Paul and Eunice Unruh
EMM - Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico

February 18, 2019

Eunice and I praise God for his goodness and for the support we have from friends and family on both sides of the border. I got a call from Eunice today saying, “God just showed me today we do have friends looking out for us.” I am away from home so often that hearing that is a blessing.

Teaching at the seminary

God gave us five new students at the seminary this past august. Now in January one more student signed up full time.

Brother Francisco and his wife came up from Chiapas this past august to begin his studies. He has been a pastor for several years even though he never had any training for the position. He is not an isolated case. A few years ago I read a report of an a study of the state of the church in Mexico that found that more than 60% of pastors in Mexico have had no training.

God gave us five new students at the seminary this past august. Now in January one more student signed up full time.

Brother Francisco and his wife came up from Chiapas this past august to begin his studies. He has been a pastor for several years even though he never had any training for the position. He is not an isolated case. A few years ago I read a report of an a study of the state of the church in Mexico that found that more than 60% of pastors in Mexico have had no training.

God gave us five new students at the seminary this past august. Now in January one more student signed up full time.

Brother Francisco and his wife came up from Chiapas this past august to begin his studies. He has been a pastor for several years even though he never had any training for the position. He is not an isolated case. A few years ago I read a report of an a study of the state of the church in Mexico that found that more than 60% of pastors in Mexico have had no training.

Through Rogelio Noguera who has been working with us and doing pastoral training in Chiapas, we have now helped two pastors to come to the seminary. Brother Francisco worked on getting his high school diploma as well as starting his studies at the seminary. He is so thankful for this opportunity that has been given to him.

He told me recently, “During these past few months, God has shown us His mercy and love and has also been transforming our lives. When I started my studies at the seminary I felt totally incapable of being able to study and make a good grade. I prayed to God and asked for his wisdom and He has been answering my prayer. I was able to finish my studies for getting my GED. I got a 9.5 grade average in these studies. It has been because God helped me.”

Stories like this make it worth all the effort to keep teaching at the seminary.

Rebecca continues to teach at a grade school in Kuala Lumpur. She is also working on a Masters degree in education. We are looking forward to seeing her in summer.

Paul David continues to work in the oil fields in central and western Texas. I get to see him every now and then when he is home and I go to Texas at the end of the month.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for Eunice’s Bible Study on Mondays. That new ladies would come
  • Pray for continued strength for Paul
  • Pray for safety. Things in Mexico are only getting worse.

Another Trip to Cuba

On October 30, I flew into Santa Clara, Cuba. I went to spend three weeks in Cienfuegos to teach a class at a small Bible School. I find times like this stimulating. I am able to teach these young people who have grown up in an atheistic culture about the God of the Bible who controls history. In a way it is eye-opening. It is not that they don’t know God, but have never looked at Bible history nor their own history as being in God’s control. Since I was there, the pastor had me also teach his doctrine class to their third-year students. This increased my time for preparation and at times I was a bit pressed to get ready for all my classes.

I have been asked to go back this fall and teach both classes again.

As well as teaching the two classes I was asked to share a conference on what the Bible teaches on giving. In a way one might think, what do people with so little have to give? However, God does not teach that only those that have abundance are required to help further His kingdom. In the process of preparing to teach, God convicted me of my own unwillingness to sometimes give even though doing so would not mean giving up anything I really need.

Even the pastor’s wife has put me to work. This time, like most of the previous times, I have been asked to share with the women in the weekly meeting. There are some of these women who have become prayer partners for our ministry.

On my trips to Cuba I try to teach them some new recipe. They have limited ingredients and no ovens so it makes it a challenge. This time I made a pie crust on the stove and then filled it with coconut cream. They had never tasted anything like it.

Family News

Asher had fun putting his new Lego set together with uncle Reed and auntie Lynn.

This year for the first time in a few years, we were not able to spend Christmas together as a family. Rebecca is now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and spent Chrismas there. Lynette and her husband Reed were able to come down for Christmas. The grandkids really enjoyed having Uncle Reed around. Paul David and his family spent Christmas in Pharr. We were able to go up and spend New Years with them.

Eunice went over to Aisha’s parents to ring in the New Year. I was not feeling so well so I stayed home.

Once a month I enjoy seeing Paul David’s kids when I go up to take care of business at headquarters in Pharr.

