It has been a busy few months for us, as I'm sure it has been for you. We hope you enjoy our latest newsletter. Please let us know how you're doing, and how we can pray for you. We appreciate being a part of your life, though we are far away!
I have a special prayer request this time. It seems our last 2 newsletters never got printed or sent by post to those who receive the hard copy. That means they haven't heard from us in 9 months! Please pray that our order goes through this time, and that our "postal partners" get caught up on our lives. We want people to stay informed about us and our Wycliffe ministry, because we covet all our partners' prayers and involvement in our lives.
If you happen to know someone who gets our newsletter by post, please let them know that we have been trying to send them, but have been having technical difficulties. Feel free to print out a copy for them, if you are willing.
Thank you so much! As always, if you have any questions or would like to know more, please write or call.
Scott, Elina, Linus, Jane and Livy Turner
The strength of our community is remarkable. In the face of significant financial restraints and a tough restructuring entering 2018, our volunteers, staff, and supporters have rallied to help us fill the gaps and find a way to serve even more people. While we are not entirely out of the woods financially, the response from our supporters and partners has been encouraging and affirming. I have no doubt that together, with your help, we will continue to be the innovative leader in providing fresh and healthy food.
The stories you’ll read inside highlight the resilience of The Open Door and the determination of our volunteers and staff to continue to find ways to make healthy food more accessible to those in our community who need it most. With summer quickly approaching, we are ready for some of TOD’s most innovative programs, including Garden To Table, Mobile Lunch Box, and a second season of Pop-Up Produce Stands.
If you are looking for an opportunity to engage, learn more, or just get your hands dirty, we have multiple opportunities for you to help us assist the people who look to us for support each month. Thank you for taking the time to read about our work, and thank you for making all of it possible.
Jason Viana, Executive Director
Dear Friends of HopeKids,
Recently, we united strong men and women with stronger children during the 5th annual Relentless Powerlifting kick-off event. This event is a highlight for many HopeKids and their families including Ryan - an imaginative, 5-year-old leukemia warrior who loves Legos and dinosaurs.
"Ryan had SO much fun at the Relentless kickoff event! The whole way home he kept saying, 'I'm a strong man too!' Everyone was so amazing with him and made him feel special. He's been telling everyone at the clinic that he played tug of war against Superman and Aquaman and he WON! Each one of these events helps our family create memories that we otherwise wouldn't be able to experience." – Kelly, Ryan's mom
Thank you for restoring hope to Minnesota families, like Ryan's. If you are interested in attending the 2018 Relentless Powerlifting competition presented by TSR Injury Law in July, please visit www.relentlesspowerlifting.com.
MOMENTS OF GRACE
Mid sixties, single parent, mechanic and the most important part of Jerry's life, he believes in Jesus Christ. Now a baptized believer he witnesses to his family, friends and just about anyone he can find. Recently at church he told me "I have such a bad past, I don't deserve to be forgiven." I told him, let me see what we can do to help you understand about forgiveness and grace. So that's where "Grace for the Moment" came into play. It is a daily devotional from Max Lucado. Each morning I share with Jerry via Whatsapp from this devotional book. Last week he wrote that he was so overwhelmed with joy that his adult daughter has accepted Christ and wants to be baptized.
At first Jerry's daughter said “I'll go to church with you dad, but only at an English speaking church”. No English speaking church on either side of the border here, but I said "No problem, we will just have to start an English service somewhere”. Problem solved! Daughter saved! I encouraged a local church in Eagle Pass to begin an English service in the evening and now their first believer is Jerry’s daughter.
None of us are worthy of the gift of salvation. We are all sinners, plain and simple; saved by grace. Ephesians 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God." "Grace" by Max Lucado, another book specifically written for us to understand the magnitutde of God's love for us. Max writes, "More than we Deserve - Greater than we Imagine." Another sentence from Max Lucado, "Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off."
Jerry works for a mechanic shop on the Kickapoo Indian Reservation near Eagle Pass, Texas. He is a powerful witness to these native people and especially his family. He loves to come to the college and share his story about God's powerful love and grace to the students. Each Sunday, Jerry crosses over the Rio Grande and comes ready to worship at a Spanish church in Piedras Negras where we attend. Plain and simple, Jerry loves Jesus and each day he is learning more and more about the love and forgiveness of God both in Spanish and now English.
