If you would like to partner with me financially, either on a one-time basis, or on an ongoing basis as I seek to raise the monthly support I will need to get on the field, you can give online at my secure giving link here, or write a check to SGWM with my name, “Rachel Martinez,” in the memo section, mailed to 17451 Bastanchury Rd Suite 203, Yorba Linda, CA 92886.
I’ll be visiting Las Vegas the last week of March! Come out to the Thursday night service at Calvary Chapel Las Vegas on March 31st to say hello!
I’m so grateful for all of you! Please let me know how I can be praying for you and your family.
“Yahweh is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
I am so grateful to be able to share once again about the faithfulness of our God in a newsletter update. The Lord has been teaching me so much as I have been diving headlong into ministry and preparation for the mission field. Can you believe that I have been living in Yorba Linda for 9 months?!
It has been 9 months of incredible discipleship, study of His Word, training in ministry, and vision for the Unreached! It feels like I just arrived last month, and yet this family has been so welcoming that it feels like a home away from home.
I have realized in a new and fresh way that I want to do full-time ministry for the rest of my life! It is my desire to be used by the Lord to tend His body and care for His Bride until His return; and while He has given me a heart to do this among the Unreached, He has given me a passion to do this wherever I am, whether it be state-side or abroad.
I have loved serving in youth ministry at Saving Grace. It’s been such a blessing to see the gifts God has given the kids and to be able to encourage them and make space for them to use those gifts to uplift their peers! My favorite part has been our Sunday night Tozer study group where we open the floor up to discussion on the chapter we read that week. The kids have such great insights and questions to offer!
Visit to Vegas
Pastor Gregg and his wife Vikki at Calvary Red Rock were so generous to invite me to speak for a few minutes on a Sunday morning about how the Lord is moving in my life. It meant so much to me to see such a gracious church body so ready to support me as a missionary. I shared about how the Lord called me to missions; through reading His Word! In the Bible I began to see our purpose as His church, to bring the good news of Jesus to all peoples. Then, I was also being confronted with the reality of the Unreached. If this is the ultimate purpose of humanity, God’s glory among the nations, and we have been empowered by His Spirit to be this witness, how is it that nearly half the world still remains completely unaffected by the Gospel of Jesus? Something needs to change!
I was also able to share about how I got connected with Calvary Chapel Saving Grace and the School of Missions. Perhaps the most important thing I took away from the School of Missions is the importance of church-planting, and I was able to share about how I would like to be a part of a team that plants churches in the Unreached, so that our brothers and sisters in those areas are raised up and encouraged to reach their own countrymen with the Good News.
Finally, I was able to share about some upcoming opportunities I have to press into that call to the mission field, and some avenues that they could take should they choose to support me.
I know you are praying for me! Thank you! I just got some brand-new prayer cards (see above) and I would be more than happy to send you a few! Let me know if you’re interested and we will make it happen. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter to stay updated on how the Lord is leading me towards the mission field. Click here to sign up! Finally, you can also support me through giving. Whether by a one-time gift to help with one of the short-term trips I have detailed below, or on an on-going basis as I prepare to raise the monthly support I will need to get on the field one day soon!
I was totally overwhelmed with the amount of support I received from the faith family at Calvary Red Rock. The Lord very well may send me to dark places, so knowing there are people out there, just like you, who are praying for me and know where I am going brings so much comfort to my heart. If any of you from Red Rock are reading this, thank you so, so much for having me!
Most of you may know that I am preparing to go on a few short-term trips coming up in the springtime. My team members and I have been experiencing some spiritual warfare, and we think it might be because of the work God is preparing to do with these trips! Please be praying with me for the team, that we would be steadfast and stand against the schemes of the enemy (Ephesians 6).
The First Trip is to Mexico
We are leaving in a week! We are going to be focusing on ministering to a few brand-new church plants, and there are not words to describe how excited I am. I just know God is going to work mightily. Please be praying, as I need to have the expenses for this trip covered by the time I leave. I still need about $200, and I trust that God will provide.
The Other Trip is To the Middle East
We will be leaving on April 28th, and it is a vision tour. We will be scouting out the land in a country that is more open to the gospel, with the hopes of sending a team in the near future to begin a work! I have about $300 left to fundraise for this trip, and I am beyond grateful for how the Lord has so generously provided.
