March 23, 2017
What Are We All About
What are we all about at EMM? That question comes up quite often. We are not totally what we once were. At one point the missionaries were doing the church planting and winning souls for Christ. At one point most of the teachers at the seminary were missionaries. Now we only have two American missionary families on the field. Are we failing?
Walter Gomez our founder instilled in our mission his vision that the Mexicans reach their own people. When Walter Gomez started work-ing in Mexico less than one percent of Mexicans were followers of Christ. There was a great need for people to preach the Gospel where no Christians were to be found.
However, because of his vision he very soon started a place to train pastors and leaders for the church in Mexico. In the ensuing years those trained in the school our mission founded went out and continued to do what the missionaries once did. I would call that a success.
And we are still doing that. In a land where most people have little hope of getting an education beyond ninth grade, our school is a place where men and women study to become church planters, pastors, and leaders for the church in Mexico.
We continue to be about our Father’s business of reaching people for Christ and seeing them be-come disciples of their Savior.
Still Winning People for Christ
A team of three of our seminary students are church planting in a town about an hour from the school. They just started last September and already they are outgrowing the living room where they have been meeting.
A few weeks back one of the students was sharing how they are looking for funds to buy a piece of land to build a church. One of them who owns a lot in Monterrey has even thought of selling his land to be able to buy something in the town where they are working.
Last week they were sharing with me how they are making plans to start a youth ministry using soccer as a drawing card. They met with the local authorities to ask permission to use the soccer field, and they told them upfront that they would be witnessing to the children and teens and teaching them from the Bible as part of the program. They were given permission to use the soccer field and one of those present even commented, “That is what our children and young people need.”
Still Planting Churches through Our Graduates
Three weeks ago one of our former graduates who took a very small church of Spanish people in Texas and grew it into a thriving church emailed me with a request. His church planted a church across the border in Nuevo Laredo and were needing a pastor for this new church. He wrote to me hoping there might be a candidate from our seminary.
He also asked for someone who could continue working with a church they desire to plant in the state of Aguascalientes in Central Mexico. This state is one of the Mexican states with the least percentage of Christians. They started a work here and have been visiting. However, because of the long distance and the lack of someone to work daily, they are ready to support someone who could carry this needful ministry.
Helping Churches in Need of Church Buildings
In December I was able to visit a church plant that started about two years ago as a Bible study and prayer meeting. These were held in the home of one of the members of one of our churches in a lower-class part of town. The head of this home is a man who has a passion for reaching others for Christ. He was soon inviting other unsaved people to the meetings. It didn’t take long and the group started growing. This past July they asked if they could be assigned a full-time pastor to help this group grow.
They have already out-grown the room where they have been meeting and now hold services in two other areas of town. When they all get together they really don’t have a place big enough to hold them so they have started thinking about buying land and building a church. Helping churches like this build places of worship is something we have done in the past. This enables young congregations to continue growing.
Enabling and Encouraging Church Plants
Because we want to see the Kingdom of God expand in Mexico, over the years we have encouraged and where needed, helped the church in Mexico to plant more churches by supporting a national missionary fund.
At our board meeting in January we decided to further this effort by looking for a church planter and a location that is in need of a Bible preaching church somewhere in Central Mexico. Already we have begun the process of identifying a place in need of a church plant and determining the yearly cost to place a church planter in that location. Pray that God will guide us to the right place and the right person to carry out this much needed ministry.
Supporting Girls’ Club Programs
Sulyeka is an eight year old girl whose mother was invited to church by a friend. She really enjoyed the service. When the announcements were made and she heard that there would be a girls’ club held on Saturday, she decided to take her daughter.
Since then it has been Suleyka that doesn’t let her mother miss going to church. Both she and her mother have come to know the Lord.
At the club she has memorized Scripture as well as learned a lot about what the Christian life is all about. As part of the club she was supposed to choose an activity that interested her and learn about it. She decided she wanted to learn to play an instrument. The pastor’s wife found her a Christian music teacher. Now she is learning to play the drums to later on help out in church. Because of Suleyka two others girls from church are interested in learning music. One of them is studying guitar.
The older girls in this club have been sent by the church to take the Child Evangelism program on teaching classes and learning how to lead children to Christ.
The girls who have graduated from this girls’ club are now very active in church, helping the Sunday School department.
We would like to help send 40 girls from low-income families to the Girls’ Club camp this coming April. It takes 30 dollars to sponsor one girl at camp. Would you help us do this? Last year we were able to help 40 girls go to camp, among them were several unsaved girls who heard the Gospel. Over the years God has used this ministry to reach unsaved girls for Christ, as well as help those who know Christ grow in their knowledge of Him.
Thank you so much for supporting the ministry of EMM in Mexico. More and more I am convinced that training young men and women for leadership in the church has been a wise decision. We have been doing this for more than 60 years and there is ample evidence that the work of our missionaries has reached much further than if they would have only planted churches and reached people for Christ.
There is now an army of men and women in Mexico that are reaching their own people with the Gospel and discipling them in the Christian life.
I am constantly encouraged by what I see happening through the ministry of our students. This past week one of my students was sitting in my office and passionately telling me of the plans being made to expand the work that is being done in a small town an hour from the school. They have been visiting this town since September and are outgrowing the small front-room where they are meeting for services. They are looking for land to start building a place of worship.
This has not stopped them from looking into new ways to reach the children and teens in that town. They have already met with the local authorities and presented a plan to start a “soccer school” to reach kids with the Gospel. They were very clear in letting the people know that they would very clearly be sharing the Gospel and teaching the kids from the Bible. One of the people present said, “That is what these children and teens need.” Do pray that this might start up soon.
On campus the “soccer school” ministry is going forward. Since January five more children have started coming on a regular basis. From this ministry two boys have made decisions for Christ. One of them has started coming to church faithfully, and bringing one of his unsaved friends.
Help us pray that God will bless these ministries as well as the ministries of other students.
Once again thank you for being a part of this effort to reach people for Christ.
February 21, 2017
What a blessing it is to hear of how God is working in different church-es and through different people, including children.
This past month, Blanca, who as you know heads up our Child Evange-lism ministry, visited one of the churches in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. She was asked to go down to this hot and muggy coastal city to help the church out with organizing a VBS program over the Christmas sea-son. She has been down there before and helped train some of the women and men in the church to work with children. This time, like so many other times, many of those helping had not taken any of the previous training.
Most of the church got involved helping in some way. Even some of the children helped in going door to door to invite children to the VBS program.
One of the older women who has been in this church for quite some time made the following comment after seeing how all the church had become involved: “If God should call me home, I am at peace because God has raised up people in this church who are willing to serve Him. This has been my prayer for so many years.”
During the week they had about thirty children at VBS, and at the closing program on December 25 there were eight unsaved adults that came to see what their children had learned. One of these adults made a decision for the Lord during the program. Pray that the seed that was planted will bear even more fruit.
The seed planted in young lives makes such a difference. During the week a nine-year-old girl came up to Blanca and shared how she has been witnessing to her teacher at school about Christ. She did confess that the teacher at times asks her questions she can’t answer, but then she goes home and asks her mother for the answer.
It is stories like these that encourage us to keep this ministry growing. Although the aim is to reach children for Christ and teach them the Word, in the process adults also come to know the Lord. Here in Mexico that so often is the case. Homes are reached through initial contact with the children.
Thanks for making this and our other ministries possible through your contributions.
January 24, 2017
What a blessing it is to know the Christ who was born in Bethlehem and know Him as our crucified and risen Savior. Thousands of people are passing on into an eternity without Him and in some cases have never had anyone really share the Gospel with them. This is the case with so many people in Mexico.
Our founder, Walter Gomez, was of the belief that members of a culture are the best people for reaching others within their culture. It has been because of this belief that EMM has focused over the years on the training of pastors and leaders in Mexico, and truly the work has expanded far beyond what our missionaries could have accom-plished on their own. Let me share a story of what God is doing through one of the pastors trained at the seminary.
At the beginning of December Eunice and I, with two of our grandchildren, took a trip to Salina Cruz, a hot and muggy port on the southern Pacific coast of Mexico. Our mission was to visit a church plant that was started a little over two years ago. Brother Gregorio, the pastor there, is a graduate from our seminary and has a real vision for reaching people for Christ.
Once he was posted to this church plant he started holding prayer meetings and Sunday morning services in two other places. One of these is on the outskirts of the city and the other in a small community outside the city. On Sunday mornings they rotate between two of these places to hold their meetings. What this has done is give them a presence in different parts of the city and allow the unsaved neighbors to come to the services. So far there are about eight families represented in the church.
This past year an alcoholic who is a neighbor to the pastor came to know the Lord. His wife will not come to church but he does take his two children. She is waiting to see how real this change is in his life.
We praise God because the work started so many years ago in Mexico and continues to grow. Thank you so much for being a part of this great work that God is doing.
December 23, 2016
What a blessing to have the technology we have today. I have been chatting with Elmer, one of our pastors in the state of Oaxaca. It is so encouraging to hear what God is doing through the church he is pastoring. The seed of the Gospel is being sown and people are coming to know the Lord.
In September he shared that Artemio came to know the Lord in a small town three hours from Oaxaca City where he pastors. As soon as he came to know the Lord he was convicted about the problems he had with his neighbor. He went to ask his neighbor for forgiveness and this man expressed his interest in getting to know the pastor who had preached the Gospel to him. A month later the neighbor came to know the Lord when the pastor and others from the church visited that town again. There were thirty adults and about fifteen children present. Most of them don’t know the Lord.
Last month the drama group along with others from the Oaxaca City church visited this town again where they plan to plant a church.
In September, in another town closer to Oaxaca City, they had an evangelistic breakfast and invited everyone in town to come. About fifty adults and thirty children showed up. The plans are to plant another church in this community.
Pray for both of these communities that God will give wisdom to those who are preaching the Word and that churches might be planted for his honor and glory.
Pray that more pastors will catch a vision like this pastor has.
December 16, 2016
This year Daniel, one of our students who is in his third year at the seminary, together with some of the other students began an outreach to young kids from the community through a soccer school. Daniel took training for this kind of ministry over the summer because he really enjoys soccer and decided to use his gift to bring others to a knowledge of Christ.
Every Saturday since the beginning of October over 20 kids including one boy who has Down's syndrome meet on the seminary grounds for training in playing soccer and to hear a message from the Bible.
Most of these young kids are unchurched and don’t know Christ. Some have heard the gospel for the first time through this ministry.
Praise God most of the kids are now able to relate previous lessons on character and sportsmanship to the Bible stories they have been taught. After their team's first loss this past month, they were able to identify problems in their playing with themes found in their Bible lessons.
Since some of the parents show up to bring their kids, there are students who sit and share with the parents also.
Pray that God will bring these young kids and their parents to a saving knowledge of Christ.
The weekly children’s club started through the initiative of some of our students three years ago continues to bear fruit. The number of kids showing up on Saturday for this ministry are not many, but even so God is using it.
While watching a video of the Bible story of Elijah and four hundred prophets of Baal, one three year old named Santiago exclaimed, “It is God that descended,” when it showed that the fire came down on the sacrifice. Even at this tender age he was able to understand that God made himself manifest to His people.
Not only is the seed being planted in the lives of these young kids, there have been some unsaved parents that bring their kids to the club who have also come to our Sunday services.
Mexico is a land of children. About 30% of the population is 15 years or younger. The need for reaching them before a life of crime does is imperative.
Pray for these children and their parents that they might come to know the Lord and that they might grow in their knowledge of the Word.
Pray for the seminary students who are working with these children that they might have the wisdom to teach the lessons in a way that will leave lasting results in their lives.
At the beginning of this school year, the administrative team at the Seminary was presented with a request by a family who has relatives living in a small town where there is no evangelical church. They asked if we could send at least two of our students to start holding services on the weekends. They could not promise much more than feeding them while they were there. The school decided to invest in this work, and so the seminary pays for their transportation every week.
Damian and Abdiel have been going and holding services there every Friday and Saturday. They are encouraged because there have been unsaved people who have been coming to the meetings.
So far three children have made a decision for Christ: Myriam (8), Jorge (11) and Pablo (9).
Praise the Lord these children know how to read and can read the Bible. Some of the older people who are being discipled are not so fortunate and are struggling because they can’t read the Bible or the material that is being used for the studies.
Pray that God will give these students wisdom as they go out witnessing and work with those who are growing in their faith. Pray that God will reach many more for Christ in this community. In so many of these small towns traditions and idolatry have such a hold on the people that they have a hard time leaving their old beliefs because the family puts so much pressure on them.
Just recently Blanca who heads up the Child Evangelism Department traveled north to Monclova to hold a followup training course working with children in one of the churches. They are determined to take the entire course which consists of three seminars. This time ten adults signed up for further teaching as well as two teenage girls who joined the group.
As part of the course they ended the training with a special evangelistic children’s event. Saturday they went out inviting children in the community, but sadly on Sunday only people and children from the church showed up.
Blanca keeps looking for opportunities to reach more children for Christ. The month of December she will be busy helping organize a VBS to be held at Christmas time.
However, while Blanca was there a couple from another church where she has done some training came to see her. Among other things they wanted to share a blessing the church has had from that training. After the course at that church they started a children’s club.
After about a year, for various reasons, the club came to an end, but a whole family was won for the Lord during that time. They are still very faithful in coming to church.
The seed gets planted. The results are up to the Lord. Blanca keeps sowing seeds and encouraging others to do so also. Pray that these seeds will bring forth fruit for God’s glory.
I was able to talk to Pastor Javier, one of our former students, who is being supported through the national missionary fund. He was sent to the city of Guadalajara with a population of over 4.5 million people to take over a struggling church three years ago. When he got there, there were only about 12 people left in the congregation.
Pastor Javier with others from his church go out on a regular basis to preach in the local plazas.
As I was visiting with him, he was sharing how he has been going out with three members from the church to preach in the plazas and other public areas. In one case recently, they went to preach to a place in town were the illegal aliens that come from Central America gather. He asked a member of the church to give the message and one person came to know the Lord. Since then the man has been living at the church and has been very faithful in being at the services and is growing in his faith.
At present there are now about 40 adults coming to church. Pray that God will continue to bring more to a faith in Christ. Pray for Pastor Javier that God will give him wisdom in leading this church into maturity.
If you have been encouraged by this newsletter share it with a friend. Help us spread the news of how God is reaching people in Mexico.
November 30, 2016
On Saturday October 22, I had just finished a delicious meal of chicken in an adobo sauce that had green olives in it, something I had never seen, as well as some beef in a similar sauce served with hot tortillas and white rice when I was introduced to Juan and Loida. They are a couple that want to train at our seminary in Pachuca.
I was at Rogelio’s Noguera’s wedding reception, held in a village about an hour out of the city of Comitan in Chiapas near the Guatemala border, when I sat down to visit with Juan and his wife. (He is a lay pastor in one of the 32 churches that Rogelio Noguera is offering training. Rogelio, who leads our Chiapas Training Ministry, is seeking to help solidly anchor the pastors in the Word of God.) Most of these pastors have little or no education and no hope to be able to get any so Rogelio holds classes once a month where he is leading them through a more in-depth study of the Bible.
One of the first things Juan shared with me was his burden for pastors like himself who have so little knowledge of the Word. “The problem is,” he said, “that people come around teaching doctrines or practices that are not Biblical and so many fall into the trap of believing them. It is a danger we live with and we need to know more of the Bible.”
His wife is just as excited. She asked, “Can I study also? Or are the studies only for my husband.” I was able to answer that she could take classes, but she would need to work out something regarding the care of her five month old baby.
It was only October and they already had all of their paperwork in order to go to school. They have already put their request in for an apartment in the married student complex. Since then we have heard of another couple who would like to start studies also. We will not have room for them on campus.
Do pray for us in this great and needful ministry that we are carrying out in Pachuca, training people for the pastorate and leadership in the church in Mexico and the Spanish-speaking world.
October 28, 2016
A few Saturdays back, as I got out of my car to put some things in the house that used to be my Dad’s, I met a group of students coming down the street. I waited to greet them, and Jahaziel who was in the lead was more than excited. Before I could even ask what was going on he blurted out, “Guess what, Brother Paul? We just finished witnessing to a man and he made a decision for the Lord.” A few minutes later while we were still standing out on the street another group of students came up and he had to tell the story to them all over again.
These students had been out witnessing door to door as they do on weekends as part of their ministry. At the same time another group of students was holding a children’s club on the campus grounds, and a third group was at a football field in the vicinity holding a soccer “school” as a means of reaching these kids for Christ.
Some of our students also played an important role in preparing for our independence day celebration at Church September 15. We had a “Mexican Night” celebration. We decided to celebrate at church as a means to reach people for Christ. Praise the Lord, there were nine unsaved people in the service. We heard testimonies regarding two of them afterward.
Sister Paulina shared how her brother, who has never been interested in the Gospel, had a great time at the party together with his family. He was still talking about it several days later because he just never expected to have such a good time in a Christian church.
Sister Genoveva’s father and stepmother were also there. He told her out right, “I expected to be bored, but I had such a great time. I can hardly believe it.”
We praise God because the seed of the Gospel is being planted and some is bearing fruit. Continue to pray for our students to be faithful in preaching the Gospel and sharing it with those in need. Pray for those who have heard the Gospel that they might come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
September 30, 2016
It was only two weeks after classes at our seminary had started that brother Absalon our Director was approached about an opening for a possible church plant in a small town about 50 minutes from Pachuca.
Bernardo and his wife worked at one time at the seminary and attended the Eternal Refuge church. They have relatives who know the Lord in this town. They approached one of our teachers about starting a church plant in the home of their relatives because their relatives have to travel to a different town to go to church.
So many of our churches have been planted in this way in the past, so we have assigned two of the students to travel there to start Bible studies on Friday and to go out witnessing.
It was only a few days later Brother Absalon asked me in to his office. I could see he was excited about something. The previous day Manuel, a 65 year old new student, from Spain was talking to two of the young ladies at lunch and expressing his desire for someone to go and work in his hometown in Spain. They shared how they were praying about going to Spain on a mission trip with Operation Mobilization.
Manuel had come to Brother Absalon’s office with a proposal. He shared that he has two houses and was willing to let a team use one of them if they would go to work in his hometown. He also said he would pay for two round trip tickets and help with a small amount toward their support if only someone would go. We are now praying about what we should do about this opening.
What a wonderful thing to have these doors opening for our students at the school. Help us pray that God will help make the most of these opportunities He has given.
Training Children in a Christian Worldview
We were with David and Cristy Roberts the day before classes started at the Christian school they helped found in Aguascalientes. They shared about a seminar they helped host for parents on training their children up with a Christian worldview. They had 25 adults enrolled in this week long seminar.
They also shared how their daughter who just finished her work for a masters in linguistics would be helping them out for this next year at the school, teaching English. She also helped them restructure how some of the subjects for the upper grades would be taught because just a week before school began they lost one of their teachers.
This year the Christian school had a record enrollment. Slowly the school has been growing and more and more parents would like them to open up a middle school (secundaria). For the last two years they have had a few middle school students, but this part of their program is not accredited. To get the accreditation would require more buildings and equipment for the classrooms. Pray that God would guide them in what to do. The moral situation in the schools here in Mexico is getting much worse and more and more parents are seeking a way to educate their children without exposing them to all the wrong influences found in the schools.
Slowly Making Headway
We praise God because the work in the poor area of Monterrey known as La Isla is going forward. The second week of July they held their annual VBS program with about 100 kids in attendance.
These children are surrounded by an environment that does not encourage them to grow into responsible adulthood. There has yet to be a generation that will stand up to the pressures of adolescence and follow God. The work of God in La Isla slowly going forward. The need for young people that have grown up in the way of the Lord and have made it through adolescence is still a great need. The seeds are being planted and there is some fruit in this work.
We can praise God that there are some adults who have come to know the Lord and are slowly making a difference in their families. For the weekly activities there is an average of 13 adults in attendance.
We also praise God because a better place to worship and to hold the children’s classes is being built. The place they are renting has one large room that is less than 200 sq ft. In the new building the walls are up. The next step is getting the roof put on this one large room.
Need for Pastors
Yesterday I sat at home listening to Juan Carlos, one of our graduates who has been in the ministry for eleven years. He has been pastoring churches in a town about an hour from Pachuca. He was telling me about the sad situation in many of the churches in that town and the surrounding area. So many of the pastors have little or no training.
He was telling me of one church where he was invited to preach. Before he was called up to preach one of the members got up and said, “Brothers, we have some unfinished business to take care of. We still have not voted on who should be our pastor.” At that point he nominated a man from the congregation and the church voted to install him as pastor. The man who was now the “pastor” got up and said, “Brothers, I would like you to reconsider this decision. I can barely read the Bible. How can I be your pastor?” In the end they told him that the church had voted and he needed to submit to the church’s decision.
He also shared about a small training institute where he was asked to teach some courses. His frustration has been that sometimes the students show up and sometimes not. Classes are once a month and last about four weeks, so if the students miss one time they miss out on a quarter of the teaching. Even so he found out that they graduate their students and declare them fit for the ministry.
We praise God because He has given us a record enrollment of new students. This year 15 students have started their studies at our seminary. We praise God for this increase because of the previously mentioned need for pastors who are grounded in the Scriptures. These students will be well prepared to serve the church of Jesus Christ here in Mexico.
September 23, 2016
Thank you so much for supporting our work here in Mexico. We praise God because even when donations are low over the summer you have taken the time to continue to support us so faithfully. Do pray for us because our General Fund has been in the red over the summer. Pray that God will bring in the necessary funds to cover the commitments we have made to the ministries in Mexico.
One of these ministries, as you know, is our child evangelism ministry headed up by Blanca. During the month of August she teamed up with Rosi, who heads up our correspondence office, to hold a VBS class in a small town in the state of San Luis Potosi in Central, Mexico. Rosi, along with some other families that are supporting her, is working at seeing a church planted in this village about 30 minutes outside of the state capital. It is a village where no evangelical church is found.
For five days, August 6 to 10, they held classes for the children, sharing the message of salvation through the Wordless Book. There was an attendance of 25 children, all from unsaved homes. Many of these children expressed a desire to accept Jesus as their Savior.
The home where the classes were taught is a home steeped in religious traditions that have nothing to do with the liberating message of the Bible, and many of the children were relatives of this family. Pray for these children that God will continue to work in their lives and they may grow up to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel. In so many places, this is the way churches get started.
