INNER CITY MISSION
Before we got to the mission, we were told to take off our watches, put our billfolds in our front pockets and go straight inside. As we walked from the van to the place that was to receive us you could see drugs being passed, prostitution, poverty, homelessness and more. No one bothered us outside and when we entered into the INNER CITY MISSION, we were received with smiles, hugs and a great big welcome from some of the very same people who were outside. Where was this? Harlem, New York. I'll never forget that trip to New York City. In the morning we were in Queens, then the Bronx, then Harlem and then in the evening to a mission house in upper Manhattan near Central Park. Back to Harlem. What I remember most was not the drugs and poverty, but people. Beautiful people who desperately needed the love of Jesus and the INNER CITY MISSION in Harlem was providing just that. They were following the rules of Matthew 25:35-36.
Here in the inner city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, things are just about identical to Harlem. Drugs, poverty, etc., are all around us, but there is a mission in the middle of all that and it is called EMANUEL (God With Us) MEXICO MISSION. A couple was visiting once from the states and one made several comments about how dirty, un orderly and just plain ugly the neighborhood looked. It was and still is. There are people living under the tin roofs; dogs and chickens cover the roofs in the inner city. In the evenings you can smell marijuana coming from the back lot. But, the other one had a different view of the neighborhood. "Look at that beautiful tree over there in the middle of the neighbor's patio." "Look at the gorgeous sunrise and sunset that comes and goes over the city each day."
At EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION, we receive everyone that comes to us with a need. When someone needs a plate of food, when someone asks for a bucket of water, when someone is in need physically, we do everything in our power to help them, even at times when funds run short. We are just simply following the rules of Matthew 25:35-36.
Today (June 3, 2020) an Ontañon Church family came seeking a few days of refuge (shelter) until they can find a new apartment. A man came to their door a few nights before with a gun demanding they hand over a certain individual to them. The cartel is alive and active in the barrio (neighborhood). It scared them enough to leave their apartment. INNER CITY MISSION work is not for everyone or not many see the need. But what did Jesus have for these kind of people? (Matthew 9:3) "He had compassion" for them.
I've been invited into prisons, city jails, detention centers, drug rehab houses and even crack (drug) houses. A prostitute named Reyes, begged me to help her grandchildren, Carlos and Leo, get an education so they would not follow in the footsteps of her and others in the family. Today Carlos is a college graduate and a licensed electrician and Leo also got his full education.
Were we afraid to enter into the crack houses? No, because we were invited in to tell them about Jesus. Former editor of the Christian Standard, Sam Stone, wrote me once and said, "If you save just one, your mission work will be a complete success". Little did Sam and his wife, Gwen, know they were praying for and supporting a mission that would save a little street boy, who is now preaching God's Word at the INNER CITY MISSION called EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION.
God is doing a wonderful and unbelievable ministry in the inner city here in San Luis Potosi. For many we are the Scriptures, we are the Living Word of God, we are the Hands, Feet, Mouth and Compassion of Jesus. With your support and prayers we are reaching inner city children, teens and families with the message that their lives matter to Jesus.
A COOK AND A CARPENTER
This month I want to share with you about the mission work of a cook and a carpenter. We read in the Bible (John 21:9) that Jesus had prepared breakfast for his disciples. I like to call that the "Great Fish Fry". We also read in the Bible that Jesus was the son of a carpenter; which means Jesus worked with his hands as a carpenter.
Now let's move forward to today's context. What are your Emanuel Mexico Mission missionaries doing during this time of "Stay at Home"?
For one, Sheri is cooking, and cooking alot. Everyday she makes more than we can eat, so she can share it with our neighbors. Every Friday she prepares a complete meal for a family of 5, whose mother has cancer. Cooking and Sharing just go hand in hand for Sheri. She has made simple dishes to complete banquet type meals for this family. Are they grateful? Their oldest daughter said one Friday night, "Mom is having a bad day and I'm tired of cooking and cleaning. I have my school work, via on-line, to complete. Thank you so much". Their favorite desserts so far have been Sheri's Pecan Pie and Orange Cookies. Their favorite meal was homemade thin crust pizza, made on a pizza stone. Mom's favorite is Sheri's fruit salads.
