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It was announced earlier this month that on Sunday, September 20, churches could open again! We couldn’t have been happier! Six months of no fellowship, no live worship, no teaching to anyone sitting in the chairs we all were super excited! Last month we did kind of have just a few families come to watch the recording of service on Sundays so that was better than before. Since all of the schools in all of Mexico are shut down and are online only, we didn’t expect to meet again until next year; but then Len got the text at 11pm one week before us being able to meet. He was informed that he needed to meet at the city hall the next day to present all of Calvary Motul’s paperwork in order to complete the registration form to apply for a permit and meet these requirements for the church:
-maximum duration of 45 minutes
-5-minute limit for worship
-attendance at religious centers should only hold 30% of their total capacity
-must seat every other row and every other chair (even husbands and wives can't sit together)
-have a sanitary filter that includes the determination of body temperature at the entrance and exit of the religious center with distance sensors (infrared thermometers)
-have sanitizing mats at the entrance of religious centers
-signs or markings should be installed on the floor indicating the place that the attendees may occupy
-must use antibacterial gel
-must wear mouth cover entire time
-have exclusive entrances and exits for attendees
-no children under 15 permitted
-no pregnant women permitted
-no one over 60 permitted
We were prepared to meet these requirements until we read the one about no kids under 15. All of our church body is made up of families; no one would come without their kids - and we want the kids to come! According to the government, they are not allowed in stores, all sports have been non-existent, the parks have been empty, and schools are still shut down. Children have been confined to their homes during this entire time of quarantine. After praying about what God would have us do, we decided to continue our services online only for now. We will be going on our furlough in the month of October we will be praying for wisdom from the Lord and His guidance on what He will have us do. We hope that when we return that some of the restrictions will have been lightened and we can start meeting again as a church in November.
This month we celebrated Len & Caleb’s birthday. In these days of quarantine, you gotta get creative. No parties, no friends, no going out to celebrate so, for Caleb’s birthday we did a Kids Baking Championship competition between Noah and Caleb. They could each pick their own dessert imposter from the choices presented on a menu and then decide on what dessert they wanted to make to pull it off. Our boys were in the kitchen for about 4 hours making their creations. It was so much fun! At the end of the night, we invited Caleb’s friends from church to stop by outside our house and get a bite of each of their cakes! What a day!
We wanted to close this month’s update and share a testimony of one of the teenagers in our church. She is very bold in her faith and sharing about Jesus with her friends. This was one of her posts that she posted on Facebook this month:
When that someone said: You don't shine without darkness was right.
After many times, days, weeks and even hard months in my life, I realized that's a fact.
My heart didn't feel calm until I saw that light that would make me shine, until in that storm the sun finally shined. I had focused so much on my problems that I did not realize that the same were preparing me for something big, I had not realized that God was preparing me for something big and no, I still do not know what that something is but what if I know, is that Jesus Christ has been that light that was me and continues to light the way.
When I keep my eyes on him, when I focus more on him, all those things that hurt me, just disappear, heal my wounds, dry my tears and lift my head with more faith and strength than before. My relationship with God has been growing more and more. Before I felt that 30 minutes praying or reading his word was an eternity, now I feel that I can no longer stop,
I need to talk to every moment, I cannot spend a day without reading the messages he has left me in those written passages, now my life revolves around him. Now I know that my joy, my peace, my health, my happiness, my path, my purpose, my everything, I find it in one who gave up the most precious of his life for me, in which he left heaven to save me, in that one who sacrificed himself to cleanse me and purify me from evil. And no, I'm not perfect, I still have bad days, I'm still fighting battles, I'm still trying to improve my person, but my peace rest in the one who fights for me and tells me to be quiet, in the one who tells me to RISE UP WITH FAITH AND TRUST ME, RISE UP AS THE WARRIOR YOU ARE
in the one who strengthens in my weakness to strengthen me, in the one who makes me grow with his love.
I came into this world to serve a great and powerful God, a wonderful, loving, merciful, perfect God; so, I find myself in the strongest storm, I will not move because firm is the rock that holds me, because my soul will serve him for all eternity.
Relight that spark, time to come out of the dark, WAKE UP