Thursday, April 29, 2010

Long Overdue Update

Somehow the time is running away from us and we can't catch it. Our deepest apologies for not staying in touch better...

After several calm and encouraging weeks in ministry the hurricane arrived. We have come to realize that like life, ministry has its ups and downs. Sometimes the ups are way up and the downs are way down.

Currently we are working with another missionary couple to make church planting plans for this coming year. We are trying to schedule our time while we are in the States and wrap up things here before we leave. Life has been hectic because in the middle of our daily routine came several crisis that we needed to help our friends overcome.

Please pray for:
-Us to be wise in our time over the next month
-That our friends in our small group would love each other and learn what it means to follow Christ
-God's widsom and guidance as leaders and in church planting
-Encouragement in ministry
-A family who are close friends of ours and are dealing with a devastating situation and that God would guide us as we meet with them for Bible Study and counseling
-Maturity and growth in our lives and in our small group
-Success in scheduling our months in the States
-That our financial needs will be met as we switch from WGM to GO International

-One of our neighbors is finding Christ in the middle of her pain
-God's peace that is present in the middle of the storms of life
-Good friends
-David and Kristina, another missionary couple who share our calling to church plant here in León and with whom we are going to partner
-We are going to be able to take a vacation soon and get some rest
-Each of you and difference you make in our lives and in Mexico
-Good health and safety
-Jennifer got to perform ballet in a little presentation for the first time in a long time

Thanks for praying for these things and keeping in touch!

True Love

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Why is this verse so difficult for us to grasp? Why do we find it hard to love? Why is love so hard to teach to others? Can it be taught? Or only demonstrated?

These are some questions that have been going through our minds lately. Last week we went to San Juan de los Lagos to see some youth that we are fond of, to share a reflection with them, and to play games. We were talking about love and that Christ calls us to love one another and to love our enemies. When we asked if that was easy to do we received varied responses. One young woman said "Yes, for me loving is easy." Others said that if they hadn't received love it was hard to love others. We wonder "is loving easy?" Our conclusion lately is that maybe for us loving is easy, but it is not easy to love someone when the love is not reciprocated. If we risk loving and the person hate us back does that change our love for them?

This past summer when we were in the States for a few days we shared how much love changes things. And it does. We are convinced of that. Christ's love for us makes a difference in our lives and allows us to love the broken, hurting, and our enemies. Lately we feel as though we haven't seen much love around us. For months we've been living out the love we have through serving others, but we wonder if it has payed off. We wonder is the love reciprocated? Do people understand that his love comes from God? That they too can experience it and pass it on to others? At times we have received nothing in return. Then it dawns on us...That doesn't matter. Jesus didn't say true love is that you lay down your life for a friend so that you get riches in heaven, or true love is that you lay down your life for a friend because it is the popular thing to do. He just said true love is that you would be willing to die in place of your friend. Are we willing to die for someone else? Are we willing to love everyone even if they reject our love, if they reject us, if they reject Christ?

Jesus came and showed us how to live and love. He taught, performed miracles, and ate with sinners. He was called names and hated by many. In the end the world rejected his love and his message. He was killed by those he loved. Does that mean his life was worthless? Does that mean that his love didn't make a difference? Maybe it means loving is not popular, maybe it means that Christ's example in laying down his life is one that challenges us to do the same.

Join us in loving Mexico, loving our friends, our enemies, and those who reject the message of Christ.

PICTURES: Fellowship in the Park!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Clearing up Confusion

Hello All,

We wanted to clear up some confusion...After talking to many of you on the phone we realized that some of you are not sure when you should switch your support over to GO International. We recently sent out an e-mail with the info and it is also on our blog here how to transfer your support. We are asking that you PLEASE TRANSFER your support NOW in APRIL. WGM and GO are aware that we are doing this and have suggested that we ask our supporters to go ahead and make this change. Our WGM account will cover our expenses until June and in the mean time we MUST build up support in our GO account so that we will not go without support in June and July. Thanks for understanding and following us to GO. Without you our ministry would not be possible. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail us at:

Thank you!
J and J

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holy Week

There are some weeks when we are discouraged in ministry, and then there are weeks like this one when we are super encouraged.

This week is Holy Week or in Mexico, Semana Santa. Here people get off work at least for several days and all the schools have two weeks off. Good Friday is a national holiday and most things are closed. Thursday looked like Christmas Eve at the supermarket because it was so packed full of people. Sadly, the essence of Good Friday is often lost and the day turns into a time to get together and drink too much. Yesterday, we got invited to yet another get-together with our neighbors. They are always looking for an excuse to have a party and we are thankful they include us. We were a litle aprehensive about going, but we are so glad we did. At 3pm the family who's house we were at, and our neighbors, got together to pray. They recited written catholic prayers and at the end the big surprise came. They asked Josh to share something about Jesus' death. He didn't have anything prepared, but said a few words and we were shocked that they responded so well and affirmed that Christ is risen and living among us. We should follow his example in our lives they said. What an exciting moment that was. How special that before eating we took time to pray and talk about Christ. And they included us, the "evangelicals." Later Jennifer had the opportunity to share her faith and her vision for planting a church with another person that was there for the get-together and it was received very positively. What a great Good Friday we had!

So many wonderful things have happened this week... Here is a resumen.

Monday we had a great small group time of sharing and studying.
Tuesday we went to the place where we are having our small group retreat in June and put down a deposit. It is beautiful and the perfect spot. We had someone over for lunch and then we visited with a couple in our group who needs lots of prayer.
Wednesday we talked with another person in our group for hours about her experience over the last few weeks and her commitment to Christ. We had a wonderful time of sharing and this friend expressed her interest in being baptized. Yeah! Later we went to Irapuato to see a group of highschool kids that is here from Michigan. We worked with the group last year so it was great to see them again. We got to see their drama and meet a lot of new people.
Thursday we spent most of the day running around and getting ready for the seder meal we had in our house with our small group. That included lots of cooking and translating of liturgy into Spanish. We had an amazing time and more people showed up than we expected. We had enough food and shared a specail time as we had our passover meal and then took communion. Complete with candles
Friday, well you see the description above.
Today we are eating lunch with some people we haven't seen in a long time and preparing our Easter reflection for tomorrow.
Tomorrow we are meeting in the parque for lunch and an Easter reflection with those from our small group who are in town.

Thanks for your prayers! God did some incredible things this week!

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Small group, a few people are missing
Last week's dinner. The topic was the resurrection and Josh made Indian food
This week's dinner the traditional seder plate
Jennifer and Tori, one of the highschoolers from Michigan
The leader of the group Sue, giving presents to kids in Irapuato
The puppet show in Irapuato by the group from Michigan

Friday, April 2, 2010

World Religions in Saltillo

This past weekend we traveled to Saltillo in Northern Mexico for Jennifer to teach World Religions and Sects to the students in the North with WGM. Last Friday we left and Jennifer had a very sore throat and was not feeling well at all. That night she prayed that God would take at least the sore throat away and praise the Lord she woke up on Saturday without a sore throat. Her classes went well Saturday and Sunday. We pray that the students worldviews expanded and that they can apply what they learned in everyday life. They had to define "worldview" and "religion" and do activities like compare the world's main religions and give a presentation on a sect of their choice.