Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life as Art

 Samuel and  Hannah's artistic creations
     We safely made it from Mexico City to One Mission Society headquarters in Indiana to Pennsylvania.  Soon we will be on the road again seeing old friends and making new ones as we share what the Lord is doing in Mexico.
     As a part of spending time with old friends, we recently were with some PA home school buddies.  Part of our time together consisted of the art project above.  Each child created a painting and then painted his or her hand to blend in with the artwork...a kind of artistic camo.  It seems a good representation of our lives at this point.  We have worked diligently to blend ourselves into the brightly colored canvas of Mexico.  Now it is time to begin the process of blending into the canvas of our other home, the USA.
     Thank you very much for praying for us during this time of transition.  Change is not always easy, but it can produce a lovely work of art in our lives.
     We are looking forward to sharing with as many as possible about life and ministry in Mexico City, as we adjust to living here while preparing to go back there.
     Here are some of our current prayer requests:
1.  Praise the Lord for safety in our travels and a good adjustment so far.
2.  Please pray for our continued adjustment to our home here while we miss our home in Mexico.  
3.  Pray for fruitful times of ministry as we meet with churches, home groups and individuals.  
4.  Pray our support comes in quickly so we can return to Mexico after our year of home ministry assignment (or even sooner if possible).
5.  Pray for continued travel safety, health and strength.
6.  Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Mexico, that the Word of God would go forth in strength and power.   

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Answered Prayer!

     These days have been full, for me (Lisa), with organizing and packing as we prepare to leave Mexico in less than a month for our time of Home Ministry Assignment.  We have felt so at home here that it is hard to think of leaving.  As I have been packing and getting bogged-down in the details, I have been asking for the Lord's perspective, rather than mine.
     And then Saturday came.  I am teaching Sociology as an intensive course at the seminary this month, four hours each Saturday.  We begin each class with Scripture and prayer, concluding our prayer with, "Lord, we are ready to learn from You.  Please teach us."   And He did!
     The students were debating a social issue here in Mexico from different worldview perspectives, and the Christian worldview was last.  While the last group was sharing their solutions to the problem, the other students began to ask through the lens of their assigned worldview, questions like, "Well, if you Christians think you have the answer, why did you sit by and let things get to this point?"  "Why are you focusing on your comfort rather than letting your God use you to change this world?"  And the more questions they asked, the more the Holy Spirit began to speak to each one of us, convicting us, encouraging us to boldly serve our Lord, to bring people to Jesus, to be people of courage.
     The debate ended, but the class didn't.  Students began encouraging and exhorting one another to live fully, thoroughly transformed lives for Christ.  Scripture came alive.  The Lord was speaking.  Four hours were more than over, it was time for class to end, but we knew the Teacher hadn't dismissed us yet.  We stopped talking with each other and began to pray together.  When the Lord dismissed us about an hour later, we knew we had met with Him and He had taught us.
    Please pray with me that the Lord will continue to speak into the lives of the students in the class.  They are preparing to be church planters, missionaries, pastors, and leaders.  Pray they will be living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1-2), serving the Lord whole-heartedly.  Pray they will be used greatly to bring change to Mexico, godly change, the only change that lasts.
    And thank Him, along with me, for showing me His perspective.  Thank Him for reminding me in a powerful way why I am here and why I want to return.
     Thank you for praying for us and supporting us in this ministry.  The Lord is at work here in Mexico City.  He is speaking to people.  Pray for lasting change.  Again, thank you for praying.  The Lord is answering!

Prayer requests:
1.  Pray the Lord will continue to work in a powerful way through the Sociology class.
2.  Pray for La Loma church, that they will be able  to become a training center for church planting teams.
3.  Pray for our transition, that we will be able to finish well here and will adapt quickly back into the USA.
4.  Pray we will have many opportunities to share what God is doing here with many churches and individuals in the States.
5.  Pray for Hannah and Samuel as they say "good-bye" to friends and their home here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Recently we spent three days in the beautiful state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, for the annual UNIFAM-OMS retreat.  It was a great time of fellowship and learning together.  Just look at how many of us were there!  And some of our co-laborers weren't able to attend or the group would have been even bigger!

It was a blessing for our family to get to know church planters, pastors, fellow missionaries and their families in a relaxed environment where we could really share our hearts.  In this close up, you can see our family alongside some of our co-workers in Christ.  Hannah and Samuel are below with the friends they spent time with during the retreat. (It never ceases to amaze us how well our children are able to communicate in Spanish and have adapted to the Mexican culture.)

The vision of UNIFAM is to plant house churches in each state of Mexico.  One conversation with a church planter revealed that he has a burden in his heart to return to his home state in the north to plant churches there among Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking people.  Will you join us in prayer that he will be able to accomplish his vision?

