LIVING IN THE INNER CITY
Sad to say that little to no evangelism has taken place in the inner city of San Luis Potosi in the last three years. Just 1/2 block away from the Ontañon Church of Christ one of the inner city gangs have built an altar to Satan and Death (Santa Muerte - Holy Death). This altar was not there 3 years ago. Drugs are sold in plain sight at this same altar day or night. You don't see kids out after dark playing in the streets like before. Stores are closed earlier.
On a positive note the neighbors around the church are overwhelmed with our return. October 20, we opened up the church to the neighbors for a "Movie Night", Popcorn, Pop and a Christian Movie. The movie started and no neighbors. I told one of the Bible College students "come with me, I'm going to show you how to evangelize this neighborhood": "Don't be afraid and show no fear of them, they are our neighbors and friends."
We went straight to the Satanic altar. Loud music was blaring, the smell of marijuana was strong in the air, they were dealing drugs out of the back of a car. Some of the kids were stone cold drunk or high. This is a typical Saturday night event for them. I went right into the middle of their circle and re invited them to the movie which was playing just a 1/2 block away. For two weeks prior, I walked the neighborhood passing out flyers and talking to those that would listen. The college student and I returned to the movie with no one following us.
But, then to my surprise one of the boys from the altar came in and sat beside me in the back row. Sheri already had an elderly neighbor lady sitting next to her helping her to understand what the movie was about and where it was leading to, the Salvation Story. The movie was: "Poema de Salvacion". It was about how rock music turned a young person into a satanic believer and then later in the movie he became a new Christian. The movie ended and the elderly lady thanked Sheri over and over again for the Bible that she was given. She held it close to her heart and shared how happy she is to be able to read the Bible in her home, especially her favorite book: Psalms.
A few years ago we had an inner city kitchen mission in the area of the "Niños de la Calle" (Children of the Street). Their leader told me, "You Christians are different than all the other churches who come to help us". He said, "all the others roll down their car windows and literally threw out food and clothes to us. But you Christians get out of your car and are not afraid of us, you actually care for us, you hug us, you feed us, you give us clothes without judging our outer appearances". One of those Niños de la Calle boys was Jose, who is now our preacher at the Ontañon Church of Christ. His dream is to help feed the poor, clothe the needy, visit the sick and study the Word with those in prison. Sounds Biblical doesn't it? Matthew 25:35-40
In the coming months you will hear more about the ministry opportunities we have been given by moving back into the inner city.
A. There will be a Food Pantry - Matthew 4:4 opening soon (January 2019) at the church. There are stores already telling us that food will be given at no cost to supply the pantry.
B. The boy who came to the movie asked for a pair of tennis shoes. We will re-open the church to provide clothing and shoes to those that truly have needs such as these. Our famous neighborhood bazaar. We have an abundance of clothes and on December 29, this opportunity will be available along with Christian music playing, Movies for the children, and devotions throughout the day.
C. Begining in January 2019, we will open up once again our ministry doors to visitors to have a first hand experience of the mission field. What is needed: willing workers who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty and show love for people that call the Barrio de San Miguelito home. Inner City opportunities include: VBS, Painting, Building, Roof Repairs, Cleaning, Help Feed the Poor through the Food Pantry and much more.
Pray about it! Then get excited to come join us as a church group, family or even an internship.
"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:35-38 I want to highlight just one word from these verses: "COMPASSION". Jesus showed compassion to those in need. This is our mission, to show compassion to the needy, "LIVING IN THE INNER CITY".
Will you pray for us? Will you support us? Thanksgiving is coming soon and giving Tuesday soon after. Help us impact the inner city! We need Churches, Sunday Schools, Families, Men, Women and Children willing to give to the needs of others living in the inner city.
Christ Centered Ministries, Helping Others by Showing the Compassion of Jesus Christ to Those Living in the Inner City of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Emanuel Mexico Mission
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Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana Ontañon
Dear Christian Friends,
Thank you for your generosity this month! We are so grateful for your participation in transforming lives in Mexico. God has truly blessed us! As I stop to think about September many things come to mind:
The kids are back in school! Many are in different schools due to graduations this summer! It’s great to see them working hard to excel for their future.
