MEETING THE NEEDS OF OTHERS (PART 4)
This year we celebrate a Golden Anniversary of ministry (1972 - 2022).
Following are a few opportunities we have had over the years.
One of our largest and most memorable groups of visitors came to us from Morris, Illinois - Morris Christian Church. Nate (then youth minister at Morris Christian Church) and I (David) began planning in 1995 for their summer 1997 visit. Their main objective would be to help construct 16 church benches. This was way before Home Depot came to town and quality wood was hard to come by.
We worked with a local carpenter who bought all the wood planks. He planed them and then stacked them in his shop for over a year and half to dry properly. As the summer of 1997 was approaching our neighborhood carpenter cut all the necessary pieces for each bench. For an entire week we had an assembly line church bench factory. No screws or nails were needed as all the lumber was cut to fit perfectly with wood dowels and tongue and groove cuts. As the benches moved along they were assembled, sanded, stained and varnished. Proud to say that the benches are used to this day and have kept together perfectly. Thanks, Morris for a job well done and making an eternal investment in the lives of those who attend the Ontañon Church of Christ.
Vacation Bible School is another highlight we will mention. The facility has held some remarkable short term mission groups to help oversee this ministry outreach to the inner city children. One, now grandfather, has mentioned to us several times how as a child he still holds dear his first ever VBS craft from 1992 and has watched his children encounter that same experience of meeting Jesus for the first time.
It has not always been easy. We have had to overcome being robbed several times, beaten more than once, spit on, called some pretty ugly names, taken to court for simply preaching the gospel, doors slammed in our faces when evangelizing, we had to hide Bibles to get them into the country in those early years, even had to meet as a group of believers behind closed doors, all because we were called Christians. Through it all the ministry grew stronger.
We've met the needs of homeless people in need at mid-night to see they had blankets and food in the winter time. One such lady we met during our "Daily Bread" time when we went with groups to pass out sandwiches and a drink: Her response was a simple "God bless you. How did you know I was hungry?" That was payment enough!
In our neighborhood there is a lot of gang related graffiti on the walls of businesses, homes and abandoned buildings. They say if your home, in our case the church and mission building, have no graffiti on them is because the gangs respect you. For 50 years, no graffiti has ever been on our walls.
Once Sheri was walking back from the open market with some strawberries she had purchased. One gang boy nicknamed the (ardillo) squirrel tried to rob her of her goodies. She said "You will absolutely not do that to me". In shock, seeing a little white woman saying that, the young boy soon became a friend to Sheri and came by the mission often just to talk to her and he did receive a piece of fresh strawberry pie later.
This same young boy told me where I could find the church sign that was stolen from the front of the building. Of course I knew by the way the squirrel was acting he had done it as he said he could steal it back from those who had taken it and return it for just a few pesos for his work. My reply was just bring it back and I would buy some of those bracelets that he made by weaving silk threads together. A friendship was made and a trust that lasted for many years.
When Jorge passed away on February 23, 2001, all our church friends were there to help comfort us, but the entire neighborhood from all around came out. All of our neighbors and special gang related friends made by our relationships of trust and love. Hundreds of people touched by VBS, food, clothes bazaars, hospital visits, water during drought times, even prison visits. They were there when we needed a friend to lean on.
Emanuel Mexico Mission is all about meeting the needs of others. For fifty years we have faithfully done our part in sharing the gospel in a number of ways. When we were most in need, we saw first hand how serving others can come back to you in the most unexpected ways and by the most unexpected people. All because you share Jesus with everyone you meet even if they try to steal your strawberries.
Next month we will continue to share our 50 years of history. We will talk about education needs being met, mariachi bands, hymn books and more interesting facts. In the meantime, rest assured that your gifts and prayers continue to meet the needs of others in the inner city of San Luis Potosi.
Jose, David and Sheri
This year we celebrate a Golden Anniversary of ministry (1972 - 2022)
Following are a few opportunities we have had over the years.
Many don´t realize that the ministry actually began in a tiny village town called, San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, now a popular tourist town and retirement village. It then moved to Salines de Hidalgo in the state of San Luis Potosi, then to the missionary children´s home, farm ministry of former missionaries Ted and Wanda Murray. There they lived in the former horse barns converted into a children´s home to care for the many children now in it´s care. Finally in 1977, they began renting a run down one story home in the inner city of San Luis Potosi and later purchased that same property with a major remodel of the current site in 1987.
