ACTS 16:9,10: And during the night a vision appeared to Paul: a certain Mac‧e‧do′ni‧an man was standing and entreating him and saying: “Step over into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a and help us.” Now as soon as he had seen the vision, we sought to go forth into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a, drawing the conclusion that God had summoned us to declare the good news to them.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Suzanne and the Good, Exciting, Happy, Very Wonderful Day

   Serving here in Guasave we really enjoy the warm, gentle disposition of the majority of the people we come across in our preaching work. We have never (as yet) had a door slammed in our faces, police called on us, been yelled at or any of the other rude things we used to brace ourselves up for back home. And, it seems that each week we are finding more people who listen to our message.
   However while Dani and I both enjoy the privilege of conducting Bible studies, Suzanne has not been successful in starting one. Though she has had many good conversations, when she returns she is not finding the people at home. In fact about two weeks ago she was really down when she said she went to one of her calls and the woman came to the window but did not open the door. She has kept a positive attitude and made her desire to conduct a study a matter of prayer and it seems as if now those prayers may be answered.
   Yesterday evening we set out to do return visits  but a tropical storm was on the way. As the skies were getting darker the group decided we should cut our evening short. Suzanne was looking forward to making her calls so we asked a couple of our young pioneer sisters if they would accompany us to do just her two calls as we were near them and then we would head in. They agreed and off we go.
   When we got to the first one they were invited in and ended up staying inside a good 15-20 minutes( I know, I was waiting in the car). When she returned to the car she was all smiles as she had found her call home and enjoyed a nice discussion with her. Suzanne says when her call came to the door she said: "I have been waiting for you to come back". Suzanne introduced the Listen to God brochure to her and made arrangements to follow up with her the following Friday. Incidentally this was the same call that came to the window but did not answer the door. Suzanne was a little upset by it but tried to call on her again. Good thing she did as the woman explained that her husband has been in the hospital lately and that she didn't remember not answering the door. Suzanne said she was glad they returned and was able to share comforting scriptures from Isaiah with her about the Bible's promise that no one will be sick in the new world.
   So as we leave the house my wife is absolutely beaming. We arrive at her next call and the wind is starting to pick up. We are thinking should we just head home but decided that we were one block away, just go for it. We arrived and found her call at home and another (lengthy!) conversation ensued. As homes in this area of Mexico have paper thin walls I was able to hear bits of what was going on inside and they seemed to be having a good ol' time in there. Again my wife came out of the house beaming.
   Suzanne used the "Truth" tract with her and when she asked which of the six questions she would like answered, the householder selected "what happens when we die". They were able to consider the paragraph and the scriptures right then and the woman thanked Suzanne so much. Suzanne says that there's nothing like it, for her to share Bible truths with someone. Apparently the woman was raised a Catholic and says she used to have nightmares about going to Hell. She also lost a cousin in death a few years ago and said reading what the Bible says about the condition of the dead "gave her peace". She expressed appreciation for what she learned and wondered how she could go to church for years and never have heard this before. She too has arranged to have another visit next Friday.
   Needless to say as we returned from service one person in the car was "glowing". After expressing herself to Jehovah in prayer to have it answered so quickly brought so much joy to Suzanne. Now she has two potential Bible studies in one evening. I would say that made for a pretty good day.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How to Slay a False Doctrine With One Verse (While Not Even Trying)

2 Corinthians 10:4,5: "  For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God..."

   A few posts back I wrote about a young man named Chris with whom I have the privilege of studying the Bible Teach book. Chris lived in the U.S. until being deported in 2001 and said that when he first got back to Mexico he really did not speak Spanish. He was educated in American schools and is fluent in English.
   During our lesson today we were discussing the chapter about family life. In this segment we were sharing with him the Bible's teaching of the wife's role, being in subjection to the husband. One of the scriptures we read was 1 Corinthians 11:3 which states: "But I want YOU to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God". Remember, in this context we were talking about the marriage arrangement.
   Well, after reading that scripture, Chris looked up with a puzzled look on his face. He paused for a moment and then slowly said: "but, I always thought Jesus was God?" My heart raced with joy! (okay maybe it was more like a touchdown dance you see in the NFL) I asked him how he understood what he read and he replied that "Jesus is subject to God. That means God is over everything". Game, Set, and Match!
   It has become apparent to me over the two months we have been here in Mexico that The Truth is simple. We have experienced many times the joy of showing someone God's name in the Bible, of teaching them about the Paradise on earth or the resurrection and seeing humble hearts grasp these truths. It brings me a great deal of joy to be privileged to share these truths with others. To me there is no better feeling than this joy. 
   I find it interesting that in our study today we were not talking about the trinity or some other doctrinal matter. Yet for Chris at that moment he was able to recognize Bible truth. I do not know what the future holds for him. Will he continue his studies and progress in the truth? Will his family join him in his study? Will he attend meetings  eventually? These answers I don't have but today if for one moment only it felt as though we ripped off the blinders of false religion and were able to help Chris see the Truth for himself.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


   One of the things we have really come to enjoy about serving here is the warmth and hospitality of the friends, they are truly outstanding in this regard. As an example of this on the day we arrived here in Guasave the congregation had a party to welcome us. Unfortunately we were previously engaged in a 12 hour drive from the Arizona border so we missed the party. So today the Montoya family invited everyone over to their house for a "make-up party" and we celebrated with...Posole !
   What is Posole you ask? It is a dish common in Mexico, a rich, hearty soup. It is made with pork and hominy corn and it is very good. You can top your Posole with a variety of condiments such as cilantro, onion, a squeeze of lime or perhaps some salsa.  After a bowl or two you may want to find a nice spot and relax a bit.

