August 2021 – The Brechtel Family

Hey there! We’ve had a whirlwind couple of months here in Oaxaca, and a visit to California and Rosarito.

In June, we celebrated Father’s Day with the church. The kids sang for the dads and we had fun fellowship and games for the dads after the service. We also had Pastor Juan Carlos and Dr. Miles from Calvary Rosarito come down and put on a two-night evangelism conference. It was such a blessing to the people who came, and a blessing to us personally to have them come and fellowship with us.

We also started up the youth group in June! What a blessing this group is, and is continuing to grow into. Jonny and Noah are part of it so it’s awesome that they get to be part of a group of people around their age. Our friend from the church, Miguel, was leading the group but he and his wife had to move back to Puebla for her work as a teacher. Please keep this ministry in your prayers, that the Lord would put it on someone’s heart to take over the role as the leader and make it clear to Jon which man the Lord is calling into this position. For now, Jon will be teaching.

In July we took a quick trip to visit some friends who were on vacation in Puerto Escondido. This is the city that’s closest to the village we lived in for Spanish school in 2017. While we were walking down the street, a car drove by and started saying hi to us, mainly Jon. The driver stopped and got out and it was one of the guys who used to live at the rehab center that Jon visits. He told Jon that he’s been clean for a year, has a great job down there on the coast as a chef, and HE READS HIS BIBLE EVERY DAY AND GOES TO CHURCH. What a testimony of the power that investing in the lives of others can have. God is so good!!! While we were there, we also got to visit Cacalote and see our friends there. It’s always such a blessing to visit the place where the Lord placed the calling to Oaxaca on our hearts and lives.

Also in July, levels one and two of the Navigators class finished. These groups worked so hard and were so faithful to complete their “homework” and participate in the classes each week. After a break for a month or two, they will resume the classes again. What a blessing to see their diligence and the growth in each one of them.

In August we were able to fly up to Calvary Rosarito for the annual church planting conference. We were able to hear from many different church planters who shared their experience on the field and poured into those who are currently church planters and those who feel that calling on their lives. Added bonus was getting to see and hang out with so many of our friends from Rosarito and all over the world.

After the conference, we spent some time in California with family and friends. We got celebrate my mom’s birthday with her and some of the family, saw Jon’s mom a couple of times, did some fun things, visited Calvary San Juan a few times, the boys went to a high school event with the youth group, and Jon even got to teach at the men’s breakfast for CCSJC. It was an amazing time and refreshing. We learn from each visit that we need to slow down while we’re there, but it’s SO hard to do that.

When we flew back, our great friends the Delgados flew back with us. They serve at Rancho Poiema near Ensenada, a men’s discipleship ranch. We spent a few days showing them around Oaxaca City and exploring some of the Nacho Libre spots. It was a blessing to have them here with us and to show them the work that the Lord is doing here in Oaxaca, and to have Cesar teach with his wife Claudia translating for him. And two of their kids were able to come which made it extra fun for Jonny and Noah. Their son Manny is about their age and they all just picked up like no time had passed since they last saw each other.

Other than that, ministry is still moving along and amazing. We continue to have our Sunday service, our weekly prayer night, and Jon recently started teaching the book of Revelation on Wednesday nights. I am still teaching the book of James with the ladies, every other Thursday. We are so amazed to see all that the Lord is doing in the ministry, and what an honor to be a tiny part of His work.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please pray for all of the covid cases and that we can keep the church open. As of right now we are in orange, which means we can stay open with extra caution. If we go into red, we will need to go back to online services until we are no longer in red.
  • Please pray for all of the ministries within the church. We need more children’s ministry teachers/helpers so that it’s not always falling on the shoulders of the ones who already serve.
  • Please pray for all of the weekly teachings that take place in the church. That the Holy Spirit would speak through Jon when he’s teaching, and through me when I’m teaching the ladies.
  • Please pray for Jonny and Noah as they just started 9th grade. That they’ll understand the school work and Jon and I will be able to also understand it (algebra…eeeek) so we can help them.
  • We really need to figure out what to do about our car situation. Our visa for the car expires in February and we need to decide if it’s better to drive it up to the states and sell it, or try to get it imported which will also require a drive to the border. We are also really praying about somehow purchasing a vehicle for ministry so we can transport teams that come and the church members when we have events outside of the church. Many don’t have cars and we can only squeeze so many into our car.