All during those first years it cared for orphaned and handicapped children and was fundamental in working with the Murray´s and other missionaries in the area to establish the Bible College (Colegio Cristiano del Centro) in 1974. Since the ministry was located in the inner city it soon began providing activities for the neighborhood. Inside the mission it held a children´s home, handicapped ministry, day care and after school care for children. They started 3 churches inside the ministry and one outside the city limits from 1977 to 1991.
In 1992, the Ontañon Church of Christ was established inside the children´s home with one promise to the families in the neighborhood that it would not move outside of the area. We have had the opportunity to build and establish churches in the states of Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Coahuila, and San Luis Potosi all the while caring for hundreds of children.
Do missionaries take mission trips? The answer is yes and we have taken many of them over the years inside the country of Mexico. One such trip was for 2 weeks with 15 boys camping out on the ground. Our snacks were from mango trees, and banana trees throughout the trip. We visited a family camp where the boys sang and enjoyed the wide open air classes and cooking. From there we visited other villages where we sang and preached along the way. On another trip Jose and I traveled deep into the forests of Oaxaca, to a tiny village only accessible by vehicles with 4 wheel drive. The village was called Las Flores or some called it Las Maravillas. After hours of traveling the rough, rocky and slippery trails we entered into a paradise of fruit and vegetables grown by all the area farmers and villagers. Grapefruit the size of a soccer ball and mangos were in abundance as well avacados. We arrived with Bibles in hand, toys and a message. The little village seemed deserted but soon we found a little boy who said he would ring the village bell for everyone to come in from working in the fields of coffee and bananas. Just like that in the middle of the day they all put down their hoes and shovels and we had a church full of children and adults. Everyone sang with so much joy and truly worshipped and listened to the Word being preached. These humble and happy people were like no others we had ever met.
Since its beginning, the ministry has had only two directors, 1972 to 1991 and 1991 to present. Two forwarding agents with the same dates all to which can be accredited to the ministry´s success for the Kingdom. Jose is our first full time Field director (2018 to present).
An interesting event happened in 1999, when we began to accept inner city street boys into the home. Jose, our now field director, came to us at the age of 10 from living alone in the streets from ages 6 to 10. He showed us where he was living alone in the main downtown park and soon we opened up a soup kitchen for dozens of homeless children in that area. Food and clothes were their first need but soon we found ourselves helping drug addicts, prostitutes, and homeless children with the gospel. Sheri would sit on the sidewalk with a Catholic Bible and her Bible and simply share the gospel message. They were fascinated that two Americans would take the time to sit with them, feed them, hug them and even pray with them. They adopted us as Mama Gringa and Papa Gringo. After weeks of meeting their physical needs we began a Sunday afternoon service right there in the downtown slum area of the city. The response was overwhelming from the children and adults in this area of the city. The kids just loved singing and were preparing a Christmas drama when the police came and did a raid of the area, they tore down everything and closed our door to the kitchen. They put several of the children that they could catch in jail and took our visas with strict orders to never open up the ministry kitchen again. We never told many about our visas and the restriction that was written on them. It clearly stated we were not allowed to perform religious work or be ministers in a church. Crazy as that seems we had our soup kitchen just a half block away from the main police headquarters in the city. The police didn´t like the fact the kids were getting cleaned up, reuniting with their families but mostly because the police were known to use the kids to traffic drugs and prostitution. This was our 2nd confrontation with the law over our visas for doing religious work during our first 20 years in Mexico. The first time we were under house arrest close to a year until we received our visas back with the main Immigration director telling us, "we need more people like you helping us but if you do more religious work like this again just do it more quietly please".
Trying times, but many street children were reunited with their families. Sam Stone, then the editor of the Christian Standard, wrote us "If you saved just one child your time and efforts were worth it". That one was Jose our little miracle boy who lived under a bridge and became a Christian at the age of 12. He learned to play the guitar, loved to sing in church, graduated from Bible College and now is our minister of the Ontañon congregation and field director for E.M.M. That alone is a miracle worth remembering. What better person to lead the ministry into the future than Jose. He has said many times if he hadn´t been accepted into the home at that time he would not be alive today.
He confessed at an early age he consumed drugs to stop the hunger pains, slept with dogs to keep warm in the winter under the bridge, stole and begged for his daily bread. February 4, 1999, is a day Jose says he found more than a home he found a family and Jesus Christ. Jose had the reputation and still tells the story of being the absolute dirtiest child we ever received.
