I still had concerns, I was sitting there thinking, “I still have so much to raise for the rest of the trip and if I purchased the tickets I will be left with very little money.” So with this in mind I prayed and asked God two things, “Lord I know you have called me to live by faith and to trust you with my finances and that you will provide for all my needs. I feel you have told me to go on this trip so if I am suppose to go please send the money that I need. Then secondly do you want me to put my faith into action and purchase the tickets trusting you will provide for me this next month.” God was so faithful to answer these prayers and so having confidence that God was calling me to purchase my tickets I proceeded in faith and did so. Then after I had already committed to purchasing the tickets knowing I would have very little for the month of November I checked my finances once more. Suddenly I had enough money, a check had come in last minute. Not only was it enough for the flights but also for the next month. God had done exceedingly, abundantly above what I asked. So January 26th I will be leaving on my trip to Jordan and as if that wasn’t enough God blessed me even further. In addition to visiting Jordan God provided for me to visit both Israel and North Africa. I know that there will be a wealth of information, knowledge and wisdom that I will be able to glean from both those I will be traveling with and those I will visit. My prayer is that this trip will greatly prepare me for the work prepared for me.
Called Through His Grace
My internship has been amazing! I have been learning so much and I am so thankful for the wisdom and experience of those around me and to be able to learn from them. Throughout this past month however there has been one prevalent aspect of God’s character that He has been teaching me about and that is grace. As I began to look at Paul’s letter I realized how often he speaks of God’s grace and that it was by, through, and according to God’s grace that Paul was called to be an apostle. In 1 Corinthians Paul says that he “labored more abundantly than they all, (speaking of the apostles) yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10, NKJV) therefore Paul attributes his labor, his work not to himself but to God’s grace. In Ephesians 3:7 Paul says that he became a minster of the gospel, “according to the gift of the grace of God…” (Eph. 3:7, NKJV) it wasn’t according to his wisdom, his ability, his education, his status in life or anything that Paul had done but he was called to be a minister solely by God’s grace. Then in Galatians Paul states, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…” (Gal. 1:15-16, NKJV) In this we see that Paul was separated and called from his mothers womb by the grace of God. Before Paul was born, before any of us were born it pleased God to call us by His grace. Despite all that Paul did in persecuting the church, despite all the sin in our lives against God it pleased Him to call us through grace. In my study of these statements of Paul I was extremely encouraged and taught a valuable lesson. While Paul could confidently state, that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (Ephesians 1:1, NKJV) and separated to the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1, NKJV). Paul would also openly call himself the least of the apostles (1 Cor. 15:9, NKJV), and less than the least of all saints (, NKJV), and chief among sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15, NKJV). Paul understood that he could stand firm in the grace of God and be confident in his call, but that God’s grace should lead him to complete surrender to the will of God and absolute humility before the Lord. I am not able nor do I desire to boast in any of my achievements or what I am doing for the Lord for I am humbled and amazed that He would allow me to serve Him. God’s grace is so abundant and He is deserving of my full obedience, full commitment and all I have to give. From Paul I see that I should be confident in the calling of God because it is through His grace I am called not by my ability, my status or my gifting. But this also should produce in me a humility and fountain of praise and thanksgiving to God for His grace. If God blesses me by calling me to serve Him as a pastor then it will only be by His grace, through His grace, and according to His grace. So I stand in the grace of God and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:2, NKJV) I have been shown immeasurable grace undeserved so that I may boast in His grace towards me not in anything I achieve. I pray my life and my calling may used for others to see Christ in me as Paul said in Galatians 1:16 “to reveal His Son in me” I pray Christ to be revealed in me more day by day.
I am so excited for all that God has prepared for this trip to Jordan and also as I continue my internship. I pray that my life may be surrendered to the Lord and used to magnify His name. Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement and your financial support. I would not be allowed these amazing opportunities to serve the Lord if not for God’s grace and the continued partnership in the gospel from some of you. If you have partnered with me and supported me through prayer, through words of encouragement, in finances, or by simply reading my updates I thank you and pray God blesses you greatly. You are all such an example to me of Christ love and am grateful for you all.
I’ve bought my tickets to go to Jordan!!!
By God’s grace I have not only been able to be apart of a discipleship/accountability group but actually lead one. Discipleship is one of my passions so I am humbled that God would allow me to lead one of these groups. Especially with such a great group of guys.