The day Blanca and Rosi were leaving a neighbor lady, who just recently had been widowed, told them that she would be sad because she would not be hearing the children sing anymore. Every day she looked forward to the time when the children would sing and she would sing along at home.
They were invited back to bring more teaching. Praise God that the light of the Gospel is breaking through hundreds of years of tradition in this village. Pray that some of the adults will also come to know the Lord as their Savior.
Thank you so much for your support, and may God bless you richly.
August 19, 2016
Do you get excited when you hear of what God is doing to grow His church? I do.
At the end of July we celebrated the 59th national convention of the churches that have been the outgrowth of the work of EMM in Mexico. We heard of some exciting things that God is doing.
In the very hot and muggy coastal town of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, God has raised up a new church. Years ago a small church was started in this city. Just a few years back a man joined the church who had come to know the Lord elsewhere. He was on fire for the Lord and started witnessing to his neighbors in an area of town a bit of a distance from the church. Under the encouragement from his pastor they started having prayer meetings and after a while meetings, on Sunday, and this past spring Blanca Loredo helped them hold VBS there. What a surprise! Even when we knew the work has growing, we did not know they would be asking for their own pastor this year. As of August, Pastor Gregorio de la Cruz will be taking up the pastorate of this new church.
It was also a blessing to hear that over 200 people had come to know the Lord throughout our churches in Mexico. Eight of those were people that were led to the Lord in the church where my wife and I are serving in Pachuca. This past Sunday, one day after the closing of our convention, the church renewed its commitment to reach more people for Christ in the coming year.
What a blessing to hear that God is raising up workers out of the churches that were planted so many years ago. Our found-er’s vision to train Mexicans to reach their own people is bearing fruit. Brother Erubiel a member of one of the first churches that was planted in the state of Oaxaca, is planning on coming to start his studies for the pastorate this coming school year. He will be coming with his family and will be the second couple in three years who has answered the call from this church. He and at least one other young man from our churches will be starting their studies for ministry this year.
Praise God the work goes forward by His grace.
July 29, 2016
Once again thank you so much for your gift to our ministry in Mexico.
Just recently someone told me, “It seems like the Mission supports various ministries in Mexico that seem to be totally unrelated. What is it that ties them all together?” I had to answer, “Training.” That is what the Mission has been doing since we started in 1954, training nationals to do the work of reaching their own people for Christ.
Our seminary is training pastors and leaders for the work in Mexico. We can say that the churches that grew up out of the church planting of the missionaries in the past, as well as those that are an outgrowth of that work, have pastors that teach the Word of God faithfully. They have been trained to do so. Just a few months back a missionary called me and asked if I knew of any of our graduates that were looking for a pastorate. This mission had planted a church some years ago and turned it over to a national pastor, but now that person left and there is no one to pastor the church. I have run into this situation several times. Praise God we are training pastors and leaders so that our churches won’t face something like this.
Our Child Evangelism department exists to spur the churches to reach children for Christ. One of the ways we are doing this is by training Sunday School teachers and people to work in children’s evangelistic programs in the church. Once again, we could have missionaries out there doing this, but we have found it more effective to train the people in the churches. In the long run this creates a greater outreach.
Our Bible Correspondence Department exists to help people study the Bible more in depth at a personal level and provide a means for discipleship at a distance. Over the years we have seen that this has reached people in places that would not have access to studies that point them back to the Bible and help them grow in their knowledge of the Lord.
Can all this be measured? In some ways we can see the result when we visit the churches that are pastored by our graduates. The wife of one of our graduates who works in another denomination about a month ago told me, “I want to thank you for the good job you did in training my husband. In our circle of churches I have found that preachers that were trained in our seminary did not have as complete a training as he did. Keep up the good work.”
July 28, 2016
Much has happened since we last wrote. I have been home so little since Janu-ary it has been hard to keep up with all my letter writing, so here is an update on what has been happening for that last while.
First of all, let me thank you for all your prayers and concern about our wellbe-ing. I praise the Lord because he has given me added strength since JohnE passed away. There has been a very marked difference in my energy levels be-fore and after that happened. I can only say that it has been God who has been answering your prayers and those of so many others in Mexico who are praying for us.
In March Ali was able to find a job as a monitor at a Christian school that does all of its teaching in English. They were needing a native English speak-er to help the students, so she has fit in well. She has really developed a burden for these young people.
Eunice has been taking care of the kids while Ali is at work. It has been a big adjustment for Eunice and me to have three kids to look after, and more so for Eunice. However, Eunice has not quit min-istering to different ladies who come over to the house. Just this past week she started an in-depth counseling/Bible study with a friend that we are not sure is saved. She might not get out of the house as much as before but her ministry has not ceased.
On my side of things, I have not been home a lot since January. In February we took Ali and the kids to visit her parents in Florida and on the way back stopped in Tennessee to visit her grandparents. For the first time in a lot of years we were traveling with babies in the car. God was so good in that they did travel well.
I was home for three days and then I took off to Cuba. I was able to teach a course in the Bible School there and hold a conference for the leaders in the church. I shared my study on a Theology of Thankfulness that I have been working on for the past several years. I found it a great blessing to review that after everything that we have been going through as a family.
I got home and was back on the road in less than two weeks. God gave me the privilege of visiting four supporting churches and several supporters in South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington. I was so blessed by getting to know some of the Mission’s supporters I had never met. God also gave me a few days of rest and some fun time with my cousin in Washington.
I came home in time for the end of our school year at the Seminary. We had 8 graduates of whom we are expecting great things. Al-ready some of them are working full time in the churches to which they returned. Chuy, one of these graduates, is already working on how to raise funds to help plant more churches. He has a great vision and God is sure to honor what he is planning to do.
The day after graduation I left on a ten-day tour with students from the school to promote the school and raise funds for it. It was a blessing to spend time getting to know the students who were traveling with me. So many hours in the van allows one to see what God is doing in their lives. I was very encouraged by Daniel who has a vision to use his love of soccer to reach kids for Christ. At one point he was looking to do that kind of ministry in Brazil, but God has now been redirecting him to establish a ministry like that in Mexico and work with others to use their talents for reaching young people for Christ.
Thanks for allowing us to continue to work at training people to serve Christ in the Church. There is so much more to be done, and we are sure that God will give us the strength to remain faithful to His calling.
June 24, 2016
Once again thank you so much for supporting the work here in Mexico. God has been faithful in fulfilling His promise that the seeds we plant will bear fruit.
As I mentioned in my last letter, I went out on tour with the students from the seminary to promote the work of the seminary. As I sat talking to one of the pastors while we had some delicious flautas with fresh lettuce, grated Mexican white cheese and a nice spicy hot sauce, I mentioned the fact that until recently I had not stopped to reflect on the fact of how far the ministry of the seminary has reached. He mentioned that one never knows the impact of the seeds we sow. When he was church planting in Leon, he led a young man to the Lord who is now heading up a ministry to Latin immigrants in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is now a pastor and reaching people for Christ.
I also had a great time at a village called La Vega where a church was planted years ago. After the service in the evening we sat in the church yard with one bulb to provide light and were served freshly made flour tortillas and a meal cooked over a wood fire with beans fried in pork lard. La Vega is a village that is 11 miles off the highway with a population of only 100 people. The man who pastors the small church of about 10 people took some courses at the seminary years ago. Last year when we visited the church there was one new convert. This year again there was another convert and an unsaved man in the service. It might not seem like much but the church grew by about 10%. Some of these people have heard the Gospel for so many years and are just not interested, but slowly, through the patience of brother Pedro and God’s working, people are coming to know the Lord. This small church is now helping support the seminary.
We also visited a church plant in Reynosa, on the US border. Here after the service we were served some special enchiladas in a cramped carport that serves as the church. This church was started by young couples who moved up to Reynosa from Ahuateno looking for work. The church in Ahuateno was planted in the early eighties, I visited that church for ten years while training their leadership. They became a very missions minded church, so when these young people moved up to Reynosa, they thought of planting a church.
One way or another the work goes forward. Planting one seed leads to growth in places a person would have never dreamed. From large harvests to small, all become a part of the growth of the kingdom.
Thank you for helping us keep this work growing.
June 21, 2016
I just got back from an 18-day trip visiting supporting churches and some long-time supporters of the mission. I wish I had more time to sit and visit with people and share what God is doing like I did on this trip. What a blessing to see what God is doing on your side and sharing what God is doing in our corner of His vast field. Let me share a little of what God has been doing in the last months.
Reducing Maintenance Costs
We have been working at the seminary on some projects to reduce the costs of maintenance. As I sat with Carlos who has been doing all the work on this project in his office, I could see he was excited about some of the things he had to report. We have greatly reduced our energy bill by about 35%.
We were also finally able to get some higher speed internet at the school. It took some creative thinking and a roundabout way to do so. We had to contract the internet service to an address that the company would service and then we set up antennas to beam the signal to the school, but we have it. This will improve so many things, including Dean Hebron’s classes that are taught over Skype. There is still some equipment to be bought to make it all work right, but we are on our way.
There are still some things we want to work on and that will take some more resources. With offerings at our banquet we started a fund for projects to reduce costs. Thankfully we still have some money to keep going, but it won’t be enough for everything we want to do. Pray that God will supply the need. (You can donate to the maintenance project.)
La Isla — Going Forward
As we reported in our last Messenger, the work at the development called “La Isla” has started a building project in a very poor community. The work goes on. They have made some progress thanks to gifts that have come in from various places.
So far they have gotten the foundations laid, which show so little but are so important. Also the concrete slab for the floor is laid. Walls and roof are important to keep the sun and wind off he kids. Would you help this budding church in a community that is rife with kids that grow up to be delinquents because there just seems to be no future for them? The gospel is making a difference already in the families who are bringing their kids up in the fear of the Lord.
Motivating Churches to Reach Children
In Mexico on April 30 Mexicans celebrate Children’s Day. Every school has a party and the churches also take the opportunity to have special programs with an evangelistic emphasis to reach children for Christ.
Blanca, who heads up our child evangelism department, traveled to a church plant in the southern state of Oaxaca to work with a church named Sicar and its offshoot. She continued to train the children's workers and helped them organize two special events in the city to evangelize children.
She worked with the members at Sicar for a week to organize a children’s day program. On the weekend when the time came for the program to start only people from church had shown up. Praise the Lord, however, soon after both children and some adults showed up and the church had a good group. Some people who were Christians but had drifted away renewed their commitment to the Lord. Quite a few children responded to the call for salvation.
At the second place that is an outgrowth of the mother church there are about 15 adults that meet for worship. Most of these are men. At first they were a bit shy about taking part in all the singing with hand motions and in helping with the short drama. (In the Mexican culture, and more so there, it is women who teach and take care of children. The men rarely get involved even at home.) Later they were so glad to have taken part.
At this place they held the program at a public basketball court. A lot of kids showed up, but people were also listening from their homes around the court. Plans are being made to have VBS in December because there are so many children to be reached and the parents allow them to come to such events.
Church Planting in Reynosa
We want to rejoice together with Victor and Gabriela Chavez who are church planting in Reynosa. He wrote recently that the violence in Reynosa has not diminished and in the middle of all this their son Mateo was born on May 5.
We have seen from past experience that it is of vital importance to have a pastor who models what a family should be. So much of the teaching reaches further and makes a bigger impact when it is backed by an example to follow.
We celebrated our graduation supper. It was a blessing to meet the parents of some of our graduates. Some of these parents never dreamed that their children, like Ricardo and Gamaliel, could be graduating with a college level degree being from very poor communities. Praise the Lord these young men will now be entering the ministry. This is thanks to those of you who have supported our Seminary and our scholarship fund. Do pray for our eight graduates who will begin their ministry in the coming months.
May 23, 2016
Thank you so much for supporting our work here in Mexico. As you know, the main emphasis of much of what we do is training people for the ministry and work in the church, and this has helped the influence of our ministry reach much further than our missionaries could have ever reached on their own.
We are coming to the end of another school year and we are getting ready for graduation and the tours we take with our students visiting churches to promote the school. I will be heading up one of the teams. As we were deciding what message we want to take to the churches the question came up, “Is investing in the Seminary worth it?” That brought up the question, “How far has the influence of the seminary reached?”
That question is difficult to answer, but if we think of it in geographical terms we can come up with an answer. We trained pastors that are now serving in Mexico, United States, and Nicaragua. We have also trained missionaries who have gone to Pakistan, China, and Indonesia, but we also have graduates working among four different cultures here in Mexico that don’t speak Spanish as their first language. I am not sure our founder, Walter Gomez, ever thought of reaching beyond the borders of Mexico, but the seminary, one of his first projects in Mexico, has done just that.
So the answer to the question, “Has it been worth it to invest so much time and resources in our Seminary?” would be a resounding “Yes!” Six young men and one young lady will be graduating this year.
The next question might be, “How much further will the ministry of EMM reach?
For example, we have yet to see the ways God will use the work that Rogelio Noguera is doing to give training to pastors in southern Mexico. How far might that reach in the long run? God only knows, but what we do know is that the teaching of God’s Word always bear fruit.
Thank you again for being a part of so many things that God is doing here in Mexico.
April 19, 2016
We are so thankful for the way you have been making it possible for us to continue working in Mexico and making sure the Gospel is preached to those who still don’t know it.
Because of those who have helped us with raising funds for scholarships to the Pioneer Girls camp, we were able to help 29 campers with their scholarships. Five were women, eight were adolescents, twelve were girls between the ages of 7 and 11, and four were between the ages of four and six.
There were 123 ladies and girls that attended the camp, and among them 43 were unsaved. By the end of the camp 20 of them had made decisions for Christ.
One of these was an adolescent girl who was sent by her parents to see if it would help her resolve some problems they had been having with her. She had been found with drugs at school, so her parents thought that going to camp might help. They asked that she not be told that they were sending her. On the last night she responded to the invitation to accept Christ as her Savior.
Another young girl who had been involved with spiritism activities kept hearing noises in her home and things would get moved around. One evening when the invitation was made, she sensed that someone was telling her that it was not a coincidence that she was there. It was then that she asked God to forgive her and change her. She also asked God to forgive her for doubting His existence and for speaking badly about Him.
Amid all the humdrum activities of work on the field, it is stories like these that make all the time and money spent worthwhile. Thank you for being a part of making these things a reality.
Your gift to our ministry here in Mexico, no matter what part of it you are supporting, makes things like this possible. It provides resources for us to continue to carry on the ministries God has called us to in this corner of His field.
March 20, 2016
In February, we held our annual board meeting. What a wonderful time we had fellowshipping with our missionaries and some friends who came to spend some time with us during those days. On Thursday evening the missionaries and some of the staff gave oral reports on what God has been doing through their ministries. How great to hear how God has been working this past year.
On Friday, Feb. 12, we had our annual banquet which focused on the work that God is doing through our seminary. We had a great time there and were able to see some of you our long time friends.
Let me share a little of what we heard reported from our missionaries.
Roberts’ Ministry in Aguascalientes
As we sat around the tables in the fellowship hall, David shared how God has continued to use the bookstores they are running in Aguascalientes, Leon, and Zacatecas. Although sales of Bibles and books have dropped slightly because of the continuing increase in the prices. Making sure good books and Bibles are available is an important part of the discipleship ministry of the church. Praise God this ministry is going forward.
He also shared about the day school that they started many years ago. This year they passed the 100-student mark in enrollment. Several of the families are asking that they start an accredited junior high school because they have been impressed with the quality of the teaching and because of the good environment the kids have at school. They have tried to do this in the past but it requires more building and teachers and the funds are sadly lacking.
Rogelio Noguera - Chiapas Training
When it came to his time to share, Rogelio talked of some of the challenges he has faced in trying to help educate pastors who have had little or no education. He has been teaching an in-depth study of Romans because so many of them are missing any kind of theological foundation.
One of the difficulties he faces is the fact that some of them read so poorly they can’t do the homework and so don’t want to continue. Others who can read, read so so slowly that they are discouraged. He is thankful, however, because about 80% of those who started taking classes with him continue to do so.
The need for such education for these pastors continues to be great because many of them know so little of the Scriptures that they only teach what they hear from others, and sometimes that is not very biblical.
Victor Chavez - Church Planting in Reynosa
As Victor shared with us, his love for the work he is doing in Reynosa was evident. Despite the setbacks and challenges, he continues to faithfully serve God in this city.
According to one of the news services, Reynosa occupies tenth place in a list of the ten most violent cities in Mexico. It is in this dangerous place God has placed Victor. Last March he married Gabriela from the state of Chiapas and brought her to Reynosa to start a new home.
In the past we have seen that it is essential to church planting to have a family that models the message that is being preached. Many of those coming to Christ come from backgrounds with no biblical principles. Things like paying energy and water bills are foreign to them. If they can get by without doing so, why not. One couple that had started coming to church left off because they were convicted by the teaching that such things are wrong.
He also spoke about how they have started helping out in a small Christian school that was started by two women who saw the need to educate children with a Christian worldview. There is such a need to raise children who have not only an education, but begin to see the world from a biblical perspective.
La Isla - Making a Difference in a Very Poor Community
As the board sat deliberating various important issues of the ministry, one of the highlights was the interview with Omar Corona and his wife Marlene. He came representing the national church in Mexico. Among other things, he shared about the project to build a church at “La Isla” a very poor community in the city of Monterrey.
This is a church that was started by first holding Bible classes for children under a tree. Some of the women whom Julia (one of the local women) has been discipling for over 10 years have been telling her, “There is a need to do something for our children and teenagers.” Praise the Lord, such things are now coming from the people in the community itself.
This church, in spite of its poverty and lack of men in the church, is helping to support two pastors in Cuba with $100 a month. When they heard about the poverty of these pastors they thought, “They are so much more needy than we.”
Now pastor Omar is looking to build a church in this community on a piece of land that was donated for this purpose. The house that stood on the lot had been used at one time to sell drugs and several people were killed there. Now it is destined to be a church. They are asking for help to put up an initial building to be used later for classrooms and a parsonage. For this they need $16,000.
Do help us pray as we continue to look for an Executive Director to help relieve Paul Unruh from these responsibilities and allow him more time for the work in Mexico.
Do pray for them as they work on this project that God would supply the funds and also that God would continue to make a difference through this ministry in La Isla.
March 14, 2016
Thank you so much for continuing to support the work we are doing in Mexico. God has truly blessed us over the years. One way He has accomplished this is through friends and supporters like you who have helped us make sure the various ministries we have in Mexico go forward.
One of these has been the Seminary in Pachuca. For the past sixty years we have been helping train Mexican pastors and leaders for the church in Mexico. Our belief is that people can reach people for Christ in their own culture so much better than foreign missionaries can. We have trained hundreds of pastors and leaders that are working to further the Gospel in Mexico. Some have even gone out as missionaries overseas working in places where missionaries are definitely needed and where Mexicans are more welcome than Americans.
Already we have had eight people show interest in studying at the school next year. This might seem like a small number, but never before have we had so many people show this much interest so early in the year. We are praying for twenty new students this year. Help us pray for these students.
We desire to continue with this ministry of supporting the Seminary in Pachuca. At the banquet we held at the end of our board meeting February 12, we started a project to raise funds over and above our monthly budget to help the school with various projects to make the operation of the school more cost-efficient.
We have already installed a solar-powered water pump and changed some of our lighting fixtures to make them more energy efficient. Now we are working on some larger projects like creating an electrical substation for our campus that we are told would help reduce our energy bill by about 30%. This and some of the other projects are a bit larger than our budget allows, so we are seeking to raise funds to make them a reality.
Once again thank you for the part you are playing in making all this and other ministries possible.
February 26, 2016
Thank you so much for supporting the work that we are carrying out in Mexico. God continues to expand the work started so many years ago.
Back in 1995 we bought land in Pachuca to build a new home for our seminary. The idea was to expand and be a blessing to small churches throughout Mexico that did not have a Seminary to which they could send students. The need still exists since more than half of Mexican pastors have no training.
As part of this project, an auditorium was built that presently seats 1200 people but is still lacking some seating. It was built for special events and has been used for the annual conferences of the national church as well as for missionary, youth and homeschooling conferences and for some Christian concerts.
This past year, however, the leaders of the churches in Mexico decided that, since we had such a big auditorium, why not start using it as a church. There were two churches started close to the school and one of these was using a church adjacent to the campus that could be merged to create a larger church. So on Sunday, January 24, the two churches were formally merged.
The project has been very ambitious, but with some really good ideas behind it. One of the ideas was that this could be a training ground for our students where they could see what it takes to pastor and carry out such a ministry and to help them dream big. Another purpose is to use our students to systematically evangelize the surrounding communities. For this they are being led by one of our teachers who has already done outreach like this elsewhere. Also, several of our teachers will be working as pastors in this church. In Mexico, team work among pastors is not very common; this has forced our teachers to work in new ways, which is encouraging, even though it has not been easy.
Pray for this new project. Pray that many will come to know Christ through the evangelism carried out by the students.
It might have taken a few years to get off the ground, but it is seeds like these that we have planted (like building an auditorium), that are continuing to bear fruit for God’s honor and glory.
February 10, 2016
Please be in prayer for the EMM board as we meet tomorrow through Fri. afternoon, and the annual banquet will be held Fri. evening.
Then we ask prayer for an event that has been planned to honor JohnE to be held Saturday at the location where he had the accident, near Pachuca. Unsaved climbers that were JohnE's friends, as well as climbers from the Solid Rock ministry that is organizing this as an evangelistic event, will participate in a climbing marathon. Pray for the Seed that will be sown and for the salvation of those who don't know the Lord.
January 26, 2016
Thank you so much for supporting the work here in Mexico. We praise the Lord because it was through gifts like yours that we were able to end our year in the black. Over the years God has proved Himself so faithful.
In one of our last letters and in the last Messenger we asked for help with a Christmas project. The village church from Ahuateno Veracruz, that over the years has worked hard to reach their surrounding communities with the Gospel, asked help in providing Christmas “boxes” for the children in several communities. We were able to put together 150 very nice gifts which we sent to them, and which in the end, were not enough for the four programs they held. Let me share about two in particular.