Fifty years of building, establishing, teaching, preaching, providing, sharing, feeding, saving and loving the most unwanted and forgotten of Mexico. Providing for children who were abandoned, abused and neglected to preaching and establishing churches in remote areas. Jesus was there with us all the time, Emanuel, God with us!
The story will continue next month as we remember where we came from in order to better share the future ministry of E.M.M.
Thank you for listening to a missionary tell a story of how God has worked miracles for over 50 years.
Jose Manuel Gonzalez
Field Director of E.M.M.
David and Sheri DeBolt
Directors of E.M.M.
All gifts are tax dedutable.
Donations can be made out to:
Emanuel Mexico Mission
2950 E. - 350 N.
Bluffton, IN 46770
MEETING THE NEED OF OTHERS - PART 2
This year we celebrate a Golden Anniversary of Ministry (1972 - 2022).
Following are a few opportunities we have had over the years.
We have housed and hosted over 2,000 visitors. Most were Americans, but we have also housed people from Mexico, Korea, Japan, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Honduras, who enjoyed the comforts of our home. There have been groups as large as 50, and as small as a Dad, Mom and children. We had visitors who endured 911 with us. We have had Christmas, Easter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Break groups. We have had High School, Bible College and University campus groups. We've helped Bible College students do their mission internships with us. We hosted a group of Grandmas all over 80 years young.
The mission itself has taken mission trips to help families in need. There we planted corn and beans on a hillside and covered ourselves with banana leaves when it rained. We´ve walked miles to evangelize in places very few have ever seen. The mission has provided countless VBS programs, camps, church dramas, puppet shows and church choirs. The mission provides each Easter season a special sunrise service and endless amounts of Church dinners that last all day.
The mission housed over 100 when we were twice in charge of the Mexico National Christian Convention food service. Over 1,000 meals were made each day in our 3 kitchens. We have held church leadership seminars, wedding receptions and funerals in the mission. We have held weekend youth retreats with the most in attendance of 160, from a 3 state youth conference. Housing, meals and worship were all provided by the Ontañon Church of Christ and the ministry of Emanuel Mexico Mission. Our centrally located ministry is home to all the area Christian Churches for prayer services, planning committees, youth events and Bible Studies.
The mission has found us in the streets passing out food and blankets to the homeless, providing shelter to homeless children, attending a homeless shelter's Christmas Eve meal to give a simple plate of food for a smile in return. We have taught for over 20 years at a nearby Bible College. No pay, no travel expense for our work, but a deep satisfaction to see young people hungry for the Word, as they in return will go into all the world.
The mission has buried one of its own and to grieve with many who have lost loved ones. Church families, homeless families, desert families, mountain families, inner city families all have received the loving message that Jesus is their eternal hope.
We have driven far, broken down many times on the highways, been given a meal and shelter when we most needed it. God has led us to mechanics in the mountains and in the desert and even to the inner cities. Emanuel - God with us, through every moment and every situation. The mission vehicles have done their share of service. Major repairs included: motors, clutches, shocks, tires, batteries, brakes, electrical systems and many front end repairs due to the streets and roads of Mexico.
We have worked together with other missionaries, churches, children's homes in the area to simply meet together, to love, to sing, to laugh, to cry, to pray and to encourage one another.
Proud to say in the past 31 years we have fully paid for 2 vans and 3 cars, all due to generous and loving supporters. We never took out loans or incurred any debts Bought the church property debt free beside the mission and most recently did a complete remodel of the open patio of the mission, all done by a generous church offering.
Fifty years of ministry, fifty years of triumphs, fifty years of obstacles, large and small, but in the end we can say with confidence, Emanuel.
Meeting the needs of others is not about what we will receive in return. It is about giving all you have and more at times. It is about a grateful heart. Fifty years of meeting the needs of children, youth, adults and families in the inner city and so many other places near and far from home. From our last update we have received enough to purchase the much needed Bibles the ministry needs and Jose was able to help lead a 3 day weekend retreat of 130 youth as their worship leader. Currently the van is back at the mechanic shop for more clutch and brake repairs due to the mountain trip taken last month to Oaxaca.
Our Golden Anniversary story will continue all year. With your help we will continue meeting the needs of others.
Jose Manuel Gonzalez
Field Director of E.M.M.
Barrio: San Miguelito
San Luis Potosi, S.L.P.
David and Sheri DeBolt
Directors of E.M.M.
6389 S. 500 E.
Markle, IN 46700
All gifts are tax deductible.
Donations can be made out to:
EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION
2950 E. - 350 N.
Bluffton, IN 46714
We invite you to join us at The Open Door’s
13th Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser!!
