A new year, welcome 2018. If years are chapters, our life is the book; we should look to the Author, Hebrews 12:2. It’s hard to believe Christmas is behind us and a new year is here. We are ready for all God is going to do in this next year of ministry at Calvary Motul.
Just this past month Natalie hosted a women’s night at the church. This is a blessing for me to see the women in our church wanting to go deeper in His word and build bonds of community in the church. For many, this was the first time out alone without kids for years. They got to enjoy a time of studying the Bible, discussion, decorating Christmas cookies and a movie.
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Pray as we are starting to outgrow our current church space. We recently expanded our nursery and our older children ministry rooms. The nursery is a room about 15’x15’ and the older kids have a room that’s about 20’x 30’. Weekly we have about 20-30 children join us. And we just keep growing. Just this month a sweet single mom gave birth to her son. She would walk about a mile and a half to join us every church service, even in her final month of pregnancy. So this month we were happy to have yet another healthy, happy baby join us. The women in the church did such a great job at cooking and delivering dinners for her and her family. This is the third baby that has been born in our church; the women have learned how to care for one another in the body of Christ in times of need.
With Christmas, our family opened our hearts by sharing some of our beloved family traditions. Every Thursday night at the café we would have cookie night. Families from the church would come and enjoy family time and decorate Christmas cookies. It’s such a blessing for me to see the men in the church spending time with their wife and kids. This very much isn’t the norm here. So I am blown away to see God building strong families. This was also used as an evangelical opportunity. As church families would invite friends to decorate cookies, they would use that time to share their faith and give invites to come to a church service.
I was speaking to a friend of mine and he said, “Let’s meet on the 25th.” I said, “Well, that’s Christmas. Let’s meet the next day.” He looked at me, turned his head sideways and said, “Um, no - Christmas is the 24th.” Here the big day of celebration for Christmas is the 24th of December, and that was a Sunday. So the thought was - do we cancel service? If we have service, will anyone show up? We prayed and decided to have church service on the 24th. I mean for everyone here - it’s Christmas day. At about 10 minutes to the starting time of service it was my family and Alex a long term missionary serving here. And then the first family came, then the second and before I knew it I was sharing the promise of Jesus as spoken of in Isaiah to a packed church. God is good.
As a parent, you often wonder - was pulling our kids out of everything best for them? Pulling them out of American schools, sport programs, their childhood home, home church, and friendships a good idea? Am I robbing them? The answer is - no. We are blessed to have third culture kids. “What is that?”- you may ask. Third culture kid (TCK) or third culture individual (TCI) are terms used to refer to children raised in a culture other than their parents' (or the culture of the country given on the child's passport, where they are legally considered native) for a significant part of their early development years. They are exposed to a greater variety of cultural influences. For adults who have had this experience as children, another term used is adult third culture kid (ATCK). TCKs move between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity. The first culture of such individuals refers to the culture of the country from which the parents originated, the second culture refers to the culture in which the family currently resides, and the third culture refers to the amalgamation of these two cultures.
Our boys recently joined the city of Motul’s futbol (soccer) team. It is 100 percent Spanish. And they love it. Our boys have made friendships and are continuing to learn Spanish. It’s so funny to see them when they return to the states and are in awe at things like elevators, escalators, or water fountains. Just before Christmas we asked them what they would give Jesus for His birthday; and so they each made Jesus a birthday card. My heart melted when this is what I had seen. Thank You, Lord for working in the hearts of our boys.
Just last night we brought in the New Year at the church with so many. It is great to sit back and see the changed lives, the stronger marriages, the children running around, new babies being held by their mothers, people sharing food and laughter. I want to say thank you to all who support this church with prayer and/or financially. You are investing into the Great Commission. You are helping the doors of this church stay open; you are allowing us to invest into these families here in Motul, Mexico. I know all glory goes to God. But I am glad He has placed this ministry on your hearts and you heard the call. Know that you are appreciated.
Calvary Fort Lauderdale is hosting a mission’s conference from January 31 – February 7. You can see the details here:
We will be coming to Florida to be a part of the sharing in that conference. If you can come to any of the times scheduled, we’d love to see you.
written by Len