News from the Americas
Hello Loved Ones, January 6, 2005
Hope the holidays passed with much joy and love for you all. We took the opportunity to get together with our kids over Thanksgiving break, so the Christmas and New Years holidays we were not with our family. We had anticipated that our contacts would be very busy with their families and did not think we would see too much participation during December… and that was true in part.
In December we had the joy of having Bro. Bill Rawson with us from Spain. He generously gave nearly 4 weeks in service to the contacts here. He gave a beautiful class in the gospel of John and visited with some contacts in the home. He also was a wonderful help in helping us with some studies we had been using for our classes, bringing them to a more finished form. Carl began giving classes again this past month and Bro. Bill was a loving and experienced mentor who helped Carl have more confidence with each class. Bro. Erick Alvarado, Sis. Sara, and David were gone most of the month of December visiting family in both El Salvador and England.
Unfortunately we didn’t have any new contacts attend Bro. Bills classes, but our regular attendees were faithful and enjoyed very much the topic, and having Bro. Bill here again. He was here in March and the contacts are developing a good relationship with him. It was obvious to us that December is not the time to try to reach out the community. Usually they are very receptive to flyers announcing Bible studies and such, but during the stressful time of December… it was a whole different ambience to the city. In December all the extended families in the states return home and the city is PACKED. Traffic is terrible and nerves are on edge… not anything like you see the rest of the year here. Anyway, all those factors seem to be why we didn’t have new people other than a few requests for the coursework by mail, despite good advertising.
However, on the bright side… the holidays proved to be a unifying time for the contacts that come to classes here. We had invited 3 contacts who we knew didn’t have family to join us for dinner on Christmas Eve. Two joined us the following day for bible readings in the morning and a walk in the beautiful pine forest park in the afternoon. On Sunday, as it turned out, found out that there were a couple of others who weren’t with their families either and said they would have joined us. So that led to the question of we were doing anything for the upcoming New Years Eve. Since they were interested we planned a potluck dinner and devotional and possible hike the next day at the Barranca (a large Canyon at the edge of the city). We had 6 people show up for the evening devotional… very good we thought. Carl gave a beautiful slide show on the Joy we have in Christ. The next day, 5 were with us for hiking and reading. We gave out new Bible reading charts and explained how to use them and did the first readings after some of us had hiked halfway down the Barranca and back. We even had interested bystanders join us for much of the time we were reading and discussing (The area is very popular for hikers and joggers, but that day there were many families out as well due to the holiday). We had terrific discussions on many topics. We spent 4 ½ hours there all together… a great time and a beautiful view of God’s handiwork!
In addition to this group we have been working some months with, we have also been encouraged by visits or discussions in the past week with a few other contacts who are looking to bring their whole family to classes this next month, Lord willing. It will be good timing to have the extra help of Sis. Ruth Laban (who will be arriving, Lord willing, the 10th), especially since one of these families has young teenage girls. Bro. Erick Alvarado returned to Mexico last night, but we are not sure how long he will remain assisting us here in Mexico as the family has their sights set on living in England sometime in the near future. We will try to make good use of his gifted teaching abilities before he leaves us.
Our outlook for the upcoming year is encouraging. We have several faithful attendees to classes now and still are receiving requests for coursework and literature regularly. Lord willing we will have 3 special conferences in the coming year in the spring, summer and fall. If you have interest in visiting and helping, please let us know. Spanish speakers are especially welcomed as our contacts love to interact with the brethren who visit.
Please keep preaching efforts in your prayers and give generously. Advertising is not cheap in any part of the world. There are many who are seeking to really know their Bibles, and few who offer sound teaching.
Much Love to you in our Masters Name.
Your Sister by Grace,