When I talked to Ivone, pastor Miguel’s wife, now after Christmas she was so excited. The attendance at the program at La Mesa was so much more than they had expected. Let me explain why she was so excited. I visited this community over 20 years ago with the people from Ahuateno who were planting a church there. A few weeks after my last visit those who had gone to hold a service there were put in jail and threatened with death. They were let go but told never to come back. On December 18, about 20 years later, in front of the home of a Christian family, the church from Ahuateno staged a drama on the dirt street using a few props and a wire with black plastic trash bags for the stage curtain. Pastor Miguel was also able to preach the gospel publicly. Fifty-five children and thirty adults were in attendance. This is truly a miracle from God.
God also worked marvelously in Tecerca. Here the local officials had agreed to allow them to hold the Christmas program at the village gathering place. When they got there, they were told it would not be possible to use the local venue because some of the villagers were opposed to the idea. The brethren prayed and in the end were granted the permission. Here again God’s hand was made visible, and there was an attendance of fifteen children and ten adults.
We praise God because His word continues to be preached, in these cases some children heard the gospel for the first time at an early age. Pray that we might continue to be faithful in that to which we have been called.
December 23, 2015
We praise the Lord for the way He has brought us through another year. God has been good in supplying for our needs through faithful givers like you. We also thank each one of you who has prayed for us and the ministry here in Mexico.
God continues to bless the correspondence course ministry. We have found over the years that this is an effective way of getting people into the study of the Word. The Emmaus courses we offer provide an in depth study into different books of the Bible.
After taking a synoptic Bible course, Alma Rosa from Cancun writes: “I want to thank you for sending these courses to me. They have been very helpful and in a special way have given me a deeper understanding of God’s Word. I am especially thankful because a few months ago my life was a complete mess and my spiritual life was at an ebb. God has shown me that He is a God of the impossible. Thank you once again for sending me these cours-es. I have shared these courses with some of my family and they now want to study also.”
Another student from the state of Hidalgo writes in answer to the question, “What can you do if you feel fear of Satan and his hosts?” : “When I am alone I sometimes have terrible thoughts that torment me to the point of not knowing what to do. I almost feel like I am losing my mind. Now when I start feeling like this I read the Word of God and I feel a lot better.”
One other student writes: “From what little I have learned I have begun to share with others about God. My biggest dream is to see my children, my parents and my brothers come to accept Christ as their Savior, and that they would leave their idols.”
Through this ministry as well as our other ministries we are trying to make a difference one person at a time. From what we have seen, sowing in the lives of people the Word of God results in their ministering to others and so the ministry is expanded.
Pray that we might continue to faithfully carry out our work for the salvation of souls and for their growth in the Word of God.
December 9, 2015
At this time of year signs and cards announce Peace, Love, Joy but our world seems far from any of that. The good news still holds true - our Savior came to give us peace, love and joy in the middle of any circumstance. More than ever it is evident how urgent it is for us to proclaim God’s message of salvation to this world. Join us in helping to make this possible in Mexico.
Reaching the younger generation
Two weeks ago I met Blanca on the sidewalk at the seminary. She was on her way to her office, but I stopped her to find out how things had gone for her on her trip to northern Mexico to teach a training course in one of the churches there. As usual, she was all excited about what God had been doing with those that took the course.
She shared about one of the recent converts in that church that took the course. On Friday when he handed in his homework he had done double the amount of work Blanca had asked them to do. Instead of just choosing one subject and writing the goal for the lesson, he did two. And on top of that also wrote out the outline for each lesson.
At the end of the week, as is her custom, Blanca helped her students organize a special evangelistic children’s program. They held this program twice on Sunday to reach those who don’t come to both services.
This year EMM will be partnering with one of our churches in the hills of Veracruz to help provide 150 “Christmas boxes” for the children in this poor area of Mexico as an evangelistic tool. The church in the small village of Ahuateno, with a population of 1000 people, has been a missions-minded church for almost 25 years. In spite of their low income, the people from this church have constantly reached out to surrounding villages, taking them the message of the Gospel. This past year they have held several evangelistic events for children in neighboring villages and hold a weekly Bible club for the children at the home church. You can click on the following link to donate online.
Opportunities to share the Gospel
I was invited to officiate at a wedding last month. The only saved people present, as far as we know, were the bride and groom, Pastor Absalon and his wife, and Eunice and me. Pastor Absalon had a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel and what a Christian family is all about, and as I officiated, I was also able to share from Scripture God’s plan for a marriage and what the vows mean.
In a few weeks we will be officiating at a girl’s fifteenth birthday party. She has grown up in our church and her parents are Christians but most of their family is not. As a family they have already been able to witness to the extended family since certain things found at most of these parties will not be present. Some of the family, as is the custom here, offered to help finance the band for the dance and some have been wondering about the alcoholic drinks. This has given the family an opportunity to share that we have different values since we believe in the Bible.
This party will also afford another opportunity to share God’s word to the unsaved family that might not otherwise come to church. Pray for us in Mexico that God will help us take advantage of every opportunity that we encounter to share the Gospel.
La Isla - A growing Church
La Isla is the name of a very poor housing area in the city of Monterrey which has a population of over 5 million people. It was about ten years ago that Omar and Marlene started working with children there on Saturdays holding Bible clubs under a tree on an empty lot.
It didn’t take long before some of the mothers started showing up to find out what their children were being taught, so Marlene organized Bible studies for the ladies. At different times for special evangelistic events they have had about one hundred children and adults show up.
For some years now they have been able to rent a small room where they hold regular services on the weekends, although the children’s classes are still held outside on the empty lot.
About two years ago one of the former residents of the community, who was saved elsewhere, donated a lot with a dilapidated building on it. Now they are looking to build a church and parsonage on the lot. We praise God for the way He has been working here and for the vision He has given Pastor Omar and his wife. Pray that God would help supply the needed funds for this Project. You can see more of what God is doing there on their Facebook page: “Mision La Isla”.
- Pray for a good number of new students for the new semester starting in January.
- Pray that God would send someone to take on the position of Executive Director and relieve Paul Unruh of this responsibility.
- Pray that God would provide Paul with the necessary help on the field now that his son JohnE is not there to help him.
- Pray for Twila Bradford’s full recovery from her latest surgery.
We want to invite you to our banquet to be held at the Friesen building (RGBI) on February 12, 2016. Our theme will be Doing not just Hearing. We will be taking up a special offering to help support the work at our seminary in Pachuca where we are seeking to help our students dig more deeply in the Word, and also apply that which they are learning to their lives. We are looking to get several projects done that will help cut down our monthly maintenance costs. If you cannot attend you can donate toward this special offering by designating it 2016 Banquet Offering. Call the office for tickets and more information.
November 24, 2015
About what happened the day JohnE passed away...
On Tuesday, November 3, we woke up to a normal day. JohnE came over to drop off the two boys for Eunice to take care of while he went climbing. (Tuesday was his day for inviting people to go climbing. Weekends were also for climbing but not on a regular basis and then he also set up special climbing events to places that were farther away or took many hours to accomplish. One such example was climbing the Pico de Orizaba, a snow covered volcano here in the state of Puebla. He was organizing a trip for here in December.) Eunice and I were just getting ready to get into the car to go to the bank, so we took Asher and Alexander with us. Ali was at their house with baby Isabella. We never imagined how that day would change our lives.
Just before noon that same day, our son JohnE had a climbing accident near a small town about half an hour from Pachuca and passed away. He had gone out climbing with three people to whom he had been witnessing for quite some time. Their mission this particular day was to make new routes on a rock called “El Nendho”. While out climbing he went off on his own to create a new route on another side of the rock they were working on, so he was off by himself. He was at the top of the rock getting ready to start his descent and seems to have been in the process of tying himself on when for some unknown reason he fell. His friends did not even notice this until someone that was a ways away saw him fall and came to tell them.
It was then that the wife of one of the climbers came to our home to let us know that JohnE had had an accident and we needed to go out to see about it. As is the custom here in Mexico, they did not tell us right off that he was dead. However, because we understand the culture, we were already suspecting this but had no confirmation until I showed up at the scene of the accident. It was there that I learned from his friends what had happened.
The rest of that day was spent waiting for local authorities to release the body for burial. I did have to go in to the police station and give an official statement along with one of the men that had been climbing with him. All this time his friends that had been climbing with him stayed with me and drove me to the various places we had to go.
As soon as the news got out, people from one of the local churches in the town I was at, to which the body was taken, came to be with me. Everyone was shocked and really didn’t know what to do or say, but they were there with me to help in any way they could. His climbing friends also stayed around until all had been taken care of and the body was released, which was late in the evening. During this time I was able to witness to them about the hope we have and that, even though we were in a lot of pain because of the death of my son, we had hope.
That same night I had to go to the funeral home in Pachuca where the body had been taken in order to make plans as to what would be done with the body and to set the date of the funeral. Here in Mexico, people are normally buried on the day following the death, so if the date is set for any time after that, one must make arrangements immediately. During all this time, one of JohnE’s unsaved climbing friends drove me around, and another man from the church was with me.
Meanwhile at home, Eunice drove over to bring Ali over to the house. Ali was able to explain to Asher that his daddy was now in heaven. In the evening when I came home for some stuff I needed for the funeral home, Asher told me, “Avo I have something to tell you, my daddy is in heaven.” To which I answered, “You are right Asher” but seeing me close to tears he said, “This isn’t something to be sad about. Is it?” As a family we did a lot of crying and he struggled with this. As the days have gone on he expresses that he misses his daddy, and one day he did say to Alexander, “Our daddy died.”
We set the wake to start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and at about 10:30 a devotional with a meditation and some singing was held at the chapel on the seminary grounds. We let people know that at 4 o’clock there would be another service and then again at 8:30 p.m.
Among those present at the 4 o’clock service were about 15 or more of his unsaved climbing friends who then stayed until midnight. The church John and Ali had been attending prepared and served supper to all who were present, and JohnE’s unsaved friends were there for that also. In both services the Gospel was presented, and we and others had opportunity to witness to them. For the 8:30 service there were so many people not everyone fit into the chapel that holds about 150 people.
That Wednesday afternoon several people from Solid Rock Ministries showed up as well. This is a ministry out of California that uses rock climbing as a way to minister to people and show them Christ. JohnE had made contact with them and helped them out at some camps on several occasions. In fact for February 2016 JohnE was planning to go with them on their annual Cuba trip where they use climbing as a way to witness to Cubans. This ministry consists of mostly volunteer climbers who use this as a way of witnessing. When they saw JohnE’s climbing friends they introduced themselves to the group and have already set up a special event to be held with them on the weekend of November 20. One of the men from Solid Rock came and told me, “We don’t want the seed that was planted to be lost. We will be working to follow up with these contacts that JohnE had made.”
By Wednesday around 5:30 our three kids arrived from Venezuela, Oklahoma and Texas. What a blessing and comfort they brought with them.
Paul David had to leave his precious wife Aisha who was getting ready to be hospitalized to have their first baby. Emily Faith was born Thursday night the same day we buried John. Death and life on the same day for us.
The funeral service itself was held at the auditorium on the Seminary grounds on Thursday at 9 a.m. and ended at 11. Not as many of the unsaved friends showed up on Thursday, but several did and heard the gospel preached very clearly again. Four of his closer climbing friends prepared a power point presentation of pictures of places and things they had done with JohnE.
As a family we saw the evidence of so many lives that JohnE had touched. He had a way of winning people’s friendship, and a lot of them are hurting along with us. At his funeral service, over two hundred people showed up mostly from Pachuca, but there were also people from seven different states as well as two of my cousins from the state of Washington, the Giblers from Idaho and Iowa, and Ali’s aunt Patty.
For now Ali will be staying with us and the Board has decided to continue giving her the support that has been coming in for her and John through the end of this year. Later we will be reviewing what else might be done. Also any money sent in for John's memorial will be given to Ali to help with her needs. Because of the nature of this memorial we can not give a tax-deductible receipt for it.
Thank you so much for your prayers and expressions of love. God is giving us peace in the middle of this painful storm.
November 16, 2015
Thank you so much for continuing to support our work here in Mexico.
The success of so many things can only be measured after some time has passed. We praise God, however, for the glimpses He gives us into what He can do with that which we invest for His glory.
In 1986 I started visiting a village in the hills of Veracruz, and travelled there once a month for ten years. Most times it took eighteen hours by bus overnight to get there, and I spent two days there and then started back.
The reason for my trips was to train people there for ministry in a small church that did not have a pastor at the time. I had four very faithful students who studied most of the courses I taught; although I did have other students who took some of the courses.
My trips were not always very encouraging. I would get there and find that my students had not done their homework even though they had had a whole month to get it done. Once or twice my students were busy, and I was not able to hold class.
Just a few weeks back I visited this church again. What a blessing to see that several of my former students are still actively taking part in the leadership in the church, and most of them over time have been a part of actively evangelizing and planting small churches in other villages in the region.
I was especially excited to share on Saturday in the prison at the county seat. About six months after I started going there one of my students, Apolinar, was falsely accused of a murder and put in jail. He witnessed to the inmates and many came to know the Lord. Even though he was released after about a year and a half, twenty-eight years later this ministry continues and men are still coming to know the Lord in that prison. Apolinar continued studying with me and going to the jail to minister to the inmates for several years until God called him to full-time ministry.
A person never knows what God will do with the seed we sow. Those lives I invested in, even through very discouraging times, are still bearing fruit. That is why we so firmly believe in training men and women to reach their own people.
Thanks for being a part of this ministry and for helping us to make sure more men, women, and children are reached with the life-changing message of the Gospel.
October 22, 2015
Over the past year I have been working on a study I have entitled a Theology of Thankfulness. It has been a work in progress and sorry, it is in Spanish. I started the study because of the struggles I have had with my health. Many times I have worked on it on days I am not feeling well enough to do much of anything. It has been a good way to keep reminding me of all the bless-ings I do have even when days aren’t going so well. I started by looking up all the verses I could find on the subject, and one of the things I found was that we should be thankful for who God is. This puts things in perspective because I can be thankful even when life is rough because I have a great God, and a great God is always there in all the details of my life. So here are a few things that Eunice and I are thankful for. Maybe you can later share some of the things that are on your list.
Paul is thankful for another School year at the seminary
God has been good and allowed us to continue our teaching ministry at the seminary. He gave us six new students this year. I have enjoyed having them in class. I teach these first year students an introductory course on Music includ-ing some music theory. It is a challenge teach-ing this course since most of them don’t have much of a clue about music, but the satisfaction is always great when they catch on. I am also enjoying my Biblical Theology of Missions course. It is especially rewarding to see students increase their interest in cross-cultural missions, especially those that come from churches where there has never been any interest or teaching on fulfilling the Great Commission.
Eunice is thankful for her ministry to women
Every Monday morning I get up and make it to my Bible study/counseling time with Rosalva. She has been growing a lot in her faith and has been going to church regularly. The man she lives with has said that one of these days he wants to meet Eunice. Pray that God will work in his life and that he might come to know Him as his Savior.
I also have been meeting with two women for prayer every Thursday, but invariably they ask for advice and I do a bit of counseling.
Paul is thankful for being able to minister to pastors
As time has gone on, my role in our work in the churches in Mexico has changed. God has been using me in this past year to do some counseling and advising some pastors. I have also been working a bit more closely recently with the president of the national conference. It is encouraging to see some pastors being raised up with a renewed vision for the work and a burning desire to see God continue to use us for the spread-ing of the Gospel in Mexico and beyond.
In August I was invited to hold a five-day seminar teaching on the laws of Biblical interpretation. About fifty people were present every night for 2 ½ hours. I found it exciting to see the interest everyone had on learning more how to study the Bible.
Two of our churches are merging in Pachuca, one of them being the church we helped plant. I have been invited to be a part of this process. It has been very interesting working through some of the issues and creating a new way of looking at things. Part of the challenge is the fact that we will be creating a church that will meet in the seminary’s auditorium that right now seats 1200 people. The vision and plans for such an endeavor is stretching each one of us. Our churches have never set such a goal. Pray that God will help us in making this possible and that it will serve as a place where our students can see a larger church modeled with a senior pastor and a team leading the church.
We are thankful for our new granddaughter
On September 22 Isabella Maria was born to John and Ali. Eunice has been helping Ali out with caring for Asher and Alexander so we have had them over at our place a bit more than usual. Eunice has also taken on doing some homeschooling with Asher. It has been fun to see him learn to start reading and doing his Math.
We are also excited because the middle of next month we are expecting the birth of another granddaughter to Paul David and Aisha.
We are thankful for people who are reaching children for Christ
In my role as field director I get to work with our Child Evangelism program. It is always exciting to visit with Blanca and see how God is using her ministry to reach children for Christ. This year one of the churches she has worked with in the hills of Veracruz has asked if we could help them with some “Christmas boxes”. This church has been actively working with children and has had success in planning and carrying out children’s evangelistic events in the past, thanks to Blanca. They would like to do this again at Christmas time. Would you help us out with this project? If so, designate your donation as Child Ev. Christmas Project.
- For Eunice’s Bible Study
- For Paul’s health
- For Jose’s salvation (the man Rosalva lives with)
- For wisdom as Paul works with the pastors in Mexico
- For a good number of students to start studies in January
October 15, 2015
What a privilege it is to work on the front lines and get to see all the action that happens in our ministry here in Mexico, both encouraging and discouraging. Yes, not everything is peaches and cream, but as I have made it a mission in my life, I am constantly looking to see what God is doing. What I have found is that God is doing so many amazing things if we look for them so that we can always rejoice in the Lord as His Word tells us.
Let me share a little of what God is doing through Blanca Loredo and our Child Evangelism ministry. She continues to keep herself busy training people to work with children. In July, she was teaching in two churches and helping them organize their VBS programs. She also prepared for our annual convention where she had about 50 kids for a VBS focusing on Heroes of the Faith.
Next month she will be traveling to another church to help organize another special children’s evangelistic event. She will be spending a week with some of her previous students as well as the pastor there to create a program that will appeal to children and give them the good news of salvation in Christ.
Over the years we have found that in Mexico a way to get into many homes is through the children. There have even been churches planted because of children’s weekly Bible clubs that were first started in the community. The most recent case is “La Isla”. The work with children is very important.
This year we will be partnering with one of our churches in the hills of Veracruz to help provide “Christmas boxes” for the chil-dren. We are planning to make the boxes up in Mexico and save all the shipping cost. If you would like to help toward this project just designate the gift to Child Ev. Christmas Project.
October 2, 2015
We praise God for the way He continues to use the work here in Mexico to extend His kingdom. It has just been a few months since graduation, but I thought you might like to know what God has been doing in the lives of some of our recent graduates. Some have been placed in churches that have been going through problems and are having to rebuild lives and ministries.
I wrote some of them and asked them to share what God is doing in their lives and what challenges they are facing.
Abimael writes: “In the church where I have been helping, God has opened doors to work with some people who were not open before to the things of God. It has been a blessing to work with these people.
The biggest challenge I face right now is the possibility of becoming the pastor in another town in the state of Hidalgo. These people were left without a pastor. I recently met with them and can see a great potential in working there. I was also able to see that there is much work to be done in that church.
Even though I don’t have a paid position or a job, God has been good to me and supplied all my needs.”
Abimael has been faithfully serving in his church since he started school. He is now being offered a pastoral position in another city.
Daniel and Veronica
Daniel and Veronica took on a pastorate at the beginning of August in a church that had suffered a split.
Veronica writes about her challenges as a pastor’s wife:
“The day after we arrived at our new posting we were advised as to the church’s calendar of activities. I was told I would be leading the ladies’ weekly meeting. This set me on edge because I had not unpacked my clothes and nothing in the house was in order yet. To top it off, the next morning we were informed that one of the members of the church, a lady that for some time had not been able to come to church because of her age and ailments, had passed away. I was even more frightened about what to do. My husband shared a meditation from the Word and we sang some songs at the wake. We praise God because even though the family was unsaved they allowed us to share the message of God’s Word.
I have been very blessed to be able to work in a church with some really hard-working women. There are some women with a lot of experience from whom I am sure I will learn a lot.
At first, attendance to the services was quite low, but slowly God has been bringing people back. God has been so good in providing for our needs and for what He is doing in the church.”
Josué who was sent to a small town in the hills of Hidalgo shared the following:
“When I got to the church I would be pastoring, I wondered how I would keep myself occupied to feel like I was doing what I should. Toward the beginning I was feeling a bit like Elijah, feeling I was all alone, so I prayed: “Speak to me God.” I opened my Bible in Matthew 14 and read the verse: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” I felt ashamed and at the same time was reassured by His presence.
Since then I have been studying the life of Peter and sharing what I am learning with the church. I found that these lessons are related to the two goals I have for the church. First, I want to see the members of the church grow in their faith, and second, I want to see each member become a minister of the Word and each home a meeting place.”
Rosa, after graduation, took part in a cross-cultural immersion course. At the end of that time, a mission agency that was founded here in Mexico asked her to help them in their work. They have seen the need for someone to help work with their missionaries in providing them with personal support and also promoting the mission and its work.
Do keep praying for our ministry at the seminary. As you can see by these testimonies, the rubber meets the road when our students graduate and go out to be leaders and minister God’s Word. Each one faces a variety of different challenges. The great thing is to see how the work goes on, grows and expands with each student that graduates.
Do continue to pray for this vital ministry and pray that God will continue to raise up workers for His field which is white unto harvest.
- Pray that God would help us find the right person to become the Executive Director for the mission in the place of Paul Unruh.
- Pray for Armando Lopez as he travels to represent the mission. Pray especially as he raises an awareness for missions among the Hispanic churches in the U.S.
- Pray for John Unruh as he continues to witness to the men he has befriended through his climbing ministry.
Thanks from all of us at the seminary to all of you who made it possible to buy a riding mower. This will be a big help with keeping the grounds mowed. We are still in the rainy season and so the grass keeps growing almost faster than it can be kept under control.
We thank God because our correspondence courses continue to make a difference in the lives of our students, children, teens and adults.
After studying one of the series on dating and marriage, one of the students wrote. “I am glad to now know what I must avoid if I don’t want to have a bad marriage.”
Another of our students wrote after studying about God’s sovereignty: “Yes, God is in control of all things. Not even the smallest detail escapes His notice. That is why every day I am surprised by God’s infinite power.”
What a blessing to know that through this ministry we can make a difference in the lives of people as they learn more of God’s Word.
September 10, 2015
First of all I want to thank you for your support of our ministry here in Mexico. Thanks to gifts like yours our seminary continues to go forward.