Community is at the heart of Empty Bowls. After a few difficult pandemic years, The Open Door is excited to bring this event back to Dakota County with new energy and a new location!
For a suggested $30 donation ($15 for kids), guests enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread and leave with a hand-crafted empty bowl as a reminder of those who are hungry in our community.
Get Tickets Now!
We’re hoping to re-energize this event with fun for the whole family in 2022! Join us for games, entertainment and great food.
The Empty Bowls Fundraiser is critical to The Open Door's hunger relief efforts. Your support will help bring fresh and healthy food to thousands in Dakota County.
PRAY THROUGH THE MONTH FOR MARC
1st Donors to MARC
Thank the Lord for the many generous donors that make the ministry of MARC possible. Thank Him for the generous gifts received towards the purchase of a new Cessna Caravan aircraft. Pray for additional funds to come in to offset the rising fuel costs affecting the ministry flying.
2nd Tom & Nancy Armstrong (Pre-Field Staff)
Pray for Tom and Nancy as they complete their fund raising process in preparation of serving full time with MARC. Pray for their preparation and journey north to Alaska.
3rd Peter & Sara Bastke (Director)
Praise the Lord for a good start of the year with many ministry opportunities for MARC and their family. Peter has been able to represent the ministry on several trips to the Lower 48 this year. Please pray for Peter as he leads the team at MARC. Pray for Sara as she homeschools and helps with office tasks at the hangar. Pray that their boys would grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and be tethered to Him.
4th Kyle & Ellen Braband (Flight Instructor)
They are thankful for the opportunities to minister in rural Alaska this winter. Please pray for doors to continue to open in villages across the state. They also praise the Lord for His faithfulness as they celebrated their tenth anniversary in November of moving to Alaska to serve with MARC. Pray that they would continue steadfastly in the work He has called them to.
5th New MARC Staff
Thank the LORD for many staff that faithfully serve at MARC. Pray for additional aviation and administrative staff to join the team to meet expanding ministry opportunities.
6th Brian & Elizabeth Bruxvoort (Chief Pilot)
Pray for excellence, clarity, and organization for Brian in his work responsibilities. Pray for continued health, strength, faithfulness, wisdom, and God’s perspective to do their work according to His will. Pray that they and their children will press on to know the Lord, serve God joyfully, and submit to Him. Pray for good preparations made for summer camp flying, and that many children will come to know the Lord, and that others will be strengthened in their faith.
7th Mickey & Ellen Duyck (Operations Manager)
Please continue to pray for the adoption process and patience for the slow pace. Please pray for Ellen as her employer is prepping to be sold. Pray for peace for her and for what God has in store for her next. Continue to pray for Mickey as he balances work, school, and family commitments. Please pray for wisdom and good decision-making for the boys regarding school and choice of friends.
8th Brian & Debbie Ford (Mechanic)
Pray for them as they live and serve in Soldotna/Kenai and as they are involved in church, schools, and the community. Pray that they can be an encouragement to other believers, missionaries, those in rural Alaska, and a light to their friends and neighbors who may be far from God. Praise for Debbie’s mother, her scans have continued to be clear and show no evidence of recurrence of cancer cells.
9th MARC fleet renewal
Recently MARC received a substantial donation to assist with the purchase of a new Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft. Please pray for the remaining funds to come in so the right versatile airplane can meet the increasing needs of the remote missionary communities.
10th Kevin & Brenda Fuqua (Finance Manager)
They would like to ask prayer for their family. Please also pray for continued guidance as to Kevin’s work and their location.
11th Jesse & Becky Glosser (IT Manager)
Please pray for their upcoming furlough this summer. Pray that God would provide for their journey across the country. Pray that they would humbly represent MARC’s mission and their calling. Pray that the Lord will supply their needs for the next three years of service at MARC.
12th Collier & Allyson Hard (Facility Manager)
Pray for the safe delivery of baby boy Lyle at the end of March and for the Lord to provide the right home for them to buy.
Please pray for the rural churches and believers that have struggled this past year with low attendance and spiritual apathy. Pray for encouragement for the pastors and missionaries. Pray for growth and revival in Alaskan villages.
14th Fred & Lydia Holcomb (Flight Instructor)
Pray for the Holcomb family for the salvation and spiritual growth of their children. Pray for working with the local church and working with people in the addiction recovery community.
15th Titus & Hannah Mease (Mechanic)
Pray that they would have wisdom with Jael’s schooling, and that they would be effective in their ministry at MARC and their church.
