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MARCH 2019 - THREE IN ONE
Since I last wrote, we have been extremely busy restoring, rebuilding and remodeling the ministry facility of Emanuel Mexico Mission. In order to make it functional for the church and other ministries, many things needed to be replaced or restored. To date, all the plumbing is in order, except for one water heater which needs to be replaced. All electrical damages are repaired except for 2 areas to which I still can not figure out. Doors were repaired and locks replaced in various areas. Other areas still in need of repairs are nearly all the kitchen cupboards, a lot of painting in nearly every area of the facility and some mason work.
The church is growing, thanks to the new Sunday School rooms now available. No more adult S.S. class in the worship area. They have their own Sunday School Room and that class has grown from 4 to 15. The teens are loving their own Sunday School room apart from the adults as well as the new children's room.
The two rooms set aside for the food pantry are now up and running. Shelving and tables were cut and placed in this new ministry outreach area (Matthew 4:4).
Another room has been established as "Jesus Carpenter Shop". It`s just a simple but usefull area for needed repairs.
The five boys who call Emanuel Mexico Mission home, Pablo, Joni, Lupe, Cristian and William are taking on more responsibilities of different ministry areas. Setting up and tearing down for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday church activities in the mission are now a regular part of their routine. It gives them the satisfaction of seeing the ministry facility full of people and opportunities of service.
Each Monday, from 10 a.m. to noon, and 7 p.m. - 9 p.m., we have a Bible College level course (Reading Club) offered to all the churches in San Luis Potosi. Response has, again, been overwhelming and the conversation time is great. The first book they are using is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Attendance averages 20 for both classes.
Jose has set aside Tuesday evenings from 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., for home devotions for the 5 boys. Breaking old habits can be hard at times, but Jose is getting the boys to open up their Bibles and learning how to pray once again. Twelve books of the Bible in twelve months is the family challange for 2019.
Our Wednesdays are busy with opportunities for the Food Pantry and a Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Center we were asked to participate in. Jose and I both share the gospel every other Wednesday at the Center with the other Wednesday we receive, clean, pack and distribute the food in the Matthew 4:4 ministry. We call it our "Miercoles de Milagros" - "Wednesday Miracles". The 40 men at the rehab center love to sing and eagerly and earnestly study God's Word. The center is only 5 minutes from Emanuel Mexico Mission, so it works well with our schedule.
We converted the former children's Sunday School class into a new office for Jose. It is located in the back patio of the church. This gives him his own personal area to study and easy access to the ministry facility and the boys in the home.
As I stated in the title this is 3 letters in one. December, 2018, January 2019, and February 2019. We hope as you continue to read you will find some blessings today for your life.
We held our annual Bazaar for the Inner City Neighborhood of Ontañon on February 8 and 9 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and words by Jose to our neighbors, "We are here for you". On February 15 we held our first ever "Valentines - Marriage Banquet". Eighteen couples enjoyed an evening of inspiring Christian music, games, message on marriage and a delicious meal. All under the ministry leadership of the Ontañon Church of Christ and E.M.M. Jose did an outstanding job of organizing this new ministry outreach. As the evening was ending everyone was in agreement that we need to do this again. So much more has taken place in the last three months, but this is just a small preview on the ministry opportunities E.M.M. is doing with the support they have been blessed with.
Still needed to be repaired (in the shop since November, 2018) are the damages to the car. The transmission is now out of the car and the van needs its regular service, oil change and electrical damages repaired. Having a horn, is essential for driving in Mexico! The van has already taken several long trips to Guadalajara, Zacatecas and other area church activities. We traveled to Piedras Negras on March 1 - 4, to the Christian Convention and returned with the remainder of our household items that were stored at a local church in Piedras Negras.
As the church is growing, plans are to move the sanctuary to the large open patio in the near future. We will use the current church worship area for youth activities. They have youth meetings each Saturday from 5 - 7 p.m. I'm not much of a dry wall person, so anyone .with this talent is welcome to come help "build a church wall".
Other ministry needs are the educational and physical needs of the 5 boys. Two of them are working, one part time the other full time, that helps a little, but more is needed in this area. David had 2 emergency room visits, (November and December), which has caused extra medical bills left unpaid.
We received a visit from Family Services and the Health Department for their annual inspection in January. We requested at least 6 months to a year to allow us time to get the facility in working order. All the emergency lights, fire alarms and gas alarms are not functioning. The underground water tanks as well as the 3 large water tanks on the roof all need cleaned and filters changed. A major overhaul of all emergency fixtures needs to be updated and repaired. This takes money and time, I told the officials to which they agreed.