Daily encounters with God, prayer, reading the Word, finding a friend to encourage, inspirational thoughts to help with the burdens of life, most importantly meditating on the overwhelming thought of Grace. “Grace for the Moment" That moment is not a fleeting passing of time each day, but an eternal life with the Father.
Emanuel - "God With Us" Mexico Mission allows us to share Jesus with a number of people not just college students. From a small inner city church some 10 hours away in the heart of Mexico, to an Indian Reservation in Texas. I've been invited to the reservation, now just to take time to do it. God is working through us each day to meet the spiritual needs of so many people like Jerry.
May 11, is graduation day for the students. That means summer travel will begin for us soon. Trips to San Luis Potosi and the United States, takes money. Jose will be joining us by taking over the ministry in San Luis Potosi which also will require more funds. Any extra or new support will be greatly appreciated. If you want us to visit your family, Sunday School Class or Church, we will be in Indiana and the Cincinnati area May 23 - June 18. Then comes more travels to camps in Mexico, church work and so much more.
Thank you for praying, giving and allowing us to simply help people experience "Moments of Grace".
David and Sheri DeBolt
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Hello from your missionary friends in Mexico.
Just wanted to update you on José and his graduation plans. Today is his last day of classes and exams. Friday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m., is the graduation for Colegio Biblico. He did it! Thanks to our Valley family and the World Outreach team, José has been able to cover all of his graduation costs. Valley truly made an impact in his life last summer and all the other visits the boys made to Minnesota; as well as the many visits Valley made to Mexico.
José has a busy summer ahead of him as he will be relocating to San Luis Potosi and begin his ministry with the Ontañon Church of Christ. He has the month of July busy with one week of camp and a trip to Indianapolis, Indiana for the National Hispanic Convention.
In November, we plan on sending José to the International Conference on Missions in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has attended several times with me & this will be his first time alone representing our mission and ministry in Mexico. The ICOM is Nov. 15 - 18.
Everyone at Valley really touched this young man's heart for Christian service. Camp is just around the corner and things are all in place to receive FMSC and Michael Nelson. Love seeing how Valley continues to grow and reach out to the world with the love of Christ.
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Dear Christian Friends,
In 2004, Jorge Martinez moved his family to the mountains of Puebla and began services in the village of Chilapa. The area surrounding Chilapa was largely unchurched and there was often strong opposition to the gospel and threats against Jorge and his family.
Since then, the work has expanded to 3 different villages. And, God’s Word has begun to change hearts and minds in these villages where Jorge is ministering. A few years ago we opened a work in the village of La Libertad and now there are approximately 30-40 people who attend services every week.
The church was meeting in a space on the property of Jorge. Recently the church was able to buy its own piece of property and thanks to the generosity and hard work of the people from the congregations in the mountains and some of our STM groups, they were able to complete their own church building.
A special thanks to Sheldon Church of Christ, Sheldon, WI and Compass Christian Church, Colleyville, TX for their groups who worked so hard to help build this new facility. A special thank you to Tomoka Christian Church for a special offering that helped us complete the facility and to Doris Hinch who has faithfully supported this ministry throughout the years.
Below are a couple of photos of the new facility. May God continue to transform hearts and lives through the sharing of His Word in this place!
Executive Director, Niños de Mexico
March was a hectic month.
We had the annual Ministers’ Week at the beginning of the month. It was held in East London which is about a 10 hour drive from here so we decided to travel by bus. The journey was fine except they didn’t have any meal stops so we quickly bought snacks whenever we could. When we got to East London we waited for one of the ministers to come and take us to the campsite. Unfortunately the organizers had under-estimated the number of people who would be there so they were short on housing. We stayed one night and then moved to a B&B where two of the other ministers were staying. That gave us more privacy and we could travel back and forth with them. It was a really good week of worship, fellowship and teaching. The plan was to do a handover of the mission finances at that meeting, but the new treasurer and the signatories were not present so that was not done.