Ok, I think I’ll FINALLY end this now. So much to share and we are grateful if you have read this far. We love you all and are so grateful to the Lord for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support. God bless you all for being a part of the Lord’s work in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Jon, Allison, Jonny, Noah Brechtel

June 2021

Hey everyone! Lots has been happening here in Oaxaca, so here’s a little update. Ministry has really started to pick up and the church has been growing in so many ways. We have some new families who have started to attend and who are already such a blessing to the church family. And the Navigators classes have continued to be a blessing to many, and seeing the spiritual growth has been amazing.

In March we visited Cacalote, where we attended Spanish school in 2017. We were able to visit the school and many of our friends there!

We have had some fun celebrations in the church too. Día de los niños is a very big day here in Mexico so the children’s ministry team put on a great even for the kiddos of the church and some of their friends. We also had fun celebrations for Easter and Mother’s Day. I’ve added some pictures from those days!

Jon was able to go to Rosarito and share at Calvary Rosarito for the Monday morning staff meeting, the church planting course that we went through, and teach on a Wednesday night while there. Such a blessing for him to have the honor to do that. While he was up that way he was also able to visit Calvary San Juan, and see our son and daughter in law, and other family.

I have started the women’s bible study and we are studying the book of James together. The ladies also had a fun night of fellowship and bowling, which was a first for many of them. The Lord is really teaching me how to be diligent with studying (I am a work in progress) and I am learning so much as I study and prepare. Never in my life would I have thought I would enjoy teaching or speaking in front of people. These women have become one of the biggest blessings in my life because we all share our hearts with each other and I just love them all.

We have a LOT of things coming up over the next few months, with some teams coming and doing some conferences for the church and community. Jon is trying to go to the men’s rehab as much as possible also, but the man who was translating for him is no longer there. He has a couple of guys who will be going with him and teaching the men too.

It’s such a blessing to be able to be here in Oaxaca, and we are really enjoying ministry. Jonny and Noah are finishing up some last days of school and will be starting 9th grade in the fall. They are still taking music classes and really enjoying them.

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • We will be starting a youth group this month. Our friend Miguel will be leading this group and he really has a heart for the youth!
  • Jon is doing well teaching each week and just restarted the Wednesday night services. He really does well balancing studying and preparing, along with “life”.
  • The women’s ministry has restarted and is a huge blessing.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please pray for continued growth in the walks with the Lord within the church, and for unity within the church.
  • We need to decide what to do with our car once the visa expires in February. We are praying about somehow buying a bigger vehicle for when teams come so they don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on rentals.
  • Please keep the youth group in your prayers. That the youth will learn and grow in their relationships with the Lord.
  • Please pray for each ministry in the church. There are some amazing people who serve week in and week out, and who are such a blessing.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support, and the encouragement you all are to our family!!! We love you all.

Jon, Allison, Jonny, and Noah

Calvary Oaxaca Turns 2!

Hi all! Well, a lot has happened in the last couple of months. We went to the states for some time with family and friends. Jon flew back before the boys and I, and while he was getting back into the routine of ministry he ended up getting Covid. He actually started feeling sick the day before we flew back so when he picked us up from the airport, he made sure we didn’t touch him and he immediately quarantined away from us. Praise the Lord he got a very mild case and his symptoms were very light, the boys and I never got it. I took a blood test to see if I had it or had ever had it and it came back negative. Another praise from that is that our great friend, James, had come back with Jon and they built a room in the church that will eventually be for the younger children. James was also exposed to covid and he didn’t get it!!!

Calvary Oaxaca turned 2 at the end of February so we had a super fun celebration at a local pool. We were able to rent out the place so that it was a private event. We all had a blast hanging out, eating, swimming, and playing games. The best part of the day was the baptisms! Nine people made the decision to take that step of faith and get baptized. What a blessing it was to see each of them do this and to hear them tell us all why they had made this decision. God is so amazing!