Now, on to a carpenter story. Jose, the minister at the Ontañon Church of Christ, has always loved working with wood. So it was natural for him to help a church member build the shelving that they needed. Then the same family said, "Can you build us an entertainment (T.V.) stand for our living room"? Other church members heard about Jose's work as a carpenter and asked if he could build them 2 individual bed frames.
So, the story goes that while in quarantine, both Sheri and Jose have been busy. Sheri in her natural environment, the kitchen and Jose turned his apartment back patio into a carpenter shop. It's like the WWJD bracelet "What Would Jesus Do".
You can find Jose sharing his Sunday morning messages through Facebook live at 11:00 a.m., on the Emanuel Mexico Mission, Facebook page. Also his weekly ministry programs (live on Facebook called Atrevete) at 9:00 p.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
This past month (April), I was able to get all the plumbing and electrical repairs finished ! Now onto repairing and replacing broken doors and door knobs. I'll continue to be the Uber Eats driver to deliver meals and work as the maintenance man that the ministry needs at this time.
Our scheduled May trip to the U.S., was canceled and we hope to reschedule it for June. Hope to see many of you in June! God bless you and thank you for supporting your ministry work in the kitchen and carpenter shop of Emanuel Mexico Mission.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
We are all called to share the gospel, but only a select few are willing to accept a higher calling and that is to serve on a foreign field. It's not about what we have done, but how God has used our willingness to "get the job done".
We were called to get the mission back on the right track and we did. In the meantime, God used us to see that His Church, His Doctrine and His People would be guided by the Truth. "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life!" John 14:6
Our ministry over the past 29 years, the past 5 years and even the past 2 years have been tremendously blessed. Why? We consistently follow God's will and purpose for our lives.
Your prayers and financial gifts are being used in ways you or I could have never imagined. Christian leaders are being trained, the hungry are being fed, young lives are being transformed into responsible Christian adults, an inner city church is being used as a light to the world and much more is being accomplished for the Kingdom.
Jose had the opportunity to travel to Lakeville, Minnesota (Febuary 18-28), and share the ministry he is involved in at E.M.M. The Valley Christian Church blessed his life tremendously as a child growing up in the children's home. Now Jose is preaching the Word, all because you continue to bless him and the ministry of Emanuel Mexico Mission.
We continue to repair the vehicles, we are in the middle of remodeling the main kitchen, the roof is leaking over the main structure, 2020 property taxes are due soon, or how about helping us get Jose health insurance or would you consider supporting Jose financially? These are just a few of the ways that you can help, but more importantly it allows us to serve the best way possible to everyone who enters into the doors of Emanuel Mexico Mission.
PURPOSE DRIVEN MISSION
PURPOSE DRIVEN SUPPORTERS
PURPOSE DRIVEN MISSIONARIES
Jose A. Manuel Gonzalez
David and Sheri DeBolt
Made Payable to: Bluffton First Church of Christ - Memo: David and Sheri DeBolt
Mailing Address: 2950 E. - 350 N. Bluffton, Indiana 46714
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana en Ontañon
"I was in need..."
Each Sunday throughout January we gave blankets to those in need. This year was no exception for the cold weather in Central Mexico. San Luis Potosi is 6,500 feet above sea level and the winter nights get extremely cold here in the arid desert of Mexico. The challenge was for each church family to look for a person in need. Again that is not hard to find, as many people live in the streets, downtown parks and abandoned buildings of San Luis Potosi. Jesus gave a service test ! Matthew 25: 35-40 Look for those in need of food, a cup of water, clothes to keep warm, visit those that are sick and in prison. It's a humbling experience to serve those most in need. How did our church family do now that the winter weather is coming to a close? Better than expected. Jose is challenging us all to keep our focus (2020 Vision) not on ourselves, but on others.
Our annual winter Bazaar saw young and old alike, happy to see the doors of the mission open up (Feb. 3-6), so they could chose the clothes and shoes that fit them perfectly.
Plans are to do a test run for a soup kitchen here in the inner city some time this spring. This will take our Matthew 4:4 food project one step further to those in need of a warm meal. All of this kind of service takes the focus off of our needs and places it on the needs of others.
