The family that we mentioned in our last update (that comes often to the café but hasn’t come to church yet) came the first Sunday of December! And they all prayed to follow Jesus! We were all rejoicing, as it was such a glorious night. We gave them a Bible, wrote in it, and they have been coming ever since. We are friends with all of them on Facebook and we see their posts about how thankful they are to the Lord. Please pray that their seed grows deep and their faith has a strong foundation. Another family started coming this month regularly and got saved as well. We so look forward to Sunday night services and watching these new believers grow as they highlight their Bibles and we are able to talk with them about what they are reading during the week in the Word. This is what it is all about. Salvation is here.
We started this month by hosting 3 guys from Calvary Fort Lauderdale. They came specifically to help work on the backyard of the church. It was filled with big rocks that needed to be moved around and landscaped. Then we ordered some dirt, gravel, and sod. Each bag had to be carried by hand from the front street through the church to the back. After a week of hard work, 7 tarantulas discovered and then killed, and much great fellowship the backyard looks completely different. We are truly blessed with the work that was done and the funds that were given to help form a place that we can use for church events, Sunday school, and outreaches.
click on the pics to enlarge and read captions
While the guys were still here, the circus came into town. We all bought tickets and went to go watch the show. The homemade bleachers were made out of wood planks – we made sure we held onto Caleb the whole time! No safety nets, high rope tricks, comedy, it was entertaining and most of it was done by one young man!
We had been praying some time about a young man coming to serve and help us with both the café and church. He was coming out every Sunday from Merida to join us and help with the Sunday services ever since we started. As we talked with him, he shared with us how he was praying about the same thing. So after praying some more, meeting with his parents, Ernesto is now living with us. He is 17 years old, homeschooled, and is committed to living with us and serving here for 3 months. After that, we will see what the Lord has in store for his future and being here. He has been a great blessing and we are happy for the Lord to use us, and the ministry opportunities here, for him to grow in his faith and leadership. He moved in just 5 days before Christmas and got to experience a Raynor Christmas morning with his own stocking to open along with our boys. One of the gifts we were able to give him was his own Bible which he greatly needed and wanted. He has been without one for quite some time since his last Bible broke. We’re rejoicing over the work that the Lord will do in Ernesto and through him as the Lord has already used him in the 10 days he has been here.
We were able to have some fun family and time with friends also this month. We had a couple nights where we invited friends to join us for our tradition of decorating homemade Christmas cookies. As Mondays are our family’s day off, we went to Merida to go watch Star Wars. Well, almost all of us. Natalie and Caleb went Christmas shopping after they dropped off Len, Noah and Ernesto at the movie theater. Noah just loved it! The following Monday we all went to the beach. Len brought his new fishing pole that he got for Christmas but caught nothing. We still all had a good time as it seemed we almost had the whole beach to ourselves. Leche joined us a well and just so happy running free up and down the beach chasing the birds.
Next week we will be welcoming the 11th graders from CCA of Fort Lauderdale as they will join us here in Motul for their five-day mission trip. We have a full schedule planned. One of the outreach events planed is to show a movie in the church backyard. We plan to rent 100 chairs and pray that they all will be filled. We will include the schedule in a link on our prayer page for those of you who would like to pray specifically. We pray that they are used mightily and many more hear the good news of Jesus Christ here in Motul.
As we start the new year, let us start by saying thank you. Thank you for praying, for those who give faithfully, for those one-time gifts that surprise us and bless the ministry here, for those that write us, for those that read our updates, and for the few that have come and visited us – we appreciate it all and can’t wait to see what the Lord has planned for 2016!
One day we closed the café down for our first shift as we joined Calvary Centro with the shoebox outreach in a village called Tabi. There is a Calvary Chapel in Tabi and we teamed up with the pastor there and his family as we saw near 100 kids come to the event. We sang songs, fed them lunch, presented a magic show, hit some piñatas, and lastly gave them a shoebox full of toys, hygiene items, etc. Unfortunately, our family was not able to stay for the whole event and watch the boxes be given out and opened as we had to get back to Motul to open the café for the night shift. Maybe next year our boys will be able to witness it as they have been filling shoeboxes every Christmas since they were 2 yrs. old.