Priorities & Rest
In a place where there are so many great opportunities to serve the Lord, I am learning to discern where the Lord has specifically called me to serve. It has not been easy establishing priorities, especially since they keep us busy in this awesome internship. But it has been such a crucial learning lesson for me to learn when to say “No” and when to say “Yes”. I am also learning the balance and need for rest so that my heart and soul are renewed in His streams of living water. I cannot be like a tree if I am not planted by the waters (Psalm 1:3) and my Shepherd wants to restore my soul in His green pastures and still waters (Psalm 23:2-3). He wants these things for you too. I pray that you all are renewed by the presence of the Living God.
Reports & Requests
Praise Yahweh with me, that He is the Fountain of living waters, and He has given us water that we drink and never thirst again.
Praise the Lord that He has blessed me with a partnering church in Calvary Red Rock.
Praise Him that He has been blessing my time in Yorba Linda, and that He has opened the doors for these trips.
Please pray that the Lord would continue to provide the finances for these trips.
Please pray for the foster babies in our house, that they would end up safely back with their families!
Please pray that I would continue to be a humble learner and a vessel set apart for the work of the Lord Jesus.
I am beyond grateful for you all. May Yahweh richly bless you and your families.
Nearly 20 year ago, SGWM sent out Mike and Sarah Vincent to Rosarito, MX to plant a Calvary Chapel. Since then, Calvary Chapel Rosarito has sent out thirty-five successful church plants throughout Mexico and Central America! These 35 churches have been planted by native Mexican people, and the Lord has been using them to bring verse-by-verse teaching to the nation of Mexico.
We plan to take a small team of staff to go and visit two of their brand-new church plants in Mazatlán and Culiacán. We are going to minister to the teams who have been on the ground with these churches, and reaching out into their communities to share the Good News of Jesus and invite them to church. We will also be attending a church-planting conference in Mazatlán!
This is a great opportunity for me to see church-planting in action. Church-planting is fundamental to the definition of missions, and is the very thing I would like to be a part of among the Unreached. The trip is February 28th-March 14th.
That the Lord would abundantly bless these churches in Mazatlán and Culiacán.
That He would prepare our team for how He wants us to serve on this trip, and what He wants to teach us.
That He would provide the funds for each member.
If you are led to partner with me financially to send me on this trip, please click here to go to a secure giving link. You can also give by a check made out to SGWM with my name in the “notes” section, and addressed to 17451 Bastanchury Rd Suite 203, Yorba Linda, CA 92886.
Vision Tour to the Middle East
It is our ambition at SGWM to “… preach the gospel not where Christ was named” (Romans 15:20). We want to see people who do not live within the reach of Christians be reached with the Good News that Jesus died for their sin and rose from the dead, proving that He is the only Way to salvation.
We are planning a 10-day vision tour to the Middle East (I have to be ambiguous about the specific country when posting publicly) at the end of April where we plan to seek the Lord to see what He would have us do to plant a church and a Bible College. The Lord has been breaking my heart for the Muslim world, and I would really like to go on this trip to seek the Lord and to be with the people. I would really like to be a part of the team that moves here.
The Lord would speak to each person who has committed to go, and prepare their hearts.
That He would provide what each person needs to get there.
That He would lead us while we are there, and that He would put together a team who will move there to begin the work.
I am beyond grateful to you all who are so committed to Jesus and to the furtherance of His gospel. I would be so pleased to hear from you– How are your families doing? How can I be praying for you?
Praise God with me that He has provided a way for us to know Him and be made new– through His Son Jesus, who is the Christ.
It is such a joy to be writing to you again. I hope that your month of June was full of an awareness of Jesus’ presence and the reality that He is alive! Those of you who responded to my last newsletter update, thank you so much! It was so encouraging to connect with you all. Please do not hesitate to reach out, I would love to talk with you and pray for you!
June is already over?! I can’t believe it. Time has been flying as I have been serving at Saving Grace World Missions (SGWM) these past two months. I am learning so much! In our Bible teaching class we have been teaching through 1st Timothy, a short letter in the New Testament, and I have to say I was a bit surprised. On the surface it seemed like sort of an odd book to choose, but as I have been studying I am beginning to see that it is such a great book for us to be going through! I am participating in a missions internship, and it is clear in the book of Acts that missions is synonymous with church planting, so a major part of this internship is learning about the function of the church; and this is what the letter to Timothy is all about! Paul is writing to Timothy about what the church of Jesus should be like! There is so much truth for us aspiring church-planters to learn through studying and teaching this text!
