Covenant Baptist Church
- O. Box 741
Broken Arrow, OK 74013
Dear Friends, Nov. 15, 2017
We continue to have good Institute studies. I traveled to Guatemala City the first weekend of this month and then held the monthly studies for the ex-Rhema group last Saturday.
I am scheduled next Sunday to preach in the Irapuato church for their annual meeting. We will have folks from four surrounding states attending and expect about 300 people to come. We will take a large number of books from our print shop to resupply the book tables in the missions and churches. I will drive up there early on Sunday morning and then head back on Sunday evening (about 7 hrs. round trip). Mark will preach for me in Mexico City.
The work on the building remodel is moving along. They are nearing the end of the process to reinforce the structure (earthquake proof) and will start next week on the first floor balcony. There have been some attempts by the municipality to hinder the work, but we think we have an agreement to hold them off until the main work is finished. We hope to begin holding services there early in the New Year and are excited about the progress that is being made. Church buildings are only a means, but we know that the Lord has purposes in relocating us to the center of the City.
We continue to see a steady stream of visitors in our missions and churches. I am in a lengthy series on the parables and miracles that lends itself to the never ending task of instruction and evangelism.
There have been at least 24,000 violent deaths from January through the month of September (the real number is probably 2-3 times higher) related to the drug wars and mafia cartels and this keeps everyone on edge. Recently our next door neighbors were car-jacked at gunpoint while taking their kids to school on the street that is behind our houses. The Irapuato area where we will travel this Sunday has been especially troubled with violence and insecurity. The statistics become real when they reach into our neighborhood or church circles. We are contemplating the need to hire some municipal police to protect our services in the new building. The general public is disarmed here and the robbery of churches (during public services) is becoming more frequent throughout the country.
The NAFTA renegotiation continues to drag out and another session began here today. The Mexican politicians and ‘elites’ are making a lot of threats regarding what they will do if things don’t go their way. These include refusing to ‘cooperate’ in the ‘drug wars’ and leaving the southern and northern borders open to a flood of Central Americans. If they do not come to some agreement before the start of the presidential campaigns in January, it will become even more complicated. NAFTA (along with slave labor wages) has transformed Mexico into a manufacturing super-power and there is a whole generation here that does not remember what things were like (i.e. how bad it was) before this went into effect.
Missionary Tom Montgomery and Familys