March was busy with funerals as well. Doreen Madlala, a member of the Umzumbe church and a foundation member of Magog Senior Citizens’ Club, passed away at the age of 88. The huge funeral was held in a tent at Umzumbe Bible Institute. The next week we attended the funeral of Mrs. Jethro Zobolo. Her husband, who was a minister, passed away in January. Her funeral was held on the Saturday of Easter weekend. During that week another member of the Magog Senior Citizens’ Club passed away. I think she might have been the youngest member of the club. She was an amputee and had attended a meeting quite recently and we did not know she was ill. We did not attend her funeral because of other commitments we had.
The Easter weekend services were held at a school near Gcilima Church. There was a big crowd. The large tent was too small to hold the entire congregation, but when the rain started to fall people moved closer together and most of the people were able to get under shelter. People commented that the rain was a sign of God’s blessing on the meeting so no one complained.
The first week of April we traveled to Kimberley with our pickup loaded with old financial records and stationery for the new treasurer. There were still some things that we could not complete because the new executive committee did not have all of the papers they needed to change the signatories on the bank account. However we were able to hand over all the records and stationery to the new treasurer. Michael still has the check book and will have to issue checks until they get the necessary papers and change the signatories at the bank.
Our exciting news is that Baby Evans has arrived. Michael and I are staying at John and Diane’s for a few days to help with transporting Matthew to school and preparing meals for John and Matthew. We are proud to announce that Michael Roger Evans (named after his grandpas) arrived on 19 April at 8:09 a.m. and weighed 3.53 kilograms (7 pounds 12 ounces.) Matthew is so proud and everyone is doing fine.
EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION NEWS
Not too many people from the south head north for the winter. That's what Sheri did from January 27 - March 27. She experienced the Ohio snowfalls and cold temperatures. She had a good reason for heading north though. She got to spend 2 full months with our grandson, Jackson, now 10 months old. He is a bundle of pure joy.
We live in the south, so when we mean going south it is to visit the mission work we have in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. 10 hours south of us is the Ontañon Church of Christ, the inner city church we began in 1992. The Ontañon church is enjoying a season of growth; so much so that it is growing out of the building. Attendance is now over 50, in a seating capacity of 50! There are no plans to build more space, the plan is right on schedule for the Balcones church, who meets with us, to relocate to a new site that they will entirely be responsible for. That will leave our building almost empty once again (2nd time in 4 years) to grow another church plant. Jose will graduate in May and head south to Ontañon and take over the ministry for us. He is ready, willing and able to work and serve!
LIVING IN THE MIDDLE:
Living here at the border town of Piedras Negras, Mexico, we have seen the season of spring come early this year. The creek in front of my office window is flowing full once again. Trees are now providing their full summer shade and flowers are in full bloom. The old farmer on the other side of the creek has tilled his ground with the help of his horse and then the old gentleman stooped down to plant each kernel of corn. The day after he got his crop in, God provided a beautiful rain for him and all of us here living in the middle. It is interesting to watch how someone still lives the simple life. But life in general is simple. Lay down the cell phone, turn off the T.V., internet and listen to God's voice. He's calling us each and every day. His answers are simple; work hard (2 Timothy 1:6), pray often (1 Thesalonians 5:17) and exercise daily by walking in the Word (Psalms 119:105).
This winter was family in the north, experiencing mission growth in the south, and in the middle (Bible College) helping the students work hard, pray often and exercise daily by walking in the Word. We trust in God to watch over our families and have obeyed His command to go North, South and in the Middle.
TRUST AND OBEY FOR THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.
DAVID AND SHERI DEBOLT
Dear Christian Friends,
Here we grow again! We are so excited to announce that we have grown by three this past week. The sisters Yoselin, Jimena, & Sarahi joined the Agape home. They were a little shy and apprehensive at first, but the older girls from the Apage home embraced them warmly and helped them feel welcome.
We were also presented with three girls who will be coming to join our homes as soon as their paper work is finished.
Please be in prayer for the children and their new families as they adjust. Pray that we are able to ease their fears and allow the love of Christ to shine through our actions.
Niños de Mexico