Our young adults are making decisions about staying or leaving as they have turned 18 or finished Prepa (High School). Some have felt it is time to be out on their own and responsible for themselves and their future. Others have decided to stay and continue to study and grow inside the organization. It is a privilege to see them grow and develop!
We have staff that is working hard with each child to help them become the person that God has designed them to be. Their desire is to prepare them for that day when they will grow up and make the decision to be on their own!
I have been in contact with many of our alumni, and it is great to know that they are working hard to provide for themselves and their families.
Three of our alumni had babies this month. Beautiful children that remind me that we are not only serving a child – but we are serving future children! What a privilege to see how God has broken the cycle and given these babies opportunities that their parent did not have.
I hope that you know that your partnership continues to make a difference in the lives of many people. Thank you for sharing and giving!
Niños de Mexico
Well, it has certainly been a busy time over the past few months. I just realized that we have not sent you any news since July!
We have spent quite a lot of time with family. We were fortunate to be able to visit my 90-year-old step-mother twice. She is amazingly well for her age. She still has a sense of humor and entertains us when we visit. (She doesn’t like beards and mustaches and both Michael and my sister’s husband have them, so she gives them a hard time!)
We have visited several historic areas with Michael’s brother, Duane. They are both very interested in history and aviation. We attended my family reunion with aunts, uncle, cousins and their families. It was great to see some we haven’t seen in many years.
We began visiting churches at the end of July. We started with a trip to Nebraska. We visited an individual supporter and good friend in the Omaha area. She treated us to a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo. Then we traveled on to visit two supporting churches on the next two Sundays. It was great to see our supporters in Nebraska again and to renew acquaintances and make new friends. In the week between we spent time with our hosts and visited some historic sites in their area. We also spent two days at the Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden Nebraska.
When we got back to Minnesota our granddaughter, Gabriella, arrived from South Africa for a ten-week visit. We got to participate in many of the activities that were arranged for her – including a Minnesota Twins game, a camping trip, the Minnesota State Fair, some museums and historic sites, a trip to see the source of the Mississippi River, a dinner cruise on the St. Croix River, a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, and many visits with family and friends! Are you tired yet? We are!!
In addition to that we have also visited a supporting church in Iowa and a supporting church in South Dakota as well as two more individual supporters and some friends. Gabriella went with us to South Dakota so after the church visit we traveled on west to visit the Badlands, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Wall Drug. The weather was perfect and one of the highlights was seeing a herd of bison!
We have a few more family events before Gabriella leaves later in October. Then Michael’s sister, Debbie, will arrive for a few weeks to visit her brothers here. They are all looking forward to having the four siblings together again. There are several family activities planned for that time.
We will also continue our visits to churches. We will visit one more church in South Dakota and make a trip to Indiana and Ohio in November to visit four more supporting churches and some individuals. Between last year and this year, we hope we will have been able to visit all of our supporters! We will also attend the International Conference on Missions in Cincinnati in November.
Pray for us as we travel. Also pray for the churches and our work in South Africa. We are in contact with a lady from the church and with some of the ministers and their wives who keep us informed about the situation there. We also have regular contact with our children, thanks to email and internet!
Let us allow our TCM students and graduates ministering in Russia guide us in praying for their country this month.
SACRIFICE AND STEWARDSHIP
"God blesses our sacrifice, but He also blesses our stewardship" a quote from Jason Vallotton.
Either it's 100% or nothing, those were our thoughts back in 1987, when we entered into the ministry and then on to Mexico in 1991. It would be a whole new world of uncertainties such as learning a new language and living in a different culture. Some said it was sacrifice, we considered it more of a daily challenge to depend on God in a more profound way. Our resources would be limited and then there was the need to account for every gift given to us, stewardship.
A former missionary told me one time, "Are you going to be like most missionaries and continually ask or are you going to live by faith?" We could wrap it all up in the following verses of Philippians 4:10 - 13 "I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Yes, we have needs and a few of you without asking have stepped forward to help us with our current transportation need (Bluffton FCC & Daron and Melissa). As you know we had an accident on July 4, and to date we continue to wait on the insurance company that declared our vehicle "totaled". With the extra gifts given toward this need it will help us once again get back on the road.