On August 17 classes started up again. We praise God for the six new students God has given us. One of them is a married student. He shared how he had sensed God’s call for some time, but things didn’t seem to line up for coming to school. Then he got married and thought he would probably not study for the ministry. He was very actively working in his church so he thought that would be enough. This spring, however, he again sensed he should go to school. When he talked to his pastor, his pastor was all for it. He was a bit afraid of telling his wife, not knowing how she would react. However, when he talked to his wife, her question was, “When do we get packing?” It was then he started trying to reason with her even though she was not against it. God worked all things out and now he has started his studies. Thanks to our scholarship fund we were able to offer him a scholarship and his church will be helping him with his living expenses.
I find it so rewarding to be teaching students like these who are willing to give their lives to the service of our God. Through them our ministry can reach so much further than any one of us missionaries could ever go or do.
If you would like we could send you a picture and the name of one of our students for you to pray for. Just let us know.
God bless you richly for making things like this possible.
August 17, 2015
Once again I want to thank you for being a part of this great work that God has given to us here in Mexico. I sometimes think that I get the better part in this ministry since I get to see so many ways in which God’s work is going forward. Yes we have our ups and downs, but to see and hear firsthand what God is doing throughout the churches that were founded through the work of EMM after all these years is a blessing I wish you could all enjoy.
The third week of July, we had our annual conference on the seminary grounds. We had a record attendance this year. For the last two years the organizers have tried to make this time more meaningful for those attending, and this has resulted in renewed interest.
One of the groups that a recent graduate has had a burden for has been the pastors’ kids. This year he organized several activities geared for this group. He has been praying for them for several years, and this past year God answered his prayer by sending four of them to the seminary. What a blessing to see second generation pastors in the making!
Then we had the very special privilege of having one of the first pastors, Josabed Luna, who worked very closely with my father at the beginning of his ministry in Mexico, come to receive a special recognition on behalf of the Mexican churches. He had a great influence in the lives of many of our pastors and has left us an important legacy through his teaching and example.
What this all comes down to is the fact that after 61 years there is a church that is continuing to spread the Gospel beyond what the few missionaries that have worked for EMM would have ever been able to do. It is because our founder Walter Gomez believed in the need to train the Mexican people to reach their own people; and the work goes forward.
Those represented at this conference were only a small part of those who are a result of the work that has been done over the years. Many others who are fruit of our work in the churches are also ministering in many places.
July 16, 2015
We here at the EMM office are so grateful for your gift to the ministry in Mexico. We praise God because he continues to allow us the opportunity to minister the Word of God and promote its teaching in a land where many that have come to know Christ don’t get beyond being babes in the Word for a lack of trained pastors and leaders in the church.
I had the privilege these last two years of becoming friends with Josué, one of my students, who just graduated this past May. He is the son of one of our pastors and has a real heart for his people and the churches we work with.
God used him to help build up leadership in a small church plant in one of the towns in the mountains about two hours from Pachuca. This past year especially he came to me seeking advice on prob-lems he was facing. You could tell he had a real burden for the people he was serving and was not just serving there because it had been the church to which he had been assigned.
Now toward the end he shared regarding his experi-ence at school:
“Here at the seminary I have not only learned to read the Bible but also to live it. I have learned to live by faith, believing firmly that ‘if he watches over the sparrows, he will also watch over me…’ This has been a place in which God has taught me in the same way that he taught Peter and Moses that ministry does not depend on my skill or abilities nor on my mistakes and defeats, but rather on the work that He does through me.”
It is women and men like him whom we are seeking to train. Thanks to you who are contributing to the work here in Mexico, this is possible.
God has been so good to us in con-tinuing to give us the privilege to work in Mexico and further the Gospel in that country.
It seems like there is never a dull moment around our house. Neither Eunice nor myself are looking for things to do, but it seems like oppor-tunities to minister keep knocking at our door -- opportunities that are not directly related to what we are already doing.
Just recently, one of the secretaries at the seminary asked Eunice if she would go with her to talk to her sister Rosalva that is going through some really hard times and has been ex-tremely depressed. This lady came to know the Lord when she was really young, but then got involved with a married man and things went downhill from there. After the initial visit, Rosalva agreed to have Bible studies in her home, so Eunice decided to let the Word of God work in her life. Last week when Eunice went for her second study, she told Eunice, “I have been reading the Bible and realize I am living in sin.” Now we are praying that God will show this woman the steps she needs to take and that she will be willing to do it.
Then just last week Bro. Absalon, the director of the seminary came to Eunice and me when we were at the seminary for something else and asked, “ Would you be willing to do some marital counseling with a couple I know?” As time has gone on it seems like God has steered more and more people our way for counseling. At times I think there is a great need for a counseling ministry where we live. Pray that God would provide some-one who could do this on a more full-time basis.
Then it seems I have inherited some of my father’s ministry. When I was on tour with the students, promoting the seminary in the churches in the northern states I got a call from a pastor in Monterrey, who knew my dad. He wondered if I could meet with him. We met, and he asked me if I could come and do a week of conferences for their churches. My Dad used to do this from time to time, so in August I will be giving a week of conferences in Monterrey. Pray that God will give me the strength and wisdom in this ministry.
As I mentioned, this is all over and above my work at the seminary. I do praise God that He gave me the strength to finish another year of teaching. This was my 29th year working at the seminary.
We also praise God because we had 11 students graduate in May. This has been one of our largest graduating classes at the seminary. I am praying that God would send us 20 new students. Would you join me in that prayer?
Pray also that God would supply EMM with a person to take the Executive Director position. I really need to cut back on some responsibilities because of my health, but it has been hard because there is no one to take the job.
I am thankful that God has given the strength I need when it is needed. Between my Lyme Disease and my inherited Mitochondrial Myopathy, there are days I just don’t have the energy or the health to get much done. This is not easy on Eunice either. Do pray for her since she carries the load for a lot of things at the house.
We do want to thank each one who supports us and prays for us. Without either of these we could not contin-ue in this work that God has given us.
- Paul's health. That he might have the strength and energy to get that done which God would have him do.
- Eunice's ministry to various ladies: counseling, Bible studies, prayer times.
- 20 new students for the seminary this year.
- An Executive Director for EMM.
- Safety in Paul's travels.
We have had the privilege of having Rebecca home from Venezuela for a few weeks this summer. She has enjoyed teaching Asher and playing with Alexander while she has been in Pachuca.
June 15, 2015
We thank you for your generosity in supporting the work here in Mexico. We are thankful for the various ways in which the Word is getting out through ministries we have here in Mexico.
This past month eleven young men and women graduated at our seminary and will be going into full time ministry in the coming months.
Two single men and one married couple are waiting to be assigned to churches at our up-coming national convention in July. In the mean time they will be serving in their home churches. The others will be given work in the denominations they come from.
I had the privilege of traveling with four of our graduates on a week-long tour of some of our churches promoting the school. It was encouraging to hear them preach and pour out their souls encouraging people to answer God’s call to serve Him either in their churches or full time. As I have seen them mature over the past four years I believe that God will greatly use them for the furtherance of the Gospel.
Deyvy one of our graduates who comes from a different denomination was sharing with me his burden to develop leadership in some of the small churches in his denomination. From what he was sharing, some of these churches have existed for quite a few years, but no one has taken the time to train leaders in them and so they have depended completely on their mother church. As he studied at school he developed a burden to see this change.
Pray for these young men and women to remain faithful to their calling, and pray that they might be greatly used for the salvation of souls and for the discipling of God’s people.
Pray also that God will send us a good number of students for this coming school year. We already have heard of a few that are interested. We had 11 students graduate so just to keep our numbers up we would need that many coming into first year. However, we would like to see the number of students continue to grow. Help us pray that we would have a least 20 new students this year.
May 21, 2015
What Are Our Students Planning?
We are so thankful for all of you who have made it possible for our work in Mexico to go forward. As you now, among the different ministries we support, our most heavily supported ministry is the seminary. God has kept this school going for 60 years.
Let me share with you the testimony of what God is doing in the lives of some of our current students.
Sasaí - Just Getting Started
Sasaí worked with her parents for several years in a children’s ministry in a church plant in Monterrey. God was already working in her life then.
“Two years ago God called me to serve Him full time. This was a hard call to answer. At that time I was working at my first job when God touched my heart. It was difficult giving up my dreams, my plans, my work, but I could not resist His calling. I understand that I have been called to a ministry with children and that I must do something for the children of Mexico.”
“What I have been learning at the seminary has helped me understand God in a deeper way. During classes and in each of my courses God has been speaking to me daily and has been teaching me what He wants of me and how and when it should be done. Beyond the academics, my relationship with God has been growing. I have learned to know Him more and be in His presence sharing a more intimate relationship. I have decided to leave all things in His hands and let Him use me according to His purpose.”
Daniel - About to Graduate
“My wife and I with my two children came to the seminary trusting that God would supply our needs. He has done just that through people like you who have provided funds for us to dedicate our time to our studies.”
“I can say that the ministry I have been a part of during this time has, by the grace of God, deepened not only my knowledge but, most of all, my trust that God is in control of all things. I have experienced a walk of dependence on God, knowing that He is faithful in all that He promises. This has given a new direction to my personal and family life. We have learned to love each other more and to begin to take on the responsibility of a church, as was the case with the church here in Pachuca that God had me pastor this year.”
“We plan to keep serving in the ministry until the end of our lives or until God decides otherwise.”
Planting the “Good Seed”
Victor Chavez sat here in my office yesterday and reported on what God is doing in the church plant “Buena Semilla” (the Good Seed) in Reynosa. God has been growing the women’s ministry since his newly-wed wife joined him in the ministry this past March. She is also helping to teach the children in the church and that ministry is growing also.
“Right now we are gearing up for our Mother’s Day program. We hope God uses this program to make a difference in the lives of more women.”
Do continue to pray for his safety. This past month there were shootouts all over the city, and one of the members of the church was standing next to a man who got killed. Danger seems to be ever present in this city that so desperately needs the Lord.
Mexico and Beyond – Jael’s Story
“My mother says that I wanted to be a missionary since I was a little girl. I can’t remember, but I do remember when the students from the seminary would come by promoting the school. It created restlessness in my heart. I ended up going to the seminary. My third year Wycliffe Bible translators gave a presentation of their work. Afterward, during supper, I sat and talked with the director of a Mexican mission agency and she asked me for my linguistics grades. She was amazed and told me, “God is calling you into translation work”.”
“I live part time in this village and part of the time in the city. Learning the culture here as well as the language is a great part of my work right now.”
“At the beginning of my fourth year pastor Raul Ramirez and Paul Unruh asked that I be assigned to the “Eternal Refuge” church because as a church they wanted to support me to go out as a Bible translator.”
“That year was very interesting because I did want to do God’s will but I didn’t really want to be a translator. Why? I had taken years of English classes and could never really learn it. I had tried to do it in my own strength.”
“When I did make it to the Philippines to study more English I finally had to give up and let God take over. Once I did, I learned English. Now I also know Bahasa Indonesia and I am working on a tribal language.”
“I am part of a project to translate the Bible into the Ahe language. We are working on some oral translations and next year will start on the written text.”
“God used the seminary to shape my life and prepare me for this ministry. Walter Gomez never dreamed that the Gospel he preached to my grandparents and my parents would now be bearing fruit half-way around the world, nor that the seminary he helped start would be preparing Mexicans not only to reach their own people but also needy people in other countries.”
We want to thank each one of you who sent in support for scholarships for Pioneer Girls. This year we were able to help 10 girls go to camp. They were required to make progress in their manuals to qualify to go and so this was an incentive. We were also able to give scholarships to 5 unsaved girls who are now attending the clubs on a regular basis.
May 20, 2015
Thank you so much for making it possible to continue serving God in Mexico. God has been doing some really exciting things through our Child Evangelism department.
This month was a very busy month for Blanca who heads up the work. She visited two churches and held evangelistic programs for children in each.
The first part of the month she went to Ahuateno, a village in the mountains of Veracruz, where the church was started because of a tractor. If you have not heard the story you can visit our YouTube channel Evangelical Mission Ministries and view the movie that was made of that story. This church is very evangelistic and is constantly finding new places to preach the Gospel in outlying communities that are too small to support a church.
When Blanca showed up in Ahuateno at the beginning of the month she started working with the people she had trained on previous visits and organized a special program called the “Festival of Life”. This included a short drama and songs geared for children. They held a parade and invited the whole community to come. There was one person saved in this meeting. On the following days they went to two other communities and held the same program. At one of these places where they have just recently started visiting, four adults and three children made decisions for the Lord. At another place they held the program in the street because there was nowhere else to hold it. This also is a new work and the unsaved neighbors lent chairs and other things.
Then the last two weeks of April Blanca spent them in Guadalajara where the church plant is slowly growing. Here again she worked with the people in the church and prepared them for the same program. Praise the Lord there were a little over 50 children and adults present for the program.
God continues to bring people to Christ through this ministry. Do pray for Blanca as she has several more events and training programs lined up for the next months.
April 21, 2015
We are so grateful for the way God continues to supply our needs as a mission through people like you. Just today as we did our Bible reading here at the office I was reminded of the fact that God’s work is done by the body and not by a single person. At times I feel so privileged because I get to be at the forefront of what God is doing through this ministry in Mexico, but it would not be possible without people like you helping us out financially. It takes us all working together to get the Lord’s work done.
Just last week I was talking with Rosy Santiz who heads up our Bible correspondence course department. Slowly the number of students is increasing. That is a blessing because we are getting basic Bible studies out to people who in many cases do not get disciple or do not receive in-depth teaching in their churches. Rosy shared with me some of the things the students have written her as a result of their studies on the person of Christ.
One student, a young lady, wrote:
“I have been blessed by this study because I have felt more confident in being able to share my faith with other people and knowing how to explain or resolve their doubts. Even though I am not well prepared, I know that God will place in my heart the necessary confidence to serve Him. Meanwhile I will keep on preparing myself even more.”
Another student writes:
“The most important lessons I have learned from this course are that Christ is coming soon, that He loves us in spite of everything and that it is never too late to repent. I feel such joy in my heart because He is in control of my life and of that of my family’s. Every day I thank Him for not leaving us alone in this deceitful world. I will never forget the day He spoke to my life. It was when I was feeling so lonely and without love. God, being so great, took notice of me! I have never felt such peace. I will always love Him.”
We are thankful that through these courses some have come to know Christ as Savior and many are growing in their Christian life.
God bless you for the part you play in the work we are accomplishing in Mexico.
March 13, 2015
Thank you for helping support the work we are doing to spread the life changing message of salvation in Christ in the Spanish-speaking world. It is great to see that the work that our Mission started in Mexico is coming full circle. Now some of those we are ministering to are getting a burden for preaching the Word in other parts of the world where there is much need.
I am so excited about what God is doing at our seminary in Pachuca. We have a bunch of students who really want to make a difference both in Mexico and in the world.
This summer Yosselin and Rosa, who are graduating from our missions program, are making plans to go on a short-term mission trip to India.
As part of their graduation requirements they must do some cross-cultural ministry. Yoselin had been praying that God would open doors to visit some other country. Without knowing this, Rosa who was making her own plans to work in an indigenous culture in Mexico, found out about a trip to India that a mission agency for Mexicans had set up. When she told Yoselin about it, it seemed like God was leading them both down this path.
As they started sharing with the students at the school their plans and what it would cost, one of the students thought, “If I had to raise that much money by July I wouldn’t even start.” Others started offering to help them promote their trip in the various churches where they work and also to help out as much as they can financially.
The purpose of the trip is to get a sense of what God would have for their lives in the future and to start putting into practice some of the things they have been learning at school.
This three-week trip will be a challenge both culturally and also financially, but they are confident that God will provide if that is where He wants them to go.
I find this exciting because our students are catching a vision for missions. To see young people like this exercise their faith and want to practice what they have been taught makes all the work that is involved in teaching and keeping the school going worthwhile. And a big thanks to you too because, in one way or another, as you support our various ministries you make things like this possible.
Impacting Future Generations
One day this week as I was leaving the Seminary, I saw Blanca Loredo outside her office on the WGEC grounds. She was watering some plants, so I stopped to chat and see what God was doing through her ministry. As always, she broke out in a great big smile and said, “Thanks for asking. Let me tell you what has been happening these past three weeks.”
Blanca continued, “On February 1, I was invited to do some training at a Presbyterian Church here in town where 12 people signed up for my class. Two of the people present were leaders from the church. I was very nervous because it is a very conservative church and I was having my students do some singing with clapping and motions. After my third Saturday of teaching there, the leaders called me over and I thought they might scold me for being too lively. I was pleasantly surprised when they told me they were very pleased with the training and wanted me to get them a full set of notes on the training I was giving their teachers.”
Toward the end of January I visited with Blanca, and though she had things to do, she was a bit down because no one had contacted her recently to ask for training in their church. In this visit she was all excited — two churches had opened up right at the end of January and asked her to do some training.
“At about the same time I was called on to do some training in a church that is in the suburbs of Mexico City. Here I had something happen that had not happened before. In my training program I always touch on the fact that we can’t teach that which is not real in our lives. At the end of this session, a young lady got up and asked for prayer saying she wanted to be right with God and with her church. Then another woman stood up and also asked that God would use her even more. It became a time for the group to pray and get right with God. What a wonderful time it was to start out this way!”
Pastor Florencio at the church in Mexico City had been talking to me in January of a need to teach the foundations of our faith to the children and young people in his church. Talking to him last week, he is happy with what God is doing through this training program.
Keep praying that God will use Blanca to help churches in Mexico reach Mexico’s children for Christ and make a difference in the next generation.
Making a Difference in a Violent City
In January at our board meeting we officially welcomed Victor Chavez as part of our team working in Mexico. He is a graduate of Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, Texas. While studying there, he, with a team of students from the school, started planting a church in Reynosa, which is just across the border. He is now the pastor of a budding church.
Reynosa presently is a city with a lot of violence due to the drug wars in Mexico. Many areas of the city are controlled by different gangs that are a part of the drug cartels. The area he’s working in is such a place, so not just anyone can come and go. He, however, has been allowed to carry out his work. Pray for him as there is danger because of shoot outs that happen quite frequently and have happened while he has been there.
Pray that God will help him to make a difference in this city and that God would keep him safe.
If you care to donate toward this project, label your gift “Reynosa Church Plant.”
Pray Ye the Lord of the Harvest
Just this past Tuesday I met Rolando at lunch at the seminary. Rolando is a pastor in Monterrey who flies down once a month to teach a course at the seminary.
He asked me if there would be a possibility of getting scholarship funds for some from his church who would like to study. This year Jesus Q., a young man for whom this church has paid full scholarship, is graduating and will be heading into a pastoral ministry. Now there are four or five young people who would like to start school in September. “We just can’t handle that kind of a financial load,” Rolando told me.
Right now is the time to start praying that God would call workers to prepare to serve in the field. Will you help us pray that God would send us at least 20 new students this next school year.
It is also a good time if you would like to help our scholarship fund so we can start making plans regarding the students we might be able to help this fall.
Our small minivan that Armando Lopez, our mission rep, is using to travel to churches needs to be replaced. Would you have a minivan or SUV that you might want to donate to the Mission for this purpose? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. (956) 787-3543.
Looking for a Home
We have, through Steer Incorporated, 32 cows that are looking for homes. We are looking for ranchers who would be willing to add a cow to their herd, and when the calf is sold proceeds would go to EMM for one of its missionaries or one of its projects. We buy the cow and you help us raise it. If you are interested please contact us here at our home office.
If as a church you want to raise money for a missions trip to the EMM field, you could find someone to raise the cow and we will set the funds aside for such a purpose. Contact us for details.
Pioneer Girls Camp
Spring is here and it will soon be time for Pioneer Girls camp. Last year, because of several generous gifts, we were able to sponsor quite a few young girls to go to camp — girls that otherwise would not have been able to go. Every year there have been young girls that come to know Christ through this ministry. The cost for a full scholarship is $30.
Camp will be held March 28-31. Please be in prayer for this ministry that God would use it greatly for the salvation of souls and for growth in the lives of the girls who go to camp.
January 26, 2015
We are so thankful that you are supporting the work we are carrying out in Mexico.
As you know, presently Mexico is a land of a lot of violence and many young men and women are being drawn into this way of life.
We are concerned with reaching the future generations in Mexico and making a difference in the life of this nation. One of the ways that we are seeking to reach this goal is through evangelistic events and weekly Bible studies for children. We want to reach these children for Christ with the Gospel and help them to grow in their knowledge of the Word that will change them forever.
Our Child Evangelism Department carries out part of this work, but much of it is done through our seminary graduates in their vari-ous ministries. Part of the teaching at the seminary is about reaching others for Christ and how to teach them the Word, including children.
Pray for those children who heard the Gospel over the Christmas season. Pray that the seed will grow and bear fruit for eternity.
Help us also pray that God would raise up more workers for His fields that are white unto harvest because our time is short.
December 12, 2014
We are so thankful to God because he has laid it on hearts like yours to help us continue our work of reaching Spanish-speaking people with the Gospel and of training them to reach and disciple their own people.
As you know, one of our main ministries is training pastors and church leaders at the seminary in Pachuca. The question comes up: "What are our students doing with their training?"
Let me share a little of what those still studying at the seminary are doing as part of their required ministry during their time at the school.
Pastor Absalon, our seminary director, has been working on planting a church which meets in the seminary auditorium. He has been working together with students who are currently studying. This year those assigned to this church plant have been going out on Saturday mornings to hand out tracts and witness to people.
They have shared that the reception they have had is varied. Much of it depends on the area of town where they go. Here in the housing developments nearest the school, reception has been mostly friendly. People will take the tracts and at times will enter into conversation, but in another area of town where they have gone to help another pastor with another church plant people won’t even take the tracts. Often when they do, if they realize what it is, they hand it back. However, they have continued to do this faithfully knowing that one day it will bear fruit since in the end it is God that brings people to new life in Christ.
Do pray for our students since this practical ministry is part of their training. Our prayer is that they have a passion to reach lost souls for Christ and especially as they head home for Christmas vacation.