16th MARC Maintenance
MARC was recently able to assist a ministry in Brazil with the acquisition of an amphibian Cessna 206. After a week of maintenance and inspections, one of our pilots helped fly it from Alaska to Michigan where it will receive some modifications. We are grateful that our ministry maintenance services have extended far beyond the borders of Alaska.
17th Joel & Sarah Oyoumick (Flight Scheduler)
Pray for continued wisdom in parenting and balancing ministry, family, and community activities. They are thankful for more open doors to rural Alaska. Please pray for safety in flying and maintenance as the spring and summer season approaches. Praise Him for His faithfulness and how He proves over and over that He is enough.
18th Kylor & Tabitha Schultz (Parts Manager)
Please pray that they could get Hudson's allergies figured out. The poor sleep and all the extra cooking has Tabitha pretty worn out. They are looking into adopting. Please pray for direction as they try to finalize decisions. Please pray for the longer spring flights Kylor has coming up.
19th MARC Flight School
Pray for the students that come to MARC to receive flight training. Many are not Christ followers. Pray that the conversations and interactions with our missionary pilots will lead them to a relationship with God.
20th Paul & Cindy Scoskie (Flight Instructor)
Paul and Cindy are completing their first year in Alaska. Pray for Paul as he flight instructs and interacts with the local aviation community. Pray for Cindy as she serves as a nurse at the local hospital.
21st Derek & Hannah Steward (Mechanic)
Pray for their upcoming furlough this summer as they make plans to meet with their ministry partners. Pray for wisdom parenting their wonderful kids.
22nd Aaron & Maila Stocks (Flight Instructor)
Praise God for His provision of a pickup truck when the engine on theirs unexpectedly seized. Pray for wisdom as they steward all the resources and time God has entrusted to them. Pray for encouragement for believers in the villages.
23rd Missionaries serving in remote villages
We are grateful for the pastors and missionaries who serve faithfully in remote communities. Recently MARC began assisting a ministry couple that moved to the village of Marshall. Please pray for encouragement, health, and ministry success.
24th Dwight & Kristen Wenger (Flight Instructor)
Praise the Lord for the safe arrival of Trent, baby boy #6, on February 23rd. Pray for grace and wisdom as they raise their boys for the Lord. Pray for wisdom to use their time wisely and to point others to the Savior.
Praise the Lord for the many volunteers who are scheduled to come this year and help the ministry with various facility projects.
26th Chris & Denise Williamson (Mechanic)
Praise for the new opportunities to be involved in their new church family. Pray for Hannah as she finishes her senior year. Pray for her as she makes decisions about her next steps in life. Pray as they start searching for a house to buy, that God will direct them to the right one.
27th MARC board
Thank the Lord for the people that serve faithfully on the MARC Board. Pray for wisdom as they make decisions to increase the effectiveness and longevity of this ministry.
28th Bryan & Diane Wilson (Development Manager)
Please pray that Bryan can complete the maintenance work on the C210 plane in Arizona soon. He is grateful for Derek’s help recently. Pray for Bryan as he works at MARC this summer doing development work and flying. Pray for Diane as she serves at a local Bible camp. Please pray that Toby can get a job in AK this summer. Diane and Charis plan to make a quick trip to England before coming to AK this summer.
29th Kids to Camp
Please pray for the kids that MARC will fly to camp this summer. Pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts to receive His Truth.
30th David & Olivia Wolf (Pilot, Flight Follower)
Pray for the Wolfs as they return to Alaska for their ninth summer of partnering with MARC. Pray for David as he flies and assists with flight following duties. Pray for Olivia as she is involved in many local ministry opportunities.
31st Ministry Flights
Thank the Lord for a busy start to the year with an increasing number of ministry trips. Pray for safety for the flight crew as they deal with various weather conditions.
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING WITH US
HopeKids' events focus on the whole family because siblings of children who have a life-threatening medical condition can be unintentionally overlooked due to the attention needed to care for a child with unique needs. In fact, studies show 80% of siblings have elevated levels of post-traumatic stress, which makes including them in events all the more crucial. Take a minute to look at the spring HopeNotes magazine to learn about HopeKids through the perspective of artwork created by siblings, and read about our long-time partnership with the Colten Cowell Foundation.
Thank you for providing opportunities for families to spend time together and helping siblings to feel special. Your support of HopeKids continues to further the mission to provide hope--and hope is a powerful medicine!
Brian Anderson, Executive Director