We are excited to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus as a church family on April 4! And Jon will be ordaining someone in April also. It will be his first time ordaining someone and we are excited for this step of faith as a church and for this man.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please pray for the church body for continued growth in their walks with the Lord. We are continuing to do the Navigator’s classes and we see so much growth and transformation.
  • Please pray for us to continue to learn Spanish, and for Jonny and Noah to really have a desire to speak Spanish. They seem to understand a lot of Spanish but they need to come out of their shells and put it to use.
  • Please pray with us as we are looking for land to buy to build a men’s discipleship home on. This would be land outside of the city which is less expensive. We have some options but we’re trying to work out the kinks and see if it’s a possibility. We want to make sure it’s all legal without the chance of someone coming and taking the land from us. We are also praying to buy land to build a church on so we don’t have to continue renting. This land would be a lot more expensive because it would be in the city.
  • We need prayer for wisdom on what to do with our car. We have a permit for it that expires early next year and we will either need to drive it up to the states to get a new permit or sell it and buy something down here. Ideally we would be able to buy a van so we can transport people and teams, but we are praying for direction on what to do. It’s far away but we all how time flies!

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • The church has been growing in their walks with the Lord, and we’re continuing to see friendships grow.
  • Praise the Lord that Calvary Oaxaca celebrated 2 years!
  • God has raised up men and women in the church who are helping in different ministries, especially the Navigators classes.

Thank you all for your support for the ministry here in Oaxaca! We are so grateful to all of you who keep us in prayer, support us financially, and encourage us. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without all of you!

Jon, Allison, Jonny, Noah Brechtel

December 2020

Hi all! I’m hoping to get this update sent out today, so it’s going to be a quick one.

We’ve had a lot going on down here in Oaxaca! Ministry seems to be in full-swing for the most part. We are using precautions but it’s so nice to feel like things really are moving forward. 

This month, I (Allison) had the honor of hosting a Christmas event for the ladies. We had a blast! We played some fun games, I shared a little bible study/devotion, and we enjoyed lots of fellowship and yummy coffee and cakes. It was our 2nd annual women’s Christmas event, which really reminds us that we are so close to completing two full years as a church family.

Jon has still been going to the men’s rehab each week, and he really loves doing it. He goes with our friend and neighbor, Joseu, so last week our families all went out there to celebrate Christmas with them. We had a fun time of eating and hanging out. The Lord provided for each of them to receive Bibles, and to see the looks on their faces was indescribable. They said that they had never received a gift like that before. 

This past Sunday we had an all-church picnic at a local park. It was a blast to all be together, outside, laughing and having fun. We played volleyball, rented bikes, ate, and just spent some much needed time together as a church family. It amazes me how much this group of people means to us as a family. They have welcomed us into their lives and their culture with open arms and hearts. 

We will be heading up to the States to see family soon and celebrate Christmas with them. We hope we can see many of you while we’re there. Hopefully we can plan a time where we can all get together, but we also understand that COVID is serious and it may not work out. Please pray that our time with family is a blessing and that we stay healthy.

We pray you all have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And we also hope you all have an amazing New Year in 2021.

God bless! 

Jon, Allison, Jonny, and Noah Brechtel

November 2020

Can you believe we’re already in November of this crazy year? It’s been the longest/shortest year ever. Ministry is really picking up here in Oaxaca, along with the “normal” day to day life. Every week seems a little more like life before the pandemic. 

Right after our last update, we celebrated Mexican Independence Day with some of our church family and friends. It was SO nice to take a drive up to the mountains, to a small Christian-run camp, and have some fun and fellowship. We hiked, did a little mini zip line, played basketball, ate, and just had a much needed day of rest and time together. It had been 6 months since we had a day like that with the church body. 

We had to re-close the church for 2 weeks because we had some COVID cases in the church body and we felt it was better to just go back to online for 2 Sundays. Praise the Lord that those who were sick had mild cases and are now healthy and we’re back open. This past Sunday was such an encouragement because we had the most people returned to the church since March. There is still quite a bit of fear here so it may take some time before everyone returns. 

Jon has been continuing to go to the men’s rehab each week and it’s been such a huge blessing to hear him talk about his time with them when he gets home. He’s got such a heart for the lost and just wants to see them fall in love with Jesus. Before he started going, this ministry was fully secular, and now they’re all reading their Bibles and doing their Navigators homework every day. God is so amazing. And the men in the church are still going strong with their Navigators groups each week. People really love having this time.

