With hearts full of praise and thankfulness….!
December: We enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship as we celebrated Christmas with a special potluck dinner. On Saturday the 18th we held our third annual community outreach event – the Children’s Spanish Christmas Party. We are thrilled to share with you that we had around 90 children with their families attend – about 130 people in all! What a successful, exciting day that was – as we served them a meal, guided a craft, a piñata, and most importantly, shared the gospel with them. Each family went home with a gospel tract and a children’s Bible story book. May God plant those seeds and make them grow! We were also so humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support from the EBC church body. Since the event, we have had one new family join us (pictured at right) and we have over ten new contact numbers and addresses. Praise the Lord! And thank you for praying for Ramon and family - God has provided for them in many ways! It is so exciting to see that family grow.
January: Jose was blessed beyond measure to be able to return to Honduras (using airline miles) and attend his childhood church’s 75th anniversary (photo: receiving a special recognition on behalf of his mother). He also enjoyed the reunion with his family, and spent some valuable time with his mother, who is in the hospital (see photo on the lower left). Back in Vancouver, another monthly fellowship dinner was held where members were blessed in getting to know one another better. We now have around 20 weekly attenders in our Sunday service, with many of those attending the weekly Life Group that Jose teaches. Jose also began a weekly guitar class, to enrich those in the group and also to hopefully provide some future musicians for our Sunday morning services.
Family News: After exactly one year of attempting to purchase a house, God has opened the door (pardon the pun!) and is allowing us the blessing of our own home! We signed the accepted offer on New Year’s Eve, and next week we’ll be signing the loan and title documents, receiving the new keys a day or two after! Praise the Lord! We can’t wait to host Spanish Life Group and summer barbeques in the backyard – what a blessing. It is our prayer that God direct us as we strive to become wise stewards of His gifts. (Email us if you'd like the new address!)
Prayer: Shortly after we sent out our last update to you, Jose was warned that his night job may face some layoffs. So far we haven’t heard anything more, and we ask that you pray with us that God would provide according to His will. We have been so thankful and greatly blessed these past four years for these solid employments! We also want to share with you the strain that Jose’s current schedule is causing on his heart’s desire and the true need for time in the ministry. We’re including some charts to illustrate what that looks like as far as time and income. (The figures are rough approximations, and don’t include things like sleep, doctor’s appointments, etc. Job #1 is the Spanish teacher job at Vancouver Christian and Job #2 is the night janitorial job.)
As we begin a new year and plan out Spanish Ministry at Evergreen Bible for 2011, we face the fact that many goals will have to remain unmet due to these circumstances. Visitation in this culture is vital, and we would love to be able to visit these dear ones in their homes. Also, a midweek church meeting such as a praise and worship service would be of great blessing and benefit, along with inviting families to our home for dinners and one-on-one time. Would you please pray with us that God would move hearts and provide so that we might dedicate the time truly needed in order to help this ministry flourish? And would you pray to seek the Lord’s guiding if He might even use you to make that happen? We are around $1,000/month short of what we would need in order to eliminate just one job and jump into ministry full-time. Thank you for your prayers! We are confident that we are where God wants us, and that He has already given us more than what we need…we are truly grateful. Many thanks to those of you who are already praying for us and those who are faithfully giving towards our ministry here in Vancouver!
May God bless you richly as you serve Him where you are, in your every day life!