December 19, 2019
The following is the story of what one of the graduates of our seminary has been doing. We have been working with him for over a year to plant a church in an unreached area of Mexico — Pinal de Amoles.
Praise God because in 2018, Jesus Miranda and two of our other graduates were able to organize several evangelistic outreaches. They used medical brigades, offered meals, clothing and also held evangelistic events for children. They were able to reach about 2000 children with the message of the Gospel and about 1000 adults. During this past year they focused their efforts more on building a shelter for people in extreme need.
The purpose of the shelter is to offer people in vulnerable conditions meals, housing, help with personal hygiene, counseling, medical attention, and a place of refuge for women and children who are at risk. However, the real reason for all this is to offer all these people the opportunity to come to know Christ.
We are looking to help them overcome all these problems through knowledge of the Gospel and then going back to their communities to share the good news of salvation in Christ.
There are abandoned adults like the case of a 34 year old man who literally sleeps on the floor. He is married and has children. Sometime back he had a stroke and is paralyzed. His wife goes for water with a jug we were able to give her for this purpose. We also assisted them with some other things we were able to give them. We shared the Gospel with the family. They showed some interest, but they are afraid of strangers. They shared stories of people who have been preying on people like them taking their land or the little they are able to plant and harvest. It is hard for people like this to listen to the Gospel if they think we are trying to rob them.
Praise God as we are able to show them we care, loving them and listening to them and sharing practical solutions to their problems, people like this have been opening up.
La Güera, who lives along the hiway in one of the communities we have been visiting, saw what we were doing and willingly opened her home and hosted us for three days. With joy and love, she made meals for us. Praise God we were able to share the Gospel with her.
In this community, others have also invited us into their homes to eat and have wanted us to share more of the Gospel with them.
It is for this reason that we see the need for a larger team and a place they can come to for help.
In 2011, Abdiel Lopez graduated from the seminary. That same year he went to work to plant a church in the town of Zongolica. This is a town known for its witchcraft.
He, together with a team, started working in this town as their base and visiting outlying villages. They faced much opposition. People screamed insults at them, chased them out of their towns, and in a few cases tried to take their lives. During all this time people did come to know the Lord.
After over a year of working there, however, because of intense spiritual opposition he and another team member developed severe health problems induced by stress and the work was put on hold. Both of these young men had to take a break and recover their health.
After some time they went back, and by 2015 they had planted a small church with about twenty members. The goal was to use the church in Zongolica as a base from which to reach out to other communities.
Now at the beginning of this month I chatted with Abdiel. They have started thirteen small church plants in the surrounding area.
On October 31 I flew to an island in the Caribbean to spend the next twenty-two days there. My purpose was to teach at a small Bible School which I have been visiting for some time. I have been teaching a course on ancient history and how it interacts with Bible history.
One of the emphasis in this course is how God directs all things for the completion of his plans and purposes. I make a point to apply this practically to the lives of my students. They live under very difficult conditions, and the educational system does not see history in this way. Most of them feel themselves to be victims of what has been happening to them, their parents, and grandparents.
Several commented that this course helped them view their lives and their surroundings in a new way. I praise God because, not only did this course help them understand Scripture in a better way, but made a difference in their daily lives.
While I was there the pastor kept me busy the whole time. I gave a three day seminar on “The Lostness of Man” to about 8 church leaders. Two times I shared a the women’s meeting in a church. Three times I held the weekly discipleship class for new converts. Once I shared a study for young people and once for retired people in the church. Two times I taught Sunday School to 7—12 year olds. I also attended the ordination of a pastor, the council meeting held for the organization of a church and the special meeting the new organized church had.
Praise God I had time for studying. Most of my time, if not sharing, was spent in getting ready for the next study I was to share. This was a blessing because at home I don’t get so much time to spend studying. I really enjoyed my time there.
October 14, 2019
Are feet beautiful? According to Romans 10:15 the feet of those who preach the Gospel are beautiful.
The whole reason for our seminary has been to prepare men and women who will go out and preach the Word of God faithfully. We are training them to take hope to those who are living without hope.
As part of this teaching, in 2000 we started a program to train missionaries to work cross-culturally. We praise God that since then two of our graduates have gone overseas and several are working in Bible translation in Mexico.
Mexico is slowly waking up to the need to be a part of reaching our world for Christ. Praise God, some of our students are part of the movement to make world missions known in the churches.