This past Sunday was also the very first baby dedication at Calvary Oaxaca, and for Jon. Witnessing this sweet moment where her parents wanted to publicly dedicate their baby to the Lord and have her prayed over was amazing. We have experienced so many cultural firsts with this couple. We were the “godparents of the rings” for their wedding, Jon was a part of their wedding ceremony, the baby dedication, and many other things. God put this family in our lives not just to love, but for them to also patiently teach us the amazing cultural things we knew nothing about. 

I’ve restarted English class but I’m praying about starting a beginners class after the holidays. I absolutely love these classes, and they’ve really helped with my Spanish since I teach it in Spanish (besides the English part…haha). Jonny got all of his braces and he’s doing great with them. Noah recently went to the dentist and had a couple of tiny cavities. Both of the boys continue in their music classes each week. Noah with guitar and Jonny with drums. 

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • That the people would start returning to church when they feel it’s the right time for them. And that those who haven’t returned to be spending time in the Word, in prayer, and getting some sort of fellowship with other believers.
  • That we would be purposeful in reaching out to the church body and checking in on them.
  • SPANISH!!! That we would continue to learn and use Spanish, and the boys would have a desire to learn more. They understand but are so timid about speaking it. 
  • Continued growth in the Navigators groups at church, and at the men’s rehab.

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • We are so grateful for the men who translate for Jon. We have some great guys to help him with this.
  • The growth in the guys at the rehab, who went from knowing basically nothing about the Bible and Jesus, to having personal relationships with Him.
  • That people are starting to return to church to have the fellowship we all so desperately need.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and catch up on our lives. We praise the Lord for those of you who pray for, support, and encourage us. You are all a part of the work that God is doing here in Oaxaca! 

Jon, Allison, Jonny, Noah

September 2020 Update

Hello all! Here’s a quick update about what’s been going these past few months. 

It’s been a strange time for all of us with COVID-19, especially pressing on in ministry through social media and online platforms. Jon has done such a great job of doing all of our services online, he’s become quite the pro! We’ve had an amazing team helping him each week.

In June and July we started doing food bags for the church body and some of their family and friends. It was such a blessing to have people step in and help even with all of the fear that has come with the pandemic. This was really encouraging for me (Allison) because, being an extrovert, not seeing people was really discouraging. So to be able to see some familiar faces, even under masks, was a huge blessing.

On June 23, there was a major earthquake centered off of the coast of Oaxaca. We were driving in the mountains heading to the coast with another family when it happened. Having lived in California all of our lives, we were used to earthquakes. But never had we ever felt one while driving. The Lord protected us big time. There were rockslides all over the place, including one right in front of us when we stopped our cars to see what was going on. Praise the Lord that none of us were hurt, our cars weren’t damaged, and the damage was minimal for the people in the church.

In August we took a trip up to the States and spent some time with family celebrating my mom’s birthday. It was our first time being with almost my entire side of the family since the end of 2018. Jon was also invited to share at a break-out session at the Church Planting Conference at Calvary Chapel Rosarito. It was a blessing to hear other church planters share their stories and wisdom with so many. It was awesome to see so many of our CCR friends. We also got to spend some time at Calvary San Juan and see our amazing church family there! It was an all-around blessed trip. 

We were FINALLY able to open the church on September 6, with many regulations. Our church building has plenty of space for social distancing and we try to follow the rules as much as possible. There is still a fear of being out, so attendance has been down, but that’s something we totally understand. Many members of the church body have to take public transportation which isn’t the safest way for them to travel during this time. But let me tell you…it was so amazing being together in the church building, worshiping the Lord, hearing the Word, and having some much needed fellowship. 

We also started the Navigators course, with four men from the church leading two groups. The people really seem to be loving it, and it’s a blessing to have people that can lead these groups. 

Jon has also been going to a men’s rehab center each week and going through the Navigators course with them. He really loves being with the guys each week.

As we move forward, we aren’t sure if we’ll be able to STAY open or if we’ll have to close once again. We are back in a more restricted “color” and if we go up one more, we’ll have to shut down again. 

