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 I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5

We had an great  time on our trip to Florida, which included visiting Trinity Baptist in Sun City Center and our Converge offices in Orlando!  Thanks to the Millicans and Veldhuizens for being such great hosts.  And this past weekend we had a delightful time at Temple Baptist of Rockford.  Janet was able to share at the annual spring women’s luncheon, and Eric preached on Sunday.  Thank you for allowing us to participate with you!

a time for renewing old friendships!

a time for renewing old friendships!

  We have had an amazing year.  YOU have been amazing!  Thank you to each of you who participated in preparing for our visits, hosting us, feeding us, entertaining us, etc., etc!  Your prayers continue to be a major force in our ministry as you intercede on our behalf, and your financial faithfulness makes it possible for us to go. We are so GRATEFUL to the Lord for each of you.

 Thank you, gracias, thank you!!

Good times with dear friends!

Good times with dear friends!

God-sighting #1:

Iglesia Bautista Gracia de Dios (Grace of God Baptist Church) of Monterrey, Mexico: Pastor Elias’ wife Susi says: “We don’t get tired of thanking God for what He is doing in this new church!  We are so full of enthusiasm as we see everyone cooperating with love and joy!  We have a list of 130 official members to start the church, and have between 200-250 attending!”  The actual organization has been changed to March 21.  They have rented a new locale to meet in and are working together to get it ready so they can begin meeting in it this Sunday!  Praise God with us for this amazing response and pray that they will continue to grow in love and health for Kingdom purposes!

Miguel has experienced a life transformation and loves to serve!

Miguel has experienced a life transformation and loves to serve!

 

 God-sighting #2:

Red de Amor (LoveNet) ministry for pastors’ wives: It keeps on sowing seeds of love and joy in the women who serve the Lord so faithfully!  On February 21, 25 pastors’ wives met together in the Monterrey Red de Amor!  Rosy, one of the leaders reported:  “The women left filled with joy and very blessed!”    Praise the Lord with us for not only this group in Monterrey, but for pastors’ wives around the country. Please pray that they will continue to be encouraged in their walk with and service for our Lord!

Having fun at Red de Amor!

Having fun at Red de Amor!

 

 

God-sighting # 3:

You!  As we continue our visits to your churches, you have blessed us and encouraged us over and over again.  Our most recent visits were to Brickyard Bible Church in Chicago and to Waukegan Community Church.  Thanks to Pastor Santiago  for receiving us with such warmth in Chicago, and for the encouragement we received from WCC and from Pastor Fred, his wife Michelle, Pierre, Dwayne and Julie in the time we shared with them! Praise the Lord with us for the sweet times we are having with each of our churches!  Please pray for safety and health in our continued travels and the ability to connect with the new ministry partners God has in mind for us.

God-sighting #4:

Eric’s mom’s care and support network:  Thank you Dunwoody Baptist Church!  Not only is DBC part of our prayer and financial support team, they have been Eric’s family’s church since 1967.  As his mom has gone through this health crisis over the past 2 months, we have been humbled and amazed by the care her church family has given her when we were not able to be present.  A special thanks to Judy, Joy, Brownie, Bill, Marjorie, Jerry, the Winsome Sunday Class and the church staff!  Also we want to thank Linda and Ben and the Friends of the Alpharetta Library who have been such a support and encouragement through the years!!  Tomorrow (March 6), Eric’s mom is scheduled to arrive in DeKalb, IL to continue her recovery process and to live close to Jeff, Sarah and us.  Praise the Lord with us for His amazing provision for her and please pray for her to adjust to this huge change in her life.

 

 

Launch #1:

Red de Amor (LoveNet) for Hispanic pastors’ wives in the Chicago area.  On Saturday, January 10, Janet had a wonderful day with 8 women who a) deepened their relationships,  b) were taught listening and coaching skills, and c) were equipped with resources to encourage their personal and group growth.  They plan to meet every 2 months, so please pray for God to use this in their lives to increase their love for Him and for others and to enable them to bear more fruit with joy!!!

Sharing hearts in God's presence!

Sharing hearts in God’s presence!

Forming a new LoveNet in the Chicago area!!

Forming a new LoveNet in the Chicago area!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launch #2:

Ministerio de Mujeres (Women’s ministry) of the new Grace of God Baptist Church in Monterrey. On Saturday, January 24, the new women’s ministry had it’s first meeting!  47 women were present and challenged to always be looking for and surrendered to God’s will. Please pray for God to guide them clearly as they organize into small groups.  This will be key in their spiritual formation and in loving one another more!! 

First meeting of Ministerio de Mujeres, Grace of God Baptist Church, Monterrey, Mexico!

First meeting of Ministerio de Mujeres, Grace of God Baptist Church, Monterrey, Mexico!

Launch #3:

The new Grace of God Baptist Church is set to be formally organized on March 7.  They have also found a locale to rent at a reasonable price which will hold 500 people (150+ currently attend)!  They are moving forward with vision and a heart to see more and more of Monterrey reached with God’s grace!  Please pray for them to make wise decisions in choosing leaders and organizing ministries and that they will continue to heal from the difficult circumstances which “gave birth” to the new church.