This last month I had two opportunities to share about missions in two different churches. One of these was in a small church in Mexico City that has existed for years but is barely waking up to the fact they need to be a part of the Great Commission. I am glad that I was able to be a part of making them aware of this need.
As part of this emphasis I hit on the idea of having some of my friends paint pictures of different missionaries’ feet (above). This next month, Lord willing, we will put these paintings up for auction. The funds will go toward our work in training missionaries at the seminary.
Thank you for helping us spread the Gospel and train people to do so.
October 11, 2019
We are so thankful for each one of you who have contributed to keeping the work moving forward in Mexico. In the sixty five years of our existence we have been able to be a part of helping plant over 45 churches there. That is only counting those we are directly involved with. However, many more have been planted by graduates from our seminary that have moved on to different ministries. One pastor reported over forty churches planted by a ministry he started in the mid 90’s. We also have had reports of some Hispanic churches planted in the United States by former seminary graduates.
The impact of EMM’s ministry has gone beyond the borders of Mexico extending to countries like Indonesia, China, and Nicaragua.
It is because we do not want this ministry to falter that we have made the decision to join forces with another like minded mission agency. We have made this decision because of several issues we are facing. Over the last six years we have searched for people willing to join our board and have not found any that would do so. Our board members are growing older and this is a big concern. Also, Paul Unruh who’s calling has been to minister in Mexico has had to take a fair amount of his time to take care of business in the office in Pharr since we have not been able to find someone to fill the Executive Director position.
For this and some other reasons we have decided to coalesce our efforts with Faith Baptist Mission which is a very like minded in their philosophy of ministry. We have been exploring this merger with Faith Baptist Mission since the beginning of this year and are assured that our ministry will continue in Mexico as it has in the past. EMM will become EMM a ministry of Faith Baptist mission. You can look up their current webpage at www.faithbaptistmission.org.
As of January next year donations will be processed by Faith Baptist Mission. Rest assured that any donations for the work in Mexico will be sent down to Mexico as they have been in the past. Paul Unruh, our current executive director, will still be very much involved in the decision making process for the ministries in Mexico and in close touch with the new board. Our ministries will continue to function in Mexico as they have in the past.
Lord willing the merger will take place in January of 2020. Up until then we will continue operating from our office in here in Pharr.
If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at: email@example.com or call me at (956) 787-3543 to leave a message and I will get back to you.
September 13, 2019
After working so hard to get things ready for the beginning of school at the seminary, what a blessing to see the students show up. Some came in a few days early and others showed up right at the last minute.
Obed and his wife showed up in time to start setting up house keeping for the next four years. As a kid he sometimes showed up at the seminary because his father was studying for the pastorate; although he never finished his studies. His wife grew up as one of our pastor’s kids. Now with their three kids they are starting on the journey to better prepare for ministry to which God has called them.
Verónica comes from Guadalajara where her father Javier, (featured last month) is serving as a pastor. She came to Christ at the age of fifteen. When her father started studying for the ministry she started rebelling against God. One day, wanting to leave home, she realized that what she really was doing was running from God. Once she surrendered to her Lord she realized that she wanted to serve Him. She believes that only what she does for Him will last for eternity.
Each of our students this year has a story of how God has led them to study to serve him better. I am excited to see how God will use them. Help us pray that God will keep them faithful to their calling.
August 17, 2019
What a blessing to see and visit with pastor Javier Valencia at our annual national conference of churches.
Wednesday night he shared how God saved him from a life of alcoholism and changed him completely. He was so amazed by God’s grace and the freedom he found that he immediately began sharing about Christ with all his friends. He even traveled from the city where he was living to Mexico City to share Christ with his family and former friends.
Then God called him to serve Him. He studied two years at the seminary and then, for lack of pastors, got sent to pastor a church in Guadalajara. For six years he has been serving there and has continued his studies. This coming year, Lord willing, he will graduate.
Through all this he has continued to reach out to those who desperately need Christ. His passion for souls has not diminished despite the fact that people ridicule him and one time even punched his daughter in the face as she was sharing the Gospel out on the streets.
It is men and women like these that keep us faithful in the task of training leaders for the church in Mexico. Thanks for helping us in spreading the good news of the Gospel in this country where there are yet so many unreached people.