Jonny and Noah have started 8th grade with a new online curriculum that seems to be a great fit for us. They plug away each day to get everything done, and after chores they are able to play online with friends from all over. It’s fun to hear them talking to their friends.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please pray that we will be able to stay open and have services in the church building. We will continue to have online options, but we know the importance of being together
  • Please pray for all of the things Jon has going on. That each one will be a blessing to those he is ministering to. 
  • Pray for the boys’ school year to go well, for us to stay focused, and for me to be able to teach them and help them with love and patience.
  • Please keep the English classes in prayer. I have recently started them again for the first time since March and I’m really praying about starting a new one for beginners. Right now it’s my intermediate class. There’s an interest in a kid’s class too. Pray for wisdom on when to start these new classes, and that they’ll be a good tool for ministry in the community.

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • Praise the Lord that we’ve been able to open the church building after 5 months!
  • We just signed a new one-year lease on the church building. So grateful for the financial help we have gotten to help us monthly.
  • Praise the Lord for new opportunities in ways to do ministry in this new season of life with COVID.

Thank you to all of you who read these updates and support us in prayer, encouragement, finances, and so much more. We love you all.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Jon, Allison, Jonny, and Noah Brechtel

Calvary Oaxaca Turns One, Coronavirus Quarantine

Hey all! Hope you all are doing well despite the pandemic going on in the world. Isn’t this a crazy, strange time? We’re doing well down here in Oaxaca. Praise the Lord, the total cases and death counts haven’t reached the numbers that other places have reached. 

Quick update on what’s been going on over the last few months. We had an amazing team from Calvary Chapel Rosarito come down before the COVID-19 stuff hit. What a blessing it was to have all of them here. They did construction in the church, added new lighting, electrical, walls, and built a sound booth and welcome center booth. We had two holistic medicine outreaches, which were a huge blessing to all who came and got checked by Dr. Miles. We also did a mini VBS for the kiddos, and had a married couples dinner. All who came to these events were so blessed along with us. 

At the end of February, Calvary Oaxaca turned ONE! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for over a year now. In the first year of the church we have learned some tough lessons but we have also experienced such amazing blessings through it all. The Lord has surrounded us with people who love Him and have become our Oaxacan family. We had a fun little potluck at a park to celebrate the anniversary of the church. 

I (Allison) started a bi-weekly women’s bible study in February. This was a huge stretch for me since public speaking is not something I’ve ever “enjoyed”. But God is SO GOOD. I tried to be diligent in studying the Word and preparing, and the Lord took away all of my fears as I taught. Don’t get me wrong, I will never take teaching the word of God lightly, and I know that it was not me, but the Holy Spirit teaching through me. I just think it’s so awesome to see the Lord’s hand on taking me from literally crying at the thought of speaking in front of 5 people, to being able to share like that. Sadly, after just 2 meetings, we had to cancel for the quarantine. And my english classes have been on hold too…super sad. 

Jon has been doing so well during the quarantine. I know it’s hard on him, and all pastors, to not be able to have the people there when you teach. We are doing all of our services online for now. He is teaching through the book of Matthew on Sundays and the book of Genesis on Wednesdays. He is so great about spending time studying for each message. He has also decided to continue our Tuesday night prayer meetings online. This has been such a huge blessing for me to see, as people type in their requests and they are prayed for right then and there. This night of prayer has been such an awesome thing since the church started. 

Jonny and Noah are doing well also. Since we already homeschooled, that hasn’t changed for us. They were taking taekwondo and music classes, so that looks very different for us now. They have their taekwondo classes through Zoom, which is cool that they have that availability. Jonny was taking drum lessons, so that has been put on hold since we don’t have a drum set. Noah is taking guitar and is able to have his classes online with his teacher. We are so proud of both of them. It’s been neat to finally have that “extra” feeling of this being our home with them starting these classes. 

Before the quarantine, my mom and niece were able to visit. It was such a HUGE blessing to show them around. The highlight was having them be able to attend one Sunday church service, and see all that we’ve been telling them about. We got to show them around Oaxaca City, and just had a great time hanging out together. I’m so grateful that they were able to come. Literally right after they left, things with the coronavirus started getting bad. 

We love keeping in touch with you all through texts, calls, social media, and visits. We try to keep in touch but if you need prayer or a friend to talk to, please reach out to us. We still have our same numbers and would love to be able to pray for and with you. 