Paul is clear in the letter that reading and teaching the Scriptures is foundational to the church, and he tells Timothy, “Meditate on these things,” that is, the reading and teaching of the Word, “give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). The phrase “give yourself entirely to them” carries this idea of “be in them” or in other words, total immersion.
I am totally immersed in the reading and teaching of the Word here at this internship! I am so grateful for our pastoral leadership and their dedication to feeding us the Bible on a regular, consistent basis. At every single gathering throughout the week, our focus is on Jesus and His Word! This is what equips us for the ministry Jesus has called us to, whether it be in the workplace, at home, or the ends of the earth! Needless to say, I have been gleaning so much from the study in 1st Timothy.
Summer has arrived, and so the school I was teaching at is out! While I have been searching for another job, the Lord has been filling my schedule with opportunities to serve. I just started serving in the youth ministry on Wednesday nights, and I am looking forward to serving the Lord with them through musical worship. We have also been spending time in the office preparing for the upcoming Calvary School of Missions 2021. I was a student last year, so it has been so exciting to play a small part on the other side, planning and praying for those who will attend this year!
Over the past two months, I have had the opportunity to sit under some missionaries who are home on furlough. Hearing the testimonies of how the Lord called them to the mission field, and all the stories of the highs and the lows (oftentimes it is more of the latter than the former) has been encouraging and sobering. They have to sacrifice so much. But their testimonies declare that they took Jesus at His word when He said, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). What Jesus is NOT saying is that his disciples need to be miserable and hate their life. Jesus is calling those who follow Him to trust Him with their whole lives– their hopes, dreams, families, finances, futures, everything. He is beckoning them to resist the temptation to place their hope and trust in other people, or money, or fame, or sex, or prosperity, and to instead commit everything they have to Him for the sake of His Kingdom.
As I have been meditating upon this reality, I have been coming back to this quote by A. W. Tozer, “Our Lord came not to destroy, but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.” What a glorious hope. When I give Him my life, and trust in His plan, I am totally safe in Him. He conquered death when He rose from the grave, so I don’t have anything to fear. I don’t have to be afraid of where, or when He has called me to go. My life is in His hands, which means it is safe and it will be used for His kingdom. I pray the same thing for you.
Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and support! I am so grateful that I can lock arms with you as we seek the Lord and endeavor to see the good news that He is alive spread to the ends of the earth. If you would like to partner with me financially, click the “Become a Financial Partner” button, and you will be directed to an online giving form. If you would like to give in a different way, feel free to contact me by directly replying to this email.
I would love to hear from you and to see how I can pray for you! May Jesus ground you in His love so that you can understand just how beyond understanding His love truly is.
Grace and peace
My God has been so faithful to provide for my needs.
This internship has turned out to be even sweeter than expected.
I was able to get my car’s AC fixed at a low cost!
I have been asking the Lord to give me wisdom with my finances and spending, and now I am taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class as a part of my internship curriculum. He knew I needed it!
Perseverance in job hunting, and that I find a job with flexible hours so that the internship can remain my priority.
Boldness to share the good news.
That Jesus would pour out His presence on the School of Missions students this year, and give them His heart for the Father and for the nations.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in the 10/40 window. It is often dangerous to identify oneself with Jesus in these countries and many of them face persecution. May the Lord make them light and salt!
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Hello friend! I hope and pray that this email finds you well! I am so grateful for the love and support you’ve shown me! It has been an eventful nine months, and the Lord is moving in exciting ways as I move into the next season.
As you may know, I attended Calvary School of Missions with Saving Grace World Missions (SGWM) in the summer of 2020. We spent six weeks in Rosarito, MX learning about God’s heart for the world, and how Jesus has invited us to participate in fulfilling His purpose among the nations. The trip was full of studying the Word, outreach, and fellowship! We heard testimonies and teachings from pastors and church planters from all over the world, and invited the Lord to speak to each of us about how He would lead us to fulfill that calling on our lives.
After the summer session, I decided to return to Bible college and continue studying God’s Word. That’s when the Lord placed Matthew 9:35-38 on my heart, and moved me to start a weekly missions prayer meeting! We met every Saturday night to petition the Lord that His glory would fill the earth, and His gospel would spread, His church would be comforted in the midst of persecution, and that His name would be honored and exalted among all nations. The Lord brought a solid, consistent group of people who committed to pray, and it was such a sweet time as we invited Jesus to teach us how to pray.