We also got word recently that a little over a month ago another of our students has made it to the mission field. Isabel came to school wanting to do Bible translation. Now after a little over two years she has finally joined a team that is translating the Bible into one of the over 65 languages in that state. There is a population of approximately 1 million 200 thousand indigenous people in the state and not all of them have the Gospel in their language. It is graduates like Isabel that are helping to reach the country of Mexico beyond the Spanish speakers that our founder set out to reach. The work is going so much further than he ever imagined.
December 10, 2014
God is so good and there are so many things for which to be thankful. God has allowed us another year of work here on the Mexico field. On November 5, I will be flying to Cuba to spend a month ministering there. Meals will be good but not as bountiful and not as yummy as a turkey and some pumpkin pie, but being thankful does not have anything to do with a great supper.
Tuesdays and Thursdays when I get home from the seminary, Eunice usually asks, “How were your classes today?” My usual answer is “I had a great time.” The truth is I enjoy teaching so much that it doesn’t matter that it tires me out.
That is only part of my work as I also am Academic Dean at the seminary which means I work with brother Absalón who is the director and our treasurer, Adelita. Since I do not use my office at the school much this year, it means that I get caught between or after classes to have short meetings with my co-workers.
Then once a month I fly up to Texas to headquarters to take care of business there as Executive Director for EMM. Much of the work is done from my office in Pachuca, but I do need to be present at least once a month to get some work done at the office. Do help us pray that we might find a replacement. I urgently need to have more time to spend here on the field on some other projects and work at the seminary.
I try to keep up with Paul having things ready for when he needs them and running errands for him. I, however, have been squeezing in other things into my schedule.
On Tuesdays I do shopping for the seminary buying all the vegetables and meat for the dining room. By the time I am done with shopping the trunk and back seat of our Nissan Vesra are completely loaded down. It is one of the highlights of my week to work with Mrs. Susy, who is an excellent cook, in supplying her needs in the kitchen but also getting to visit with her and work on menu planning.
On Wednesdays, I lead a Bible Study at the home of one of the members of the church. I take two of the seminary students with me and they have been helping me with giving the studies. Praise the Lord we have several unsaved ladies and some of their teenage children attending the study. Pray that Sandra and Matilde as well as their kids would make decisions for the Lord.
On Fridays once a month, I also have started to meet with the girls in the dorm. After my first Bible Study, two of the girls approached me and asked for counseling with some issues in their lives. I now have a counseling/discipleship ministry with several of the girls from the school.
To top it off I teach Sunday School to middle school age students at church. It is exciting to see their interest in the Word and to see how some of my former students are applying what they have learned.
In my spare time I also spend time doting on my grandchildren. I love to hear Asher come to the door and knock and ask, “Is anybody home?” He has become aware he “has two” and his mom only has “one”. That is, he has two citizenships and his mother only one. Since John and Ali only live a few blocks away from us, we have the privilege of seeing them throughout the week, and helping John host some of his climbing friends around our bigger table.
Our oldest daughter Rebecca is living in Caracas, Venezuela teaching second grade in a Christian school using this as a means to reach these kids and their families with the gospel. She has a Syrian boy and some Kenyan kids in her classroom as well as Venezuelan children.
Living in a socialist country has its challenges. Some of the basic items are not always on hand in the stores such as flour, oil, shampoo etc. Safety is also a constant issue, and sitting at the doctor’s office from 9 to 10 hours for an appointment is not uncommon.
Lynette is living in Oklahoma and is working at the Google warehouses fixing hardware issues. She is enjoying her work and enjoys cooking Mexican food for herself.
Paul David’s Work
Our youngest son is living in Texas. He finished his AA as an automotive technician and is now working full time at Kent Clark Chevrolet. He met Aisha while working part time at Chic-Fil-A. They are engaged and are planning a wedding at the end of December.
Paul & Eunice’s Bed and Breakfast
We have an small apartment waiting for you if you would like to come down and visit or if you might wish to come and donate some time working at the seminary grounds. We are needing people to help with painting and other projects at the seminary.
- For the two ladies attending Eunice’s Bible study that they would come to know Christ.
- For continued strength for Paul.
- For Paul’s teaching ministry.
- For an Executive Director to take Paul’s place at the office and relieve him of that work.
November 26, 2014
As I sit here in Olivia's office drinking a nice hot cup of coffee between my classes on this cloudy and cool fall day at the seminary, she shares with me how she came to know Christ.
In the summer of 1984, my wife Eunice, who was home from Bible School, went out with a team to Olivia's church to hold a week of VBS.
"I sat spell-bound by the Bible stories and the missionary stories Eunice taught us," says Olivia. "It was after one of these lessons that Eunice asked who wanted to receive Christ as their Savior. I wanted to, but also wanted to have someone explain it a little more to me before I made my decision. Two of my friends raised their hands; and when they were asked to stay so Eunice could pray with them, they asked me to stay and wait for them. Eunice took time to explain the Gospel more clearly, and when she asked my friends to pray I told her that even though I had not raised my hand I also wanted to accept Christ as my Savior."
Olivia graduated from our seminary and is now working there as my assistant and has also taught some classes there. One of her two friends who came to Christ that same day also graduated from our seminary and is now a pastor's wife. What a difference it can make when a child comes to know Christ!
We praise the Lord because God continues to use our Child Evangelism department, which so many years ago organized that VBS, to reach children for Christ. Mexico is a country where children are seen everywhere and at all hours - on the street, in the stores, and at the parks. Blanca continues to train people in the churches to work with children and to help establish kids' clubs in various churches around the country. Primarily her work is training others to reach children for Christ effectively. Do pray that God will continue to use her to excite people with the same passion she has for reaching children with the Gospel.
Reaching the Unreached in Mexico
The founder of EMM came down to Mexico to help reach his father's people for Christ. In 1955 he had the vision of starting a small Bible School to train the Mexicans to reach their own people. That school is still going after 59 years and has accomplished more than Walter Gomez ever imagined.
Two years ago Antonio graduated with a vision to be a missionary. Now he is working among the Tarahumara people of the state of Chihuahua where Walter's father came from. He is learning to speak the Rarámuri language in order to reach these people with the Gospel. This people group has been very resistant to the Gospel, but people like Antonio are working to make a difference.
Just recently Antonio wrote: "As far as ministry goes, I am working in a hospital that mostly takes care of Tarahumaras. I am happy. I am learning the Rarámuri language. Last week I helped out in the operating room and watched as they amputated a man's leg below the knee. I was told that this man's problem started with a small sore on his toe which he did not take care of. I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him teaching His Word in the hospital and in the villages. I have been able to see God's care for people and the witness He has established for Himself in places I never imagined.
I am so thankful for my teachers at the seminary. I am only passing on the knowledge I acquired through them. The hospital administrators have thanked me for coming, and in a way they are thanking each one of you who made this possible. A person can never imagine how far his teaching can reach."
Every time I greet Jesús Peña at school he greets me with a bright smile. He struggles with his studies but works hard to get the best grades possible. What pushes him on is the burden he has for reaching the lost. Even before he came to school he had gone out to do some missionary work in the southern state of Oaxaca.
Last year while at school, he felt a real burden to help some relatives of his who had just come to know the Lord. It was through marital problems that God got their attention; and on a trip to Mexico City, they made a decision to give their lives to Christ. They went home to Cadereyta, a town with a population of about 65,000 people that has no established church.
Jesús started talking to a fellow classmate about the possibility of starting to work with his relatives and planting a church in this needy town. At the end of August, Jesús Peña, with his wife Nayeli and fellow classmate, Angel, started visiting Cadereyta on a weekly basis.
Saturday mornings they spend about 3 hours giving out tracts and witnessing in the town square. Then later in the day they go over to Jesús's relatives and give the couple a discipleship Bible study. Again on Sunday they hold a church service in that same home, and the children have a Sunday School class.
This is the beginning of what they are hoping will one day be a church that will be a witness in that community. Do pray for them as they have not yet seen a lot of fruit, they but are looking to a harvest that only God can give.
Why are we interested in homeless cows? We have, through Steer Incorpo-rated, 32 cows that are looking for homes. We are looking for ranchers who would be willing to add a cow to their herd and when the calf is sold, proceeds would go to EMM for one of its missionaries or one of its projects. We buy the cow and you help us raise it. If you are interested please contact us here at our home office.
If as a church you want to raise money for a missions trip to the EMM field, you could find someone to raise the cow and we will set the funds aside for such a purpose. Contact us for details.
November 18, 2014
Well, it is November and as a family we have a lot to be thankful for. God has been good to us and blessed us in many ways. He also continues to provide opportunities for us to share His love with those around us.
Here in Pachuca I continue to go rock climbing and work with the guys. Several weeks ago I was able to organize an “expedition” to go climbing at Potrero Chico near Monterrey. Potrero Chico is world-famous for its climbing, so I didn’t have any problem filling up the car with climb- ers. I ended up going with Juan Carlos, Checo and Carlitos. Unfortunately, we were not able to climb at Potrero Chico because it was raining quite hard, but we eventually were able to climb inside a cave near Gua- dalcazar, and then the next day we climbed La Peña de Bernal near Queretaro. Even though we weren’t able to climb where we wanted to, we still had an excellent trip. It was good because it really gave me a chance to get to know these guys better, and all the hours traveling cooped up in the car offered some excellent opportunities to witness to them. This is just one example of the opportunities that I have been given where I can share my faith with those around me. I am thankful for this.
Dad and I spent the end of September and beginning of October in California visiting three different churches as well as family, friends and supporters of the ministry here in Mexico. Wherever we went it was nice to meet new people as well as have the opportunity to share about the exciting things that are happening through the ministry here in Mexico.
This month we will be doing quite a bit of traveling as a family because we are planning on spending Thanksgiving with Ali’s family in Tennessee. This is a 1500 mile trip one way, and it might get longer depending on detours or extra visits we might throw into the itinerary. If you live anywhere near Memphis, TN let us know, and if you want, we will do our best to stop by and at the very least say “Hi.”
As most of you know, I have been working on a project to build a Rock Climbing Gym for the Nuestra Roca Ministry. Some funds have been given toward this, but right now construction is at a standstill because of lack of money. This ministry and vision is something that has been given by the Lord, and I truly believe that there will be many souls reached through this. If you are led to donate toward this project, that would be great, but if this is not something you personally can give toward, please help by telling others about this need. The estimate for the building is $70,000 which really isn’t that much. The more people that know about this ministry, the better chance we have of raising what we need. Please continue to keep this in your prayers.
November 13, 2014
I want to thank you for supporting our ministry here in Mexico. One of our newest ministries headed up by John Unruh is the “Nuestra Roca” (Our Rock) climbing ministry which seeks to reach young men through their interest in rock climbing. John writes:
I think it is fascinating to watch and see how God works.
Last week I went out climbing with Jose. We had been put in contact by a mutual acquaintance who thought that our schedules might coincide in order to climb during the week. We agreed to meet at a certain campground and then hike to where we were going to go climbing. After we left our cars and started walking, we hadn’t gone more than a couple hundred yards when Jose turned to me and asked, “You’re a Christian aren’t you?” I said, “Yes.” A little while later he asked “So, can anyone visit the church you go to?” Once again, “Yes.” Then a little while later, “Well, are you going to invite me to go to church with you?” I was very happy to invite him to church. After we reached a stopping place, we were able to have a good conversation and I was able to very clearly explain the gospel to him.
It was obvious that Jose is searching for God. I am amazed at how God works. In this case God arranged things so that I could go climbing with someone I didn't know. Then, without me even having to look for an opportunity, God allowed Jose to open the conversation about spiritual things. I believe that as long as we are willing to take advantage of the opportunities that God gives us there will be openings to share His love with those around us.
It is thanks to all of you and your involvement in EMM’s ministry that opportunities like these are possible. Every person we reach with the Gospel is due in some part to your support of EMM. There are many openings that we are given to reach those around us with the good news of Jesus and the salvation He offers. We only need to be willing to take advantage of them when they present themselves. Let us be on the lookout for such God-appointed opportunities.
May the Lord continue to bless you.
October 21, 2014
Once again I want to thank you for being a part of the work here in Mexico. God continues to do great things for which we give Him praise.
In 2001, with the help of students from our Seminary, Eunice and I started a church plant — what later would become the Eternal Refuge Church. For eight years I pastored the church together with students from our school, and as you might remember, we were finally able to build a church on land that is adjacent to the seminary.
Eunice and I continue to attend that church and help out in any way we can and have been able to see how God continues to use this church to reach people for Christ.
Just this year the young people started a soccer team and joined a small league with the purpose of making contact with unsaved young men and providing opportunities to witness to them. Twice they have invited other teams to come and play on the school grounds in order to acquaint them with our church. On such occasions people from the church bring food to the game to share with the visiting teams and friends and family that show up. Some of these people have already come to church and heard the gospel. We keep praying that God will bring them to a saving knowledge of Him.
One of the women in the church told Eunice about her burden for her neighbors. Eunice suggested a Bible study to which she could invite her friends. At the first study two women showed up. After a while one of them stopped coming when she rejected the message of salva- tion that was being presented. She very plainly said, “I am not going to change my religion so I won’t be coming back.” It is sad to hear people reject God’s offer, but we are told to plant the seed and God must do the work. The other lady has not made a decision yet, but she started bringing her teenage boy who listens very careful- ly. Slowly, God is working in her heart. Please pray for Sandra and for Eunice as she continues to teach God’s Word to these ladies.
Just yesterday Eunice was asked to come over to the home where she has the studies. The 17-year-old son, who used to be in Eunice’s Sunday School class, wanted to talk to her. (That’s him in the picture with his mother, sister and Eunice.) He shared his heart over things that have been burdening him and in the end said, “I want to give my life to Christ.”
Things like this keep encouraging us to continue to be faithful in sharing the Gospel and discipling those who come to Christ, and we hope it’s an encouragement to you too.
September 15, 2014
We are finishing our second week of classes at the seminary, and as is the case most years, excitement is still running high. We are so thankful to God because we have 11 new students this year. I’ve been thinking about what will become of these young men and women who are starting out on a lifetime of ministry, most of them full time. Lately I went over the list of students who have studied at our school and have reflected on the ministries they are carrying on. Through these students we have extended our ministry much farther than we would have even been able to go personally. (And your support of our ministry in Mexico has done the same!)
So what are our former students doing? The majority of our graduates are pastoring churches. For exam- ple, Lictor Cruz a 1990 graduate, has planted a church that has started a grade school, middle school, and projects in his church that benefit the community and create a witness for Christ.
We also have three students who are serving or have served as cross-cultural missionaries in other countries such as Esther (not her real name) who is teaching Spanish in a limited access country in order to preach the gospel and reach a culture that has had very little exposure to the Gospel. Her goal is to help translate the Bible into the language and train people to reach their own people for Christ.
We have several students who, in one way or another are working to reach children for Christ such as Belem who holds a weekly kids’ club and helped organize a VBS this summer, using the instruction given by Blanca who heads up our Child Evangelism Department.
This is just some of what our students are doing. Thanks for supporting EMM in its different ministries that makes all of this possible.
August 20, 2014
On August 15 classes began at the seminary. We praise God for the 12 new students who have enrolled as of this writing. We are thankful that God allows us to continue with this vital ministry in Mexico.
Two 2014 graduates will be reaching the Zapotec language group with the gospel and helping translate the Scriptures into their language. They are already at work and have done further translation training over the summer. Like these two students, the others at our school are working to make the Great Commission a reality in Mexico.
Please pray that God will bless this school year and give us wisdom as teachers to help our students grow and mature in their walk with God.
We are praising God because, as of the beginning of July, Rogelio Noguera started working to provide pastoral training for pastors with little education in the remote areas of the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico. This is a state with one of the highest percentages of Christians, but their pastors have little or no training. Part of the problem is that many of them live in remote areas where secular education is very poor, therefore getting further studies is very difficult. Many of the existing pastors also are married and have families and find it very difficult to go to a traditional school.
Rogelio worked with his uncle in this area of Mexico before going to Bible School. God placed in him a desire to help such pastors.
Since he returned to Chiapas, he has identified four regions in the state where he could set up central meeting places to train pastors. When I talked to him a few days ago, he had already met with pastors in three of these places and was making plans to travel to the fourth. So far the response has been very positive.
Pray that God would give him wisdom in developing the material and courses he will be teaching. Pray also that the pastors will be disciplined and faithful in their studies.
Two years ago EMM began a project to help our Seminary in Pachuca offer online studies. Not as much interest has been shown as we would like, but there is positive response coming back from our students.
Benjamin from Monclova, Mexico writes: "Two blessings I have received by studying online are, one, the blessing of preparing myself to better serve God, and, two, being able to do it at home. It is a blessing not to have to move away from home because I can continue with my ministry and responsibilities at church and also continue to help the church wherever there is a need.
I am also thankful that my family has grown and matured because I have used the techniques I learned from my studies online - how to analyze real life cases and learn to know how my family is thinking and, where necessary, make changes."
Pray that many more might begin taking online classes.
Several years ago donations to EMM helped fund the beginning of a counseling ministry in the city of Aguascalientes in Central Mexico. This city and state by the same name have one of the lowest percentages of Christians in Mexico. The pastor we work with in that city decided on a new strategy to reach people for Christ. He set up a counseling center to help unsaved people with their problems. Over the years this has borne fruit.
The center in Aguascalientes is staffed by two part-time workers and the pastor. This past year this center was able to minister to 70 people who came in for help: 24 for problems with addictions, 19 for adulterous affairs, 19 for depression, 4 for suicide, and 4 for gay or lesbian problems. Of these, eight are now coming to church, seven of whom have made decisions for the Lord.
In May a young lady graduated from our seminary whose mother came to know the Lord through this outreach. God continues to use this ministry to reach people for Christ as well as help Christians who are struggling.
Please pray for the workers in this center, that God would give them wisdom in dealing with people and making the Gospel clear to them. Also pray that God would keep providing the finances for this ministry to continue.
Help us pray that God would lead us in helping to provide counseling for pastors and their families?
At our annual convention the need was repeated by several pastors and their wives for a place where they could get pastoral counseling for problems and issues they are going through. Right now it is only an idea we want to explore and pray about. Can you help us in that way?
Praise God because we have been able to help quite a few very needy students with scholarships for this next school year. But our fund is sorely depleted. Pray for more funds for next semester.
Students can apply for a scholarship and, depending on their economic situation, are given a corresponding percentage of the cost for the school year. The other part is paid by them or some other source such as their sending church.
Very rarely does EMM through the CETyM seminary give 100% of a scholarship; we believe that when students help pay for their studies they tend to value their education more. However, a good many really struggle with their payments.
July 17, 2014
Dear Friends at Emmanuel Baptist,
Wish we could have been there together with Rebecca and spend a Sunday in church with you. Rebecca was very encouraged by her visit with you. At the seminary we are gearing up for the coming school year. Please pray with us for 20 new students. We are also getting ready for the annual convention of churches which will be next week. Pray for our church leaders who will be having business meetings and making decisions during this time. Below is a letter about our newest missionary and his ministry in southern Mexico.
Thank you so much for your gift toward our ministry here in Mexico. God continues to work through our different programs preparing leaders for the church in Mexico as well as bringing people to Christ who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This month Rogelio Noguera begins his work in the state of Chiapas. He was accepted as a missionary of EMM in February 2013. After completing his training at Rio Grande Bible Institute and his year of practicum, he is on the field and will begin his ministry.
The state of Chiapas where he will be working has a high percentage of evangelical Christians. The majority live in small towns and villages, and many of them are very hard to access. The education level in these communities is very low. Many of the pastors have had little schooling and, in some cases, have not even graduated from grade school and have had little or no pastoral training.
Rogelio’s vision is to set up a training program for people with little education and reach out to these pastors and pastoral candidates in outlying areas. This will present a challenge in several ways. One will be to establish central points of contact where the pastors can get together to receive the training they need in simple layman’s terms. Another challenge is that in this area of Mexico evangelicals have seen a lot of persecution.
Rogelio’s goal is not impossible, but it will take a lot of prayer and hard work. In devotions at the home office this morning we read of what God told the prophet Ezekiel He would do in order that the nations would know that He was the Lord God (Ez. 28:24,26).
We are looking forward to seeing what God is going to do by His near future. The need is great and there are unforeseen challenges, but we do believe that God has called us to help train people like this to teach and preach the gospel in a much better way that the people may know that God is the Lord God and a saving God.
June 14, 2014
We thank God for you and for your love for His work. We are especially grateful to you for being a part of what God is doing through us in reaching the Spanish-speaking world.
This past school year Jesús Quistian, who just finished his third year at the seminary, worked in the church Eunice and I attend, the Eternal Refuge Church. He has been helping out there as part of his practical ministry requirement at the seminary. It has been encouraging to see him mature during this time.
Recently, visiting with Eunice, he shared his story about his calling and his coming to seminary.
Jesús’s parents had a daughter who got deathly ill when she was five years old. Not knowing about Christ, his father prayed earnestly to the Virgin Mary that his daughter would be healed, but she wasn’t. In time she passed away. Some years later, when Jesús turned three, he also became deathly ill. His parents still did not know Christ as their Savior, but his father thought, “Last time I prayed to the Virgin for healing, and she didn’t hear me. Now I will pray directly to God.” That is what he did, and he also promised God that if He would heal his son he would give him back to God to serve Him. It was not until quite a few years later that Jesús´s parents came to know Christ as their Savior in one of our churches in Monterrey.
Jesús never knew about this story until he told his father one day, “I am going to seminary to train as a pastor.” His father answered, “I know why,” and he told him the story of giving him to God when he was three years old.
God works in many different ways to bring students to our school. For many parents, letting their children prepare for ministry is a difficult thing. They have a hard time allowing their children to go into ministry instead of studying for a better paying and more recognized career.
Right now is the time for young people to apply for the upcoming school year. Will you help us pray that God will raise up workers for His field and create the willingness in the hearts of parents to let their children come?
June 6, 2014
God has been so good to us! He continues to give us opportunities to minister in so many ways. It is such a privilege to be used of God in this way and to see His work in Mexico going forward.
Eunice has been leading a Bible Study/prayer meeting on Wednesdays for a while now. It started out as a prayer meeting, but then Sandra, who was hosting it, felt a burden to reach out to her neighbors and asked Eunice how they could do that. Eunice proposed hav-ing a Bible study geared to unsaved people. For the past several weeks two unsaved ladies have been attending quite faithfully, sometimes bringing their children to the study or even some other person they have invited. Pray that God will bring these ladies to salvation.
