FULL is the only word to describe the past 6 weeks: four untimely deaths, four opportunities to preach, two weeks away from home (family camp and a funeral), two giant events, and two big steps forward in my ministry here.  PHEW!  Allow me to breathe for a moment…

The end of March brought the deaths of two very dear friends – a grandfather-figure in Ohio, and the following day, my spiritual father in Rosarito.  The hardest part, as many of you may understand, was not being there.  Thankfully, I was able to attend the funeral of Rod, my spiritual father, and even had the opportunity to share.  It was only fitting as all of the ministry I am participating in here is a direct result of what God did in my life through Rod’s ministry.  The only thing bigger than the hole Rod left behind is the basket needed to hold all the fruits of his labors!

In loving memory of Rod Hoople, my spiritual father, whose funeral was held April 22, 2017, at Calvary Chapel Rosarito

Family Camp was a huge blessing to me and Sammy as we were officially integrated into the church family here.  It feels good to have family so far from home.  Besides that personal blessing, we were blessed to see several families restored and several people give their lives to Christ – a very fitting way to spend Easter week.

Family Camp, Movitour Culiacán Concert by Horizonte Ensenada, and CCC’s Día del Niño event

At the end of April, we hosted two large events – our church’s Día del Niño celebration and a city-wide concert put on by missionaries.  Thursday night, we received the missionaries.  Friday we helped them prepare, then served at the concert that night.  Saturday morning, we sent them off to their next stop and began the preparations for that afternoon’s party.  It was a crazy weekend full of activities and blessings, and once again, many changed lives.

God has also given me many opportunities to preach and share.  I have taught the children of La Invasión, preached twice at our Wednesday night women’s ministry, and shared my testimony at the women’s breakfast outreach.  God is bringing much fruit out of these opportunities.  I thank Him for using me in this way, but it appears that the “real” work is only just beginning…

Preaching at Calvary Chapel Culiacán Women’s Ministry Breakfast/Outreach and service

One Monday night, I stood in my doorway begging God for a way to reach this city.  The love He has given me for these people I don’t even know is tremendous, and I was desperate for a way to make a bigger impact.  God not only heard my prayer, He sent the answer less than 10 hours later.  Pastor Hugo asked me to lead the Missions and Evangelism ministry!  With the help of people who DO know this city, we can plan outreaches and events that can significantly impact the city of Culiacán.  I am very excited for this opportunity and appreciate your prayers over the next 10 days as we get that team together, start planning, and begin to impact this city.

The need for change was underscored by the events of the past few days.  A woman in our church, who has prayed unceasingly for her unsaved adult children, had a son murdered this weekend for his involvement in the drug cartels.  The following day, another family in our church lost a 6 year old to food poisoning, while corrupt politicians interfered in her medical care to protect the company responsible.  Her 3 year old sister, Angela, survived, but remains in intensive care.  I ask you to join us in prayer for these families, and especially for Angela, as she fights for her life.

Prayers for Culiacán, the victims of the drug cartels, and Jenifer and Angela’s  family

Through it all, God has been faithful to me and I’m sure He will be faithful to the people of Culiacán as well.  The battle is fierce, but God’s love for these people is stronger, and ultimately, He will have the victory here!  Thank you for your continued prayers for me, for the people of Culiacán, and for the work God is doing here!  God bless you all!