What a month. This month so many changes happened. We changed our service times this month to Sunday morning.
As a church, we knew this was necessary; God has seen it fitting to bring us young families with young children.
Our church service time was 7pm at night with a time of ministering and fellowshipping after the service ended. Our night would usually finish about 10pm, leading to everyone being tired as we would return to school and work schedules the next morning. So after prayer, we moved our service time to 10am Sunday mornings. But with this change, this marked the end of a long season for me. For over a decade, I have been involved in youth ministry in one capacity or another. My latest spot was the youth and young adult pastor at Calvary Chapel Centro. While I was blessed to serve there in this capacity for almost two years, I knew God’s calling; it was time to focus and devote 100 percent of my time to the ministry here at Calvary Motul. So with a combination of joy and sadness, I said goodbye to the youth group this past month. I only pray that over these past years of investing into the next generation that God has been glorified and lives impacted. Thank You, Lord, for this season.
After 20+ visits to the immigration office (2 times in the states), Natalie and finally received our temporary residency cards! Now we will start to work on getting them for our boys. We pray the road is a bit easier. Keep praying!
Click pictures to enlarge and read caption.
This month we were also blessed by a team from Calvary Chapel Melbourne and what a blessing it was. Over the years
I have had the opportunity to lead, be a part of, or host almost 40 short-term teams. Over my past 3 years here, as a long-term missionary, I started to see a trend. Ministry that looked effective and made good photo opportunities didn’t always equal lasting fruit. During my first year in Mexico, I kept records of the number of people that were reached in outreaches and compared that to the number of people that would cross the threshold of the church. That number was .002 percent. This caused me to pray and seek for changes we could do in hosting teams. So many of the things have been changed. All of our ministry focuses on relational ministry. The numbers are lower, the pics don’t show crowds of hundreds of people, but the fruit has been such a blessing. The Melbourne team was more than willing to come along side of the ministry we were doing here at Calvary Motul. They held 3 women’s conferences; first investing into our women here in Motul. I know it was an impactful time as I had seen later the women from Calvary Motul posting lessons they learned from the women on the Melbourne team on their facebook pages. We then invited the women from our church to come along, as the next conference was in Tabi, a small village about an hour away with a population of about 1000 people. We had about 15 women from Tabi show up and close to 100 kids. Food was prepared the night before. We did not think we were going to feed the children. It wasn’t in our plan, but it was in God’s plan to provide for these sweet kids. The kids just kept coming, and somehow the food was to the last spoonful - just what we needed. The next day the women moved on to share and strengthen the women at Calvary Chapel Centro in Merida. The time the team was here was a great time. In all, 10 received Jesus. Of these people, we personally know 6 of them, as we regularly have opportunities to connect, share and build relationships. So when God chose this time for these people to accept salvation through Jesus, we were absolutely blown away. We are grateful to Calvary Chapel Melbourne for sending this team.
The month of January was a busy one. In the beginning of the month we had 20 students from CCA in Fort Lauderdale come to visit on a short-term trip. This trip was great as we saw our long-term missionary team (Mark, Gosiah, Alex and Silas) really step up and pull together to host the team while they were here. It was an enthusiastic team of high school students; they were hard working, very respectful, and finished well.
Then as soon as the CCA team departed, our missionary team got a bit smaller. This was the same week we said goodbye to Silas. It was such a blessing to have him here serving with us. From the moment he hit the ground Silas was serving, speaking in Spanish, building relationships and working hard. Silas, you are greatly missed and you are always welcome back.
Warning: insider missionary info to follow. So we love staying in contact with you and sharing. We pray you are blessed by the stories you hear, the miracles we get to witness, the lives that are changed for eternity and seeing the growth of the ministry. What usually does not make it in the updates are the hard days, the days we are sick, the late night trips to the hospital (Noah had to be rushed to the hospital this month, but all is fine), car troubles, the times people leave the church and our hearts break for them... set backs we experience in ministry. Truth is when you see a missionary post things like “prayer needed” or “today was a little difficult” or “praying for financial help,” know that is code for - please pray, we have exhausted every option and we are at a loss for what’s next; today was crushing and we are tired and weary.
So for us, I’ll just say it - we don’t have a house. We crash in the back of the church. We live there because our personal support goes to fund the ministry of Calvary Motul and we can’t afford to rent a separate house to live in (know that this was very difficult to say). While in the beginning, this worked well, now the ministry is growing and needs more space; plus there needs a be a level of separation for Natalie and our boys between church/café and home life. Eight hours a day they coexist with a bustling coffee house as normal life events need to happen like homeschool, dinners, family time, showers, homework, getting ready for bed, etc. So we are asking for help. We are asking for you to pray and see if God places any part of this need on your heart. For us to rent a home would be about $150.00 dollars a month. We would also have some start up cost as we donated most of our personal items to the ministry. We would need items such as a fridge, stove, some furniture, dining room table and chairs. So pray, and see what God places on your heart. By no means feel burdened to help with the total amount. Every small amount really does help.
We will be returning to the states February 7th to March 7th on furlough. We would love to see you, catch up and have an opportunity to pray with you and thank you for all you do. We have included our schedule below. Hope to see you soon and share all the wonderful things the Lord is doing here in Motul.
In the middle of the month, Natalie’s brother and niece came to visit us. It was great seeing them, but also great that they had the chance to see the ministry here. Tim invested into the people here, played with Natalie in worship, and taught the Word on Sunday morning. Noah and Caleb loved every minute playing with Kadence, their cousin. It was a blessing having them here and to have a little bit of free time to enjoy.
written by Len