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please pray that the quarantine will end soon and that we can go back to meeting together and having that face to face contact with the church body. We really miss everyone so much.
  • Please pray for those who have been out of work and are struggling financially. 
  • Please pray that the church body would feel loved, and that we can be encouraging to them from afar. We are trying to keep in touch with them all, but there are a few whose numbers we don’t have so we can’t contact them. 
  • Please pray for our continued growth in the language. Some days it’s so hard, and other days we are amazed that we’ve come so far. I always joke and say that Jon and I together are fluent, but separate we both have different strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Please keep our son Austin, my brother Craig, and our niece Rachel in prayer as they all work the front lines during this time, along with all of the front line workers.

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • Praise the Lord for ONE YEAR as a church here in Oaxaca.
  • For the lessons we’ve learned, even the really hard ones, because we know that God has been teaching us through each one.
  • That Oaxaca has become more and more our home here on earth.
  • We are so thankful for the friendships we have made here.

Thank you all for your love, support, prayers, encouragement, and all that you do for us. We are honored to call you all friends and we love you all. Like I said, please let us know how we can pray for you all. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For is they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.”

Jon, Allison, Jonny, Noah

Brechtel November 2019 Update

I can’t believe our last update was so long ago. Many things have happened in this time, including the blessing of having many teams and visitors over the summer. It was so amazing for us to see all of the gifts and talents that each team and individual has been given from the Lord. It’s so true that we are all parts of the body of Christ and that we all bring different things to the table to serve Him. Things that I have absolutely no talent in, someone else thrives in that area, and vice versa. Thank you to all of the people who came and served at Calvary Oaxaca this year, and those of you who were lifting up each team in prayer as they were here. We were so blown away by every part of these past few months. 

Our first team ever was our dear friends from Calvary San Juan!
Pastor Mike and Pastor Fernando and their boys from Calvary Chapel Rosarito.
Pastor Mike and Pastor Fernando sharing at a conference.
The team from Calvary Red Rock in Las Vegas!
Had an awesome time with the team from Calvary Red Rock.
Pastor Carlos and his wife Robin came to visit and to minister to the body.
Women’s event put on by the team. So much fun!
Team from Calvary Chapel Rosarito. So amazing!
An amazing night after the teachings for the Calvary Distinctives put on by the Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara. The Holy Spirit showed up big time that night!
Almost all of the Calvary Santa Barbara.

At the end of August we found a new church building to move into. What an amazing thing to have found a place for the Lord to grow His church. We were getting a little too crowded in our garage and it was getting hot in there. We had one neighbor kind of causing a stink about us having the church there and we didn’t want any issues with our neighbors or the law, even though we were doing everything legally. Praise the Lord for our residency visas being “religious” visas. So now we are in a huge building fairly close to our house! Praise the Lord for this location since a few of our neighbors come to the church and we’re all able to walk if/when needed. And thank you to those who have financially made this move possible! 

Construction on the new building with the Calvary Chapel Rosarito team. Such a huge blessing.
Construction on the new building with the Calvary Chapel Rosarito team. Such a huge blessing. They built this stage and painted the entire church, plus built a wall in a week.
Construction on the new building with the Calvary Chapel Rosarito team. Such a huge blessing.

Jonny, Noah, and I (Allison) were able to visit Baja and California in September/early October. It was a super awesome time for us to see family and friends, and just spend some time with everyone. Austin graduated from Paramedic School and we were able to be there for that. We are so proud of him for all of his hard work, and grateful that he has an awesome wife in McKenna, who supported him during it all! 

Austin’s graduation from paramedic school! We are so proud of him.

We had our first baptism at one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen. Ten people made the decision to get baptized, and there were about 70 of us in total who went, including a team from CC Santa Barbara. 

Calvary Oaxaca’s first baptism which was done at the beautiful Hierve el aqua. About 70 people from the church and the CCSB team were there for it. It was such a neat experience.

Jon was able to fly up to Baja and California to attend the SoCal Men’s Conference in Anaheim. He was so blessed to be able to attend it, and hearing all of the amazing stories of lives saved and transformed is incredible. He was also able to teach at the Church Planting Course at Calvary Chapel Rosarito. As I’m writing this, he is still away on his trip and I’m so excited to know that he’s being filled and fed and will come home renewed and refreshed. 