Other areas needing attention are the Internet and phone line. It will take time and extra funds to get the Internet hooked up. The line was disconnected and unpaid bills such as telephone and water were left for us to pay and have caused unnecessary costs to reconnect. The TV antenna has fallen and is damaged beyond normal repair. It's interesting as we get only one channel with a box antenna connected directly to the TV. The one channel is all "Turkish" shows from 3:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. and the Mexican national news at 10:30 p.m. Definitely a Multi Cultural experience!
Contact us on how you can get involved in the ministry opportunities of Emanuel Mexico Mission. More prayers and finances are needed, but we would also like to see visitors come to work hand in hand with us. Two summer groups are already on the calendar.
God bless those that support and pray for the ministry opportunities we have been given. In another letter I need to share about a "real Christmas Miracle", as two lost brothers found each other through Emanuel Mexico Mission at Christmas time 2018. Together we are making a difference in the Inner City Ministry needs of Emanuel Mexico Mission. It's a challenge, but we are reminded daily, "We live by faith not by sight".
In closing, we want to thank everyone who believes in the ministry work we are involved in "Emanuel Mexico Mission - God with us". Every goal and every ministry opportunity set by Jose and the ministry team of Emanuel Mexico Mission, has been received with open arms by the neighborhood of the Ontañon Church of Christ and especially the San Luis Potosi Churches of Christ.
We did it 3 letters in 1. A lot of information was shared, but just like when 3 in 1 oil is used things work better afterwards. We ask that you pray and give as the Lord directs your hearts.
David & Sheri DeBolt
Dear Valley Christian Church,
Thank you so much for your support of our ministry in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Our mission "Emanuel Mexico Mission" is expanding and reaching out to our community. Our church has two new classrooms. One is for adults with a computer and screen, which allows for our lesson to be presented in power point. The other classroom is for the youth. We are hoping to begin our food pantry this month as well.
We currently have 5 young men (boys) staying with us that are studying in the Jr. High, High School and University. We are calling this ministry our Campus House. These boys are helping with their own expenses, chores, etc. It is good for them to begin learning how to be responsable while still living under our roof.
Thank you for your offerings and prayers.
David and Sheri DeBolt
"ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND"
The words of this old hymn reminds us of who we believe in. "There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6 The scriptures remind us of who we believe in and who we are, but most importantly who we live for and serve.
Exactly half of my life has now been dedicated to Christian ministry. Has the latter half been more easy than the first? NO! There have been more challenges physically, emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes we are put in positions of leadership to defend the faith we believe in and defend the reasons we answered the call to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Along the way, some have abandoned us, some have questioned our ways. I'm reminded that even the closest of Jesus's followers denied and abandoned Him. Those verses from Ephesians 4 remind us of our Christian heritage and Christian doctrine. We are placed here to share the Church of Christ doctrine only and defend our beliefs in Jesus Christ.
We were, "created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:24 In the NIV Thompson Chain Reference Bible there is a heading beside these verses. "Lessons in Christ School". Teaching, Christ, the Truth. As many have said the best school is called "Life". I call it "Living for Jesus".
As this year is coming to a close we look back on the many challenges that faced us. Here we are close to entering a new year with our faith stronger than ever, our convictions to serve the Church of Christ stronger than ever and ready for new opportunities to boldly say "ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND." I believe in Jesus Christ, I proudly can say I am "Christian only and I live for and serve the Church of Christ." "I'm a Christian" no matter the circumstances, are you?
NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN 2019:
A. The Iglesia de Cristo (Church of Christ) is growing once again. They will be given the opportunity to have more space for more outreach such as graded Sunday School space for both the children, teens and adults.
B. We will take on more Mission responsabilities and outreach to the inner city as well as Mexico as more funds become available. Plans are to help young adults in need of a home while they study. Much like a Christian campus house.
C. The Food Pantry is ready to serve orphans, widows, the San Luis Potosi Bible College and who ever else is in need.
D. Not only a Food Pantry will be available, but a place for clothes and other articles for the Inner City people.
E. Inner City VBS, outreach and camps both in the north and south are already on the 2019 calendar.
F. Raise more personal support for Jose who is the minister of the Ontañon Church. One church has already adopted Jose and is supporting him with a monthly gift.
These are just a few of the ministries that Emanuel Mexico Mission will be involved in. Are the funds available for all this and more? It depends on our Faith in God and your trust in us. We are one in Jesus Christ! Thank you for praying, giving and believing in us.
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
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
My story began many, many years ago in a small town church in Indiana. Two people in particular impressed me the most growing up in that church. Who were they? The church janitors. Yes, the church janitors. Their names were Lloyd and Mary. The thing I remember the most about them was the joy they put into cleaning the church and preparing the communion each week. Pure joy! Pure dedication! Pure servants! You see, their story changed my story! Lloyd invited my parents to church way back in the early 50's and the rest is history as they say!