In the past few weeks God has also been giving me opportunities to be a witness in ways that my work at the school does not normally provide.
Our son JohnE has been witnessing to a guy named Lucas who is an Australian living in Pachuca. When we ran the coffee shop he found out we made cupcakes, and last week he wondered if we might make some for him again even though the shop is closed. We did, and when I dropped them off for him, it gave me an opportunity to witness to the fulfillment we have in Christ. He has been to our home and has been impressed by the difference he sees in JohnE’s life and ours.
Then on Sunday a man who has come on and off to church was there again with his family. We had a special meal after church and I sat with him. God again gave me the opportunity to speak some words about his need for Christ. Another pastor who was sitting with us was also able to witness to him.
On Tuesday this week I was not feeling so well and was at home. The door bell rang and it was a man who was doing a job for us at the school and needed to be paid. He sat down at our table, and before we got down to business he poured out all the prob-lems he is facing. He is going through some really tough trials. Having gone to church as a child, he knows what he should do, but has not done so. I was able to share with him that I believe God is cornering him, trying to get him to seek God in a very definite way.
Then the next day I went to the meat market, and before I knew it I was talking to the man who ran the business about his need for Christ. I was in a bit of a hurry but did stay and talk for a while with him. I finally had to leave, even though the man seemed like he wanted to keep on talking. Pray that I might have the opportunity to go back and witness to this man.
As many of you know by now, I was diagnosed with Lyme's disease. I am being treated for this and have found some relief from the intense headaches and pressure in my head, but I still have some not-so-good days. Even so, God helped me through another semester of teaching at the seminary.
It is both exciting and sad to come to the end of a school year — exciting because graduates will be going out to work in the field and sad because I won’t be seeing some of the students again. This year we had five graduates. Among them were two young men from an ethnic group in southern Mexico where they do not speak the Spanish language. These two young men are among the first fully trained pastors from that culture that will be working among this people group. Already they have been involved in helping translate the Bible into their language. About 40 people from the area where they live came to the graduation. Among them was a young couple that wants to come to school to study. They were able to see the married student apartments we just finished this year. What a blessing to be a part of God’s plan to provide pastors for a work like this.
Do continue to pray for Paul. He badly needs to have someone take over the responsibility of Executive Director for the Mission. His health is not good and this added pressure is not helping. Pray that God will provide the right person to lead our Mission into the future.
As we work in Mexico we face different challenges. It is always good to remember that God has all things under control, but we do have to act wisely. One of the challenges right now is deciding how to staff our correspondence course department.
I have been very encouraged as I talk to Rosy Santis who is presently heading up the department. God has really used her and the number of students has been growing. Until now she has been supported by a local church as part of her internship requirement for the seminary, but this church will no longer be able to support her after July. The question we face is — Who we can get to take her place?
Can you help me pray that we can find the right person to take Rosy’s place or find some way of financing things so she can stay on?
Pray & Praise
- For finances for the Seminary.
- A good number of students for next year.
- Eunice’s ministry to the teens in the church.
- Paul’s health. God helped me through the school year, keep praying as I still have some bad days.
- Eunice’s mid-week Bible study.
- Salvation for ladies attend-ing Eunice’s Bible study.
May 22, 2014
First of all, I want to express my thanks to you for your support of our ministry here at Evangelical Mission Ministries. Over the years God has blessed our efforts in reaching Mexico with the Gospel of Christ and now reaching beyond its borders through your gifts and prayers.
First of all, I want to express my thanks to you for your support of our ministry here at Evangelical Mission Ministries. Over the years God has blessed our efforts in reaching Mexico with the Gospel of Christ and now reaching beyond its borders through your gifts and prayers.
What is even more exciting is he is now exploring other places to plant churches! He has been scouting among the students at the seminary for those who would be willing to partner with him in this endeavor. He has a burden for seeing new churches planted in places where there are no churches or where there is still a great need for a witness in the community.
Seeing all the needs such an enterprise requires, Bro. Miranda is looking for people in Mexico to support such a ministry. He is contacting people who might be willing to provide funds for transportation and support for the budding church plants.
To see the efforts of the graduates who desire to reach others makes me proud to be a part of this ministry. Even though we are not actively planting churches, our efforts in educating Mexicans to reach their own people are paying off. This was the vision of our founder and this goal is still very much a part of our ministry.
God is saving people through the ministry of those who have been trained at our seminary in Pachuca. Keep praying that God will use our graduates in reaching the Spanish-speaking world for Christ.
April 21, 2014
We want to express our thanks for your gift. We know that your prayers are behind your gift, and for that we are even more thankful. We are conscious that the real work for the Lord is done in His power and by His Spirit.
One of the exciting perks that I have in working at the Seminary is seeing not only our students grow in their knowledge of the Bible and in their walk with God, but also hearing what our graduates are doing with the training we have given them. It is exciting to see what God is doing through them.
Recently Rosa Santiz, a 2013 graduate, took over our correspondence course office from a seminary student who was taking care of this ministry. Rosa is excited about what God is doing through this ministry. Through this office she sends out courses designed for people of all ages, beginning with children who can read and write. The various topics are designed for the Christian growth of the student. These courses have been a tool to help people grow in the knowledge of the Word in places where we cannot go because of the distance.
Recently Rosa Santiz, a 2013 graduate, took over our correspondence course office from a seminary student who was taking care of this ministry. Rosa is excited about what God is doing through this ministry. Through this office she sends out courses designed for people of all ages, beginning with children who can read and write. The various topics are designed for the Christian growth of the student. These courses have been a tool to help people grow in the knowledge of the Word in places where we cannot go because of the distance.
The courses are also being used as study guides in churches. Two churches recently asked for different studies for this purpose. The short quizzes in the lessons help reinforce learning. If the church members send them back for grading, they receive a certificate of completion.
Continue to pray for us as we seek to both spur on the evangelization of the Spanish-speaking world — which is now also reaching into the U.S. — as well as teach those who come to know Christ in all those things that Christ has commanded us.
March 22, 2014
As a teacher for over 27 years now at the seminary — while it was located in Monclova and then in Pachuca since the year 2000 — it is always encouraging to see and hear what my former students are doing in their ministries. At times I have wished I could get out and work directly in a missionary setting, planting churches or translating Scripture. Once I mentioned this in class and one of my students told me, “Brother, because you are here teaching, you are reaching out to so many more places through us.”
One of these places I have “reached” through the work of my students is the city of Oaxaca and its surrounding towns in southern Mexico. Elmer, who graduated from our seminary in 2001, is pastoring a church with a strong outreach program. They have in recent years started two church plants and are constantly evangelizing the city and towns in different ways.
Thank you for your contribution which is being used as designated on your receipt. We appreciate your part in furthering the Lord’s work through the missionaries and ministries of EMM.
March 21, 2014
New Believers Supporting Those Who Have Needs
It is always amazing to find out how God starts a church. At our board meeting the end of January, Pastor Omar Corona reminded us of how God started a church in a very poor area of Monterrey where he is a pastor. His wife Marlene taught in a school in this area and felt a strong need to reach the children in this poverty-stricken community with the Gospel. Pastor Omar and Marlene started going on Saturdays to have a children’s Bible class. It didn’t take long and some of the mothers where showing up to find out what their children were learning. For the longest time they met under a small tree in an empty lot. After some time, Marlene started holding Bible studies for the women in addition to the children’s classes.
God has blessed them with a small building, and now they hold services on Sundays also. A pastor from Cuba came to share with this small church and they thought, “We are not as poor as the people in Cuba. Why don’t we help support a pastor in Cuba.” Since then they have been supporting with small sums a pastor in Cuba and a missionary in China. This year they would like to send 30 young girls to the Pioneer Girls Camp, which will be held in a location 30 minutes from the city. The theme this year is “Reaching the Lost” with a missionary emphasis. Paying for the registration is out of reach for 10 of these girls. Would you like to help make it possible for these young girls to go to camp? A schol- arship for camp is 45 dollars.
Changes Over 60 Years
On January 31 we hosted our annual banquet, celebrating 60 years of God’s faithfulness. It was 60 years ago that Walter Gomez founded MMM, now EMM, and the board accepted Linden Unruh as the first missionary appoint- ed to the Mexico field. Things have changed greatly from those days in many ways—but not God’s faithfulness toward the work. Although in the beginning the missionaries were very much involved in church planting and winning souls, Walter Gomez had the vision to start a small Bible School where Mexicans could be trained to reach their own people much more effectively than any foreign missionary could.
Refreshing News From Graduates
We are continuing this vision through the work of the seminary in Pachuca. Since 2000, we have started reaching out beyond our own churches founded by the missionaries and are now reaching into more communities through students who come from other churches. One such student is Abdiel, who upon graduation went to work in one of the poorest areas of Mexico, Zongolica, Veracruz. Since then God has used him to start a church in this town that had no Christian church. At first they met opposition.
There were times people threw stones at them to get them to leave. Now, three years later, there is a small church and the work is growing.
Heavenly Father, please send the right teachers!
Our seminary received its accreditation last year. We now are in need of teachers with recognized degrees to teach at the school. Since theological degrees have never been granted in Mexico, this now requires that our teachers get other degrees to continue working at our school. We are in need of new teachers for the next school year. Including the death of my father and the retirement of another teacher, we will be short four teachers. A fund to help teachers upgrade their education and to hire some teach- ers for next year has been set up called “The Linden Unruh Memorial” in honor of my father who spent 59 years educating pastors in Mexico and who was instrumental in founding the seminary.
Nuestra Roca (Our Rock)
As some of you know, John Unruh has a vision for a ministry that will use the sport of rock climbing to reach young men and boys with the Gospel. The idea behind Nuestra Roca (Our Rock) is to attract a demographic that will not be reached through traditional evangelistic methods. John has built a small training wall in the carport of his house and has been able to witness to the boys who come to the climbing classes. These boys have been willing to sit through a Bible study afterward, but when invited to go to church or a church event, they have all said they don’t go to church.
The vision is to build a rock climbing gym that would be used to expand this ministry and to reach even more souls for Jesus Christ. Please keep John and the ministry of Nuestra Roca in your prayers. At our January meeting the Board of Directors voted to pray for and pro- mote this ministry. Would you consider giving financially toward the construction of the gym? We have started on the foundation for this project and two work groups want to come down this summer who might work on it if we have the funds.
Another way you can help is by telling others who might consider being a part of the exciting things God is doing. John Unruh has a heart to reach unchurched youth and has built a wall in his carport with the hope that a gym can be built.
As a side note, John and Ali are expecting their second child in June. Eunice and I are excited at the prospect of another grandson!
February 28, 2014
We just celebrated 60 years of experiencing God's faithfulness since our Mission was incorporated in 1954. I grew up hearing the stories of how God brought my Dad, Linden Unruh, to Mexico -- how he made his first trip down with only enough money for a one-way ticket -- how he proposed to my mother with nothing but hardships to offer her -- how he didn’t even have enough money to go back to Washington state to marry her. These stories have strengthened my faith and that of others who knew of the praiseworthy deeds God did in and through him. Last July my father died in the land he gave his life to reach after 59 years of service. His only regret in his last years was the lack of strength to do more. We would like to share with you a link to a short video that was put together to highlight God’s faithfulness in the life of my father.
You can watch it by clicking here.
We hope this might be an encouragement to your faith.
February 27, 2014
Recently we received enough donations to complete the four-plex for married student housing on our seminary campus at the Walter Gomez Evangelical Center. Last week a couple from Texas and a friend of their drove to Pachuca to build cabinets for the apartments. They are donating their labor. We did not know this cabinet builder, but his uncle supported my father for years. When this supporter learned of our need, he spoke to his nephew about it. His nephew, "Red" Miller, seems delighted to be able to help us in this way. The Lord is so faithful in supplying our needs!
They have gotten so much accomplished in just a little over a week. I appreciate our son John who designed the apartment building and has overseen the construction of it. Of course he's helping with the cabinets also.
These apartments have already been a great blessing to two couples, and we know they will continue to be used of the Lord here at the seminary to facilitate training laborers for God's harvest field.
February 20, 2014
What a joy it is to serve the Lord and to be a part of what God is doing here in Mexico! God continues to look for people who are willing to be a part of His plan.
We want to thank you for being a part of the work God has called us to and for making it possible for us to continue to reach people for Christ and to train those whom God has called to work in His field.
In January a pastors conference was held at the seminary in Pachuca. One of the pastor’s wives told me excitedly when she greeted me, “When I heard we were having a pastor’s conference, I told my husband, ʽWe need to go. I really missed not having one last year.ʼ”
In all, about 70 people were present: 36 church leaders — counting pastors, their wives, and other workers — plus the students. Pastor Gene Beck from Fresno, California, gave studies with the theme, "The pastor or church leader and his/her spiritual walk with Christ." We were reminded that God works through us more on the basis of our relationship with Him than on head knowledge we might have of His Word. It was a challenge to all of us to deepen our relationship with God.
Several commented how the studies had helped them. One of them shared that the message that morning had been just what she needed because of some struggles she had been going through. Another asked to talk with the speaker because for some time her relationship with God had felt distant and she was wondering how to get back on track.
Over the years the Mission has helped with expenses of confer- ences like this one, because we know the importance of pastors being fed and having times of fellowship with their coworkers. Each afternoon we scheduled a prayer time and also time for participating in sports in order to allow the pastors and students time to fellowship. The last day several expressed thanks for making this possible, and we want to pass that thanks on to you who continue to support our ministry here.
January 22, 2014
As we start a new year, we look forward with expectation to see what God will do in and through us in the days to come. We want to thank you for having a part in providing for this ministry which God brought into being 60 years ago. The end of this month we will be celebrating at our board meeting and annual banquet 60 years of God’s faithfulness.
As a mission we have gone through hard times, and this year has had its share. We were about $34,000 short of meeting our budget, but, despite this, God helped us in different ways. What the shortage means is that there were things that we had to cut back on in various areas, and some things did not get done.
We do press on, however, with our mandate to preach and make disciples among the Spanish-speaking people of this world. We praise God for the opportunities He gave us over the Christmas season to share His Word to those who so desperately need Him.
We are so thankful that a Hispanic church from San Antonio, Texas, came down to share God’s love to those who need to know Him in Reynosa, Mexico, just across the border, south of Pharr. They shared Christmas boxes with the children at a service where the Gospel was preached. Attendance at the service was about double what it normally is. Praise the Lord.
Eunice and I attend the Eternal Refuge Church in Pachuca, and I was asked to preach the message for the Christmas service. We had been praying that God would bring unsaved people to the service, and God answered our prayer. About 15 unsaved people came and heard the message of Christ and salvation. One of the church members, Maria, was excited because some of her family came. They have been very hardened to the Gospel, but this year agreed to come to the service. As is typical, we followed the service with a delicious meal—this time it was stuffed chicken breast with a chipotle cream sauce. It is exciting to see how God uses even the meals as a witness. People commented that they never had been to a “party” where people were so happy and had such a good time.
Continue to pray for new opportunities and that we might be faithful in preaching and teaching the Word.
January 10, 2014
We are grateful for each one who donated to build a four-plex for married seminary students at the Walter Gomez Evangelical Center in Pachuca. As of Jan. 8, 2014 we received enough donations to build cabinets and purchase refrigerators and stoves for the apartments, and we are grateful that in February a cabinet builder from Texas plans to come to Pachuca and volunteer his labor to build the cabinets. Rejoice with us!
December 11, 2013
(Eunice writing) Here I sit at the bookstore we opened two years ago. Cesar, a man from our church, takes care of the bookstore most of the time, but I help part of the time since we are open 60-plus hours Monday through Saturday. We have had many opportunities to share Christ with unbelievers and encourage believers who have come in.
Sometimes, though, good things come to an end. Sales have been very low, partly because Pachuca is a city with a very low income per capita. Literature is, therefore, not a priority.
Expenses have been higher than our income the entire two years since we opened the store, so we had to make the decision to close this ministry. It is a sad time for our family. We know, however, that this time has not been wasted and God will use the seeds that have been planted. Ministry will continue, but in other ways.
I continue to teach the 15-17 year-old kids at church. As it is for all teachers, there are moments of wondering if it is worth the effort. At this age most kids find it hard to stand up for Christ among their peers. My prayer is that, as my pupils transition from teens into adulthood, Christ will truly become real to them and not be only something they believe in just because their parents do.
One young man, Ricardo, is one who has made me realize that it is worth it to continue teaching. He has asked me questions like, “How can I know if I am being called to study at the Seminary?” “What do I do if I didn’t speak to someone about Christ and knew that I should have done it?”
God has also given me opportunities to minister to the ladies from the church. One example is Lidia who came to me seeking advice. Her mother was very sick and didn't have much time left to live. She was concerned because she had not had an opportunity to share Christ with her mother, even though she had spent the better part of two weeks taking care of her. She was afraid to speak to her mother about Christ because of the reaction she might get. I encouraged her to just do it. for next year’s ministry.
She went to spend time with her mother by her bedside two days after we had talked. She shared Christ and her mother made a decision for the Lord. A little over 24 hours later her mother passed away peacefully.
Then there are opportunities like the time we took a couple home that had come to church on Sunday morning. What a wonderful chance for Paul to answer a question the lady had! She said, “I want to follow God, but I am afraid because I have been a worshi- per of the ‘Holy Death’ (an image that is worshiped here in Mexico). What should I do, because I am afraid to get rid of my image?” Paul was able to share how God is greater than any other spiritual being and that if we put our trust in Him he is able to save us and keep us from any harm. (For more information on the “Holy Death” go to Wikipedia and look up “Santa Muerte.”)
(Paul writing) What an unexpected weekend! Things like this often happen to us...
On my way up to Pharr to work at the office, I stopped in Saltillo to visit with the president of the conference of churches in Mexico. I knew I would be invited to preach on Sunday morning. When I got there, however, the pastor let me know that that Sunday afternoon they would be holding a joint church service and they would like me to stay and preach. He finally talked me into it, so I called home and asked Eunice to send me some notes on a study I had done on the subject I was told to preach on. I had notes for Sunday morning, or so I thought, but needed notes for the afternoon service. Then I was asked if I would share on Saturday afternoon at a bridal shower where the person organizing it was not a Christian, but the person had asked the pastor’s wife to organize a “Christian bridal shower.” So after spending some time with the president of the convention, I was taken to eat and had about half an hour to get my thoughts put together for the bridal shower. When I tried to open the document with my message for Sunday morning my iPad would not open the document. So I had to “wing it” Sunday morning. I felt more confident for Sunday afternoon, because that document did come through, and I could open it. However...surprise! We got to the church where the joint service was to be held and the pastor changed the subject of my message. Once again my head started racing while I was visiting with people before the service started. Praise God, He gave me the words to say on Saturday and for both services on Sunday. People let me know they had been blessed by the messages. One lady even complemented me saying, “I really liked the fact that you didn’t even look at your notes.” I had to be truthful and say, “There were no notes to look at.”
God is so good because, in the end, it is He who must do the speaking, and only He could have done it this weekend!
Here’s wishing God will give you a blessed time this Christmas season.
PRAY & PRAISE
- For finances for the Seminary.
- Wisdom for Paul as he teaches and preaches.
- Eunice’s ministry to the teens in the church.
- Paul’s health. It has im- proved some, but he still has some bad days when he lacks the energy to do his work.
- Eunice’s ministry to the ladies in the church.
- Wisdom in making plans for next year’s ministry.
We want to thank you so much for being a part of our team here in Mexico. Through your prayers and giving, we can minister here in Mexico.
Our letters don't let you in on the whole picture. Here are some things that we will probably not tell you.
- There are times we feel alone – close friends are hard to come by.
- Daily living is harder on the field.
- Some days just a word of encouragement would be great – to know that we are not alone.
- We need to know that you are praying.
- We would like to be treated like a friend, not always as a missionary or as if we were perfect.
December 10, 2013
I want to wish you a blessed Christmas season. It is a great blessing to know the Savior whose birth we celebrate at this time of the year!
Many here in Mexico know about Jesus because their religion teaches them about Him. The sad thing is they do not know Him as their Savior. They celebrate His birth in so many ways that are contrary to His Word and His teaching.
In the U.S. people put up nativity scenes, and they do here in Mexico also, but there is one difference. In Mexico most nativity scenes that are put up in the homes have no baby Jesus in the manger until December 24. That night people make a special celebration and lay the baby in the manger because he is being born. Before they lay him down, the image of the baby is passed around and people kiss it. In simple terms they worship a baby that is newborn. They do not know the Savior who sits at the right hand of the Father.
On February 2 they take the image of the baby or maybe a larger one, buy a new suit of clothes for it, and take it to the church to be blessed. Then they put it away until the next Christmas season or place it in a special altar.
For those who are not religious, Christmas in so many places is just a time for parties and a lot of drinking.
It is because there continues to be such a need to train people to reach the Spanish-speaking world for Christ and to disciple them in the teachings of the Word that we are committed to providing a seminary where men and women are taught the Word of God and skills to minister to the spiritually needy. This is also why we are committed to training people in the churches to reach children for Christ through our child evangelism ministry.
As we come to the end of this year, we want to thank you for supporting our ministries. Pray for us as we head into a new year with new opportunities and new challenges.
November 15, 2013
The first weekend in November Eunice and I drove to Aguascalientes to visit our coworkers, David and Cristy Roberts. In 1996 David and Cristy helped start a Christian elementary school in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes (one of the least evangelized states in Mexico). Over the years the school has grown to include preschool and middle school. This has allowed them to influence not only the lives of Christian children, but also children from unsaved homes. The teachers in this school are challenged to teach all subjects from God’s perspective.
One of the problems they face is that many children come to them from broken homes, or homes that are at risk of being broken. This seriously affects the children.
One of the ways in which the school has reached out to the parents has been to offer the “Truth Project” as a means to instill a Biblical worldview in the lives of those who influence the children at home. They are also concentrating on helping needy couples to strengthen weak marriages.
After our visit with David and Cristy, our hearts were burdened anew to pray that God will continue to use this family and their coworkers to make a difference in this city of almost one million. Would you take a moment to also pray for them? One student at a time, lives are being changed that will make a difference in the kingdom of God and in the furtherance of the Gospel in this needy nation.
October 11, 2013
We are so grateful for the way your donation is allowing each one of us working with EMM to continue in the ministry to which God has called us.
