Since we arrived in Mexico in April of 2010, we have been in our very own specially designed by God Missionary Training Academy. We spent our first nine months in Jerez, Zacatecas getting to know Mexico and the culture. Our plans would have included staying there for 2 - 3 years and learning the church planting ropes. However, we discovered our research on that area had been in error and there are actually two national pastors doing a very good job of taking the gospel to their own people. Is there room for another church in the town of Jerez, of course, but we felt God moving us to prepare for the ministry he would lead us to by attending some formal language training. This moved us to Cuernavaca, Morelos for the first part of 2011. We are still in contact with the national pastors in Jerez and pray for them often as the people there in Jerez have a special place in our hearts. Recently Sam was even able to go back and visit and encourage one of the local pastors. He was also able to visit some of the friends we had made while living there and witness and share due to our ever improving Spanish.
Pray request from this time: For the national pastors still laboring in Jerez and for our continued improvement in speaking Spanish.
The second tailor made "class room" has been filling in for a missionary family while they are on furlough in the U.S. for a year. Sam prayed for an opportunity just like this and the story of how God worked it all out is...well...a God thing, undoubtedly. We are so grateful for this time, with the sweet church members here. I know they miss their pastor greatly while he is in the U.S., but that does not stop them from working along side us. I have been able to teach children's classes and Sam has begun to teach and preach in Spanish.
Prayer request from this time: To do our part in returning this work to those to whom it belongs, to finish well, and try to invest what has been entrusted to us, not just return it back the same. I have often thought of the parable of the talents, where one servant invested and returned more to his master and the other servant hid his talents, much to his shame. It is comforting to know that this is God's church and as long as we look to Him daily, he will do the work here in Encarnacion de Diaz.
As you know from several blogs back, we have been praying and seeking God guidance about where to go after our time here is complete. There are no shortage of opportunities and needs all over Mexico and Latin America. When suddenly God has opened our eyes to an area we had previously been completely over looking. He has given a passion and fire for a people group, a geographical location. Could this be our ministry God has for us? Could this be the people God has been molding and training us through our life experiences and education to reach. More or less a creative access area to which we with our unique family and God's help could go. There is certainly a lifetime of work to be done among them and no one else is going.
Where is this amazing place? These pictures are your clues.....
Oh! And I am so spoiled now. Your inner coffee snob cannot be controlled once you have sipped a cup of coffee brought down from the mountain regions and then fresh roasted! And you thought you were drinking the good stuff, because you grind it yourself! :)