For the rest of the finances for my trip to Jordan, Israel and North Africa
For all my friends, and family in Northern California that have been affected by the Kincade fire. For those of you reading that live in those areas, please know that I am praying for you and love you all.
We wanted to give you an update of what has been going on here in Banos Del Inca in May. We will send a new one in the next few weeks showing the month of June and July.
Belen Ministry: Along with our every other week visits we also did a few events with the Belen Orphanage.In May with the help of our church members and a good friend of ours from Lima we were able to throw a children’s festival for the girls.
For Mother’s Day we had our first annual ladies tea party. It was a very blessed time for the women of our church and some friends from other local churches. All the women had never experienced a tea party before, so it was fun to see the big smiles on their faces. Natalia taught the story of Mary and Martha. How to put our priorities in order. Before anything, serving Jesus comes first. Natalia did a great job teaching to over 50 women.
We are thrilled to announce that we have officially started Awanas in Cajamarca. This is the first Awanas program here in this northern part of Peru. Natalia and I are now official Awanas international members as both missionaries and as a church. This will allow for us to start other Awanas Programs here in Peru. At our inauguration of Awanas we had 25 kids. It was a lot of fun! The staff loves Awanas just as much as the kids do. Most importantly it is so awesome to see the kids growing in Faith.
Church news: Because of difficult circumstances among the leadership of the church, for the past month we have been placed in charge of the Refugio Community Church here in Banos del Inca. I am now preaching every Sunday. Natalia continues to be in charge of the women’s ministry and helping in the worship.
We had a youth group visit us from Baltimore. They came in May and we had the opportunity to go inside the public school to do evangelism. We shared the gospel to over 500 children and many of the school teachers. Praise the Lord, many of the children and a few of the teachers made a decision to follow Jesus!
Other Announcements: We have hosted many missionaries and friends of missionaries in our home over the past couple Months. I don’t even know when was the last time we were only the 4 of us, lol. We had a baptism and a baby dedication! This was our first!
Family news: Natalia continues dealing with her medical problems, but she is doing a good job of eating healthy, in fact all of us at the house are eating super healthy now! Emily continues growing into a beautiful little girl! She is so sweet and well mannered! Alejandro loves having people coming over to the house all the time! He is so friendly! John is being challenged to study more and more the word of God and keeps taking care of our different ministries along with the preaching on Sundays.
1. Health for the four of us.
2. Spiritual protection in all the areas of our family.
3.Wisdom in leading the Church according to God’s will and being able to deal with problems that may arise within the church.
4.Spiritual growth for the four of us and also for the Church.
5. Peace and unity between brothers and sisters in Christ here in the area of Cajamarca.
6.Be able to show God’s love and being a good testimony for the city we live in.
7.The mission team that will be working with us from July 27th-August 8th.
8. For the kids that will be involved in our VBS, Sports camp and English Camp programs during the week that our mission team is here from Purpose Church Pomona:)
Lotodore is a village in N.E. Uganda where the Kanyike family and a team from Arise Christian Fellowship have been sent to do door-to-door evangelism, vacation bible school, to provide education on hygiene and to provide deworming medicine for children.—see Brian’s video.
Before they left for the outreach in Lotodore, Brian and Jill’s car was hit by a drunk driver. Jill was nearest the point of impact and her knee and back have been hurting. Fortunately their kids are ok.
They are pressing on and continuing toward the outreach but please be praying for them as the warfare has clearly already started!
Pray for the Lord’s healing hand upon Jill
Pray for God’s divine protection over the team that has been sent out
Pray for the Lord to radically move in the lives of the people of Lotodore
Jeff and Corinne Moody have been faithfully serving at La Misión para Niños since 1995. La Misión is an orphanage which cares for 15 disabled “kids” ranging from 13 to 46 years old and is located in the beautiful valley of Carmen Serdan, Mexico. From caring for the children to leading staff members, the Moody family assists in anything and everything to help run the orphanage. Recently, the Moody family partnered with Saving Grace World Missions and were able to share how SGWM has been able to assist them in there fulfilling the Lord’s will for their lives.
Miguel and Zuri Rivera have been serving as directors of La Misión para Niños since 2010. Miguel grew up with his father serving at the orphanage and eventually felt the call of the Lord to serve there full time with his wife, Zuri and two children Azaff and Abdiel. Since then, the Lord has forever changed their lives! Recently, Pastor Mike was able to visit La Misión and ask Miguel and Zuri more about the ministry the Lord has called them to.