MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS
The month of September 2020, had its Mountain top experiences. With the opening of the church once again, we saw new faces arrive throughout the month. Attendance increase!
The school lunches provide more than a simple meal to the neighborhood children, but a message that God loves them and cares for them.
We were honored to be the Mission of the Month for the Bluffton First Church of Christ, Bluffton, Indiana. Their special offering will help us replace that old worn out refrigerator, finish the remodeling in the main kitchen, repair the church baptistery and more.
We celebrated September, by beginning 30 years of service to the inner city of San Luis Potosi and that is where the Valley work is accomplished...in the inner city. If we constantly live on the Mountain top experiences of our lives, we cannot see the true work that needs to be done.
A good friend wrote me a few months ago and said, "You know, as I read your updates, it seems to me that Emanuel Mexico Mission is doing even more gospel centered/spreading work than (before). Stay strong and keep lifting up Jesus...while I pray that He will lift you up."
It's true, we literally work in the Valley of the inner city. Drugs, gangs, shootings, murder and crime surround us. The police constantly patrol the neighborhood. But that does not stop the need to evangelize the lost and needy. Jose is working hard to reach these people with the gospel.
Coming soon will be a series of 5 minute daily devotions via the internet. Some will be in English and all will be translated into English. Yes, the pandemic has affected the way we serve others, but like many, these new challenges put us in the Valley where the real work needs to be done.
Thank you for allowing us to have Mountain top experiences. Thank you for helping us to do the Kingdom work that needs to be done in the Valley.
David and Sheri DeBolt
Jose Manuel Gonzalez
Emanuel Mexico Mission
We all have gifts that God has given us. We all have been tried and tested at some point in our lives.
As I was watching and listening to José preach this morning I was so thankful for the gifts that God has given our Jose. I say our Jose because we share a brother and a son as your missionary partner in central Mexico.
There is no doubt that José loves Jesus. He had a hard and difficult childhood but God protected and blessed José. Protected from what could have been a whole different road from that which he is traveling today.
He is not afraid to get his hands dirty or do the work that maybe others could or should be doing. José does it because he simply loves Jesus.
Attached are a few photos of what José did this past week and today.
#1 Worked to help make the church more functional. Making an opening for our church kitchen to better serve others. Next Sunday we will be celebrating with a church meal after the service and using what was Jose’s office and now is the church kitchen. Sheri and another church member checking out the works after the service today. Next Saturday is a work day with cleaning, painting etc.
# 2 Doing what he loves most. Preach.
I just couldn’t help but share about what you are doing here at EMM and for the trust and friendship we all share through Jesus Christ Thank you all so very much.
God bless you Valley Missions Team and Valley Family.
NEW BOOK - NEW OPPORTUNITIES
After 22 weeks of being closed we were able to open the doors of Emanuel Mexico Mission on August 23, 2020. The summer of 2020, will go down in the history books as new challenges and opportunities faced us each day.
As we enter into September 2020, we begin our 30th year of serving the Lord in Mexico. We use September as a way to close out another season of Christian Service. We filled 365 pages of, now an old book, and look forward to filling a new book with new opportunities. Each page in this new book is blank, but filled with lines that daily the Lord will write from the experiences and opportunities we have to serve others.
One of our most recent opportunities to serve is providing school lunches to the children in our neighborhood. As children returned to school, they are learning from home. Helping with these school lunches gives their parents the opportunity to not worry about cooking their noon meal, so they can concentrate on helping their children.
Since we live in the inner city, all the houses are wall to wall and all have flat roofs. The following is what I heard the other day from one of our neighbors.
Mom: "Do your homework"
Child: "No, I don't want to"
Mom: "Do it, it's your job", etc.
Probably sounds familiar to some of you. Each brown paper lunch bag is decorated with a message that God loves them and is filled with a sandwich, cookies, apple and a small box drink.
Jose has his sermon series all planned out for 2020-2021. Vacation Bible School 2021 is being written and planned. Summer 2021 Camp schedule is on the calendar. A Seminar to attend in October 2020, will provide Jose the opportunity to strengthen his faith and knowledge. Maintenance, repairs and projects on the mission facility are on the books for the rest of 2020-2021.
PRAYERS & PROJECTS
Replace the main refrigerator: We could say to this refrigerator "Well done, good and faithful servant". It has served its purpose well for over 25 years, but in the past 18 months, we have invested more in repairs than needed. It went down again 3 times in August 2020.
Repair the Church baptistery: Each time we fill the baptistery it leaks. We have a list of materials needed and an estimate to repair it.
Jose - VISA: During the pandemic, Jose's VISA expired and was not allowed to renew it. The American Consulates are now open and Jose now has the opportunity to fill out the necessary paper work and apply for his VISA.
New plates and cups for the mission: The main kitchen has only plates and cups for a dozen people. Church meals, youth activities and groups require us to buy disposable plates, etc. 50 plus cups, plates, bowls, spoons and forks would provide the necessary means to cut expenses for groups and church activities.
Facebook Page: EMANUEL MEXICO MISSION
David and Sheri DeBolt
COOKIES and CREAM
July 14, 2020, we were given 16 cases of Samoas Girl Scout cookies. Yes, you read that right, 16 cases, which means we were given 2,880 Girl Scout Samoas! We traveled from Denham Springs, Louisiana, with the cookies to San Luis Potosi, without problems with customs at the border. It's a long story how the cookies got into our hands, but the short version was someone knew about our inner city mission and knew we were going to be giving out back to school lunches when school starts this year. God is good!
Cookies and Cream, but in reality it is "Cookies and Prayer" that we will be passing out along with a sandwich, fruit and a boxed drink. These Cookies and Prayer will bless the Inner City children and their families that surround the neighborhood of Emanuel Mexico Mission. Just in case school does not reopen in August, we will still be passing out these special lunches to the children. Pray that this outreach will bring the children to church, to movie nights, VBS and other activities we have planned for them.
During June and July, we were blessed with safe travels to Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana, to see family, attend our oldest (Alex) grandson's High School graduation, meet with our new board president of Emanuel Mexico Mission, Justin Davis and work out details for the upcoming 2020-2021 financial season with our forwarding agent, Larry DeBolt. Things are looking good and you will see some exciting things happening here in the Inner City Ministry of Emanuel Mexico Mission in the coming year.
UPDATE ON JOSE'S COVID-19 SITUATION:
As of this writing he continues in quarantine and is having some difficulties with breathing, but is feeling better everyday. The day we returned on July 17, we looked at Jose and said, "you are going to the doctor". He was experiencing cold type symptoms for over a week that would not leave him. Sure enough the COVID test came back positive, as his condition worsened. We caught it in time said the doctor.
*Continue to pray for Jose and the ministry he is involved with here at Emanuel Mexico Mission.
*Pray for when we can reopen the facility of Emanuel Mexico Mission, Counseling Center, and the Ontañon Church of Christ due to the pandemic.
*Pray for the Cookies and Prayer (Cream) outreach and praise the Lord for those that provided and will continue to provide for these special meals.
**Special prayer note: All the necessary paper work has been sent into the IRS and we are awaiting approval for the Non-For-Profit status for Emanuel Mexico Mission.
*Pray for our new Emanuel Mexico Mission board of directors.
Justin and Sarah Davis - Fishers, Indiana
Amy Lobo - Denham Springs, Louisiana
Larry DeBolt - Bluffton, Indiana
3-4 more spaces are open for more board members to which the Valley Christian Church, Lakeville, Minnesota, will fill once the IRS has approved the Non-For-Profit.
Passing on God's Blessings to Those in Need,
David and Sheri DeBolt
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