The last week of September I was sharing with church leaders in a church in Cuba the "why" and "what" of God’s mission for us as a church. Looking back to the beginning of creation, we see that it was God’s plan for man to live in an intimate relationship that would glorify the Creator.
To make God’s plans a reality requires that we as a church engage in both preaching the Gospel and then disci-pling God’s people so they might live according to His plan. How do we make this happen?
Here on our front, we are committed to both instructing and training men and women to carry out such a minis-try in a manner that is faithful to God’s Word. At the same time, we are working to see that men and women lost in sin find the Savior.
Even though preaching the Gospel on the street is forbidden in Cuba, God very naturally opened the door for me to do so. There is a man I like to buy carvings from and have done so on several occasions. After warmly greeting me with a hug, we got to talking. He asked me what I did in Mexico. I told him, and he began talking about his lack of belief in any reli-gion because of all the hypocrisy. This allowed me to share how my faith in Christ is not a set of rules I follow but rather a change of heart and life.
The bookstore ministry that was started near our home is also a place where evangelism and discipleship takes place. While I was away having a conference for church leaders, Eunice stayed home and worked at the bookstore. She was able to witness to a woman who came into the store. She came in with her elderly mother and was encouraging her to read the verses on the pictures we sell. The lady mentioned that she had gone to a small restaurant not too far away and saw some pictures like these. She asked the owner where he had gotten them, so he told her about our bookstore. As she looked around she picked up some books she was interested in putting on layaway and finally decided on one. She talked to Eunice and men-tioned that she had come to the conclusion that Christians had a better way of praying than she did. This allowed Eunice to talk to her about the God we believe in. Since then she has been back to pick up the book.
Our prayer is that God will use each of these and other opportunities we continue to have to make a difference for Christ’s kingdom.
September 12, 2013
We want to thank you once again for your faithful support of this work that God has given us to do — preaching the Gospel and training leaders for the Church here in Mexico. Your donation is being used as designated on the receipt.
The convention of churches that was started by EMM years ago held its annual meeting toward the end of July. It was encouraging to see the pastors and workers who have graduated from our school and are shepherding churches all over Mexico. Forty-eight of our graduates who are working for the national church conference were present. Two were missing because of their appointments overseas. Also, many graduates are working for the Lord in churches with other denominations.
God has been good to us to allow us to be a part of a much needed ministry here in Mexico, and it is so encouraging that God is continuing to give us the opportunity to minister in this way.
In August we began our school year with 12 new students. Two of them left their careers to dedicate their lives to serving the Lord. Brother Enoc, who just began studying, left the architectural business he had been working at for about 5 years. He had been a very active leader in his church, and in 2003 he sensed God calling him to ministry but was unsure whether it was a passing feeling. With time Enoc realized and said, “Only obedience to that call could fill the emptiness.”
“In February of this year I left off giving God excuses such as: ‘It is only an emotion…It can't really be me…My family is not in agreement…I am serving God in my church, that is enough… I have already studied for a career…I don't have the funds to pay for this…etc.’”
“Finally, at the end of February I found out I was going to be a father, but not even that was a deterrent to making plans to go to Seminary and prepare for the ministry. There have been doubts because I had finally become financially stable, but I know that God will supply my needs and those of my family because—as for me and my family—we will serve the Lord.”
Like Enoc, others have chosen to dedicate their lives to serve the Lord, and God has given us the opportunity to help train them for this purpose.
Do help us pray that God will continue to raise up workers for His field and that He will help us in expanding this ministry. Pray for our online classes also. There has been very little response so far, but we are convinced that this is another way of training qualified leaders for the church.
September 4, 2013
A few years back I began to make it a habit to find things for which to be thankful and also to take note of the small ways in which God is working all the time. So many times we look around and see things that are not so encouraging, but usually it is because we lose sight of the bigger picture. Let me share a few things for which we are thankful, and we hope they encourage you also.
A God-Given Legacy
First of all, I want to thank God for the great legacy of faith He has given us as a family and which we are seeking to pass on to those we work with here in Mexico. As we see people come to know the Lord in our churches, it is encouraging to see families slowly turn around and begin to serve the Lord. However, not having had godly parents who raised them in God’s way does make a difference. They have not had the examples Eunice and I have had in our parents and grandparents, but teaching the Word and discipling people is the key to making these changes, and we see it happening. One of Eunice’s Sunday School students just recently asked her, “How might I know if God is calling me to the ministry?” At a recent service he heard of a young man who is making plans to join the ship Logos Hope that docks in ports around the world to preach the Gospel, and his heart stirred.
On July 27 God took my father home. That day we were getting ready to fly to Pharr, Texas, to see my two brothers and the people at the office. My Dad had asked me to take him up one last time because he was getting extremely weak. An hour before we were to leave for the airport he had a heart attack. As our daughter Lynette put it so well in a piece she wrote: “Grandpa was getting ready to go on a trip, he just didn't realize which one. He thought he was heading to Pharr, TX to visit family and friends. His suitcase was almost packed. Surprise! God decided to let him go see a bunch of other family and friends! These include his wife, his parents, several siblings, two children and many, many others.”
At his funeral, I realized just how many people my Dad had directly and indirectly affected through his ministry. He helped found a conference of churches that is growing here in Mexico, but he also helped form leaders who work and lead in several other churches in Mexico, including four missionaries in other parts of the world. What a blessing to be a part of this legacy and of this great work!
27 Years of Marriage
I also want to thank God for allowing Eunice and me to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. God has been so good to us in giving us a good marriage and wonderful children who are following on with the Lord. It pays to put God first in your marriage and to follow His ways, especially in a day and age where so many marriages are falling apart.
Strength to do His Work
God has also allowed us to visit several of our supporters and supporters of the Mission in Washington, Idaho and Northern Oregon. God was good to me in a special way by giving me strength for this trip. I have found that God gives the needed strength according to what He would have me do. Thanks to those who have prayed regarding my health. I can say that, with time, my health has slowly been improving. I have been able to get more done and am spending less time resting.
New Accredited Course
Another thing that has been such an important part of our ministry has been the Seminary. We are praising God because August 16 we started a new accredited course at the seminary. It has taken a lot of work and funds to get to this place, but God has been faithful. We do believe that this new course will open doors for our students, although we know that the competence to preach the Word ultimately comes from God, and we see God working daily in the lives of our students and graduates.
We are in need of cabinet makers to help us build cabinets for the married student apartments. If you are able to come or know of anyone who might be interested in helping, please contact us.
Note for those who supported Linden
To those of you who so faithfully supported my Dad’s ministry all these years, we would ask you to consider supporting either John Edward, our son, and his ministry or Armando Lopez, who is a representative for EMM in the U.S. Their support has been low and they are in need of new supporters for them to continue their ministries. If you would like more information on either of these options, or on some other ministry you might like to support, let us know.
- We urgently need more teachers at the seminary. Pray that God will provide.
- For continued strength for Paul.
- For plans regarding the trip to Cuba later this month. I do need some funds for this ministry.
- That God would continue to give opportunities to witness for Christ at the bookstore.
August 13, 2013
Our hearts rejoice at God’s goodness. In July we met for the 56th annual convention of the churches founded by Walter Gomez and Linden Unruh so many years ago. So many changes have taken place since then, and it has all been thanks to the Grace of God. People like you have made it possible to see a conference of churches built up that is going forward and reaching beyond the boundaries these two men ever dreamed of.
At convention I was encouraged to see two more empty pulpits filled by graduates from our seminary, and two of the churches that had depended on funds from the church conference to support their pastors reported that they will begin paying their pastors’ full salaries.
Talking to another pastor from Southern Mexico, I had to rejoice when I heard him speak of how his church has opened a church plant in an area outside their city. They have already built a small shed where they meet for services, and on an almost weekly basis the youth go out to do evangelism both in the city and outlying towns.
A week after the annual convention my father passed away after 59 years of service to God and the Mexican people. At his funeral on July 30, I was overwhelmed by the impact my Dad had on so many people. Although I knew it, I had never grasped how far my Dad’s influence reached – way beyond the churches that he founded in Mexico.
One man whom my Dad lead to the Lord as a young boy and who now heads up a training center for sending Mexicans to the Muslim world was at the funeral service. Several pastors from different church movements whom my Dad influenced through his teaching were there. So many stories and, more importantly, so many souls. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Walter would not have obeyed, or what if my Dad had gotten discouraged because his church in the U.S. said they had no work for him in Mexico. To God be the glory for what He has done, and to God be the glory also for people like you who stood behind these men of God and others whom God has used to keep this work moving forward.
I do believe that God still has much for us to do, and that will mean that God’s funding must follow through people like you. Thanks so much for the part you have in this important ministry.
July 20, 2013
First of all, I want to thank you for your support of our ministry here at EMM. It is by God’s grace that we can continue to carry out our mission of fulfilling the part of the great commission that tells us we are to teach all things that Christ entrusted to us.
It is by the preaching of the Word that people come to faith and learn to live a life of obedience to Christ. That is why we see the need for pastors and church leaders who can teach the Word of God with faithfulness and boldness.
June 30 Armando Lopez and Keith Anderson spent the day with one of our churches just across the border in Reynosa. This is a small church that two years ago had about 15 people meeting together, counting adults and children. Several families who moved from another part of Mexico started the church. Two years ago Pastor Javier Carranza, a graduate of our Seminary, moved to Reynosa to become the first pastor, and the church has grown to an attendance of about 40 people. Right now they are meeting in the tiny front yard of the house the pastor and family are renting. Soon, however, they will need a bigger place to meet.
Three new believers from this group were baptized. As is the case in most churches in Mexico, baptisms tend to be an all-day affair which makes for memorable times. On this occasion they celebrated in a park on the banks of the Rio Grande River. They started with a devotional before moving on to the baptisms, officiated by Armando Lopez.
Afterward there was a service where Keith Anderson preached and Armando Lopez served communion. This time was not only a blessing to the church but also a means to be a witness to the other people that were present at the park.
Seeing God’s work prosper in a city like Reynosa is a great blessing. This is a city that has been overrun with violence in recent years and many are afraid to be out and about unless absolutely necessary. God is still changing lives − even in a part of town controlled by one of the drug cartels.
That is what we are working toward — training Mexican pastors who will reach their own people. The Lord is working in hearts, and with your help, this goal is being accomplished.
June 24, 2013
Dear Friends at Emmanuel Baptist Church,
Eunice and I were very blessed during our recent visit to the church. I was encouraged by what I was able to see that God is doing in the church and the way he is using you to further the growth of God's kingdom. I personally enjoyed the men's study on Saturday morning and also the opportunities to talk to some of the people after each of the services.
Our desire and prayer is that God would continue to bless you and that you might continue to reach others for Christ in the Lewiston area.
I do want to thank you for the opportunity to share in both services. I considered it a privilege to share about what God has been doing and to minister the Word to those who have been so faithfully supporting our ministry.
We also want to thank you for your very generous gift of $5,309.00. Which I allocated as follows: $3809.00 toward our budget needs at the seminary, $1000.00 toward our scholarship fund at the seminary, and $500.00 toward expenses on our trip.
We do pray that pastor John might find rest and renewal during his time away from the church
June 17, 2013
I want to thank you so very much for your support of the work that Evangelical Mission Ministries is accomplishing in Mexico. The seminary celebrated graduation May 17. This marks another accomplishment in our goal of “Making Christ known in the Spanishspeaking world.”
Eight young men and women graduated this year. One of them, Antonio, came to school with the vision of becoming a missionary to foreign lands. He has already started working to become part of an evangelistic team that reaches out to a number of different countries. Once again it is evident that the church in Mexico is growing in its understanding of the part it plays in the task God has given the Church of going into all the world to preach the Gospel.
Another of our graduates is from Nicaragua. He will be going back to help in his country where very few of the pastors have had good theological training. As a result, the spread of false teachings in the churches is very common. He also has plans to help in a small Bible institute that trains qualified, Bible preaching pastors. What a blessing to be a part of an effort that extends what we are trying to do in Mexico to another needy country!
We are also thankful that enough funds have come in to start laying the foundation for the rock wall climbing gym (Nuestra Roca) near the WGE Center. God’s work continues to move forward and you have a part in making this possible.
May 22, 2013
Thank you so much for your support of our ministry here at Evangelical Mission Ministries. As you know, one of our main ministries at present is training pastors and leaders for the work in Mexico and for mission work around the world. Your contribution, in one way or another, helps us continue this ministry.
One of the ways we help our Mexican brothers and sisters in this task of training young men and women to be solidly grounded in the Word is by subsidizing the wages of the teachers at the Seminary in Pachuca. Adelita Aguirre (right) is one of the teachers. She graduated from the school in 1977 when it was still in northern Mexico.
Recently I asked her, “What has been your greatest satisfaction in working here at the Seminary?”
She replied, “I feel so satisfied with many things — even from the time I came to study at the Seminary. Along the way God has given me different ministries and they have all been rewarding. With regard to the Seminary, two things have been very satisfying. First of all, as a teacher here at the Seminary, seeing what our students have done and the ministries they have makes me glad to be a part of this. To see some of our students go on to be successful pastors and others become missionaries in other countries. . .that is what we are working for, so to see it happen brings a lot of satisfaction. Second, as treasurer, in a personal way it has been so encouraging to see how God has supplied. In one way or another God has always made sure we have enough to pay our bills. I sometimes look at the balance in the bank and I am amazed how God supplies.”
I am personally encouraged when I see the quality of teachers we have and their commitment to the work like our sister Adelita. I hope you are encouraged also, because it is through people like this that the kingdom of our God continues to move forward.
April 16, 2013
What a wonderful God we have! I am so thankful to report that, healthwise, I have been doing a lot better the past month. It has been a remarkable change. I want to thank each one of you who has been praying for us and, in a special way, for my health. I still have a ways to go toward full recovery, but I have had a lot more energy than I have had in a long time. This has allowed me to do a lot more both at the seminary and with the office work at Pharr.
Going into all the Nations
Our mandate as the Body is to preach the Gospel to all nations. That is something I wanted to do when I was at Bible College — to go to some foreign country (Mexico was where I was born) and preach and teach people with less opportunity than is had in Mexico. God thought differently.
Now I am going to other places through my students who are doing what I would have liked to do.
I go to the seminary and teach Spanishspeaking young men and women. Just watching them grow in their knowledge of the Word is so encouraging. Take, for example, the class I teach on teaching techniques. The class is focused on teaching the students to teach using techniques other than a lecture/ conference style method. As you can imagine, most who get up to speak are a bit nervous, but as the class has progressed, it has been encouraging to see them improve their skills – not only in speaking, but also in the use of visuals and other materials in class. Some of them have gotten more creative than I ever have with their PowerPoint presentations.
God is also reaching out to other people groups through us. Two days ago I got a phone call from a missionary friend who works in Bible translation in southern Mexico. He sent two young men who have worked with his team to our school to get further Bible training.
As far as I know, these two young men will be the first fully trained pastors among their language group, which only has portions of the scriptures translated into their language. In talking to my friend, he is excited about the progress these boys are making. The fact that they are learning some Greek, and later will learn some basics in Hebrew, will help them in the future to do a better job in their part of the translation process.
Then there's Jael who struggled with giving in to God’s call to go beyond our Mexican borders. She has been an encouragement on two fronts. On January 27 she was sent out from the Eternal Refuge Church to work as a missionary in one of the restricted access countries of Asia. There she will be doing Bible translation.
For Eunice and myself this has been a rewarding experience, not only as Jael's teachers, but also as part of the church planting team that gave birth to the Eternal Refuge Church. Thirteen years ago this month Eternal Refuge was started as a church plant. Four married Seminary students came to me asking for help to start a church. We met together to discuss and agree on some organizational issues. I told them that from the start we would be giving toward missions.
"But how can we do so if we don't have any people yet?" they asked. I made it clear that this would be part of my requirements if I was to help them. From the beginning God always provided for the monthly missionary pledge.
Some eight years later a church building was built, largely with money given for Dad Koop's memorial. Currently, right around 100 people gather to worship God and learn from His Word. We have a Mexican pastor who has continued with the missions emphasis of the church. As Jael’s sending church, we are responsible for a sizable amount of her monthly salary. Praise God, we met our goal in faith promises. Pray the Mexican brethren will be faithful in giving. This is a new experience in giving for us as a church and a great adventure.
As one young lady told me, God did not let you go to some other country so you could teach us and prepare us to go. This applies not only to us, but to you also who have helped us financially and prayed for us on the mission field. You will now also be bearing fruit for the Kingdom over in Southeast Asia.
I am still convinced that investing my time and energy in training is an excellent investment. Better pastors and teachers in the Church, firmly grounded in God’s Word, make a big difference in the expansion of the Kingdom.
Graduation will soon be upon us. Pray for our new graduates as they finish up their studies and prepare to go out and preach the Gospel and disciple people for the glory of our God.
April 15, 2013
As part of Christ's commission to His disciples, He told them to teach believers “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” Matt. 28:20. One of the ways we at EMM have tried to fulfill the Great Commission is through our correspondence course ministry. These courses are simple lessons that help Christians grow in their knowledge of the Word. The courses are varied, dealing with themes like salvation, Christian growth, dating, marriage, ministry, doctrine, etc.
A few years back, for lack of funds, we had to cut back and the office for this ministry was closed. There were those who saw a need for this to continue, and a part-time volunteer was found to man the office. When this worker left because she was assigned to another ministry, we sought among the students someone who would be interested in continuing this ministry as part of his or her practical work. One young lady volunteered.
Damaris set up a web page and started promoting the courses. When she took over, we were down to about 17 students, compared to about 400 that we had at one time, but in the four months she has been heading this ministry, there are now 44 students. In talking to Damaris, she has enjoyed this way of helping people grow in their knowledge of God.
Recently she got a letter from the husband of one of her students in the Yucatan peninsula. Earlier, his wife had to quit her studies because of a high-risk pregnancy. Now he was writing because, after the baby was born, his wife wanted to continue with the courses — and, not only that, but he also had decided to start taking the courses.
Thanks once again because each contribution helps us continue to move forward and get the Word out to those who need to hear and learn. Your contribution is being used as designated on the receipt.
March 15, 2013
Once again we want to thank you for your support of our ministry to the Spanish-speaking world. God has been good in allowing us to be the means by which men and women are discipled and equipped to teach and preach the Word of God faithfully.
As I sat in chapel at the Seminary a couple of days ago, I had to give thanks to God for what He has done through our school.
Our speaker for the morning was a former student who has been serving God in a restricted access country for the past two years. As she excitedly shared about what God has done through her during this time, you could sense the excitement transmitted to the students.
She shared about the enormous needs in this country — both spiritual and social — and about the challenges she has had to face. One thing she pointed out was the need for people who are knowledgeable in the Word to teach those who have come to Christ. That made me think once again of the great privilege God has given us of having great teachers and a library full of books and Bible resources to better understand God's Word.
Then I also had to thank God that, through this ministry that started out years ago to train pastors and teachers for the churches in Mexico, we have now come full circle to blessing other countries that have greater needs than our own beloved Mexico. What a blessing to have been a part of this student’s training so she can train others in the Word and reach people beyond our borders! Part of her challenge was a call for men and women who would be willing to be a part of a ministry like hers to raise up Bible scholars to teach people like the ones she works with.
We also had some “fun” — though it was not meant to be so — praising God. She had us do some of the motions for one of the songs they sing in church. She sang in her foreign language and we did the motions. What made it fun is that some of the motions seemed a bit silly to us in our culture. What a great God of diversity we serve!
Thanks once again for helping make this possible through your contribution to EMM. God bless you richly as you serve Him in your corner of His field.
February 26, 2013
Praise the Lord with Us
We praise our God and give Him thanks for the great things He has done this past year and for what we are sure He will continue to do this year.
Bob Ratzlaff, president of our board of directors, writes:
I wanted to recap the decisions of our board meeting February 1 and 2. These decisions have only one purpose, to further the cause of Christ and His Church by training pastors for "making disciples" for the Glory of our Lord. 2 Tim. 2:2
We elected Paul Unruh as director. This will allow Keith Anderson to put his full attention to the online course project. We are very grateful to Paul for making this sacrifice, and we ask God to give him the strength and energy to carry out his duties and for traveling mercies.
The official implementation of the CETyM online course project has begun. Keith has already completed some preliminary work to offer online courses through our seminary, but there is a tremendous amount of work and coordination yet to do. I wanted to thank Keith again for graciously being willing to make this vision a reality. Our God is blessing this project financially but please keep the project and Keith in your prayers. Good works bring opposition. A little research on the web indicated that there may be roughly 600,000,000 Spanish speaking people in 24 countries that have access to Internet. How many will find and want to take the courses is in God's hands.
New EMM Missionary Candidate
Praise the Lord with us. At our board meeting we accepted Rogelio Noguera as a missionary candidate to do leadership training in churches in the mountains of the state of Chiapas. This area is a very poor and neglected area of Mexico where people have had very little education. It is also a region where there is a lot of persecution of Christians. Many who have become Christians in this part of Mexico have been physically attacked for their faith and, at times, forced to leave their homes and land in their villages.
Plans are for Rogelio to leave for this field in about a year.
New Opportunities at Bookstores
We are also thankful for the ministry opportunities God continues to open up in the bookstores that both the Roberts and the Unruh families operate in Mexico. Right now the Mexican government is pushing a reading campaign encouraging people to read at least 20 minutes a day. Reading does change lives, so it is heartening to see people come into the bookstores to buy books and Bibles.
Paul Unruh writes:
My wife Eunice, who helps take care of the bookstore in Pachuca, tells how a girl of about 12 came in with two little sisters and asked her. “Is this a bookstore?”
“Yes,” Eunice answered.
Then the girl asked, “Do you like to read?” She continued, “I like to read a lot.”
Eunice told her she did like to read and offered that when she had time she could come in and read some books that are there at the bookstore for that purpose.
“Oh, I have lots of time right now.” Then she wondered if she could read one of the Chick tracts which are small illustrated stories with a salvation message.
Eunice said she could, so the girl sat down on one of the couches and read the whole thing aloud to her sisters. She even read the prayer that is printed at the end of the tract.
The next week a nine-year-old boy came in and did the same thing. He wondered if he could read one of the Chick tracts.