Moving back to the inner city we have monthly expenses like most people: rent, water, gas, electricity and telephone bills to pay. Also included in our monthly expenses are the ministry needs we have.
Once again a supporting church (Valley) stepped up and out in faith to help our minister, Jose, with monthly support of $100.00. God is good to help this young man of faith. He receives $50.00 a month from the Ontañon church as well. Again Philippians is true for Jose, who at a young age lived in the streets begging for food and now preaching the gospel and can boldly say "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". How many could live on $150.00 a month? That's true sacrifice and stewardship!
Projects and goals of EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION:
Special message from Jose: "During the month of September, we began Sunday School for the adults of the congregation at Ontañon. During the month of October, we will begin activities (Saturday) for children and also a youth group. I ask for your prayers for all that is planned for this month of October, that it will be the will of God."
Jose has a passion for helping the poor and the hungry. Jose has associated himself with a group of Christian men who help provide food for widows and children's homes here in San Luis Potosi. The group is called: "Man does not live on bread alone...", Matthew 4:4
With Emanuel Mexico Mission's help, they will be opening a kitchen to provide hot meals to those that truly live without and have an organized means to give to the needy. Emanuel Mexico Mission is working hard to meet the needs of others. We are currently looking into a few sites for this kitchen / pantry to best meet this need.
The Ontañon Church of Christ continues to reach out to the inner city. In September, they began after school tutoring classes and the response has been great. Once again Sacrifice and Stewardship is at the forefront of all we do.
It's because of you we are able to reach out in new ways to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those in the inner city. Sacrifice and Stewardship; two words we have been honored to carry throughout our 27 + years of ministry in Mexico. Looking forward to year 28!
Thank you again for your love and support. You can stay up to date on our ministries by checking on our FACEBOOK pages:
EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION
IGLESIA CRISTIANA EN ONTAÑON
ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS
Recently I was told "There is a reason for every ending, becuase God has plans for a new beginning".
During our journey to San Luis Potosi on July 4, we had a serious car accident. We had just ended a wonderful 3 year ministry with Colegio Biblico. Three years of blessings, serving young men and women who have a passionate desire to learn from the Word of God and a motivation to preach the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. The 2004, vehicle we used for over 10 years was totaled, but God will provide for a better means of transportation, we are confident in that. We may have ended our ministry to help young men and women from Colegio Biblico, but we will continue to preach, teach and love those that God places in our path. Ontañon Church of Christ continues to work closely with the Bible College here in San Luis Potosi (Colegio Cristiano del Centro). Jose is working with students each week as they come to Ontañon to serve the church.
Later in July, we served at a church camp (July 22 - 26). An entire year of planning and preparation went into making that week a complete sucess. We saw lives changed, hearts surrendered to Christ and funds raised to help "Feed My Starving Children".
Like any activity, you anticipate and plan for, there is a closing. Camp ended, but new beginnings were made that week that will never be broken. The camp kids raised enough funds to feed 3 children for a year and had a matching gift from the Valley Christian Church - plus one. So 7 children in total are being fed for an entire year through the ministry of "Feed My Starving Children".
It had been two years since we were able to visit our daughter, Renae and her family in California. We took advantage of every second to make the most out of our 11 day visit in August. Precious memories fill our hears with time well spent with our grand daughter, Isabella, who is now 8 years old. We tearfully said good-bye at the Oakland, California, airport, but there will always be the next family visit and we know it will be just as if we never left.
God never closes a door without opening a new one. Coming back to the Ontañon church in August we experienced a new church plant as 48 members left to start a new church in the Balcones del Valle area of San Luis Potosi. It was a 2 year growth plan and it worked without any problems. Perfect unity and harmony as we said good-bye to 48 members of the church, but knew it was God's will and timing.
Jose continues to oversee the Ontañon ministry and we are proud to say that the average attendance for August at Ontañon was 24. Total seating capacity of Ontañon is 55. There never has been a Sunday with more than 60, but now God grew His church in these two locations to more than 72 in just one month.
Endings and beginnings, I'm glad for those opportunities to see and experience changes. What does the future hold for us? For sure endings at times, but always looking forward to the new beginnings God has in store for His servants.
Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded. And surely I am with you always , to the very end of the age."
Serving the Kingdom with you.
David and Sheri DeBolt