Lighting a Match in Mexico – Josh Vanrenterghem Update May 2024

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Dear Friends, Family, and Loved Ones,

This month was packed with exploring unknown territory! Though, with every new work of God, there is always the enemy ready to steal, kill, and destroy. May was no exception! From seeing demonic manifestations at an In-n-Out and prayer meeting, to randomly experiencing spirts of depression, the enemy has been using every tactic, obvious and subtle, to thwart God’s plans. Yet, God always wins! God ministered to me greatly through Luke 10:18-20, especially verse 19 which describes how God has given us authority over all spiritual wickedness. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” But even greater, what the Lord has shown me in order to conquer attacks in my mind through depression, anxiety, fear, has been the reminder of my identity. One evening, after working hard all day and thinking through all my plans for the summer, and everything I had been doing recently, I felt lost in it all. I doubted whether God could use me and if I was really being led by Him. Finally, I just wrote down on a piece of paper, “who am I Lord?” Obviously, I knew the theological answer to that question. But I wanted to hear it from the Lord Himself. The next morning my devotional reading was Ephesians chapter 1, and I could just hear the voice of my heavenly Father as I read the words. I pray God ministers to you the same way as you go through this next month. No matter how far the enemy tries to separate you from God’s love, He is still your Father, and you have been accepted before Him. Go before your heavenly Father! He wants to be with you. He paid everything to be with you.

As I left off in my last newsletter, I spent the beginning of May still in Mexico! I visited two churches and Calvary Bible Institute Mexico. Although I wasn’t speaking at any of them, I got to assist Rob Douglass, who taught at Calvary Chapel Rosarito’s church planting school and their Wednesday night service. I also got to share about the Calvary School of Missions with people from the church, and help give counsel as they considered mission work. Then I took Marcelo, one of the Missions Training School students, to Ensenada, where he taught a morning class. Neither of us had been to Ensenada before. The same day we drove to Horizonte Ensenada church where he taught their church planting class, and also shared a quick testimony on Sunday. It was a very exciting trip, and let me tell you, God is moving Mexico for the unreached!

My parents and I sharing about Calvary School of Missions at CC Rosarito

The purpose for this quick, week-long trip was to help light a match in Mexico for cross-cultural missions. Not many in the Mexican church know about the unreached, those who have no access to receive the gospel. Our goal was to spark a passion in the Mexican church for reaching the world with the gospel. Most people view Mexico as a place to send and do missions, but, for the vast majority of it, Mexico already has Christians, churches, and Bibles. So we went to share about those who have none of these things. The Lord has given us a great vision of Mexico being transformed into a sending hub to the unreached nations!

Being on the ground helping serve, talk with people, and pray, was an incredible experience personally. I could see the little sparks let off by the thought-provoking teachings caught onto people’s hearts. I also met many who already had a desire for missions, but little direction. Our goal for this was not to train missionaries, but to spark a desire, and as we do, we are praying that God will begin works where those called can be biblically trained in cross-cultural missions. I ask you to join us in prayer for this, as we have spoken with many who hear the call, but don’t have a place to prepare.

A bunch of young adults we met in Horizonte Ensenada, many were interested in missions

On a more humorous note, as Marcelo and I were driving to CBI Mexico, we got lost on a road out in the middle of nowhere. I drove up a steep dirt hill in the Civic until the road finally turned into massive rocks and dips. In the photo we were lost trying to figure out what to do, and Marcelo had to teach very soon. Yet, he still had a smile with a thumbs up. I’m pretty sure he could be kidnapped and he would still have a smile with his thumbs up. In the end, we found the right road (which still had a huge creek running through it) and made it to the class.

Marcelo and I lost on the way to CBI Mexico

Later in the month, I got to spend time with one of Saving Grace World Mission’s Indian national missionaries. I picked him up from the airport, and went to dinner at a Nepali Restaurant with some friends. It was a blessing to get to know him. Another day, a bunch of the Mission Training Students went to J’s (one of our short-term India missionaries) house in order to help him get rid of 3 generations of stuff in his home. This will free him to spend more time doing missions and teaching at CBI India. I also got many opportunities to teach this month. First I taught and led my first time in Spanish during the Wednesday evening Spanish group at CC Saving Grace. That was challenging, but super fun! And I also got to teach the youth group on a Sunday. Please join me in praying about CBI Philippines! The director has been asking me to come teach for almost 2 years, and I haven’t felt called. But he asked again recently for the fall semester, and I feel the Lord may be leading me to take a short trip to the Philippines. It would be very costly trip, but the country is also very strategic in it’s placement. It is open to gospel work and would serve as a perfect sending hub and place of training for SGWM missionaries to all the nearby, unreached countries of Asia. I would love to go on a short trip to see what the Lord might do in the future and teach at the CBI.

Having dinner with an Indian national missionary. (left to right: me, James, short-term missionary J, and the national missionary)

Costa Rica

In August I will have been praying for a year about serving in Peru with Pastor Cory Kilgus to help lead in starting a safe home for kids rescued from sex trafficking and organ trafficking. The first step we will be taking is to visit an existing safe home in Costa Rica to learn how it functions. This trip will be July 29 – August 2. This will also be a sort-of vision tour, where we will be praying for confirmation of God’s call to begin this new work. If you would like to financially partner with me for this trip, you may give using the link at the bottom of the page.

Prayer Requests

  • God to begin a work to train Spanish-speaking Mexicans who have a heart for cross-cultural missions
  • Financial provision, wisdom, and spiritual/physical protection for the trip to Costa Rica in July
  • Boldness as I continue preaching the gospel and discipling others where I am at currently
  • Wisdom and peace about work; my boss will be moving to Northern Carolina, and taking the business with him.
  • Guidance for possible trip to CBI Luzon, Philippines in the Fall

Praise Reports

  • Successful trip stirring up the Mexican Church for the Great Commission
  • All the different opportunities to serve and teach
  • Revival and deliverance of people at CC Saving Grace and outside the church.
  • The random gifts and blessings God has been giving me through all of you!