Thank you for standing with us in our efforts to share the hope of Christ in Mexico!

Prayer requests:
1.  Please pray that each of us in OMS and UNIFAM will grow in spiritual maturity, be full of the Holy Spirit, people of deep prayer and faith.
2.  Pray the Lord will use each one, regardless of age,  to spread the Good News of Jesus throughout Mexico.
3.  Pray for our field leader David and his wife, Carol, as they have recently moved to another city farther north.  Pray they will be able to meet many new people and eventually a new work will be established there.
4.  Pray for us as we work alongside those who are about to graduate from the seminary.  They are working on their final projects.  Please pray each student will be ready to take leadership in the church and that their projects will bless those working in His Kingdom.
5.  Pray for our family.  We are in transition again, preparing to return to the United States for homeland assignment.  It is hard to believe that our two year term is already coming to an end!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cool Things About Being an MK

Sometimes it is hard to be an MK (missionary kid).  We live far away from our family, we left our home and our friends in the USA, and we've had to learn another language just to get by.  Also, we have celiac and it's hard to find gluten free foods sometimes.

But on the other hand, sometimes it is cool to be an MK.  After all, not many kids from a small town in Pennsylvania get to have some of the experiences we've had.  Here are some examples:

1.  Our school field trip was a visit to Los Pinos (the Mexican "White House") and, we met the First Lady of Mexico.  We hadn't been on our tour very long when the First Lady drove up in her car.  We heard the tour guide say, "Ya viene la esposa del Presidente." (The President's wife is coming.)  We were surprised when she came up to our group and began talking about her 3 children.  Someone from Los Pinos took a picture of her with our school and they promised to send it to the principal.  Isn't that great?

2.  We ride to school with other kids (sometimes in the car that wouldn't go and and sometimes in the car that wouldn't stop!). Our carpool friends are Canadian and Mexican-American, and when we get to school,  most of the kids are Korean.  There are Filipinos and Mexicans, as well.  If you listened on the playground, you would hear Spanish, Korean and English being spoken.  We are getting to know how different cultures do things and how to make friends with people who are different from us.

3.  People dream of vacationing in Costa Rica and Mexico...we have lived there!!  (Of course, not in the vacation areas, but we have visited some of them.)

4.  We live in one of the biggest cities in the world.  After it taking 2 hours to go 12 miles, we don't get very bothered by small town traffic.

5.  Our missionary group is like family to us.  We have aunts and uncles from the USA, Mexico, N. Ireland and England.

6.  In Costa Rica we saw a troop of capuchin monkeys swinging from the trees, we zip-lined near a smoking volcano, swam in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, saw baby sea turtles hatch and helped them make their way to the sea, hiked in the rainforest, and made friends who now live all over Central and South America.

7.  In Mexico we visited the Pyramids in Teotihuacan (twice so far) with friends and got to eat in a restaurant down in a cave.  Our missionary friends have a ministry to the deaf in Mexico City and our first visit was with a deaf pastor and his wife.  We got to learn some Mexican sign language and see a prayer in sign (you can't bow your heads and close your eyes while praying in sign). We later visited the deaf church for a service, too.

8.  We attended a church in a poor area in San Jose, Costa Rica, and our church now is in an area that is pretty poor.  We have seen poor people who have to live without lots of things, sometimes without even homes or enough food.  But we have learned:  You are never too poor to go to church.  God welcomes everyone, even when people don't accept you.  Jesus changes people.   We have seen it with our own eyes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What a Week!

We want to encourage you with some photos. We hope you can see what we see: that we are so blessed to be here in Mexico and that the Lord is doing some wonderful things!

January 29th was the beginning of an exciting week for us. Sunday was the 13th anniversary celebration at La Loma Church and it was truly a celebration. Nick had a great time playing with the worship team for
the first time, and later he gave a small vibraphone concert. The best part of the concert for Nick was when everyone sang along to one of our favorite songs, then the worship team joined him and we all sang it again.

Here is a photo of Pastor Miguel, Nick and me (Lisa)
taken before Nick began his concert. Nick asked me to give a short
explanation of a piece of music he wrote before he played,
and Pastor Miguel was there to help us as well. And, yes we had on coats. It can get cold here, and sometimes we find our toes a bit frozen by the time church is over. However, it is worth it and we love being at this church. There was also a touching performance by the children in the church and, of course, a powerful sermon by Pastor Miguel. There were many new visitors at La Loma that day, and several prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior.

Nick, Pastor Miguel and many others left later that afternoon for a 3 day planning retreat with the church planting teams. Here are a few photos taken during their time together. It was a very encouraging and productive time, and great for team bonding as well.

Our prayer requests for the week:

1. Please pray for all of the people in the picture above who are involved in church planting. Pray that each will have an effective ministry, health, wisdom, strength, integrity and peace.