Ali is doing well. She is currently teaching English downtown a few nights a week. We have been able to add three bedrooms to the apartment in the back of our lot where we lived when we first moved to Pachuca. Hoping to have it ready for March for Ali to move in with her kids.

 

February 4, 2019

A few months back several of the seminary students started making plans for a short trip to a village in the mountains of the state of Veracruz. They decided to travel out there to help brother Gonzalo who was assigned there as pastor this past July. He is an older gentleman that studied two years at the seminary.

They packed up their things and left the day Christmas break started. One of the exciting details of this trip was that a girl from a church up in northern Mexico heard about the trip and asked if she could join the team. She has heard a lot about missions and decided to do something about it.

The group spent three days teaching children and adults on the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. Most of the kids that came to the classes knew nothing or very little about Christ. Also, since a lot of the adults in this community cannot read or write, the students prepared booklets with pictures relating to each one of the truths they were taught. This will allow the adults to later review what they learned using their booklets.

Some of the team took time to do some teaching on serving God. They prepared these sessions for the leader-ship in the church. Because of the years many of these people have lived steeped in idolatry, some things that might seem basic to us are not known to them. There is so much ground work to be done and foundations that have to be laid in places like this.

Thank you for being a part in making things like this happen. We know it was a blessing to the receiving church, but are also convinced that service like this is also a part of the training of our students. Pray that God will raise up more leaders who would come to be trained at the seminary.

Thank you for supporting our effort to reach children for Christ. Blanca who heads up our Child Evangelism department traveled to Reynosa to help in a church plant there. She held several special classes with the chil-dren and rehearsed for a Christmas program. We praise God that children in a violent city like this can hear the Gospel before getting drawn into the drug scene.

 

December 17, 2018

After a few months of recovery from a badly sprained ankle, Blanca has been working hard at training people to work with children. She has been traveling to the state of Queretaro where a church opened up to take the Christian Education course. Eighteen adults and twelve teenagers signed up for the first part of this course.

As part of the training, her students are required to plan an evangelistic event for children and carry it out. For most of them this was the first time doing something like this. This time they held the event at a sports park near the church. Thirty children showed up for the program, and this month they will be presenting the same program at an orphanage.

Many of these people have been helping out in supporting the pastor who is now planting a church in Pinal de Amoles in the same state. Toward the beginning of next year, Blanca with some of her students will be holding a children’s evangelistic event there.

Blanca will also be traveling to the border city of Reynosa, now before Christmas, to help with a special Christ-mas program. I was visiting with pastor Victor who is leading this work. Their children’s club has grown recent-ly. They have been encouraging children to learn Bible verses, and some of the children have already memo-rized over fifty verses they can say by heart. He also praises God because it has brought him into contact with many of their parents.

Pray for this ministry. We are trying to reach children before they get drawn into a life of crime. So many now days are headed down this path.

 

December 5, 2018

Fruit After All These Years

One hot summer in 1984, Eunice Koop, now my wife, helped teach at a VBS held in Monclova. Her father picked up kids in his VW van in another area of town and took them to VBS. Among these kids was a young girl who was one of about a hundred kids in Eunice’s class. Her first day she made a decision for the Lord and when her parents found out they refused to let her go back to VBS or church.

We just found out a few weeks ago that this summer she hosted a VBS in her home. Now she has a group of people that are meeting on a regular basis and holding services in her home.

This is why we believe in training people to work with children. We also believe it is money well spent to invest in children’s correspondence courses and evangelistic events. Over and over we have seen children who were reached at a young age grow up to serve God in different ways.

Short on Space But Not Enthusiasm

Victor Chavez and his wife have been planting a church in the border city of Reynosa. This church plant was started when Victor with some of his school mates went across the border while studying at Rio Grande Bible Seminary. Right from the beginning they started working with children.

Victor is now pastoring a church that grew out of this effort. As part of this church plant, he is working with the children in the community. One of his latest efforts has been concentrated on using AWANA material. Not only has this been a blessing to the children, but through this more of the adults have become involved with this ministry.

Every Saturday 15 to 20 kids gather to be taught God’s Word. Their club is held in a two story house that is only 790 sq. ft. with a very small yard. This has not held back the enthusiasm the teachers and kids share during this time.

