July 14, 2015
Most of you know that Lissa was diagnosed two weeks ago with a corneal ulcer in the same eye that had the retina tear last fall. The cause turned out to be a virus that responded well to the antiviral treatment the doctor prescribed. She is doing well and appears to have completely recovered. We are thankful for this answer to prayer.
We had a “Mexican” funeral service last night for one of our men. Rogelio was 84 and died in peace. This is the fourth “departure” that we have witnessed in the last year or so. These providential events are always an evangelistic opportunity and we have seen some good fruit come from them. The singing and preaching at these times is very rare here and provokes curiosity as well as disdain. The funeral homes in our city usually have 6-10 meetings going on simultaneously with the doors in each room open for all to see and hear.
We had an excellent first session of the new Instituto in Perote, Veracruz. There were over 90 in attendance and at least 30 of these are pastors and workers. About two thirds of these men are in the process of starting new missions and are pleading with us for all the help, literature, guidance and preaching support that we can provide. We have the future meetings scheduled for the last Saturday of each month. The men in attendance were from the cities of Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Cordoba, Xalapa, Perote, Puebla, and some smaller surrounding communities. This is a seven-hour round trip for me, besides the hours of teaching. Thankfully we have a group of men committed to help with the drive and traffic issues getting in and out of Mexico City. We now have five Pastoral Institutes running (three in Mexico and two in Central America) besides our on-going church planting activities.
I preached on grace and the doctrine of human depravity last Sunday at the large Pentecostal church that I mentioned in our last email update. I had a profitable meeting with their lead pastor the previous week. He appears to be a broken man and believes that he was genuinely converted through coming to understand the doctrines of grace. He is greatly concerned to truly evangelize many of their church members. Their church is the ‘mother’ church to a whole denomination of Pentecostal churches here in Mexico. They were originally started by a missionary sent out by the Rhema Church (Kenneth Hagin) that is based in Broken Arrow. Rhema is a large prosperity gospel mega-church around the block from our home church in Broken Arrow. It is incredible but true… They are now coming to see the truth of grace, and your missionaries sent out from the same town in the USA are helping them in this process. They are privileged to own a large piece of land (about 2-3 football fields in size) and have quite elaborate installations. They are already talking with me about starting a pastoral Institute, but it would have to be on a weekday morning. They believe that about 50 preachers would attend. This appears to be another ‘open door’ that requires much wisdom and as always there are “many adversaries”.
After over thirty years on this mission field we are seeing the Lord move in ways that for years we only dreamed about. In our weakness and inability we earnestly desire your prayers for grace and for the many souls that are hearing the truth. We know that they can only be convinced by our sovereign Lord. What a privilege to have the smallest part in His great purposes of grace!
Missionary Tom Montgomery and family.