These last two semesters of Bible college have been so special and full of an awareness of Jesus’ presence. I am so grateful for the time God gifted me to seek Him without distraction and to begin learning how to study His Word carefully and prayerfully. As He promises in the above verses from the prophet Isaiah, His Word certainly accomplished so much in my own life. It brought forth bread for me to feast upon, and seeds to sow among those around me. These words in Isaiah bring me so much comfort because God has a purpose and a plan for the distribution and cultivation of His Word, and He is more zealous for His plan than I ever could be! It’s HIM who is sowing the seed of His Word and feeding His people with the bread of life, and His purpose WILL be accomplished. It is such a blessing to be invited into that plan to spread His Word, but it is always Him working through me to bring the light of the gospel to those who are in darkness.
I graduated from Calvary Chapel Bible College just a few weeks ago, I have just moved to Yorba Linda to continue in the missions program with SGWM! I will be participating in a missions internship where I will gain hands-on experience in ministry, take more classes on Bible study and teaching, and learn more about cross-cultural church planting! I am so happy to be here with my CCSG church family. The Lord has so generously provided for all my needs. I have a gracious family to live with, and a part-time job at an in-home preschool/kindergarten!
I thank Yahweh, the true and living God, for you, and ask that He would fill your heart and life with deep and real knowledge of His all-surpassing love for you in Jesus Christ. Please email me back with any prayer requests you have. I would love to connect with you and partner with you in prayer.
Grace and peace,
Class of 2021!
The Lord has graciously provided a safe place to stay for the next year!
Before I even set foot in Yorba Linda two weeks ago, I already had a job lined up.
He has given me such an incredible church family to seek the His face alongside. I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner with SGWM in seeing the good news go to those who have not heard.
The transition from Las Vegas to Yorba Linda was smooth!
Please pray for the 7,000+ people groups in the world that do not have access to the good news that Jesus is alive (see below photo)!
Please pray for the upcoming Calvary School of Missions (CSOM)! May the Lord continue to equip people for the spread of His good news among all nations!
Please pray that the Lord would give me diligence and discipline to balance my schedule. I am taking a Bible Teaching class, so please pray that the Lord empowers me with the humility and care necessary to rightly interpret and understand His Word.
Calvary School of Missions 2020 – Week 6 and What’s Next!
It’s Rachel! This has been an incredible six weeks. The Lord has done so much in my heart and mind, and I can definitely say that I will never be the same. I am so grateful for your continued support in prayer!
The final week of the school was spent in reflection and looking to the Lord for vision and guidance for next steps. We did a Bible study through John 13-17, and the Lord began to stir my heart towards prayer. I still have one semester left at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California, and the Lord has given me vision for how He wants me to leverage this semester for His glory among the nations. He gave me this passage from Matthew:
“But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”
Jesus saw the people, weary and burdened by many things– the cares of this world, sickness, works-based religion– and He was moved with compassion. He knew there was potential for a great harvest of souls amidst this multitude, but did He say to His disciples, “So, go! Get out there!”? No. They weren’t ready for that. The commission doesn’t come until Matthew 28:18-19. There is a step before the “going,” and it’s prayer.
What Jesus is saying here is huge, because He’s saying that prayer changes things. He is saying that the best thing we can do for our weary and lost world, is to lift it up in prayer. And as we pray according to the Father’s will, He stirs up His church! We can’t stir up sustainable desire, vision, or zeal for the nations in and of ourselves– it must come from the Lord. And we can pray that the Lord will give that compassion, that drive, to His sons and daughters so that they can tend to His harvest.
So, the Lord has put it on my heart to start a group on campus where we intentionally pray to the Lord of the harvest, to ask that He would send laborers into the world. Especially into the Unreached. My prayer is that the Lord would draw those whom He wills to the meeting, and that as we pray, our hearts would be conformed to that of our Father. That He would stir our hearts to pray for the nations regularly, and to get involved in sending the gospel to unreached areas.
I’m so excited to be back in Murrieta for school! It’s going to be different because of social distancing and COVID preventative measures, but I know the Lord has something special for us this season. I have the pleasure of serving as a “dorm steward” (a sort of resident assistant) this semester, so I am here a little early to help with preparation for the arriving students. I’m very excited to dive into God’s Word– I am taking some awesome classes this semester! Following graduation, I am praying about participating in a missions internship to continue in my training for long-term missions!