Launch #4:

We continue (at a slower pace) visiting our churches with the desire to be “launched” back to Mexico in May of this year!  We enjoyed visiting The Chapel at Hinsdale, Il and meeting campus pastor Jeff! Thanks to Jim and Gwen for their work in introducing us to new friends!  And it was a joy to visit First Baptist Church of Geneva this past weekend.  We were grateful for a chance to connect with several folks before winter storm Linus cancelled the worship services!  A special thanks to Michelle, Gaelen, Martha and Pastor Bruce for their work on our behalf!!  Please pray for God to guide us in a timely way to find the remaining support we need to return to Monterrey in May!

Launch #5:

With Eric’s mom’s illness sending her to the hospital a second time, and now being in rehab for a second time, we have been “launched” into a new season of life as we assume new responsibilities for her.  We are so grateful to the Lord that we can be here for in the States during this time of her increased need and for her friends in Atlanta who are such wonderful caregivers for her and for us.  We ask that you pray for God to guide us clearly into each step we take on her behalf.

 

 

Grace of God!

So the new church in Monterrey that was “born” last month has a name:  Iglesia Bautista Gracia de Dios! (Grace of God Baptist Church)  We have been in contact with Pastor Elias and his wife Susi and others from the new church, and they are full of enthusiasm to see what God will do!  Because the”birth” was due to circumstances that were very difficult, please pray for God to not only heal the wounds, but to fill the new church with humble hearts that forgive with grace!  The pastor and leaders want to start with healthy “Cosecha” foundational concepts and have a heart to reach Monterrey with God’s love!  They have invited us to work with them when we return (hopefully in May), and we are excited about the prospect of working with Cosecha in a brand new church!   Almost 145 people (including 22 kids or so) attended the services on the first two Sundays.

Christmas Eve with the new Grace of God church!

Christmas Eve with the new Grace of God church!

This Saturday, Janet has the privilege of leading a mini-retreat to begin Red de Amor (LoveNet) for Hispanic pastors’ wives in the Chicago area!!  Please pray for a good attendance and for the women to capture well the concept of coaching and the vision of ministering one to another so they will carry on and bear much kingdom fruit!!

This vacation season had some happy and sad times for our family!  We were in Georgia for Christmas week, and Jeff and Sarah joined us in Northern Georgia with Eric’s mom.  She had a cold (so we thought), while we were at the cabin, but still was able to be with us during our activities.   However, when Eric and I took her back to Roswell, we had to hospitalize her, and found that she had a very fast and irregular heart beat, and the flu!  I (Janet) was able to travel on to Mexico City and enjoy time with Angela and our family there, but Eric stayed with his mom.  She was in the hospital for 11 days and is now in rehab to regain strength.  Pray with us over the next weeks so that we make wise decisions concerning where to move her after rehab.  It looks probable that we might move her to Illinois because Jeff and Sarah have offered to have her close to them and she can be close to us while we are in the States.  It will be very hard for her, but we believe it is the right thing to do.  Thanks for your prayers for us all in this process!

A Nice Christmas with Jeff, Sarah and Eric's mom.

A Nice Christmas with Jeff, Sarah and Eric’s mom.

We are looking forward to begin visiting YOU again this weekend!!  Please keep praying for God to use us in each church and to guide us to find the support we need!!!  Words are inadequate to express our thanks to you for being such an important and faithful part of our team!!!

A wonderful visit with Angela's delightful family!!!

A wonderful visit with Angela’s delightful family!!!

May you each have a blessed 2015 loving God more every day!

God with Us!

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).  Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

God with us!!!!  What an amazing truth!  May our hearts bow together before the throne of the Holy one who loves us so much He is With Us!

We rejoice in God’s presence with us in:

1) the amazing retreat for Conectadas Con Dios at our church in Monterrey, MX! God touched the 44 women who attended in wonderful ways!  This Saturday, December 13, Conectadas con Dios is having an evangelistic breakfast and we hope for the new women who attended the retreat plus more to attend!!  Please pray for God to continue to show up and for there to be MUCH FRUIT for His Kingdom!!

Front and center is Iraida, a newly baptized believer from Conectadas con Dios, and her neighbors and friends who are seeking God!  Our pastor's wife Susi, meets with them every Wednesday morning showing them the way to Jesus!!!

Front and center is Iraida, a newly baptized believer from Conectadas con Dios, and her neighbors and friends who are seeking God! Our pastor’s wife Susi, meets with them every Wednesday morning showing them the way to Jesus!!!

2)   seeing what God is doing in our home church in Monterrey, MX!  However, we ask you to pray fervently with us for yet another significant and potentially very difficult meeting that is scheduled for December 14.

Last Saturday evening the married ministry from our home church had their Christmas party and had a great time!

Last Saturday evening the married ministry from our home church had their Christmas party and had a great time!

