First of all we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2020. We pray that you will enjoy the celebrations as we all remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
When schools closed, we had a graduation for the nine day care children who will go to big-school next year. We also celebrated Christmas with the Magog Senior Citizens’ Club. We had a delicious meal catered by local ladies who gave our members (who usually cook for our regular meetings) a well-deserved break! We drew names and exchanged gifts and had a most enjoyable day! Now the Seniors and the day care center are in recess until mid-January.
Our family will be celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve with all 16 of us plus a couple of extras. Then on Christmas Day we will attend church and then gather with all of our family who are not involved with other family gatherings plus some extras who don’t have family nearby!
We were very pleased that two of the young people from Umzumbe Church of Christ were able to attend the first National Youth Convention right after the schools closed for the December holidays. The plan is for this Convention to be held each year in December in various places throughout the country to provide teaching and fellowship for young adults of high school and post-high school age.
Our weather has been very unusual this year. It is the rainy season here, but we had even more than usual rain plus wind. This resulted in severely damaged roads, branches blowing down and a damaged roof at Umzumbe Bible Institute. In addition we have had some unseasonably cool weather so we have to keep sweaters or jackets close at hand. Over the past few days it has warmed up quite a lot, but the wind has continued.
We will be thinking of you and praying for you as you celebrate Christmas and we would ask you to pray for us as well.
JOURNEY OF FAITH
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 And what does Immanuel mean? "God with us." Those three words, "God with us", should fill our lives and hearts so that we are confident in our relationship with God. We lack nothing. This is the true meaning of Christmas."
The commercial side of Christmas is filled with "all I want for Christmas is..." The van needs new tires, van needs electrical work done, the car needs a new windshield; the baptistery in the church is leaking and needs repaired, insurances need paid (auto, health and house), educational needs for the boys, TV's need replaced for the church and the home, kitchen needs a lot of remodeling, pantry needs filled, roof needs repaired, water tanks need cleaned, need Internet connection, and the list could go on and on.
What God has done in the past 11 months here at the mission has been an exciting journey, a miracle in the making. Jose said it has been a "Journey of Faith". Faith is the greatest gift given to us when we truly believe that God will meet all our needs. God sent His Son to be with us, live in us and work through us.
Here at Emanuel Mexico Mission lives are being changed.
1. Counseling Center is not only helping people with their problems, but bringing them to Christ. There were 3 baptisms in the month of November.
2. The Leadership Workshops are bringing church leaders together and equipping them with the tools to better serve the church.
3. The boys that live at the mission are making a difference in the lives they are touching outside their home. Example: Pablo is studying to be a grade school teacher. In the morning he is at the University to study and in the afternoons working with children. He is a light for Jesus.
4. We have fed the poor and needy through the food pantry, Matthew 4:4.
5. Not only visited the drug rehab center, but taught them that God is the answer to their problems.
6. Sunday school classes, church services, Bible studies and more fill the rooms of the mission each week with people who desire to know more about Jesus.
7. Jose was the worship leader for a 20's and up retreat in November and continues to work with church leaders in other states here in Mexico.
The list is long of things God is accomplishing here at the mission. How? "Because it is not about us, it's all about God" It's about our "Journey of Faith".
God took a homeless little 10 year old boy who lived in the streets, begged for food, slept with dogs under a bridge to keep warm, took drugs to numb the hunger pains at night, who had no clean clothes or shoes to change into each day, who even stole to meet his daily needs and transformed him into a man of God. How many of us could have survived like that at only 10 years of age?
Today over 20 years later our little boy (Jose) who survived all that is boldly preaching the Gospel, sings praises to his Heavenly Father, proudly teaches Bible studies and so much more. He carries no bitterness, harbors no ill for those who abandoned him and even gives nearly all he has to those in need. I wrote that Jose said this past year has been a "Journey of Faith". Sometimes when you have nearly nothing you can see just how blessed you are.
Recently he was confronted by those who abandoned him at age 6, abused him over and over again severely and physically hurt him - his real family. Yes, 25 years later. His older sister said, "If you are a Christian, I want nothing to do with you." His response, "I'm praying for you." His Uncle who beat him repeatedly with 2X4's which led him to the streets lay dying in the hospital, Jose paid for the medicines he needed to recuperate. He literally gave all he had. Jose's income is only $50 dollars a week and and he had saved $210.00 dollars ($4,00000 pesos). His real Mother who abandoned him at age 6, now 25 years later, they met for the first time, Jose simply said to his Mother, "I'm praying for you, I hold nothing against you." That is Jose's "Journey of Faith".
What do we need for Christmas? To truly believe that "God is with us". Our "Journey of Faith", where will it lead us this next year? We don't know, but just knowing that God is with us, we have all we need to confront every situation we may encounter. May God fill your home with all the love of family and friends this Christmas season.
God bless and have a very Merry Christmas.
We have had a very busy, successful, and exciting summer and fall! We were blessed by 22 volunteers who came to help with various projects at MARC and the mission house. The first group arrived in June and the last left at the end of October.
The work that was com-pleted include: Blue hang-ar- a new bathroom and built in closet. Gold hang-ar- updated bathroom, renovated office for the director, and a new toy/play room for the kids. MARC Mission House- new lighting, trim, doors, faucet, and painted walls.
These volunteers really put in the time and effort to do great work and bless this minis-try. Collier enjoyed working along side people he knew and people he met for the first time. He was so grateful for the extra hands that helped!
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Mark your calendars for our annual open house on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 19, 2020, from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Tour the center, meet staff and board members, and enjoy a free lunch. No RSVP necessary.
Our Bottles for Life campaign will be in full swing after the first of the year. Call or email Michele to schedule your church. For more details click here.
With the end of the year approaching would you consider giving Amnion an extra donation to help us finish the year strong? Click here to donate.
We are so grateful for your support of this ministry!
Sincerely in Christ,