What can I say this month? It has been one of those months I can sum up in this way, “Wow. God is faithful.” I am blessed by so many things here at Calvary Motul. I know it’s not my strategic planning or my experience, matter of a fact it has nothing to do with me at all. I see Jesus building His church. The church is growing in numbers, but more importantly, I see people growing in their faith. We have people in the church stepping up to serve in various areas and doing so with joy. Words can’t describe, as the pastor here, how blessed I am to see this fruit in the lives of the people here. So yeah, “as their pastor,” this month I was ordained a pastor.
Click pictures to enlarge and read caption.
This is the post I used in Facebook to sum it up and I will share it again here:
It's official. Last week I was ordained to be a pastor. I'm still in the process of this sinking in. But I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some influential guys in my life. Doug Rasku - thank you. You were the first person to give me an opportunity to serve Jesus in the children's ministry (Kids Live original). Jorge Bustamante - for giving me a shot to co-lead short-term mission trips and create ministries in SIX78 to meet kids where they were in their lives (Die to Live paintball team). Sean Dougherty - for giving me an opportunity to oversee missions and outreach for SIX78 and also teaching me how to empower other people. Sean Fryer - for teaching me how to have fun in ministry; you really do live by the phrase “Love God, love people and have fun.” Dennis John - for teaching me how to be mature, reliable and consistent (you helped me more than you know). Thank you, Andres Castro - you made my first year (and now) possible on the mission field. I think I would have run back home if were not for you. Robert Aguayo - for being the calm voice of reason and maturity, for giving me the opportunities you have and for all your help. I can't thank you enough. Reuben Ramsaran - for the consistent investment in good times and in difficult times you were there. You have always gone the second mile, thank you. My parents - thank you guys. To Natalie Raynor - for your love and consistency. You truly are the helper God set apart for me. Thank you.
And lastly - Jesus. Thank You that while I was still trespassing, when I did not know You, when I was living a life of sin, You still chose to die for my sins. You still chose to love me. Jesus, You did not look at who I was but who I could be with You.
I still need to grow, I want to improve, I want to do more for the kingdom. I'm blessed to lead and pastor Calvary MOTUL. Please keep us in your prayers
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
I was happy to have Reuben and his wife, Priya, fly over for this special event; it was also special to have my Mother and sister here to share this special moment. Again I am blessed by the faithfulness of our Savior.
I am blessed that every week I get a chance to see my wife do what she loves, leading this church in worship. But she had an addition this month. I must say I am a proud Dad. To see our son start to develop and use his gifts. Noah works super hard always practicing on every flat service in our house, but I love every moment. Noah is not going to be playing every week as it is a special treat for him. But I love it when he does.
Recently a group of men from Calvary Motul had a chance to attend a men’s conference at Calvary Norte. I keep telling our men it takes so much more to be a “real man” than just your age. Opportunities like this are great for them to hear from other men that love Jesus and live out that love in their lives. After the conference we were able to go have some lunch, enjoy some great conversations about our Savior (all in Spanish BTW) and we ended up going to the arcade to shoot some hoops.
Culturally here in this part of the world, we don’t really have Halloween. Day of the Dead is celebrated. Last year was our first year to witness “Day of the Dead” here in Motul. Honestly, my heart broke. I saw so many people celebrating this day. I knew something needed to happen. So through prayer, Calvary Motul offered a Festival of Life. This was an event in which we celebrated life. This was our first large outreach event as a church. We put our two missionaries (Alex and Mark) to work gathering details. We involved our church body in the planning process and the result was a work of God.
We had three stations, the first in the park; we had a trompos (spinning top) competition and animal balloons. This gathered people of all ages. The older guys showing the kids what it was like “back in the day,” teenagers showing they are ready to be the current champions, but in the end a nine-year old took the competition. Next, inside the church we had face painting, arts and crafts. An opportunity to slow the pace and start to share the gospel message and friendships were made. Third, in the back patio area of the church we had a projector showing short films and a Christian magic show followed by a very powerful 2-minute video. At the end, with the help of Josh - my faithful and awesome translator, I shared the gospel message. I shared how we all have life, but Jesus desires to give us abundant life in HIM. I was blessed to know the kingdom needs a little more room to accommodate some of the people that heard this message. Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to share Your love.
Every day here is not cotton candy and rainbows. This month I received an official letter from the Mexican immigration that we must exit the country. My visa was denied. Honestly this shook me up pretty hard. So the prayer process has become very intense. Through this God has given me a peace to look at this situation for what it is. Just a distraction and speed bump the enemy has thrown in, but I am steadfast in our calling to Motul, Mexico and know God will sort out the details. As well please pray for our church van as it is still undergoing some additional repairs. We pray this time the mechanics properly diagnose the issue and get it sorted out. We fit all 6 guys into out 4-seated car we really want the church van back!
Keep us in prayer as we travel back to the states November 4th. Our missionaries that will stay behind here in Motul will keep up the day-to-day ministry of the café as well as some very trusted people to lead worship and Bible studies in our absence. Pray for all our paperwork and documents to get sorted out.
Thank you all so much for the read, for your prayers and support. You are actively a part of the Great Commission.
written by Len Raynor