2. This week has been a bit more difficult for our family health-wise, with the kids picking up various germs from school. Please continue to pray for our health and strength. Praise the Lord we have a good doctor who is also a nutritionist that relates well with our children.

3. Pray for the continued spiritual growth of La Loma Church as they begin to plant new churches in their area. Pray for strength and wisdom for Pastor Miguel as he leads.

4. Please pray for our field leader David, for strength, health, and wisdom. He and his wife, Carol, are wonderful people to be working with.

5. Pray for the rest of our One Mission Society team here in Mexico City: Benito and Robin, Margaret and Leslie and Brenda. At this point, our group is fairly small and there is much work to be done. Pray for health, strength, wisdom and peace for all of us.

As always, thank you for praying for us!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Outreach in La Loma

Here is the view from our car as we drive down the street in front of La Loma UNIFAM (United Families in Christ) Church, and then head our way home. We are so excited to be in worship with our Mexican brothers and

sisters who live in this area! La Loma church will be celebrating her 13th anniversary at the end of this month and they are planning a special outreach up and down these same streets. Nick will be giving a small concert as a part of the celebration. The church is also involved in Mexi Kids, a weekly outreach that provides a meal three days a week to children and their mothers. This is a church that doesn't intend to sit still and watch the world go by! We are really looking forward to becoming more involved with La Loma and the vision of our Mexican brothers and sisters for sharing the Good News of hope in Jesus throughout this coming year.

Prayer requests:
1. Please pray for La Loma church, Pastor Miguel and the church leadership. They have a vision to begin planting house churches in this new year. Please join us in fervent prayer for this area.
2. Pray for Nick as he goes out with church planting teams. Pray he can find his way around this city, for fruitful ministry and for safety. Pray for further opportuniites for him to use his musical ability to shared the Gospel.
3. Pray for Lisa as she prepares to teach a sociology course at the seminary. Pray for an increase in Spanish ability to be able to teach well. Pray we will learn how to apply God's truth to bring change into this world.
4. Pray for Hannah and Samuel to be healthy and strong, to grow daily in the Lord and to be a blessing here.
5. Pray for growth in the number of students in the Sembimex seminary, especially the daytime classes.
6. Pray for innovative ways to take seminary classes to the people, so more and more leaders can be trained.
7. Pray that the established churches will be thriving outposts for evangelism, training, and planting house churches, helping UNIFAM to reach its goal of 2 million house churches by 2025.
8. Pray for unity to be stronger than ever this year, that by our unity people will know the power and love of Christ.
9. Pray the existing house churches will be able to multiply, with new leaders being discipled and sent out to plant even more churches.
10. Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in all of Mexico.

Thank you so much for your prayers! We rely on them daily.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Life in Mexico City

It's hard to believe that we have been in Mexico City for 3 months now. The time has flown by as we adjust to life here!

In Mexico, One Mission Society is partnering with the UNIFAM (United Families in Christ) churches to reach Mexicans with the Good News of Jesus. Nick is involved in church planting with various UNIFAM teams throughout the Mexico City area. He is loving it!

We have also been visiting UNIFAM churches as a family. The picture above is of a baptism of new believers in the Coacalco Church. It was a cold day, and we celebrated with those brave enough to get into the water. They are brave for declaring their faith in Jesus, and for stepping into that frigid water! It is a pleasure to minister alongside our Mexican brothers and sisters.

Hannah and Samuel are "jumping" right in to life here, with school and making friends at church and in our neighborhood. We are so proud
of them for how they have adapted to life in Mexico City. It is a huge change from small town PA. They are learning more and more Spanish each day.

Recently, we had a day of church planting training at Sembimex seminary (where we will eventually be teaching). There were around 130 in attendance! We split up in groups to learn more about how the Lord is working around the world through planting house churches. Nick is seeing the result of that first-hand and comes home encouraged each night.

Yep, some days it feels like an uphill climb, surmounting language barriers, cultural differences, traffic and day-to-day issues that we all experience. However, it is worth all of it to serve our Lord.

And, we know we couldn't be here without your faithful prayers and support. Thank you so much.

The UNIFAM churches have a goal of having 2 million house churches, filled with new believers in Christ, throughout Mexico within the next 10 years. Please pray that we meet that goal and even surpass it! All things are possible in Christ.
Here are some of our prayer prayer requests:
1. Pray that many Mexicans will come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord and that the goal of 2 million house churches will be met and surpassed. Only Jesus is the answer to the many problems in Mexico!
2. Pray we each gain fluency in Spanish and can communicate effectively.
3. Pray for ministry opportunities among our neighbors.
4. Pray for safety as we travel in the car, and especially for Nick as he goes out into the city most evenings.
5. Praise the Lord for our adjustment to life in Mexico and pray we continue to adjust more and more each day.