We are now winding down the year and have been living in Oaxaca for almost 10 months now. We’ve had some ups and downs, and have learned some very hard lessons along the way. We have a greater understanding of things we may have never even thought we’d need to learn about, but the blessings and joy and just all around awesomeness of it all has been worth every moment. God has shown up in ways far beyond our needs and has taught us what it means to trust more and more in Him. He never fails us, does He? Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in the good and the bad times.

PRAYER REQUESTS

  • This will be our first Christmas on the mission field, far away from family and friends. Each Christmas since we’ve been missionaries, we’ve been back in California for that time. Please pray for us to make it a memorable time for Jonny and Noah, and for us to not get too sad being away.
  • I (Allison) will be having our first women’s Christmas event in December. This will be my first time teaching since we’ve been down here and I am nervous, but also super excited. Please pray that I won’t cry, which is something that I’m notorious for, and that the night would be a blessing for all who come as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. 
  • Please keep Jon in prayer as he prepares and teaches each week. He is so diligent in studying the Word and preparing for the Thursday night study and Sunday morning service. 
  • We are in need of new sound equipment and instruments for worship. We’ve come across some issues with the sound and are working them out as much as we can, but please pray for a solution to this. It may be a simple fix, or something bigger that needs to happen. 
  • We also need to find a solution to the heat in the building. We are unable to put AC in because there are openings all along the top of the building, so it wouldn’t be productive. Please pray that someone with knowledge in this area would help us with figuring this all out. It can get really hot in there and we’re not even in the hot months that are heading our way. 

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • Praise the Lord for the new church building and those who have made it possible to get in there, and all of the help we’ve had with construction and getting it cleaned up.
  • We are so blessed by the church body of Calvary Oaxaca. The people have a heart to serve the Lord and step in and help even before the need arises. These people have become our dear friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s just such a blessing to have been called by the Lord to serve with the incredible people of Oaxaca.
  • The boys have had friends hanging out and it’s so neat to have the sound of young men filling the house with laughter and joy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and keep up with our adventures for Jesus here in Oaxaca, Mexico. We would love to hear from you and to know how we could be praying for all of you. Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement always. 

1 Corinthians 12:12 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”

Jon, Allison, Jonny, Noah

Brechtel Family Update May 2019

Hi friends!

It’s been a little too long since our last email update and we apologize for that. We have been really busy but that’s no excuse for not keeping you all up to date!

Since our last update we have had two small teams come down to plan for their future trips down to do ministry in Oaxaca. We had Gregg and Vickie Seymour from Calvary Red Rock who will be bringing a team down in a couple of months. (Thank you guys for blessing us with a few things from the states!!!)

Gregg and Vickie Seymour form CC Red Rock in Las Vegas

Then we had Pastor Terry, Pastor Daniel, and Dana from Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara, who will be bringing a team down in October. Both visits were filled with times of prayer and fellowship, along with scouting out lodging, sightseeing, and eating options/prices for the teams. If you’ve ever been a missionary, you know what a blessing it is to have visitors!

CC Santa Barbara Prep Team

We also had the blessing of a visit from our dear family friends and fellow missionaries, Juan and Alicia. I (Allison) have known Alicia since we were babies, and Juan since they started dating back in high school. We got to spend some time showing them around and fellowshipping with them, and they blessed us with a huge care package with many contributors. Thank you!!! 

Dinner with Juan and Alicia

The church plant has been such a huge blessing to us. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy. We’ve experienced many ups and downs but the Lord is sustaining us every step of the way. I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else by my side other than Jon. The church has very faithful attenders and we are so excited to have more and more of them beginning to serve each week. 

Church Service 5/26/19

And can I just say this: we love the people of Oaxaca. We love that God placed this calling on our lives. The people and culture here are so precious. We have amazing neighbors and friends here, and it’s such a blessing to call this home. 

Amigos y Vecinos

I have started English classes and it’s AMAZING!!! I teach young kiddos for about 30 minutes each Thursday, just vocabulary and basic greetings. And on Saturdays I have two classes for anyone age 12 and up (mostly adults) for 1 1/2 hours each. It’s so fun to teach them each week and they’re all very anxious to learn, and smart! I am having such a great time doing this and it’s really helping me practice my Spanish. 