 

 

 

 

 

3) We rejoice in God with us through You!  Our most recent churches visited were in three different states: Iowa, Georgia, and Illinois!  We enjoyed reconnecting with Valley View Baptist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa!  It was so refreshing to see their youth enthusiastically and efficiently serve a Thanksgiving dinner to about 90 folks, including neighbors and visitors as well as church people!  While visiting Eric’s mom for Thanksgiving in Georgia, we were able to share our ministry with her Sunday School class; and this past weekend we had the privilege of being with Bethany Baptist in Harwood Heights, IL!  While there, not only did we have the privilege of sharing in worship and Sunday School times, we had the the privilege of attending a concert of Puerto Rican Jíbaro (folk) music where a church member participated!  Thank you Kathi, for your great work of coordinating our visit!

4) May each of you have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate God With US!!  We are anticipating Christmas in Georgia with Eric’s mom, Jeff and Sarah!  And then we are looking forward to time with our daughter, Angela, and her family in Mexico City for New Years!  Thanks for your prayers for us as we travel and for God to give us great times together!

We say with Paul:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6

We are thankful for so many blessings!  Join us in thanking God for:

1.  The Conectadas con Dios retreat that starts today and for a great leadership team who wants to serve Him and others! Please continue to pray for God to do a mighty work in the 45 women who will attend the retreat, some of whom are not believers!

Last year's Conectada retreat!

Last year’s Conectada retreat!

2. That there have been some positive steps taken in the difficult situation in our home church.  Please pray for God to do a work of humbling and healing hearts in the days to come!

3. Continued great visits to Lakeside Church in South Range, WI, the Global Outreach team of The Chapel in Libertyville, IL and Homewood Church of Homewood, IL.  What a joy these visits have been to our hearts!  Thank you for your faithfulness!! 

A big thank you to Jen and Paul at Lakeside Baptist for their gracious hospitality and for Jen's creative planning for their missions conference!

A big thank you to Jen and Paul at Lakeside Baptist for their gracious hospitality and for Jen’s creative planning for their missions conference!

4. For your amazing support of our ministry throughout the 32 years we have been serving with Converge Worldwide!  We are currently at 100% support, for which we are amazed and humbly grateful!  However, we have been advised of some upcoming changes in giving which will drop our support levels.  Our desire is to return to Mexico in May of 2015.  In order for that to happen, we need to find some new donors!! Please pray with us that God will provide just the people we need to complete our support team in the next few months.

We specifically need:

5 donors who would commit to $100.00 a month or

10 donors who would commit to $50.00 a month.

If God lays on your heart to join our team in this way, please click on the following link and you will be guided in that process.  Or send us an email and we will help you out.

http://www.convergeworldwide.org/give/54914

 

 

 

 

This past weekend 59 people (adults, young people, children) from our home church in Monterrey, Mexico went on a mission trip to a needy town about 2 hours from Monterrey.  They had a marvelous time sharing the gospel, providing health care services, and doing construction on a church building.  Please pray for the seeds sown to bear much fruit!

Missions trip, Nov.1-2, Iglesia Bautista El Divino Salvado

Missions trip, Nov.1-2, Iglesia Bautista El Divino Salvador

Conectadas con Dios (Connected with God) is the new women’s ministry  at our church and they are preparing for their second women’s retreat from November 21-23!  About 50 women have signed up (a 50% increase from last year), and the theme is Strengthening us in His Presence! Please pray with us that God will be in charge of every detail of the retreat, and that each woman present will be motivated to become more like Jesus every day of her life!

Conectadas retreat 2013!  We trust this year's retreat will bear much fruit with joy!

Conectadas retreat 2013! We trust this year’s retreat             will bear much fruit with joy!

Eleven days ago I sent out a prayer letter requesting intercession for a difficult church meeting and for the surgery of our friend Olga.  The surgery went well!  Thanks for continuing to pray with us that Olga’s platelets will stabilize and that she will recover completely!

The church meeting was indeed difficult, and although the outcome was an important step forward in the life of the church, it brought to light the depth of disfunction that still lives on.  There will be some important meetings over the next week,  so please pray that God will anoint key leaders with His power and wisdom to  say and do all that is right. We want to see long-standing obstacles dealt with biblically so that this church can move forward to good health and fruitfulness!

We are so grateful to each of you for your partnership with us!  Over the past several weeks, our visits with Grandview Church of Estherville, IA; with Trinity Baptist of St. Paul, MN; with Elk Grove Baptist of Elk Grove, IL; with Evangel Baptist of Wheaton, IL; and with Grace Church of Cloquet, MN have been such a blessing to our lives!  Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to us and for being our partners in ministry.  You are such a gift from God to us!  We thank God for each of you and are so grateful for these opportunities to renew our connections with you!!

Sunset on Chub Lake in Northern Minnesota!  One of the many gifts God has given us this year!

Sunset on Chub Lake in Northern Minnesota! One of the many gifts God has given us this year!

 

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