Inside the mission, things are going well as we continue to update and provide for others. The boys that live within the mission help in so many ways, but our financial resources are limited to help them. Pablo has taken on a full time job while studying full time at the University.
We are happy to report the tires were replaced in January on the van. Just in time for some long distance trips coming up soon. The repairs continue with the vehicles and we are doing some much needed repairs and remodeling in the kitchen this winter. Hopefully by early summer the work will be completed as many meals come out of this area of the mission each week, especially on the weekends.
Another area of need is Internet. Without Internet, the boys are limited with their studies. The need is for more monthly support in this area for homework, but also to better communicate with you.
I have often written and said that missions is "not about the missionary, but the mission work they carry out." The mission work provided by Emanuel Mexico Mission, is about: Serving Others, Making Disciples, Helping the Poor and Needy and Giving a Blanket to Someone in Need ! The Ontañon Church of Christ, Counseling Center, Leadership Training Seminars and Caring for the Boys in the Mission are all about seeing the needs of others before ourselves.
God bless you as you are giving and supporting a ministry to the inner city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Emanuel Mexico Mission is a light to many and a place of hope to those most in need.
David and Sheri DeBolt
Valley Missions Outreach:
Greetings once again from Mexico. Your continued support is an example of the light that shines in each one of you. Your gifts and prayers are what encourages us to keep the light shining in the inner city of San Luis Potosi. With the New Year, brings new opportunities to share the gospel message.
The boys living in the home continue their studies and help with the cleaning of the mission. They help set up for the leadership workshops each Saturday and for the church services on Sundays. It's a big facility and there is always something taking place each day within the mission.
The counseling center continues to be one of the biggest outreaches to the local churches and others.
Our theme for 2020, is just that, 2020 Vision. We are to focus our thoughts and energies on "things above". Hebrews 12:2
God bless you for your constant prayers and gifts of encouragement to keep the mission work moving forward.
David and Sheri
20/20 Vision - Vision 2020
As we enter into a new year, we have our eyes clearly focused and our vision clearly set! Hebrews 12:2, says "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus".
With the help of many in 2019, we were able to revive and rebuild the mission for what it was established to do. "Make disciples, baptize them and teach them." Matthew 28:19-20. During 2019, we fed the hungry, counseled those in need, cared for the abandoned and abused, provided countless opportunities for spiritual growth amongst our church leaders and more.
Emanuel, Emmanuel, Immanuel are all spelled differently, but carry the same meaning "God With Us" Matthew 1:23 And He was certainly with us during 2019.
Today we continue to care for youth on a 24/7 basis. The Ontañon church is more focused than ever to continue to teach and disciple. Workshops and seminars are providing the help church leaders need to be the men and women that the Church of Christ needs today.
Last year is gone and now we have 365, new opportunities to grow and reach people with the message of Jesus Christ. Changes are not always welcome, but are necessary for growth. The physical work of restoring the facility continues, but our main focus is not on the material, but on the spiritual.
Work is being done to establish the Emanuel School of Missions and Ministry, inside the facility of Emanuel Mexico Mission. A survey was taken of all Church of Christ ministers in San Luis Potosi and one of the outstanding aspects of the survey showed that 75%, of the ministers have to work a full time or part time job to provide for their families and ministries.
Providing a place for them to learn, with updated resources and teachers highly capable to teach will help build better leaders and a stronger church body in San Luis Potosi. Classes will begin in August and hours will be from 6:00p.m. - 10:00 p.m., Tuesday to Friday. During the next 8 months, 3 different week long seminars will be held to introduce the subjects and materials to be given.
All the while we will continue to care for young people in need of a home under the same roof of E.M.M. Provide the counseling needed from our counseling center for the area churches and those in need. The Ontañon Church of Christ will continue to use the facility for Bible studies, worship services and youth events. What I have just outlined is a need to be filled, not a dream or a goal of anyone person or persons. For the last 30 weeks, our leadership workshops provided leaders the opportunity to simply learn and they are asking for more opportunities to grow spiritualy.
