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4 entries from June 2015

Adventures outside Mexico City

Late last night I returned from 10 days in the United States after having meetings at our world headquarters with our national and international directors. It was a wonderful time of sharing together about what God is doing around the world, I was especially thrilled to hear of over 5.2 million Africans coming to Christ during the past 10 years through OMS' work with local partnerships. OMS has much bigger and exciting plans beyond this, including what we're looking to do in Mexico. Another week I'll share more.

Right now we want to share about the great things that happened on the MEFI camp. Some of you will have seen my video I posted on Facebook and Twitter last week, if you didn't, here's the link. We had a team come from Ohio whom we talked about a fortnight ago, they did a really great job and we're very grateful to them. I'm going to ask one of the team members to share their story of what went on during the camp another week. However, for now we want to celebrate the 10 street young people who were baptised along with two-members of the Ohio team. Please be in prayer for the street young people especially, the youngest was 12, they have all faced trials most of us could not imagine. Over the coming weeks we will try to share more of their stories and how they're getting on. Here are the photos of the baptisms, join us in celebrating God's goodness!

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The growing world-wide MEFI team!

The last few weeks have seen quite a lot of comings and goings. Firstly we had 3 ladies from the charity shop in N. Ireland come to visit for a couple of weeks. Christina is the manager of the shop and the other two ladies are volunteers there. It was a great encouragement for us to have them here and to show them what the money they raise goes towards. The shop has been open for almost a year now, and they have now some regular customers and have built up a really good reputation in the town where the shop is (Cookstown). The shop supports both MEFI and some of the missionary families here so we are so thankful to God for them. 

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Then we had a couple from Kentucky come and stay with us for a week. Their names are Michael and Jamie Harris. Michael serves as a pastor in a church in Kentucky, but they have both recently felt called to come to Mexico full time with one of their kids, Jenna, who is currently 14 years old. They hope to arrive here in the summer of 2016. Michael hopes to teach in the Bible Seminary and working with the church planting team, and Jamie hopes to be involved in women's ministry here and in MEFI as well. It was great to be able to host them and to see their burden for Mexico and the people here. We are really excited that God is drawing more workers here to the harvest. 

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At the same time a team from a church in Oklahoma came for a week to help out in the drop-in centre and encourage the MEFI team. This church was instrumental in helping the second-level of the drop-in centre become a reality. They gave so generously and many teams came to help with the building and painting work. I often think of the huge world-wide team of people we now have praying and giving to MEFI, and then remember how it all started with one Mexican man called Fidel, who's heart was broken for the street-children and knew he had to do something about it. So he did. And MEFI was birthed. And now hundreds of people are getting involved and the team is growing. 

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The MEFI team have 4 extra workers with them at the moment. One is Mim (far left in first picture below) - a girl from Wales who is here doing a 4 month internship for her University course. Another is Will (on right in second picture) who is an intern from Texas who is here for a couple of months. Reo (far right of Mim in picture) came to Mexico from California after feeling God calling her here to work with street kids. She didn't know about MEFI when she arrived here, but found out about it through the internet and got in touch with us. She is hoping to work as a 'tent-maker' missionary here to support herself whilst she helps at MEFI. Then there is a Mexican guy called Julio (speaking to the street kids in the third picture below) who was studying at the seminary and who himself went through rehab for drugs and feels called to now help others who are struggling with the same problems. So he is doing a trial period at MEFI to see whether it is the right thing for him to join the team or not. 

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Currently we have a team from Cleveland, Ohio, here of 22, made up of young people and their leaders. It is a huge team, and several of them have been here before, so it is exciting to see them come back. One of the girls is called Olivia and has asked to stay on for a month after the team leave. She is 16 and will be staying with us during that time. Also, one of the young guys Berkeley is staying until November. Please pray for God to speak to them during their time here and mould them for what he wants to do through them in the future. 

Mexico 2015 Group Photo

Please pray for the MEFI camp that will be happening from Tuesday until Friday of this week. There are around 25 street young people going plus the MEFI team and team from Cleveland. We are really excited that 10 of these street young people have been doing baptism classes in preparation for being baptised during the camp. Please pray that they all turn up to go, and that they don't get 'cold feet' at the last minute! We know that they will encounter spiritual attack, but that this will be a huge step for them and a huge testimony to the others. 


Some plant, some water, but it is God that makes it grow!

Photo of Bible Study group

 

This is a picture of some of the ladies who have been attending our Bible Study group on Thursday evenings. There were about 6 regular members missing that evening, not including me, so if everyone turns up there are around 20 of us! 

I am so encouraged by the way the group has continued to expand and (and most of this has been whilst we were away), and by how many of the members of the group have taken it in turns to lead the sessions. They continued to meet in our home with Gemma taking on responsibility, and they decided to look at the Purpose Driven Life course, which they finished just before we returned.

God has been prompting the ladies to invite people along as well - for instance, the 5 ladies at the back on the right were invited by a lady called Vicky who is one of the first ladies to be part of the group. She is a Catholic Christian and had an amazing encounter with God when she called out to Him in desperation whilst praying in a Catholic church. These 5 ladies haven't yet received Christ in their hearts, but they are really interested in the Purpose Driven Life course, and one of the ladies called Ana, said that her son, who previously had been so hard towards anything about God, had taken the book to look at and had ended up signing his name at the front (where it asks you to commit to the 40 day journey!). Vicky's son José Luis, who is quite anti the Catholic church because of his experiences growing up, also asked Vicky if he could have a copy of the book! 

Then Cari (who was baptised with her 2 daughters Lorena and Sophia) before we went back to the UK for our home assignment, invited her teacher friend - also Vicky - along to church, where Vicky prayed to receive Christ in to her heart. She has since been coming along faithfully with her sister, Ceci, who was already a Christian, and they have given a copy of the book to their aunt who lives in a different town, and are doing the course with their elderly mum at home as well! 

Even our land-lord, Rafael, a staunch Catholic, whose partner Janet comes along to the Bible Study, commented to me that they had been visiting his cousin in hospital and had taken him a Bible, and that his cousin became a Christian before he died! He was almost praising God for it even though he himself is still resistant!

God just keeps reminding me over and over again of how though we may plant the seed and others may water it, it is Him who makes the 'plant' grow and flourish, and that is exactly what He is doing here - through us and despite of us! Both myself and Gemma have been taken out of the picture for different lengths of time, but that hasn't stopped God from working in the ladies lives, and it hasn't stopped the enthusiasm they have for coming and learning more about God. Please pray for one lady called Adela who is struggling at the moment as her teenage daughter has run away with her boyfriend and has severed communication with her mum. Adela is quite depressed at the moment and isn't wanting to go out of the house, so she hasn't been along to the group for the last few weeks either. Some of the ladies that come with Vicky are a bit frightened of coming out in the evening as well as they don't drive and there are always reports of muggings and violence after dark, so please pray that God would take away this fear and that they would know His protection. 

We have actually restarted the Purpose Driven Life course as many of the ladies joined half way through, and some haven't been able to read the whole book yet. They have been getting so much out of it, and it has been great for me to look at it again too. I was reminded last week whilst preparing for the session that God wants us to worship Him in every little thing we do - whether it be changing a nappy or hanging out washing, it doesn't matter. We can do these things as if doing them for Him, and in that way they are transformed from mundane tedious tasks, to acts of worship and thanksgiving.