We had such good intentions about getting out this last IMS update for 2017 before now, however, between Christmas and prolonged bouts with the flu followed by pneumonia for Teresa, we are just now able to get this newsletter to you. With that in mind, we wish you very blessed New Year.
We finished our fourth mission trip in early October when we traveled to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. We were able to work with the pastors in learning to use the Leadership Training Institute (LTI) material as well as meeting with some of their newer leaders. It was a fruitful trip and we look forward to returning.
A delightful blessing came to us recently through a conversation with our LTI contact regarding an LTI Institute we started in Nicaragua in September 2013. It was the first one in the country and we met with a small group of senior pastors and leaders. After several days of training we certified them to return to their churches and train others. From that small beginning five years ago, there have been 180 pastors and leaders trained and they are laying out vision for reaching the entire country! This is the very thing we have seen as a result of utilizing the LTI material!
We also have continued in conversation and support of some of the young leaders we worked with when we lived in Asia. Their passion and youthful energy is infectious. We love it!
We have had several meetings with Temo and Magdalena Lazaro who were pastors in the church in Magdalena de Kino, Mex. which was our first missions assignment almost 40 years ago. They currently live in Tijuana, Mex. but will be moving back to Magdalena de Kino in May. There is a group of believers there who have been asking them to return and start a church and they have asked us to go there with them in March and help begin to lay the foundation for the new church. We also discussed other areas of teaching that we would do in future trips to help build up the church.
And, we have scheduled our third annual conference with the church leaders in Puerto Peñasco in May. We will meet with our Pastoral Counsel Team and look forward to working together with the church leadership and being with our church family there.
If you are interested in reviewing our 2017 mission activity we encourage you to review our previous IMS updates.
The year has gone by so fast (maybe it is just my age) and once again we have experienced our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and amazing grace. Despite working through monthly medical treatments for Leon, the Lord has still given time, strength and support for us to continue ministry. It has been over four years since Teresa had major heart surgery and nearly seven since Leon was diagnosed with cancer! Please pray for her complete healing from the flu and pneumonia and renewed strength and God’s wisdom and healing for Leon as he schedules treatments during these next few months.
It has been so delightful to be with our families and enjoying our grandchildren. We are so grateful to the Lord for them and that we all live so close. For each of you, we are very grateful for you and appreciate your prayers, love and commitment to us in our ministry. In His strength, we are blessed to continue serving him.
Special Praise Report:
We had asked in our last update for prayer for missionary friend, Alicia Heinz. We are blessed to report that she has successfully completed radiation and treatment here in the U.S. and will be returning to her ministry in Dumaguete City, Philippines next week. Thank you, Lord!