In this update, I wanted to introduce you to our latest church planters, Tony and Angela Carranza who along with their son Caleb are headed south to the beautiful city of Mazatlan to church plant! In August, we celebrated our Sending Weekend with them, where our church body got to hear from Pastor Tony about God’s calling on his life and plans for this church!
Tony has an amazing testimony that I would like to briefly share with you. Tony had such a difficult upbringing that he ended up being raised in a Christian orphanage in Ensenada. It was in that orphanage that Jesus grabbed Tony’s heart and gave him a love for God and the church.
Tony grew up and graduated from college and become a successful Lawyer but he could never kick this deep seated feeling that he was called to full time ministry! Over the years, Tony served as a lay leader in several churches, but a few years ago he approached me about joining our church and having me train him in church planting.
The past two years have been an amazing journey for Tony and his family as they have seen God’s hand open doors of ministry. Tony completed our church planting program and also led one of our largest home groups! I ordained Tony as one of my assistant Pastors last year, and he has served as an invaluable part of our leadership team.
Over the past year, Tony has also been taking monthly vision trips to Mazatlan where he has shared the Gospel and prepared the ground to plant this new church! (I was blessed to travel with him on one of those trips!) Because of these monthly visits, Tony now has 27 adults waiting for him in Mazatlan that have committed to be part of this future church.
At the time that you receive this letter, Tony and his family will be slowly traveling on this 1000+ mile journey in their van pulling a large trailer! (Pray that they make it! J ) Last month we sent down another family (church planting graduate Martin Moreno along with his wife and four daughters) who are waiting now in Mazatlan to assist in this work!
Mazatlan is a large city of 500,000 people surrounded by smaller cities, which makes it the perfect location to be a sending hub to the surrounding pueblos. (little towns) There are very few Christians in Mazatlan and it is a key city to reach this famously difficult state of Sinaloa! (Home to El Chapo and the famous Sinaloa drug cartel)
There are also many Americans and other ex-pats living in Mazatlan lured by it’s white sand beaches and resort hotels. Because of that, Tony plans on starting a bilingual service as well as a Spanish service in order to reach the entire community.
This church is the fourth and final of our church plants in 2016! Needless to say, it has been a busy year, but we can’t wait to see what God is going to do through these fresh works. We also want to thank you for partnering prayerfully and financially with our family to make all of this possible. The exciting aspect of church planting is that it allows us to reach and minister to other cities and foreign populations as we partner together in the work of the ministry!
Con mucho amor de Mexico, (with much love from Mexico)
Mike, Sarah, Grace, and Daniel
#1- Pray for that God will provide a house and church facility for Tony and his church!
#2- Pray that God will continue to provide for the financial needs of our family personally!
#3- Pray for the 20 men we have enrolled in our new church planting course this semester!