Covenant Baptist Church
P. O. Box 741
Broken Arrow, OK 74013
Dear Friends July 18, 2018
We are cautiously optimistic about the presidential election results here. We are hearing many rumors of the new government’s plans. They include efforts to control the border with Guatemala and stop the invasion of so called ‘refugees’ from Central America, hope for more common ground on the NAFTA negotiations, radical measures against the rampant corruption and deep cuts in government salaries and perks. Last Friday a high level delegation from Washington (including Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner) visited the President-elect and he gave them a sealed 4 point proposal for working together with President Trump. We should know soon what was proposed and what the U.S. response will be. Mexico is at a major crossroads and many are praying for a real change. The election result is considered a political earthquake that will really shake things up or bring the whole building down. Many changes that are already being laid out are quite surprising and have struck fear into the Mexican version of the ‘deep state’. One of the changes includes a complete shutdown of the government spying agency known as CISEN (used for blackmail etc.)
We have had another cycle of the never ending ‘Mad-Max’ adventures that are considered ‘normal’ here. Last Friday Mark was robbed on a bus (he was going to a Citibank meeting where there is no parking and so jumped on the public transport). Thankfully, they only got his cell phone and he was able to hide his briefcase and wallet in the rush to get away from the robbers. Then on Sunday Luke and Lissa were rear ended by a motorcycle while stopped at a traffic light on the way home from church (we call these ‘Kamikazes’ here). This led to a 3hr. ordeal that involved the cyclist calling in his friends who showed up and wanted to fight with Mark and Luke in an attempt to ‘escape’ without paying for the damages to our vehicle. Providentially, some young men from our church were nearby, and came to the rescue before things could really get out of hand. Our insurance agent forced them to pay up on the spot with a direct deposit to the insurer’s account.
On the same Friday of Mark’s robbery, a government agency left a threatening letter at our new church building. They are demanding payment (i.e. extortion) for a supposed debt that is from 2008. It is a ‘fine’ (supposedly only about $300 dollars) for someone (unknown to us) who at some time in the past had a business at what is now our church building. They warned that if we don’t pay the building will be closed and official government ‘seals’ placed on the doors that make it impossible to use the facility. We got an emergency call from our church accountant this morning and Luke had to rush to the building before they were able to close it down. We are in the process of trying to resolve this so as to be able to hold services on Sunday. Many government agencies will have a complete turnover of personnel in the coming months (due to the recent election) and are trying to rob as much money as possible before they go.
I will be flying to Merida this Friday for the two day monthly Institute session. I held the studies for the ex-Rhema group last Saturday and also in Guatemala City two weeks ago. Guatemala continues to be paralyzed by the after-effects of the recent volcano eruption that killed at least 350 and destroyed many crops.
We are trying to finish up with many smaller details at the church facility. We had trouble two Sundays ago with the plumbing system backing up at the close of the service. We spent two days last week cutting in a wall and tracking down the problem… diapers and other trash flushed down from the 3rd floor, backing up everything to the first floor auditorium. Luke and two of his workers became violently sick and infected after working on the system. We continue to have many visitors and evangelistic opportunities each Sunday.
Missionary Tom Montgomery and Family