“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph. 3:17-21)
Dear Beloved Brethren,
Thank you for your patience, love and prayers. Christ’s love for us is manifested so poignantly through all of you towards us as we see your concern and interest in all that we are able to do, all that is within our power to do for the honor and glory of Christ.
Things here change little, but yet seem to go by so quickly. Whether it is the work around the property (which is just living), preparing for teaching and preaching, dealing with those who are ill, traveling to share in other parts of the country…I can say without a doubt the phrase “tempus fugit” really does apply to our lives. You would think living in the mountains where there is so little technology that wouldn’t be the case, but it is. Yet it is a blessing to be working whether for our personal survival or for the cause of the ministry God has given us. It is a blessing to be able to work.
December, with all of the activity that surrounds that month…whether it was getting the children’s candy bags ready (with all the shopping involved in finding the best prices and quantities), then putting it all together and then the joy of giving them away and seeing the faces of so many with their curiosity and gladness as they open them up…it is indescribable. We love it and is worth every moment it takes to be able to share with them. These temporal things never take the place of sharing the truth, preaching all the counsel of God to those around us, but it is a joy to share in a tangible way during that time of year just a little something to so many who don’t receive hardly anything.
January is another year to continue forward…paying taxes here on the vehicles, etc…here they call it the January slump…where all the prices go up and the government informs us of the new taxes, etc… But Andres has been teaching, beginning this new year with the Sovereignty of God. It has been an encouragement as the days have passed and we are now in April…we had no idea how the people, the congregation were going to need the solid foundation of God’s sovereignty to sustain them these past few months. How we personally would need to remember His comforting presence in every aspect of life and death.
I have shared with some of you over the months about Cayatano (Tano, as we call him)…how ill he was over so many months…way back into August of last year. He was the son of two of the members of the church in AguaCaliente. In February the Lord took Cayatano home. It was a sad but blessed time in the sense that through his death so many heard several times during the wake , the funeral service and then graveside service about a God who is alive and can and will forgive. Cayatano experienced that forgiveness before dying and charged his wife with bringing up his daughters in the admonition of the Lord. Over 250 people were present through the whole time, the wake, the funeral service, and the graveside service. Several who attended were there out of curiosity, or watching what was happening…they were “bad men”…but they can never say no one told them. The Lord used this one death to touch so many with His Word. Even in this God has comforted the family by them knowing He is sovereign.
Andres was able to travel one last time to preach at a conference in the state of Oaxaca. It was a blessed time among the Brethren in the southern part of Mexico. It is a small village called La Luz Tututepec, Oaxaca. Many more came this time to be a part and hear the preaching. They had transvestites, charismatic preachers, an indian ethnic group from the Pinotepa area, as well as other Brethren from the area. Andres came back pleased but tired. We are still hearing of God moving among several who attended. Sadly, this will probably be the last time Andres will be able to go. His physical condition worsened because of the stress, physical exertion, and lack of suitable conditions to rest. He isn’t complaining…he never does…but his body just can’t do it…thus the “sadly” part.
When he made it back to here and the very next day he had a cardiologist appointment. The cardiologist wasn’t happy with what he encountered. Fluid had begun to accumulate around his heart, thus the extreme tiredness and not being able to breathe. Yesterday, he had an echocardiogram/doppler done…several things showed up that we’ll have to deal with but the fluid had dissipated. Praise God. In one of the other prayer letters we had mentioned that one of the wires wasn’t working and no one knew why…we still don’t know why it wasn’t , but miraculously it has been working again. I say miraculously because without it working Andres would have been tremendously at risk. The ICD registered two distinct heart episodes that could have been heart attacks, plus many corrections because of arrhythmias. Our great God has been so gracious, so merciful.
Andres continues to say that he will continue preaching and teaching until God says nay and calls him home. We bow to God’s will in it all. God is sovereign.
Lately there has been a lot of “bad men” activity. On March 20th there was a major shoot out close by…someone came in to stir up the hornet’s nest. Several were wounded and a couple died. Many of the bad men have taken refuge in the mountains around us. One of the Brethren in the church (he is 90 yrs old) went to check on his fields. He has a small shed where he keeps his tools that he can’t carry back and forth. He found residues of someone or ones having hidden (or may still be using it to hide) in his shed. We have all warned him to take care as these are armed men. The villages are nervous, watchful but the Brethren have comfort in knowing that God is sovereign and not even these things are out of His control. We are all continuing forward.
One last thing we would like all of you to pray with us about. We have been waiting to mention this just to weigh things a little more and we wanted to speak with certain Brethren before asking for others to pray. In February a man who identified himself as a Brother in Christ and has given a testimony of embracing the doctrines of grace came to our door. He is working with an arminian congregation from Cuauhtemoc as a “missionary”. He was told about us and came to visit. Since then we have been speaking with him and his wife more as they come and spend most weekends with us. He does have a knowledge of the doctrines of grace, a zeal to teach but he must work through certain areas of his life and understand more fully the implications of what he believes he embraces. Has God brought him to our door? Most probably…Why? We can’t answer that completely. But one thing is certain it is to help them understand the implications of what he says he believes and open up his understanding as best we can. Please pray for him. His name is Heber Gonzalez Herrera and his wife is Angelina. He has expressed a desire to collaborate with us, but Andres wishes to take time before opening up the congregation. But we are there to help in any way we can as the Lord deems fit. We pray that our lives may help them to grow in grace and knowledge, even though we know we are weak and frail, so imperfect… God is not.
The conferences for the village area have been set for May 30th to June 3rd, Lord willing. Please continue to pray that the Lord will refresh and use them in the lives of all who attend.
Andres has also been asked to set aside a tentative date to preach in Monterrey in August. Then later on he has been invited to preach again in Queretero. The Brethren in Tabasco would like to be included in this list but we need to evaluate finances and Andres’ strength. We also pray about all this as God knows where he needs to be and expend the energies he has.
Please pray with us dear Brethren because we only have a heart to do as God would have us to do. It is our business to obey Him.
Please pray with me Brethren as I am debating what would be best for the next series of Bible Studies for the women…whether to delve into Colossians or 1 Peter. Both have such pertinent content for our daily lives as we strive to serve God where He puts us.
We pray the Lord will continue to bless all of you with His presence giving you strength to serve Him as He deserves.
Walking forward by His grace alone,
(along with Rhonda and Damaris)
“No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11)
“Show me the way that I must take; to thee I offer all my heart. Teach me to do thy will, for thou are my God…Keep me safe, O LORD, for the honour of thy name.” (Ps. 143:8,10-11)