February 2023 online Update is about some things about our ministry that are very recent.
First, I would like to thank the Lord for all of His blessings for us. We went to the states to take care of the last things in Tule’s naturalization process, and she has her certificate of American citizenship now. We just need to get her a US passport.
It was a difficult journey as we also visited our son Russ in South Bend where he is studying. He wanted Tule to see his apartment, meet his Indian roommate, etc. It hit 17 degrees while we were there. There was snow on the ground. Supposedly our return trip was directly to Dallas airport, with a layover there for a few hours, and then on to Mexico. But climate conditions cancelled all flights through Dallas to Mexico (from South Bend). So they rerouted our trip through Charlotte and then after a few hours in Charlotte and about 4 hours in New York, a direct flight into Mexico City. We left Russ’ apartment at 2:30 AM Thursday and actually entered our house in Mexico City at 2:30 Friday morning. A grueling day.
Although a lot of things are more irritating than “very difficult” for me, we made the trip without any real problems. My circulation is not as good as it used to be, and 5 hours sitting in an airplane and some 24 hours of sitting is still difficult. But I thank God for a good trip.
I am doing much better these days health-wise. So I am only taking insulin now, an I have dropped all other medicines as per my doctor’s instructions. At one time in 2021-2022 (June 22) I was on 14 different medicines including blood pressure medicine. It was causing us a lot of financial strain. I changed Internists, and my new doctor (which we used before) said to drop everything. This has turned out a lot better for me. My doctor told me I was a “mini pharmacy.” He says that is now a term some doctors are using, because the pharmacy companies pressure the doctors to prescribe drugs for everything. I was in poor health with all that medicine, and I had problems preaching a full sermon.
I am doing much better now, and I am preaching twice Sunday mornings without any problems (and just taking insulin). Tule is doing well in her health, but she, like I am, is getting older. We pray every day that God gives us good health so that we can continue serving Him. Please pray for us.
It is with much sadness to inform you that the couple that we sent to northern Mexico City to start a ministry there, Roberto and Victoria Perez, well, Roberto died last week when we were in the states. He was in his 70s, and he wanted to keep on serving the Lord as long as he could. With all the ministers I have seen in my life just give up, it is comforting that there are still some men faithful to God no matter what.
To be truthful, it is amazing to me how difficult people make it to just have a “normal church.” Our church continues to have its ups and downs, and it seems like the immaturity of most of God’s children knows no bounds. Maturity is a rare beast if you ever even see it at all in God’s people. While most of our church folk are calm and good Christians, Satan seems to always have a few people to stir problems up constantly. We are working with some of our folks that are having both marital problems and problems with the church family. Please pray for them. I prefer not to mention their names in any publication as some Mexicans understand English, and it may get back to them causing problems in my counseling with them.
We have lost several of our men preachers, because of problems in their personal lives, and even though they are still attending, I am not allowing them to preach until they fix some problems in their personal lives. Please pray for them also. Also we have apparently lost a few of our people, but God sends us new people to take there places. Gratefully, we appreciate the goodness of our Lord. Even though we were gone for a week and a half, our church people in Mexico City continued with services and weekly tract distribution.
God continues to please and provide for us. Things are always difficult. Our church people are having financial problems, and as the Lord provides for us, we are helping some of them. We have seen recently over the past few months that several of our people are back to work. That is a blessing. Others are in the ever present “working but not making ends meet” category. Please pray for God’s provision for our people and for us. But I have to thank the Lord that even though we do have inflation here, and the Dollar-Peso exchange rates are against us, things are still much cheaper in Mexico than in the United States. I don’t know how you guys up there are making it. (We praise God for all of our supporters that faithfully continue month after month supporting us. Some even raising what they are giving to help us.)
An Opportunity to Purchase Property
We have had an offer for a piece of property made to us. We are praying over this. In Mexico City, property is expensive as is building on it. This offer is not so expensive, and it comes with payments over time at the same price, no interest, and instead of a one time lump sum payment. This makes this very attractive from that angle. The location of the property is not very good. We have yet to actually go see it. Please pray for us that we make the right decisions about this opportunity. We have moved the church in the past, years ago, and we basically lost most of our people in the transition. We don’t want that to happen again.
The process, if God moves us to go down this road, would be to purchase the property over about 3 years, and then to build on it after that. We would stay where we are now until the building is ready. Building on the property would also take some years before we could move into it.
Finally, I would like to relate to you what Fernando, Julio’s nephew, commented to us. He is the son of a Pentecostal preacher, and grew up in that church, under his father’s teaching. Fernando has a problem with drugs, and Julio moved him into an apartment Julio’s son owns to get him out of a bad environment where he was. So Fernando is attending with us. Fernando is now mad at his father because after attending with us for two months, he says that his dad is very wrong on doctrine. He never heard a clear presentation of the gospel in any one of his sermons, but he has heard about 4 good salvation sermons since he started attending with us. n his father’s church, it was the same old (Pentecostal) doctrines with very little Scripture or explanation. What Fernando liked about our sermons is that one sermon dovetails into the other sermons and doctrines, and everywhere we go in the Bible, he sees the same doctrines in but different verses. He says that he has grown a lot since he has been with us.
I take compliments with a grain of salt always, but this is what he said.
February 2023 online Update