Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Busy Sunday

What a busy and eventful day yesterday!!!  We knew the day and all its events would be busy, we just didn't realize how eventful it could be!

Saturday evening, I (Crystal) started with a stomach virus.  I woke up Sunday morning still not feeling well, and wondering how I was going to make it through a jam-packed day.  What I didn't realize at first, was that Michael woke up with the same stomach problem.  Michael was thinking the Lord was really going to have to touch Bro. Butch Heath in case Michael couldn't make it through all the preaching, etc...  And then we found out that this crazy stomach virus had hit Bro. Butch in the night also!  Now life was getting interesting - we all had to give it our best and try to make it through the day!!

And so we gave it our best, and the Lord made up the rest.  Sunday morning, Bro. Butch Heath gave a challenge to us on family and marriage while Michael translated.

Then, since we have a lot of couples in our church who have only been married by the government and not in a church, there were several who wanted to take vows in a church setting.  What a bless-ed time this was!

Ramon and Juanita

Antonio and Sonia

Humberto and Edith

Benjamin and Naomi

After the morning service, we had a pitch in meal.  Unfortunately, the three of us sick people decided not to try the good smelling food because we surely did not want to make any hurried and unplanned trips to the bathroom!   =)

The next event on our schedule was to have one more marriage seminar session.  It was a SUPER hot day, but the Lord helped Bro. Butch and Michael as they taught.  Throughout the whole weekend, the people seemed to really enjoy each session.

If you're interested, you can click here to read about last year's marriage seminar.

Since we finished the events held in the church, it was time to take a short drive and hold a baptismal!!  It's always such an exciting time!  As we drove up to the river, we wondered if we were seeing what "the muddy Jordan" might have looked like!!  Wow!

What a blessing it was to watch these discipled converts share their testimony and then as the scripture says, "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost..." (Matthew 28:19)






Anna Laura

To see pictures of last years baptismal, click here.

And so, after all these wonderful events, our day "of work" was finally done.  And you know what?  The Lord helped us and blessed us, and by the time we got home, we three sick ones were feeling pretty good!

What an awesome, but busy Sunday!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our First MX Wedding

We were so happy to hold a wedding last night for Ulises and Ninfa!

If you receive the Prayer Band Newsletter Email from Michael, you may remember us asking prayer for Ulises and his family over a year ago.  Since that time, the Lord has saved this couple and changed their lives!  Ulises was an alcoholic, but the Lord has helped him to turn from this vice.

As new believers and a couple that now wanted to follow the Lord, Ulises and Ninfa approached us about wanting to get married.  They have two precious girls and wanted to raise their family for the Lord.    We were more than happy to try and plan a church wedding.  There was much excitement throughout our church family!  And Ulises and Ninfa were so happy to get married!  They had smiles on their face all evening!

The ladies of the church did a beautiful job decorating!

Check out these beautiful fresh flowers that hung from the ceiling!

Saying their vows.  Most of our people here are not accustomed to church weddings and vows, so this was a very special and sacred time.

Congratulations to Ulises and Ninfa!!!

We are also excited that this weekend, Ulises and Ninfa will both be getting baptized since they have completed the discipleship course.  Praise the Lord for the work He has done in the lives of Ulises and Ninfa!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Mountain Top Service

Today we took a "short" trip just across the border to Guatemala.  Michael had been invited to speak in a special service at Esperanza, a small town where our fellow H.I.M. pastors are opening a new work.

We started out our trip by leaving very early in the morning!  I had made sausage muffins and hashbrowns to take along for breakfast - our own version of McDonald's!  We were planning a smooth 2 and 1/2 hr. trip to Motozintla where we would meet pastor Javier.  Unfortunately, the very curvy roads and our greasy breakfast did not agree with Taylor!  Thank the Lord for wet wipes and a pastor's wife who washed the dirty clothes and provided pants for Taylor to wear!

After getting everything and everyone loaded in Motozintla, we drove for another 45 minutes on mostly bumpy, dirt roads that headed further up into the mountains.  It was a fun drive with beautiful scenery.

Once we arrived at the event location, I kind of felt like singing a song I remember from a film we used to watch in Science class.  "We're on top of the world..."

There were lots of people from our local H.I.M. churches represented at the service, plus some new people from the community.

After the service, we were served a meal.
Here's the people waiting in line for their plate of food.

Our plate of food.  The chicken was really yummy!

On our way home, we stopped to take a picture of the roads that we traveled that wind their way around, and then eventually up (or down) the mountain.

It was a long day for us, but a good day!  We trust the work of the Lord will prosper there in Esperanza, Guatemala.

*Stay tuned.  Next weekend we have a wedding planned, as well as a marriage seminar with Butch Heath.  We're planning to have a busy and exciting time!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Santo Domingo Church Transformation

As mentioned in a previous post, the Lord has provided the Santo Domingo church with a new place to worship!

We had previously been meeting in Bro. Benjaminʼs home, but through the generosity of the previous home owner (who is now in the States attending our H.I.M. hispanic church in Maryland), we have our own building that sits along the main road through town.  Another blessing is that we have no rent to pay, only utilities.  Praise the Lord! 

The people in Santo Domingo are so excited to have their own place to worship!  The building itself had been neglected for awhile, so it was in need of some sprucing up.  The people got right to work, painting the inside as well as the outside, adding some fencing (so the children wonʼt run out on the road), and also having someone paint the church name, the times of services, etc.  Since itʼs a church for the people, we let them decide on paint colors.  The result?  A beautiful, typical Mexican styled building.

Check out the transformation for yourself...



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another Belated Post

Here's another belated post from the Masons final weekend with us.

We had scheduled a quick trip to Motozintla for another child evangelism seminar.  We all were to leave on Friday afternoon, but Parker got sick and had a fever, so I (Crystal) stayed home with him.

From the reports that were given to me upon their return on Saturday evening, the seminar went extremely well with most of our Guatemalan pastors attending and much excitement among the people.

Below are some pics that were either taken by Barry or that someone took for me on our camera.

The church in Motozintla where the seminar was held.

Participation on Friday night.

Learning a new song, "God answers prayer in the..."

Some of the children smiling for the camera.

Learning a new way to teach a memory verse.

Enjoying a meal on Saturday afternoon.

Learning to paint letters for an illustrated song.

Guatemalan pastors with their new Bible in Felt set.

We really enjoyed having Michael's parents visit us.  Not only did we enjoy precious moments together as a family, but we were also able to share our ministry with them and they in turn, were able to be a blessing to our churches with their knowledge of child evangelism.  Come back any time, Barry and Gertie!