Jose continues to take on more responsibilities inside the mission, as well as his full time responsibility at the Ontañon Church of Christ and is taking the lead role in this new opportunity for a school of missions and ministry.
20/20 Vision - Vision 2020 is not a theme or a title and not to be taken lightly. It is a responsibility for both you and I to set our vision clearly on Jesus Christ. Set our focus and set our thoughts not on what was or could have been, but on what we can accomplish together for the Church of Christ today.
Our financial base is set, we now need it to grow so we can reach the inner city and beyond with the life saving message of Jesus Christ. In the coming weeks, if you would like to help buy a tire (4) for the van, restore the baptistery, repair the main roof, continue to help repair the plumbing needs, refinish the kitchen, help us provide a Sunday School class for a church in Oaxaca, provide transportation for Jose, provide funds for the teachers and staff we will have or provide for the needs of the youth living in the mission. Send your gift for a specific need or opportunity for us to maintain the facility and its ministry outreach in its best condition.
Hebrews 12:2 clearly says "Fix your eyes on Jesus", 2020, is upon us and there is no turning back the clock to 2019, Our vision is set on 2020, to be a year of new opportunities. A year where people can see that Emanuel Mexico Mission is serious about what they are doing. And what is that? "Make Disciples, baptize them and teach them." 20/20 Vision - Vision 2020 "Fix your eyes on Jesus".
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana en Ontañon
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.
Yes, it is that time of year to give thanks where thanks are due! Thanks to the many wonderful supporters of Emanuel Mexico Mission. Because of you we are able to reach people that are in desperate need of a friend named Jesus.
A special Thanks Giving greeting and thank you to the LaFountaine Christian Church for beginning to support the ministry of Emanuel Mexico Mission. New supporters like this is not only an encouragement to us as missionaries, it reaffirms to us we are following God's will for the inner city ministry we are undertaking.
Caring for Youth, Counseling Center, Leadership Training, Church ministries and much more are taking place because of the funds provided by churches, Sunday School classes, friends and family who believe in the ministry of Emanuel Mexico Mission.
Another Thanks Giving greeting and special thank you goes out to the Valley Christian Church for their overwhelming monthly support, special gifts and prayers. This church has taken a lead role in seeing that the ministry facility is being well taken care of and updated to cover all the city, state and federal regulations that are required by Family Services, Health Department, Fire Department and Civil Protection. Caring for the Youth that are living in the mission is a 24/7 responsability and all the church activities mean that people are in constant use of the mission facility. Valley is also the first church to support Jose, our preacher, apart from the ministry.
We know that many families will be gathering together this Thanksgiving season to give thanks, eat well, watch football and much more. That's why at this time of year we want to give a special Thanks Giving greeting to those that support this mission and its ministry outreach to the inner city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Thanks for giving: Brad and Julie, Daron and Melissa, Kirk and Teresa, Mark and Emilie, Larry and Peg, Rod, Judy, Eunice, Valley Christian Church, Brownsville Christian Church, Bluffton First Church of Christ, LaFountaine Christian Church, Standard Bearer's Sunday School class, Shining Light Sunday School class, Garcia Family, Glenn and Angie, Phil and Angel, Delpha, Justin and Sarah, Joan, Floyd and Betty &, Stephen and Julie. Thanks Giving to each and everyone of you. Once again the gifts given by this list of many supporters reaffirms to us that we are carrying out God's will.
The needs list is long for the ministry. If you personally want to support the ministry or a specific need, please let us know. In closing, let us give thanks where thanks are due!
1. Thank you God for giving us the means to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
2. Thank you Jesus for giving us our salvation.
3. Thank you Holy Spirit for giving us the strength and courage to boldly stand our ground and share our faith.
4. Thank you Churches for giving of your tithes and offerings so we can carry out the Great Commission.
5. Thank you Sunday School classes for giving that extra gift each month.
6. Thank you to those special families (husbands, wives and children) for giving and including in their monthly budgets a gift to Emanuel Mexico Mission.
7. Thank you to each individual for giving to support us personally and to the mission.
8. Thank you for giving so others can know Jesus loves them.
9. Thank you for giving your prayers for your missionary partners.
10.Thank you for giving those extra special gifts such as cards, messages, phone calls, video calls and much more.