   We enjoyed the Posole along with some tostadas, of course some Coca-Cola, and plenty of good conversation and some games later on. All in all it was a nice way to wrap up the weekend and enjoy upbuilding  association with our brothers and sisters.

Brother and Sister Lopez enjoying some Posole

Posole is best shared with friends

Dani caught on camera!

The ever present bottle of Coke

Poor Marien, she didn't get to have any Posole...

...but she got a nap in anyway

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Breaking News From Guasave!

   Okay so maybe that was a little dramatic but you're already here so why not keep reading? As our new service year starts out I wanted to share some of the good experiences we have been having here in the field ministry.
   A few weeks ago one of our pioneers,  Liseth, was in the house to house work. As is our custom after introducing herself she asked if anyone in the house spoke English. The man replied he had a son who did and he went to get him. After some time the man came back and said his son was asleep and he wasn't able to awaken him (typical teenager). So our sister made arrangements to call back on the young man which she did and placed a Bible Teach book with him.
   So yesterday morning we are making return visits and Suzanne and Liseth call back on  *"Jake". They found him at home and began reminding him of their prior conversation. He went to get his book and mentioned that he and his brother had been reading the book and were already up to chapter 3. He even said he has been taking the book with him to school and reading it during his free time there. Jake is 13 and has lived most of his life in the U.S. His family returned to Mexico last year and he is fluent in English. Liseth was able to consider five paragraphs at the door with him and arrangements have been made for a Bible study to continue.
    Sometimes we are finding interest by word of mouth as well. For example recently there was a funeral held for a sister who was a member of one of the Spanish congregations here. While at the funeral a brother in the Spanish congregation told Brother Gomez that he had been trying to witness to a young man in his neighborhood. It seems that there was some difficulty though as the man had lived in The States for a number of years and was more comfortable talking in English than in Spanish. Could we call on him? (of course! ) 
   The following Wednesday we are out in service and Brother Gomez is relating to me what happened. He tells me the house is kind of far, on the other side of Guasave and he did not know the number only the street and a description of the house. I agreed to go with him, kind of thinking to myself  "this is going to be a wild goose chase". So off we drive over the river and through the woods, down some of the narrowest, bumpiest, pothole and crater filled streets I have ever seen. We followed the landmarks we were given: turn right just past the school, there is a big oak tree in the middle of the road and his house is in the next block. Finally we reached the street.
   We did not find a house like the one described to us but we knocked on a door (hey, this is Mexico and the people are friendly) and a nice old lady told us that yes there was a man named  *"Chris" in the house directly across from her; but she added that she didn't think he was home because she saw his car leave earlier in the morning. We thanked her and decided to knock anyway seeing how we were already there. After a brief wait Chris came to the door and we started a conversation with him. He invited us in and ironically he had been watching some religious programming on T.V.
   We were able to place a Bible Teach book with him. He said he was concerned about his family and his young son so we are considering the chapter on how to have a happy family life. During our study we mentioned the name Jehovah many times and at the conclusion we asked if he knew who that was, he did not. When we opened his Bible ( in Spanish ) to Ps. 83:18 and Isaiah 42:8 there it was clear as day: Jehova !   There is something very gratifying about teaching someone the divine name. He read with his own eyes, in his own Bible and recognized it as truth! Chris mentioned that he often prays to the saints and he wondered if they listen to his prayers. We used the scriptures to show him that prayers should be addressed to Jehovah through Jesus. He seemed to grasp the point and we asked if we could demonstrate to him how we should pray. He kept thanking us and we have arranged to conduct a regular Bible Study with him as well. Chris also had lived in the U.S. for over ten years.
   At times some have asked  us why are we trying to preach in English in Mexico, don't they already speak Spanish? We are seeing every week examples just like the two above, people who spent time in the States or Canada and for whatever reason are now back home in Mexico. Some want to continue practicing English so they won't forget it. Some find themselves to be like outsiders, more Ingles than Espanol. Others are disappointed by the economic conditions and disillusioned by the realities of life on the other side as they say here.  But they are spiritually hungry and humble. It makes for very pleasant and productive preaching here in Guasave.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Word of The Day Is...

   ...Improvisation. Since our arrival we have had to learn to do without many things we were used to having back home in the States. In some cases there is a local product we can substitute but many times we just make do with what we have on hand.
   For example the other day Suzanne braved the heat and fired up the oven to roast a chicken ( it is odd to actually cook in the oven. Many here use it only for storage since the oven heats up the whole house). She asked what I wanted with it and I said "some mashed potatoes would be nice." So my darling wife, already drenched in sweat from the oven, fires up another burner to boil water for my mashed potatoes. It is only after they have already been put in the pot that she reminds me "you know, we don't even have a potato masher."  The roasted chicken and boiled potatoes were excellent!
   So anyways our wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I wanted to do something to commemorate as we will not be going to our favorite spot this year. So on the way home Dani and I stopped and picked up a dozen roses, an absolute steal at only 200 pesos or about $16!  We bring them home, get ready to put them in water and of vase. So what do we do?  We Improvise :

23 years of wedded bliss. I cannot believe she has tolerated me for this long :-)