I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and financial giving! I look forward to connecting with you all when I am back home! This is my last newsletter from the Calvary School of Missions, but I plan to send a few updates while I am at school and as the Lord leads me in next steps! Thank you, again, and I pray that the Lord would bless you, continually remind you of His great grace, and enrich you in His Word!
Everyone has been getting home safely from Mexico
I have arrived at school (I AM SO EXCITED), and I will be graduating this semester!
The Lord changed me in so many great ways at the school of missions!
Please pray that the Lord would bring those He has to the prayer meeting and that we would learn to pray for the nations with singleness of heart.
Please pray that the Lord would meet the students this semester as we study His Word.
It’s Rachel again and I am eager to share the great things that the Lord has done this week in the School of Missions! I’m so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of this work as I train for long-term missions. Your thoughts and prayers are so… appreciated!
The theme the Lord has stamped upon my heart this week is discipleship. What is discipleship? I probably couldn’t have given you a clear definition before this week, but I have realized that it is the duty of the Church. Just before He ascended to the Father’s right hand, Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). When a military officer gives a command, his inferiors must heed that command until they are given a different directive. Making disciples is the last command that we have received from our General, and we must heed His instruction.
The New Testament is riddled with verses on discipleship, and it is clear that in order to make disciples of Jesus, we must first be disciples of Jesus. Jesus makes it clear that a disciple is to be identified with His teacher (Matthew 10:24-25). As we follow Jesus, we are conformed more and more to His likeness. Jesus sums up how this is done in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” To abide means to live in, to inhabit, and to dwell in. When we allow the Word to change us so that we dwell in it; we are His disciples. As a result we bear fruit: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:8). The fruit is love (John 13:35), and the love of Christ results in making more disciples! (Acts 1:8, 2:42-43).
To simplify all of that, discipleship is learning how to obey Jesus together. We are never going to be perfect. We will not “arrive” at a place of spiritual maturity where we are “qualified” to make disciples. We simply must take our stand daily in the grace of God alone. As we invite people into our daily walk with the Lord and invest in their spiritual development then we will learn to dwell in His Word.
We attended a church-planting conference this weekend at Calvary Chapel Rosarito. It was awesome! We were able to hear from lots of pastors who have planted churches in Mexico and parts of the United States. It is obvious from the book of Acts that God’s designated method of world-evangelization is church-planting. I see now that the Church is the most effective vehicle for making disciples! This is why church-planting all over the world, especially in places that do not have a local church, is so crucial to fulfilling the Great Commission! Jesus commanded us to make disciples among all nations, and what better way than establishing a fellowship where people can be fed the Word of God and learn to live in His grace? We have our marching orders! Let’s heed our General’s command, and see that His name is exalted in the earth. He is worthy of disciples in every nation. Amen.
Thank you so much for reading this! I am so grateful for your partnership in prayer and finances. I thank God for each of you, and for your investment in the gospel. If you would like to receive more about church-planting or discipleship, or if you have any prayer requests, please shoot me an email! I would love to hear from you.
Prayer requests are below, as well as a link to our giving platform if you would like to partner with me financially. My heart is to make disciples of Jesus among nations where the gospel is not known, and your partnership is cherished!
In Christ, Rachel
God is so good!
The Lord is moving in all our hearts and bringing clarity to vision and next-steps.
Pastor Gregg and Vikki from Calvary Red Rock were able to come out for the Church-Planting Conference and it was such a blessing to catch up with them!
The Lord has kept us all safe and healthy!
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” Galatians 6:9. Let us not grow weary as we near the end of the school, but press in to the Lord!
“And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written: ‘To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.’”
It’s Rachel again! Thank you for being a part of the work the Lord is doing at the School of Missions through your prayers and support! This week was so incredible that I am honestly overwhelmed as I sit to write this update. The Lord met me this week in a way I’ve never experienced before!
In the U.S., we live in a Christian-saturated culture. I am willing to bet that if you were to take a map of the 20-mile radius of your home and drop a pin on every church in the area, the map would be riddled with dots. If someone in America was curious about Christ, the odds are that he knows someone who can share the gospel with him: a family member, co-worker, or friend. This is awesome because people who are living a life in sin have access to the great message of the gospel, and have an opportunity to respond!
