You know the moments when you see your child take their first step, land that perfect job, they have that breakthrough conversation; it is when you realize all the hard work is worth it. It’s the moment when you get to see just a small part of God’s perfect plan He has for you.
On the mission field, these moments can be difficult to have; it’s a new language, a new culture. After many years of doing ministry, I have had many moments that God has given me over the years. But what I heard this past month blessed me in such a profound way. I hope it blesses you as many of you partner with us in this ministry in so many ways.
We recently hosted a birthday party for a 6 year old. She and her parents faithfully attend services here at Calvary Motul. They invited some of their friends to the party. These are people that generally would never step foot inside a church, but for a birthday party they would stop by. I hear the birthday girl’s mom speaking to her friend. The friend asks, “How much is the church charging you to have the party here?” The mom replies, “Nothing.” The friend then asks how much are the children’s ministry classes we offer at Calvary Motul. The mom stopped and said, “It’s different here. Everything about this church is different.” It was in that moment I was blessed by those simple words.
It’s different here. The mom goes on to explain the love Natalie and I share with people. In that moment all the difficult language lessons, selling our possessions, all the sweat, tears and prayers was worth it. In that moment, God blessed us and we saw a part of His plan. To create something different, to create a culture in this church that focuses on Jesus, a church that exists to serve others and not to be served, a place that promotes strong marriages, God-loving families, a place to grow together and give Jesus the glory. What a moment.
Click pictures to enlarge and read caption.
We soon will be celebrating Caleb’s 5th birthday. When we first moved here, Caleb was two years old and didn’t speak all that well. You hear the stories of “oh kids catch on to new languages so fast” well, that is not true for all kids. Caleb shut down. He stopped speaking English and did not understand Spanish. Many days he seemed lost and confused in this new land. So as parents, we did what we could. We prayed so much for him. Fast-forward to today - Caleb has started homeschool this year and we see him enjoying and learning well. Caleb is able to speak and communicate in English. We have seen many answered prayers develop in his little life. But just this past month we heard a little something different from him. Caleb was speaking Spanish to his friends here! We were so shocked. We push Noah to learn, and I will often speak Spanish with him, but with Caleb we are just happy to hear him speak English. So to hear him now starting to speak a second language (his Spanish needs work, but his accent is perfect) I was shocked and blessed.
Here in the Yucatan if you see something you want, you better pick it up right away; because when it is gone - it’s gone. This was the case for our children’s ministry chairs. To start off - we bought six. We thought that would be enough for a good start, but then God started to grow the children’s ministry. We rushed back to buy more little chairs only to find that all the chairs were gone. We would return week after week for about a year until one day there they were - the children’s chairs. Se we ran to get 10 more. I hope to soon bring this story back to say we have ran out of chairs again.
Speaking about chairs, many of you know our church is small and that during the week it is a coffee house. So basically during church services we would have people spread out in various locations - may it be around the table, on a couch or some chairs we had set about. Well, with our current growth, we had the need to change the layout to accommodate more people. What a great problem to have. Our goal here is not to grow the church for the sake of more seats filled, but to fill the church to teach about the joy and peace a life surrendered to Jesus can be. We are blessed by these challenges.
So that brings us to what is next. Natalie and I have been praying and are happy to share some details of what’s next at Calvary Motul. Our team will soon be growing from just Natalie, the boys and I. In September two missionaries that will be moving over to Motul to help with ministry and English classes will join us. We are hoping the English classes will open doors for new relationships and friendships. As I have learned in this culture, it is so much more impactful to invite your new friend to church than just a blind invite. Please pray for this ministry as it develops.
We have come to the point where we need a church van. Only one family from our church here has a car and the others walk. On nights when the weather is bad (we have two seasons: hot and dry and hot with rain), no one comes because of the rain. We want to offer a pick-up service on those nights. Also, the people in the church have expressed a desire to travel to some of the small and very poor villages in the Yucatan to share the love of Jesus. So I said – let’s pray for a church van. We currently have two donors that have blessed the church with about 85 percent of the total cost of a van that we are currently looking at. It is a 2006 VW Eurovan with about 85,000 miles and is located in a city about an hour away. It is in our price range and fits our needs perfectly. I pray we are able to take possession of it this week.
We are currently in the center of the city. This is where all the action is. The center of towns in Mexico is the social area. We signed a two-year lease and currently have about 9 months left. As missionaries, we are blessed by our church @CCFTL and private supporters. We raise support for not only us, but the church here as well. Our location is super, but this location is expensive. As of late, we have lost some support. We had sat aside some savings to help support the church; these savings will end in about 9 months. So we are praying for what is next – to stay in our current location, to seek a different location, or to move in faith with the purchase of a property. Honestly, we just don’t know yet. But we know God is in control, we know He is changing lives here in Calvary Motul and we know we are called to stay and continue to work this field God has given us.
So in this update, if the Holy Spirit has pulled on your heart in any way, please let us know. If you would like to join us in prayer, we welcome it in such a big way. If you would like to partner with us financially to help with the English classes, the church van, or the church location - contact us.
Thank you so much for your time, your prayers and your financial support. You are helping in the great commission in
“the ends of the earth.”
written by Len Raynor