Today nearly 62 years later I'm the janitor in a small inner city church in central Mexico, and I love what I do. Simply cleaning God's house and preparing the communion. July 16 was a special day for me as I was able to walk the neighborhood surrounding the Ontañon church. Since our auto accident on July 4, it has been difficult to stand for long periods of time. Today was a good day. I talked to our French neighbor; talked to the parents of Max and Diego, who own the alarm shop; talked to the neighborhood carpenter and the small neighborhood store clerk just around the corner; and the lady at the bakery; and many others. What was my conversation about with each one? The church!
Conversation as Christians is and should always be about the church. The opportunities it provides to others, the changes it can bring to your life and many others. Our little mission church is the only Christian Church in San Luis Potosi that serves the inner city. Our new preacher, Jose, a recent Bible College graduate, grew up living, eating, sleeping and surviving on the inner city streets of this town. Who knows better than him the needs of our neighborhood? Beginning on August 5, there will be new service times, new format, new look and much more.
Jose has such a story of how God protected him and rescued him. His passion and his story will change lives. On August 19, Jose has planned a "Back to School" service at the church for the inner city children. His message for them, "be different than everyone else" as they return to classes on Monday, August 20. There will be a sack lunch and an apple for their teachers. Note books and other school supplies will be passed out to help each child as they begin a new school year. On September 16, the church will provide activities and a meal for the neighborhood as they celebrate their Mexican Independence Day. These are just a few of the opportunities Jose has planned for the neighborhood.
There will also be home Bible Studies, Wednesday Prayer Service, Music Classes (Guitar and Cajon) and Leadership Classes for those wanting to serve the church and its people. Pray for Jose and the Ontañon Church of Christ as they share their story about His story! Jose's first series of sermons will be about God's grace and the salvation it brings to our lives.
Well, as for me, I'm happy to be the church janitor, after 27+ years as a missionary. Doesn't sound too glamorous, but that's ok. I learned from good people back at that small town church on how to be humble and serve. Their story changed my story and I'm glad it did. If you really want to serve your church, volunteer to be the janitor! I guarantee you will love serving the Lord in this manner. I'll also lead the Wednesday night service and prepare the church for new mission opportunities throughout Mexico.
Thank you for supporting our mission work and don't forget to check us out on our Facebook pages:
David and Sheri DeBolt
EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION
IGLESIA CRISTIANA EN ONTAÑON
Matthew 28:19 "Go and make disciples..."
MEETING THE NEEDS OF OTHERS
As Christians, we are asked to give up our lives in order to find them. As missionaries, we so much enjoy the time spent with family (parents, children and grandchildren). We did just that from May 23 to June 18. Each time we leave it feels just like the first time we left in 1991. It's extremely difficult, but we know we were called to meet the needs of others in another country and in order to do that we were called to leave.
Upon our return on June 18, we once again find ourselves taking pictures off the walls, packing boxes and preparing to leave a house we called home for the last 3 years. We continue to answer God's call, His call to leave and to meet the needs of others.
Beginning on August 12, we will return to San Luis Potosi and continue our ministry from there. In the meantime we have work to do: preach, teach and disciple those around us in churches and camps this summer.
The Ontañon Church of Christ has asked us to return and be their missions outreach minister. During our first 24 years there, we traveled through Mexico helping establish churches, encourage, preach and teach leaders. We will mentor the new leaders of the Ontañon church and help provide opportunities for them to grow and become the mature leaders that the church needs today.
Equipping Christian leaders, one life at a time and meeting the needs of others has been our mission for the past 27 years. We are more than blessed and feel very fortunate to serve as God's Ambassadors to Mexico and serve in this new role.
For the last three years we helped prepare servant leaders for the church. In our new role, we will continue to prepare servant leaders for the church, but now have the opportunity to prepare more Christian leaders for the church, in the marketplace and beyond.
Matthew 28:19 - 20 "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 you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Jesus said, Go! Which means to leave the place you call home.
Make Disciples! Means to preach, teach and mentor those that have the desire to serve.
That's our work, that's our mission. That's our goal of "Meeting the Needs of Others" where God leads us and guides us. In other words, we are headed back to the battle field, to help bring the light and life of Jesus Christ to those in need.
Jose is joining the Emanuel Mexico Mission team. In the coming months you will begin to hear monthly reports of his work, as the lead minister of the Ontañon Church of Christ. He will be concentrating his focus to the Inner City Ministry needs that are desperately needed there.
Thank you for sharing with us, praying for us and being our encouragers.
God bless each and everyone of you.
David & Sheri DeBolt