The world’s population is currently somewhere around 7.5 billion. Approximately 3.5 billion people live in a country similar to the one I illustrated above. But, what about the other 4 billion people?
Those 4 billion people do not live in Christian-dominated cultures, and 3 billion of those people live in places with even less Christian influence. In most of these places, less than 2% of the population identifies as Christian. This means that approximately 3 billion people today have never heard a single word of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). Jesus is the living water. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father but through Him— and 3 billion people live unto death and die unto hell because they don’t get the chance to respond to the gospel. What an injustice! They don’t even hear it once!
They are called the Unreached.
I was struck with this reality full-force in class this week and Romans 15:21 comforted me. God knows. God sees each individual person among the Unreached. He sees the bondage of idolatry. He sees the depths of sin. Yet He is not passive. His heart is to see them brought back to Himself through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and His chosen tool is the Church (Matt. 28:18-20; John 17:18; Acts 10).
Where do you think the gospel needs to go? Are we going to rethink our Spirit-led calling?
This is why I am at the School of Missions, and why I am writing this to you today. I, like Paul, desire to make it my ambition to take the gospel to people who don’t have access to it. He’s worth it. His praise among the nations is worth it.
May love compel our hearts to meet the Unreached, and present this gift of grace. Freely we have received, may we also give with the same abandon.
May the Lord build you up and encourage you in the gospel of Christ, and lead you into opportunities to share the message of salvation with others. I pray, Lord, in the years we have left, use our lives for Your glory to bring the gospel where it is needed the most.
The Lord is equipping us and setting us alight for His glory among the Unreached nations.
The Lord is so, so good.
The Lord desires to refine us so that we can be used to bring others to Him.
“The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matt. 9:37-38.
If you are interested in partnering with me financially as I follow the Lord’s call to go to the nations, you can click the link below. Your prayers are deeply valued, and your love is cherished, all to the glory to the Lord!
It’s Rachel again! I have been so excited to sit down each week and communicate to you what the Lord has been doing at the School of Missions! I am so thankful for your fellowship in the gospel, praying for you and your families, and thanking God for your partnership that made coming here possible. Every day the Lord is faithful to remind me that He has me here for a specific purpose– thank you for playing a part in that!
This week we focused on the importance of culture and discipleship– and these things are more closely related than I initially expected. Discipleship is wholly based on developing relationships. When a missionary goes to a foreign nation to make disciples of Jesus, he or she must become acclimated to the culture in order to be effective. This is so that the missionary can build effective relationships with the nationals, or natives. As we read in Ministering Cross-Culturally, this is a huge exercise of humility. A missionary must enter a country and learn the language, social cues, and ways of life– everything from the beginning, like a child.
“The keys for successful personal relationships in ministry are obedience to the commands of Scripture and accepting that others have a viewpoint that is as worthy of consideration as our own.”
Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Ministering Cross-Culturally
Missions is almost never what we expect, especially in the beginning. We may go into a foreign country with all these lofty ideals of what God’s going to do, just to find out that we have to spend 1-2 years simply learning the language and culture. And a lot of this culture may be the opposite of our own culture, which can cause frustration and confusion. But, when we face these challenges, we need to look at our greatest Example. Jesus, God Almighty, left His throne to become like one of us. He was totally immersed in the Jewish culture for 30 years before He began His official ministry. We see time and time again how He leveraged the culture to make relationships with the people and reach them with the gospel. What humility! He set aside His “rights” as God, set aside His glory to become the adopted Son of a poor carpenter, all to reach humanity in a very personal way. What does this say about us when we gear up to go to another nation? It requires us to put down parts of our culture (as much of it as we can), and take up as much of the other culture that is required to forge relationships.
This teaching was so timely for us because Saturday’s outreach in San Vicente was nothing like we expected. We were expecting for this outreach to be similar to the others, where some of us would share a few testimonies while others would work with the youth and the kids. We had a skit for the kids, crafts, and more planned… a two-hour drive later we had to throw all our plans out the window! The need in this particular church fellowship was manual labor on a property they were preparing for a women’s halfway house ministry. So we took up shovels, pickaxes, and post-hole diggers and got to work!
As we idealize missions, it is easy for us to get caught up in the outreach, and programs, and ministry tasks. But sometimes, what the community needs is for you to come alongside them and break rocks with them! What greater way to serve and create relationships than to meet the people where they are at? As we were chipping rocks away from the mountain and piling them up by the fence, it was like the Lord was using the rocks to speak to my heart… It’s not about the plans. It’s about the people.