More Apartments Needed We Want to Build to Bless

The week our new semester started at the seminary, while enrollment was still open, a man called wondering if we had space in the married student complex. His sister had come to study at our school and now he is interested in studying for the ministry but he is married and needed a low-rent place to live with his family. We had to turn him away.

We already have six married couples studying and only four apartments. One of them is living else where on campus, and the other had to find a home off campus.

In years past, most Bible Colleges were filled with young students newly graduated from High School. Housing, classes, scheduling and even the "Rule Book" were oriented around this group of enthusiastic young people on fire to serve. We still see this group each new college year, but today we also see a significant number of more mature married men and women who have answered God's call and are walking away from jobs, careers and more. In some cases, these married students already hold college degrees in a variety of secular fields from science, engineering, business, finance to law and education. In our shrinking world, this trend is not unique to any one country. In fact it might even be greater in many rapidly evangelizing countries like some parts of Latin America. This trend in fact mirrors the early church and even the first twelve men called to follow and be Christ’s disciples.

Paul writes to Timothy "Let no man despise thy youth" but also writes in the guidelines of a bishop (pastor) "Not a novice" God has allowed these transitioning men and women to spend time in other careers learning many valuable skills and disciplines before calling them into His service.

We have discovered that there are married couples, ready and willing to follow the calling but currently blocked financially by something as basic as housing. This is the case of each of our married students.

Your donation, no matter how small, will make a difference

It might seem insurmountable to them, yet so insignificant and trivial if this expense can be removed by a large number of believers each contributing a small part of it.

We are looking for people like you who are willing to help make this possible.

Our goal is to get at least two of the apartments built before school gets started next year. That means we must start as soon as possible.

Update on New Church Plant

I have been texting with Pastor Zavala who is church planting in Pinal de Amoles.

He writes, "Downtown is really beautiful, but in the surrounding area there are very poor people. There are few jobs to be had and the few there are pay poorly. Men spend the little they own on drink and the youth on drugs.

"We are praying that God would free and save these families. We are praying that we might be able to take some men to the special men’s meeting that will be held in Castaños about ten hours north of here.

"We have visited two outlying villages to look up some people with whom we have made contact. We are seeking to build a friendship with these people to open the door to be able to witness to them more freely."

We will continue to visit some of these villages with a church that is helping us in this way.

We are asking that you help us pray for the following requests.

  • Pray that God will place people in our paths with whom to share the Gospel.
  • Pray for Juanita and her family who need the Lord.
  • Pray that we might have wisdom in deal-ing with those enslaved by alcohol and drugs. That God might free and save them.
  • Pray that we might acquire a better means of transportation. They roads out to the outlying towns are really rough.

Mexicans Laugh at Death

There is a popular saying that says Mexicans laugh at death. The truth of the matter is that Mexicans do have a day on which they celebrate the dead, November 2. They make special candies for the occasion to put on the altars honoring dead loved ones. They also write special poems at this time poking fun at death and some of the famous people that died during the past year.

It is sad because death is not a laughing matter. Thousands are dying without Christ. We are working to train men and women to make a difference and bring men and women to Christ.

 

October 12, 2018

As I sat taking care of business with Twila, she all of a sudden said, “Have I told you about María who came to know the Lord?”

Five days a week, Twila sits at her desk taking care of our bookkeeping at the office, but one afternoon a week for the past seven years she has been teaching Bible Clubs in some of the government housing developments here in Pharr. About seven years ago, she got to know Hector, Maria’s son, in her classes. Later she started taking him to the AWANA club at one of the local churches. As time went on, she also got to know his mother who in times of need has called on Twila asking for various kinds of help.

Late on September 14, Maria once again called Twila asking for help. She was very agitated and had not been sleeping well for several days. She wanted Twila to pray for her. The next day Twila took another lady from a Hispanic church who knows more Spanish to visit her. Together they were able to lead Maria to the Lord.

Since then she has been reading her Bible every day and Hector asked for a Bible so they can read together. Then last Sunday, even though she had not slept well the night before, she went to church and really enjoyed it. Later she told Twila, “Satan wanted me to stay home, but I won.”

We praise God because even those working here at headquarters are making a difference for the kingdom leading Spanish speaking people to the Lord. Thanks for making stories like this possible.