Another time a lady came in to buy a cake for a friend of hers, whom she said was a Christian. In talking to her, Eunice found out that this lady showed interest in spiritual things but had not trusted Christ as her Savior. As Eunice visited with her, the lady told her that not too long ago she contracted dengue hemorrhagic fever and nearly died. When Eunice asked her if she was ready to die, the lady answered, “Well, I hope so.” This gave Eunice an opportunity to share what salvation is all about.
We continue planting all these seeds, and we are thankful because God continues to give us the time and means to do so.
Reaching Kids through Rock Climbing
We?re also thankful for the work God is doing through the rock climbing ministry which John Unruh has started in Pachuca in order to reach young people for Christ. It affords both a means to reach boys for Christ and also to help young men who know Christ to learn to know Him better. As you might know, John started by building a small rock wall in his tiny carport with a view to building, in the near future, a rock wall gym.
On a typical Tuesday afternoon, John has about eight boys come over to his place, and then two or three Saturdays a month he takes a smaller group to do rock climbing in the mountains about 45 minutes away.
John shares, “One of the things I like about using rock climbing as a ministry tool to reach young boys and men is the wonderful opportunities that it offers to bring up spiritual discussions. When a new boy shows up, as I am belaying him I ask, „Do you trust me??
“This opens the door to talk about the way we need to trust God. Then I like to ask, ‘What would happen if I were to let go of the rope and let you fall to your death?’ This is the perfect question to start explaining what the Bible says about life after death and what they need to do to be prepared for it.
“Several weeks ago, as we were eating lunch at the edge of a cliff we had been climbing, the boys started discussing the pros and cons regarding the defensibility of our location in the event of a zombie apocalypse (what can I say, they are teenage boys). This topic led me to mention what the Bible says about the apocalypse and the rapture. I was able to share how we need to be prepared for Jesus? return at any moment.
“These opportunities give me the chance to talk about spiritual matters to kids who have very plainly told me they would not go to church on Sunday. It also provides an example to those who are already Christians that they do not need to be ashamed of their faith and that they should share the good news with those around them.
“The opportunities to expand this ministry are many. Pray that we might have the funds to build a rock climbing gym (“Nuestra Roca”) and for other young men to help with this ministry.”
Another Praise to God
Thanks to those who have contributed to help build the four-plex for married students on the seminary campus in Pachuca. A student and his family are living in one apartment that has been finished.
We are grateful for the $5,143 that was raised at our annual banquet February 1 to continue with construction. This brings the amount still needed to complete the other three apartments to approximately $15,000.
In behalf of EMM, I want to thank you very much for your prayers and support. My wife Eunice and I have enjoyed traveling some for the Mission and, as time goes on, we hope to meet some more of you. Pray for Keith as he develops the online studies program and recruits teachers for it.
February 22, 2013
Here at EMM we are so thankful for supporters like you who make it possible to continue with the ministry God has called us to in the Spanish-speaking world.
In our board meeting, which was held Feb. 1 and 2, we reaffirmed our commitment to help train men and women in the Spanish-speaking world to fulfill the great commission. This requires that able teachers with a passion train others to go out and both preach the Gospel and teach the Word to men, women, and children.
At our board meeting it was decided that Keith Anderson should devote full time to developing online education to be offered by our seminary. Once this is available, Spanish speakers around the world will be able to take seminary level classes from wherever they are, as long as they have an Internet connection. So with this change, I agreed to be director of EMM and will be dividing my time between the Pharr headquarters and the seminary in Pachuca.
I want to tell you about a visit I just had with Blanca Loredo, who graduated from the seminary in 2002 and heads up our Child Evangelism department, which seeks to train teachers and children's workers in the churches. Her face was beaming, and she couldn't wait to share with me some of what she had been doing the last few weeks.
Right after New Year’s she headed to northern Mexico to give a two-week seminar to train young girls and ladies to work with children both in the church and in weekly children’s outreach programs. As she sat and excitedly talked to me about some of the things that happened, she shared what God had done in the lives of some of the ladies. One of her students summed it up in a note she wrote to Blanca after she got back: “You encouraged us and spurred us on in this work. You helped us conquer our fears. Being older women, we sometimes think that we can't do or learn a whole lot. We had never done anything like this.”
Blanca said that one of the older ladies was shocked that she would have to color and paint some visual aids. “I have never done such a thing. When I was a kid I never even colored a picture and I never had the opportunity to do this even one day while in school. I don't think I can do such a thing.” She did, and she did it well. Others had fears like the woman who said, “Do I have to take part in the skit? I have never been up front and I am not sure that I can repeat my lines without my paper.”
God used the program they put together, including the skit, and one lady made a decision for the Lord.
One week later they helped in another children's program held in a small mission where they don't even have Sunday School for the kids because there are none who come to church, even though there are many in the community. At that special event the story was told about the lost sheep. Thirty attended, including a few adults, and one lady also made a decision for Christ and one dedicated her life to the Lord. This church is now planning on starting a weekly children's class.
It is for results like this that we keep working. Thank you for sharing in our ministry! Your contribution is being used as designated on your receipt.
December 13, 2012
About Our Trip...
We want to thank each one of you who prayed for the trip Eunice and I took last month. We had a great time sharing God’s word to about 20 church leaders. I gave a study on the Doctrines of Salvation with some very practical applications. The pastor who invited me said it was exactly what they needed in light of the fact that some divisive doctrines have been creeping into the churches in his country and had already divided several local churches. Even some of the leaders working for the church have left and followed this movement.
Eunice got the opportunity, last minute, to share with the ladies of the church who meet on Thursdays. She gave the same study to two different groups, one in the morning and one in the evening.
God was good not only in allowing us the opportunity to teach God’s word and to encourage these leaders, but He also took care of us physically. There was an outbreak of dengue fever and at least one of the members of the church had ended up in the hospital. Praise the Lord we stayed well. I also ate a lot of things I shouldn’t have, things that cause me problems at home, and yet I had no digestive problems at all. Once again God showed us how He keeps us when we are serving Him. I also felt no fatigue like I do so often. I felt better on this trip than I have for a very long time here at home.
I continue to praise the Lord for this wonderful opportunity He gives me to teach at the Seminary. As I listen to my students speak of their experiences in different churches and of the lack of training a lot of the pastors have who lead these churches, I am reminded of this vital ministry God has given us: Training pastors to teach the truth of Scripture faithfully. One of my students just said last week in class: "I am so thankful for all my professors because they all emphasize the need to keep true to the Bible and remind us that Scripture is the foundation for all our ministry and for the Christian life."
We are also thankful that the license to offer accredited degrees has finally come through. Lord willing, beginning next fall we will be able to offer degrees accredited by the Mexican Government. This is a historic event in that Mexico has never recognized degrees in Bible or Theology unless they were obtained outside of Mexico.
We believe that this will be a benefit to our students who have had trouble getting their studies recognized by other institutions, especially those who have gone on for further studies in the area of missions.
Pray with us now as we have to start working to get all things in order here on our campus to make this a reality.
Our Bookstore — a Blessing and a Challenge
We have been more than thankful for the opportunity God has given us to open a small bookstore and coffee shop in our community here. It has provided our workers and Eunice with ample opportunities to share God’s Word, both with Christians who need encouragement as well as unsaved people who have never heard of the good news. Some time back Eunice was able to lead a lady to the Lord who daily went by the bookstore. Our worker at that time was able to encourage her in her newfound life and invited her to church on numerous occasions. She never did come to church, even though she said she would several times. Then she got a job and quit coming by. Two weeks ago she stopped by. Eunice was able to encourage her to meet with Christians and invited her to the prayer meeting she holds on Wednesday mornings with several of the ladies of the church. They are praying for their husbands since several of the ladies are going through problems in their marriages. Praise the Lord, she showed up last Wednesday and spent time with the ladies. Pray that she continues to come.
Eunice’s prayer meeting with the ladies has brought about some changes, mostly in the women themselves. Several gave testimony last week about how God was changing them. One of them witnessed how God had kept her from saying hurtful things as she is so accustomed to do. I am thankful that God continues to use this as a place where Eunice can serve others.
However, do help us pray! We are having a hard time making ends meet. Talking to the man who manages our bookstore in Monclova, which is also going through some rough times, I was told that several Christian bookstores have closed their doors in Monterrey, a city of over seven million people. The economy is not good here, as is the case in so many places. We do believe that God uses Christian literature and Bibles for furthering the Gospel. Pray that God would supply the necessary sales or finances to keep this ministry going, and that He might give us wisdom in making decisions as we run this business.
Pray & Praise
- Pray for Paul’s continued recovery. He is doing a lot better, but still has his down days and does have to watch his schedule.
- Pray for our Bookstore that God would supply financially for us to be able to keep this open.
- Pray for finances for our Seminary. As a mission we have not been getting even half the amount that is budgeted for this vital ministry. Pray that God would supply what we need.
- Pray that God would continue to use us for growth of His kingdom.
- Praise for a good time of teaching on this last trip.
- Praise that the family will all be together for Christmas, including my brother Dan who will be coming from McAllen, TX to spend a few days with Dad and us here in Pachuca.
September 10, 2012
God continues to work here in Mexico. That is not surprising, but it is encouraging to see the evidence of what He is doing. When we do so, it makes us stop and give thanks.
New Students and New Challenges
We praise the Lord for the new students God has given us for this year. I had asked some people to pray for 15 new students. Praise the Lord, we have 17 new students. Our number of total students did not grow as much as expected since we lost several of our returning students for various reasons, but our numbers have increased to 45 students.
We are glad for the growth, and hope to keep growing. The need for trained workers continues to be great. It has, however, been good not to grow too quickly. The addition of students has meant an added workload in different areas which has caused us to rethink how we do things. This is good and is moving us to improve.
It has also meant a change in our classes. For the first time I have 16 students in my doctrine of the Holy Spirit Class. It is exciting, but I am not looking forward to all the extra grading I will have to do. My daughter once told me, “Dad be good to yourself and to your students and don’t require any homework.” Sounds good, but of course we want them to learn as much as possible while at school.
More students means looking for more places for them to minister on the weekends. One group of students has decided to start a church plant. So far they are scouting out a place to work where they would not be encroaching on other people’s territory.
One of our students feels called to start a counseling ministry. Another young lady will be volunteering in our correspondence course department. This has opened up new ministries for some of our students and that is exciting.
Praise God with us for the students He has given us.
Pray that God would give us wisdom in training these students for God’s work.
Pray that God will supply the financial needs of our students as well as of the school.
What greater work of God can we see than the growth of His church. Baptisms are always a sign of growth. We were excited to see seven people take this step of obedience. Baptism is a big step in the lives of the people here in Mexico. They always invite relatives to these events. Sunday we even had some unsaved people show up to be witnesses to the baptism of their relatives.
Isn’t God so good! Not only does He bless us with people who want to be baptized, but also with the opportunity to witness to unsaved souls about the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Among those baptized were two young girls who have grown up in church. We are slowly also seeing the growth of a second generation of Christians who are following on in the faith of their parents and bearing testimony to the fact that our labor in the Lord is never in vain.
Pray that God would continue to work in the lives of the people in church that they may give witness to the saving grace of God.
Pray that the church might continue to grow in its vision to reach the lost.
Pray for Manuel and Trinidad. Both men come to church but have not yet made confession of their faith in Christ.
Recognition of Dad’s Years of Service
On the night of our opening exercises at the Seminary we held a special service to recognize my Dad’s years of service at the school. Praise the Lord he is still teaching. Like all services of this nature it was long. Well, it would have been long for most of you but for us it was just right. We sang about eight hymns. Four of us teachers were the praise team, leading the singing in four part harmony. We sang old familiar hymns which are my Dad’s favorite songs. Even though the service was to give recognition to my Dad’s 58 years of ministry and nearly 48 of those as full time teacher at the school, emphasis was made on the faithfulness of God. It is because God has been faithful that Dad has been able to serve so faithfully all these years. Even now in his frailty God gives him the strength to keep going, putting so many people to shame who have more strength than he does.
Pray that God will raise up young men and women who will follow in his footsteps in a lifelong commitment to service.
Update: Paul’s health
We are glad that Paul’s energy has been holding up so that he can teach his classes. We are now into the second week of classes and even though, energy- wise, he has been doing pretty good, his heart rate was a little high today.
Pray that his health might continue to improve and also that he will have the wisdom to rest when he should.
Rebecca was Home
We praise God because we were able to enjoy having Rebecca home with us for about six weeks. During her stay we made a trip to Monclova for a wedding and Paul David and Lynette came down so we were all together for one short day. Now Rebecca is back in Japan enjoying teaching her kindergarteners.
Married Student Housing
We are currently finishing up the last touches on the first apartment to be completed. Finishing doors and Kitchen cabinets is about all that is left. As funds come in, we are looking to continue with the other three apartments once this one is finished. For more information visit our website www.emm-mexico.net and click on “Building to Bless”
August 30, 2012
We are so grateful for what God has done through you and for the support you were for our children John and Rebecca while they were in Lewiston. You have also been a blessing to us and our ministry through your faithful support. We want to thank you for this. It has been a blessing to have a church like you behind us both in prayer and in financial support. We do pray for you asking God to use you for the furtherance of His kingdom in the Lewiston area. May God continue to use you for reaching others for the kingdom and for helping those who are His children to grow in the their walk with Him.
We are encouraged because once again God has been good to us in giving us a good number of students at our seminary. This year there are at least fifteen new students. The count is still not in because enrollment is still open this week. We have started classes, but we leave enrollment open for one week longer. It has been surprising how many of our students come and enroll once classes have gotten started. Again we will be having over 40 students. This makes for more work for each teacher since we have so much more grading to do and students for whom to care.
Do continue to pray for me. My health is still on the brink. I have been teaching this week, and it seems I come back exhausted after classes and it takes me most of the afternoon to start feeling I have the energy to function. God has been good in giving me the strength I need, but it does get discouraging when I don't have the energy for much else than teaching.
Once again thank you so much for your prayers. May God bless you richly.
July 11, 2012
So much time has gone by since we last wrote and God has done so many things in that time. Let us take a little of your time to share with you some of God’s blessings and encourage you.
Reaching Beyond Mexico
During Easter week God gave me the opportunity to visit a Bible School in Nicaragua. I was asked to visit them and give some advice on their plans to expand their program of studies. Nicaragua is another very needy country in terms of theological education. I have been told that the need there seems to be greater than our need here in Mexico, and our need here is great. Reading a book on the subject, I came across some appalling statistics: among the historical denominations in Mexico, only about 47% of the pastors have a secondary education. We are trying to make a difference in this. Nicaragua seems to be even more needy. Talking to the pastor who is the director of the school there, I found that some of their students have not even finished grade school. This makes it difficult to prepare pastors with a higher education, which is what they want to do.
As part of my time there I was able to give a short seminar to the teachers on how to improve their teaching. We had a great time together. Later I was able to sit down with the director of the school and discuss some of the things they need to consider if they are going to expand their program. I was happy to be able to make this trip to try to help advance God’s work in the Spanish-speaking world.
If God works things out, I am making plans to visit Cuba again this fall. We have had letters from the pastor there asking us to come back and do some teaching. Pray that God will work all things out for these plans.
An Assistant for Paul
After quite a few years of looking for an assistant to help Paul with his office work and mission bookkeeping, we finally found a Mexican young lady who graduated from the Seminary a few years back. The challenge now is to finance this new addition to our budget. We need about $500 a month to pay her. Maybe you could help or know of someone who would like to help. Having Olivia’s help has been a great blessing, especially since my health has not been all that good, and this has allowed me to take care of other things.
We want to thank those of you who have supported our efforts to get a bookstore going here in Pachuca. God is blessing with continual opportunities to share the gospel with those who still do not know Him and also to encourage His children.
Sister Lidia, who takes care of the business during the day, has told us that there is a lady who comes in regularly to talk with her. Pray that God will bring this lady to Christ.
God opened up an opportunity for us to move into a larger locale with more traffic. Since we moved the store about a month ago, sales have gone up both in the coffee shop as well as the sale of books, Bibles, and pictures for hanging on walls.
Reaching Out to the World Through Our Graduates
I once complained to some of my students that I wished God had given me the opportunity to serve Him in some other country that had more needs than Mexico. One of my students answered me, “Brother, through the teaching you are giving us you are reaching out to so many places you could never have gone.” I have had to think about this often. I still hear of needs in other places and say, “God, here am I. Send me.” The answer still is no, but through the ministry I have had here at the seminary I have been able to reach out beyond the borders of Mexico.
One of my former students is a missionary in Pakistan and one is in Asia. This year a young man graduated who will be teaching at the Bible School I visited in Nicaragua. Two years ago a young lady graduated who is on her way to translate the Scriptures into a language that does not yet have the Bible. Another graduated this year who is also working toward that goal.
This year we had five graduates: two young men and three young ladies. Slowly but surely we are making a difference for the kingdom of God.
Pray with us that we would have 50 students this year. Last year we reached the 40 mark, and we are praying for 50 students this year.
Update: Paul's Health
We are glad that Paul’s energy levels have been improving. Since January he has been able to get more done and work a few more hours than he was able to last year. Pray that his health will continue to improve and also that he will have the wisdom to rest when he should.
- For finances for the Seminary. Giving has been slow for this ministry.
- For continued strength for Paul.
- For a total of 50 students this coming school year.
- For God to bless the annual conference of churches in Mexico the third week of July.
March 23, 2012
Back to Teaching
This morning, after I got home from teaching one of my classes at the Seminary, Lynette called us on Skype. She asked how I was. My answer was that emotionally I was feeling great. I had had a great class with my students. However, physically my body was telling me something else. My heart was racing again. For the past two weeks I have been feeling a lot more energy, but then I struggle with wanting to do more than maybe I should. I did spend more time last week working, and by the end of the week I was not feeling so well. Do pray that I might find a balance in knowing what to do and when to sit and rest. That is difficult for me.
I am teaching two subjects this semester and in both classes it has been so encouraging to see how the students are changing. One of my classes is a fourth-year Christian Education class. I have had these students in my classes throughout their time at the seminary. Seeing the changes God has worked in their lives and their change in perspective makes it worth all the hours and finances spent in preparing leaders for the church in Mexico. Even watching the first-year students is encouraging. At our Christmas program one of our first-year students who has been helping at the Eternal Refuge Church told how he was amazed as he read my Dad’s short biography. He, like so many others, have had no notion what a missionary is or what it has taken to bring the gospel to Mexico.
Then, what a joy it is to see another student wanting to go to China as a missionary if God brings everything together for her to go there. She will be graduating in May. What a blessing to be a part of this work.
Bookstore continues to give opportunities to witness
Sunday I was invited to preach at one of the church plants where students from the seminary are helping. Toward the beginning of the service they were recognizing visitors and asked a man and wife to present themselves. What a surprise when we heard him say, “I am here because these people’s (referring to us) son invited us. Later we found out that JohnE had invited him to church when he was at the bookstore. Praise the Lord, this is the first time we know of that someone has actually come to church from that point of contact. Last week there were some ladies in the store who were not Christians but were looking at the pictures with Bible verses we have for sale and some of the books. The coffee shop part of the business brings people like this in and allows for opportunities to be a witness.
What God is doing through our former students
One of our graduates from last year wrote me recently:
It is so good to hear from you again. There is so much to tell. God has been glorified in great ways. I keep going up to a different mountain every day and God has placed me in very hostile and hard places for the reception of the Gospel. For a long time we have been visiting these places; Huxtitla, Apipitzactitla, Zongolica, Tlaquilpa and others but especially these.
They have rejected us, chased us away, they have confronted us and shouted insults, but these last two or three weeks God has been marvelously glorified. He has opened the doors wide open to His Gospel. Every day — literally every day in those towns more and more people are learning to know and accept Christ as the Savior of their souls. Every day we see people come to His feet. I see Him transforming hearts. The Scriptures that say “my word [is] . . . like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces” (Jer. 23:29) are coming true.
Very simply stated, we have experienced the power of the Word of God. It has been hard to suffer so much time without visible fruit, but now God is rewarding us and is giving us rest. But the spiritual battle is very real in this region. As we penetrate more into the mountains it becomes even more difficult.
This month I will go to live full time in a strategic zone. It is a commercial center for the surrounding towns in the mountains. I will be there for three months or more. Please, brethren, be praying for me. It is a place that is very hard and only God can do something in that place. The city is called Zongolica. There is so much I could tell you about. I have seen God do so much in these mountains. I know that my Nahuatl (the Aztec dialect) will improve.
I and many others are the extension of the ministry God has given you and we are bearing fruit to the glory of God.
Then I received the following letter from another graduate who is working in our Child Evangelism Department.
Dear Brother Paul,
I would like to share with you a bit of my experience of working in Guadalajara where Brother Gabriel is the pastor. I arrived there on December 27 and two ladies from the church plus the pastor's wife and his daughter were there to help out with the program we were going to have for children. We were practicing for the Christmas program, and I was teaching them the songs we were going to sing with hand motions. All of a sudden one of the ladies began to cry as she heard the songs, so we stopped for a bit. She was so overcome, and with tears in her eyes she said, “Why is it that I never heard of Jesus when I was a little girl? How is it possible that I have lost so much time?” We were moved by her reaction so we took some time off from our rehearsal to join with her in thanksgiving to God for the opportunity that He has given us in getting to know Him. We also thanked Him that it is never too late.
On December 29 we had our Christmas Kids’ Fiesta. When it was time to start there were only 15 children present, but we started with those. However, it did not take long and we had more than 40 children, some of whom were accompanied by their parents or some relative. Thirty-two children made decisions that day.
I praise God for His goodness and for the opportunity He has given me to work in the Child Evangelism Department.
- For finances for the Seminary
- That the students might remain faithful to their calling
- For continued strength for Paul
- For the bookstore/coffee shop project we have started. We want to be a witness through this for God’s glory.
January 30, 2012
We are so thankful for what the church has done for us and for the interest they have shown in our ministry.
Here are some praises and requests.
- Praise for the Growth in the number of students at the seminary. This year we have 40 students a record number in all our years of existence.
- Praise for graduates who are going out as missionaries. One in China. One on her way to Equatorial Guinea to do Bible Translation. One young man working among the indigenous people in Mexico.
- Pray for Eunice involvement with the ladies ministry and evangelism in the church.
- For Paul's health. Praise for improvement, but still gets exhausted very easily.
- Pray for the process of accreditation for the the school. We are making headway but there are some steps to be taken yet.