Is it worth it to lay down some of our cultural comforts and operations in order to be a vessel for the love of God to reach His children? Is He worth giving up our plans, and taking up the task of learning in order to reach or encourage His people? Is He worth it? I would certainly say so, and pray that He would help me to make my life look like I believe it.
Thank you again to those who have been supporting me in your prayers and financially! It means so much that you have decided to be a part of what God is doing in Rosarito and in my life! Prayer requests are below if you would like to pray for our team, and if you would like to partner with me financially, you can click the link below. The Lord has been teaching me so much, and speaking to my heart about serving as a long-term missionary– I can’t wait to continue pressing in!
The Lord has blessed us with amazing teachers and leaders!
We are already such a tight-knit family!
We made it to and from San Vicente safely.
The Lord is keeping us safe and teaching us flexibility as plans change due to pandemic precautions and other factors.
That the Lord would strengthen us all (students and staff) as we pass the halfway mark, and that we would not grow weary.
That the Lord would continue binding us together in unity.
That the Lord would give each of us a heart and a vision for a specific people group or nation.
First, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for partnering with me in the gospel! We’re only two weeks in, and I see the Lord answering prayers and moving in powerful ways.
For those of you who may not know, I am in Mexico at Calvary School of Missions getting trained up to be a long-term missionary. We started with the basics of the grace of God to prepare us for the field, and in those basics, we find the heart of God, His love for the lost and forgotten, His heart to reach all nations with His gospel, and His grace that He would invite us– the Church– to be a part of the work He is doing! This week we focused on the power of surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit who works in us as well as through us.
“The will of the creature is nothing but an empty vessel in which the power of God is to be made manifest.”
Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender
What a glorious honor! To be filled with the Holy Spirit so that His power might be on display and souls might be turned to the Father. We gleaned a lot from Pastor Trent’s teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. The gospel was preached to the people in the largest cities and from there, spread to the entire country. We were blessed to have Pastor Mike Vincent visit us to teach and share on how the Lord has done a similar work through his church. He is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Rosarito, a church that has planted 25 successful church fellowships in Mexico within the last 18 years. Incredible! It’s amazing to see the Lord display His power through men and women surrendered to His purposes. I pray that the Lord would cultivate that surrendered heart in us. I know I have such a long way to go, but I trust that God guides His children.
We accompanied a pastor from Calvary Chapel Rosarito on an outreach to bring COVID relief packages and the love of Christ to an impoverished community called Colonia San Fernando. One of the residents was so kind to open up her yard as a place to gather to share about the Lord, pray for the neighbors, and minister to the kids. I was able to share my testimony with those who attended. It was kind of spontaneous, and I had to have my friend Maribel translate, so there were a lot of things that were unfamiliar, and out of my control. The Lord taught me about surrender in that moment. I had to make myself available to what He wanted to say through me, that the people might be stirred by His power. I pray that they were.
I also got to serve with the kids! We taught a lesson on the fruit of the Spirit, played water games (see the first photo), and did face painting!
As soon as we walked into this community we could sense the spiritual darkness, but the Lord showed up and there was joy, freedom, and hope. I was so encouraged to witness the impact that Jesus had on this small group of people. It reminded me of the verse, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2). This Light, of course, had nothing to do with us and everything to do with the Lord Jesus. If it were not for His Spirit guiding us, all we would have had to offer was some food for their bellies. But since the Lord was leading us, He was able to offer Himself as the Bread of Life that sustains their souls.
I am so grateful that you’ve decided to be a part of what God is doing in my life to train me up for His global purpose. Thank you for partnering with me in prayer, encouragement, and finances; the Lord is using it! Praise reports and prayer requests are below, and also a link for financial partnership if the Lord leads you! Thank you again, and I pray the Lord would continue to make the power of His gospel real in your life!
The Lord is taking us out of our comfort zones and helping us grow in boldness for sharing the gospel.
God is continuing to unify us in His Spirit and forge deep friendships.
The Lord has blessed us with awesome leaders to disciple us.
That God would give the leaders an extra measure of grace to navigate the school in the midst of often-changing situations.
That God would give each of us students a heart and a vision for a country or people group.
That we would not grow weary as we near the half-way mark of our time in Mexico.