Some of the morning English class
Some of the afternoon English class

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • We are changing our Sunday service time from the evening to the morning because of the afternoon rains. Please pray that this will be a smooth transition and that the people will be able to attend church. The rain is very loud because our garage/sanctuary has an aluminum roof, and it gets wet inside. 
  • Please pray for wisdom on getting a building for the church. We would really love to have a building in our colonia so that the neighbors can still come but as of right now there isn’t anything available near us. Also please pray for the right timing for this so we don’t get anxious to do something that may not be in His will yet. 
  • Wisdom on when to start a Wednesday night study. 
  • Please pray for our Spanish to continue to get better. And for Jonny and Noah to have a strong desire to learn it. We are hoping to start getting them lessons once a week from a Christian guy who was highly recommended to us by some friends. 

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • Praise the Lord for the faithful body of Christ who want to serve Him and be a part of this church
  • We are all pretty well settled here and are so blessed that God knew that this house would be the best house for our family. After getting down here and having the original house fall through, we see God’s hand on all of it!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We thank God for all of your prayers, support, and encouragement each day/week/month! You all are blessings to us.

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

Love you all! Jon, Allison, Jonny, and Noah

Another Move A New Home in Oaxaca City

The last few months have been crazy and we are excited to say that we are here in Oaxaca City getting settled in our new home!!! 

A lot has happened since our last update. Our house was broken into in December. Unfortunately Jon’s Mexican residency visa was in the wallet, along with his driver’s license. His license has been replaced but he’s still in the process of replacing his visa. More on that in a minute…

We had an amazing sending weekend at Calvary Chapel Rosarito where Jon was able to share the Word and our calling, plans, and prayer needs for our move to Oaxaca. We were SO blessed by the outpouring of love from our brothers and sisters there. 

We also had an awesome going away party at Calvary San Juan which was so fun. It was a blessing to spend time talking to our friends while we ate together, laughed, and shared a bit of what’s next for us. Ended the night being prayed over by our California church family. 

Such a huge blessing to have these two churches support this calling on our lives and send us out to share the gospel with the people of Oaxaca. 

We also got to spend some time with Pastor Gregg and Vickie Seymour of Calvary Red Rock in Las Vegas. They are fellow church planters doing an amazing work in Las Vegas, so please keep them in your prayers. 

In early January we headed up to Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara for their missions weekend. The highlight for me (Allison) was sharing about Oaxaca with the kiddos during each service. Jon let me take the ropes and it was hilarious having the kids telling all of their stories of bugs and critters after I shared some of our stories. Plus, try getting a room full of 5-12 year olds to pronounce Oaxaca…it’s awesome! 

Fast forward and here we are living in Oaxaca City. Jonny, Noah, and I flew down 10 days before Jon and Armando arrived because Jon had to be in Tijuana to take care of his visa. Originally we were going to have a house ready for us when we got here, but that didn’t work out, so the boys and I spent time trying to find a house. Things kept falling through and it got pretty discouraging, but one night Jon found one on Facebook and set up a time for me to go see the house. The peace that I was hoping to feel in other houses, I felt in this house. It’s an amazing house, perfect for the beginning of a church plant. God is so good in showing us that He has everything under control and He was preparing this house to be our home. 

It’s amazing to have all of #teamoaxaca here now, ready to build the team up and see what the Lord has in store. We are grateful for Meg and Obed who are committed to being a part of this church plant, and for Armando who has moved down here with us and is a huge asset to our team and a great brother. 

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • please pray for our visa renewals. They expire on February 7 and we are working on getting all of the paperwork turned in correctly before then. With Jon’s visa being stolen and me losing mine, there are added complications but we know God is in control.
  • pray for continued team unity and growth. We plan on starting a bible study together soon along with some team training
  • pray for opportunities for us to meet the people in our neighborhood and ways for us to minister to them and share the love of Jesus
  • PLEASE pray for our spanish to grow and for us to use it even when we are insecure. 
  • we know that with us getting settled, the reality will start to hit us that we’re not near family and friends from “home” anymore so please pray for protection of our hearts, especially the boys.

PRAISE REPORTS:

  • Praise the Lord for a place to call home in our new city
  • we already have new and old friends here and nearby which has made this transition a lot smoother for all of us

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We love and miss everyone far, and are so excited for what’s to come here in this amazing city. 

“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.” Amen Matthew 28:19-20

Jon, Allison, Jonny, Noah