Thanks Giving for Missionaries is a year long celebration.
David and Sheri DeBolt
Giving: Check payable to Bluffton First Church of Christ - memo- David and Sheri DeBolt
Address: Larry DeBolt 2950 E. - 350 N. Bluffton, IN 46714
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana Ontañon (church)
Doing or accomplishing several things at the same time is not for everyone. But, the ministry requires a preacher or in this instance a missionary to multi-task! While Sheri was in the states this past May to July, she was asked an interesting, but a bewildering question. "What is it you exactly do down there?" The short answer, "God's work", for the past 32 years, since leaving the comforts of two secure jobs, a home, finances and family that's the quick answer.
The long answer, since 1987 when we answered the call to full time ministry we have never allowed our lack of funds to hinder our call. The call was to make Disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). We have never allowed other doctrinal beliefs move us from our position of being "Church of Christ/Christian workers only". We have served in several areas from house parents, to counselors, to cooks, nurses, doctors, chauffeurs, maintenance (janitor), mechanic, minister to ministers, teacher, leader, preacher and many other missionary hats. In the past 32 years, we have nurtured and led hundreds of young people to know Christ.
Currently we are juggling, or should I say Multi-Tasking, a number of ministries who others never thought possible or could become a reality.
1. Established the first ever "Christian Counseling Center" in San Luis Potosi, inside Emanuel Mexico Mission.
2. Planted the Ontañon Church of Christ in 1992, and today we have a full-time ordained minister, to which, by the way, we raised up as a small street boy.
3. In this past year, we have been involved in camps extending from far southern to northern Mexico, VBS programs, street ministry to gangs and Rehabilitation Center for drug and alcoholic abusers.
4. We continue to care full time for children. Example: Lupe and Pablo lost their father, their mother has mental problems even to this day and they were being abused by other family members. The ministry continues to care for the abandoned and abused children of Mexico.
5. Opened the ministry facility to host "Christian Leadership Workshops" each week. A total sucess, as we see the churches and church leaders come together for one common cause. "It's not about us, It's all about God." Unity!
6. Our housing and retreat center continues to function, as guests have come as far away as Minnesota, to all over Mexico this past year. "Our home is your home".
7. We were able to hold two major events this year. A four state Christian Youth Conference and the city wide Christian Youth Retreat of San Luis Potosi, all within the facilities of Emanuel Mexico Mission.
8. The Food Pantry: As food is given to us we distribute to children's homes, widows and shut ins.
9. The kitchen is used 7 days a week, 3 meals a day. Also each Sunday after church we have a coffee and cookie fellowship ministry. A church hit!
10. Meetings have begun by church leaders and Emanuel Mexico Mission to establish a new Bible College using the facilities of Emanuel Mexico Mission all the while we are caring for young people, do church work, hold seminars and more.
These are just a few of our opportunities of ministry service. The amazing thing is we have less funds this past year than ever before, but are accomplishing more of "God's Work". Actually less than what we had in 1991, when we moved to San Luis Potosi. So I guess you could say we are being good stewards of God's gifts and facility that He has given us to minister with. So "what is it you exactly do down there?" "God's Work" as we Multi-Task for the Lord and His Kingdom.
Just doing what a regular country boy (farmer), turned missionary knows what to do.
Multi-Tasking for the King!
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana en Ontañon
Dear Valley Church family,
Our spring and summer days have been so busy serving the Lord here in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Without your prayers and offerings we could not minister to so many people in need of a Savior.
We show them Jesus through a food pantry and evangelizing our inner city neighborhood of San Miguelito. We are able to teach adult church leaders how to be more effective in church services. We provide activities for youth to learn to stay close to Jesus. Also there are times to visit and encourage the rehab center around the corner.
We also want to thank you for helping us with an offering to help cover hospital costs when David had to have surgery almost a month ago. In Mexico you can not leave until the bill is paid in full. Thanks to your church and others who helped. We had a down payment on ER & co-pay from insurance.
We want to thank you for standing by us and believing in us as we serve our Lord Jesus Christ in Mexico.
David & Sheri DeBolt