As we have been living here now for a few weeks, we have been without wifi. This has been the most challenging as we have been disconnected from all communication. But we have been rejoicing today as wifi has been installed and we are capable of connecting to the internet once again! We all love being here, living in this city. Everyone on the street, when they see us fixing up the building, asks us what it will be. When we tell them that it will be a church and café, they seem excited. Even the police are happy about it. We have an Oxxo (like a 7-Eleven) on one side of us that’s busy all day long and a Karaoke Bar to the other side of us, and then the Catholic church is a few buildings down the street from us. The streets are bustling with people at night as we are right in the center of the city and we just can’t wait to be able to open our doors.
We still have some purchases to make to finish up the church/café before we leave for our furlough. We have set up a list of the items on a page on our website named “ ” God has already used some people to bless this ministry in helping buy some of the things on the list. Our prayer is that we can afford to get done as much as we can so we are able open up when we return from furlough.
We started homeschool with the boys. Noah is starting 2nd grade and Caleb is practicing some preschool lessons. Noah is enjoying everything being in English and Caleb is wanting to always do school work every day as well. Natalie just finished organizing all of the books and making the schedules. We are praying that this year academically is very fruitful for the both of them.
In the second week, we had moved out of our old house in Merida with all of our things and started living at the church building in Motul. We didn’t count how many trips we took with loading our stuff over here, but may the Lord have treasures stored up for John in heaven. He’s been a missionary in Merida for 15 years and is partnering with us on this new journey in Motul. One of the days he was over here helping, we were able to surprise him with a homemade cake that Noah made to celebrate his birthday. We’re excited to serve together with him in this new work the Lord is doing here in Motul.
The first week of August we were invited and attended our first wedding here in Mexico. Len had led the premarital counseling sessions with the couple and so we, as a family, we invited to attend. It was held at a beautiful hotel in downtown Merida. It seemed as though only family and close friends were invited, as there were only about 20 in attendance. Our family took a seat in the back row in the quiet little room in plans to keeping the boys nice and quiet, not knowing how long the ceremony would last until they asked us to sit in the front row and leave the boys behind in the back row by themselves! A few days before we were asked if we could present a Bible to them during their ceremony, so that’s why we were needing to sit in the front row, right next to their mom and dad! We could only pray at that moment, as we brought them nothing to entertain the boys, no coloring books or ipad or snacks of any kind. It was a beautiful wedding and an hour and a half later, the boys were reunited with us and did great! It was such an honor to be a part of. We were also invited to stay for the reception – a delicious 4-course meal sitting with the bride and groom themselves. The Lord bless them in their new marriage together.
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Natalie was able to lead a worship workshop with Anne (Pastor Robert’s daughter from Calvary Centro) for those that are currently serving in the sound and worship team. Everyone brought food to share and we had a time of fellowship over dinner at Anne’s house. Then we opened it up for those that played and instrument or sang to “audition” with half of a song so we could give them some feedback to help them get better. We shared some lessons of music theory and ministry experience. We’re excited about this team and how it has been growing with new people already.
We will be in south Florida from September 22- October 8. The rest of our furlough time will be traveling up to visit churches and family up in northern Florida. If you would like to see us, please contact us via e-mail or facebook. We have a bunch of dates scheduled to speak at various churches and places – please come see us! God did provide a car for us to use while we are back – praise the Lord! We are looking forward to seeing so many of you and sharing what God is doing here. Please look at our schedule below to see when you can catch us or just let us know if you want to schedule some time for us to meet and get together.
We have been working hard day and night around the clock. For the first couple weeks, it seemed as though the demolition phase would never come to an end. The concrete dust was everywhere and covered everything. But a group of youth from Merida came over one day and helped us clean the place from all the dust. They were such a blessing. Another day we had some guys come out from Calvary Centro and paint the outside front of our building. The front side is 23 feet tall, so neither of us had a desire to get on a ladder to paint that high. We’re glad that they were willing and the job is done