Amazed but not surprised are the feelings I, my family, Garry Weaver (Dir of Field Training) and the rest of my church planting team have been experiencing over the last week or so. Amazed by God’s goodness and rapid work in village CD but not surprised that He does great things for His kingdom.
Let me explain. Last Monday Garry and I met with a pastor and a family that has family in village CD (for more background story on CD read here). It was a very encouraging meeting in which we learned more about the village and some of the believers. They family on this side of the border has been praying for years that someone would go to plant a church. We found out that there used to be a church there but they have not been meeting for about 2 years or so due to no leadership. They gave us the phone number of their family there and said they would let them know that a few of us would be coming over from village EZ on Wednesday to visit. Our expectation was that we would meet and spend some of the remaining believers getting to know them a little.
Then God amazed us again! A few of us were heading over from our main village of ministry, EZ, I received a text in Spanish saying that they were waiting for us in the church building (I was actually wondering if the family we were to meet would actually be there – appointments do not hold the same significance as they do here). I told them we were on our way. Now, last time we went the church building needed some work inside and out and our team discussed the important principle that this is their church so we cannot be the ones to clean it up (we could help but this is not the gringos’ church – it is theirs so we want them to take ownership from the beginning). To our amazement we arrived to a group of about 15 people working inside and out cleaning and repairing their building.
Beyond that they had lunch prepared for us – chicken mole which is a special party dish in Mexico. We found out that they killed the chicken that morning for the meal with us. Then they asked to have a “church service”. Garry preached and we had a terrific time of fellowship. I explained that we would return on Saturday to worship again to which they were very excited. They also stated that they want to begin to meet on Sundays.
We returned to EZ and celebrated God’s goodness with the rest of the team and the believing family in EZ. Yesterday (Saturday) Garry and I returned with the rest of my family, a CPCP trainee named, and our brothers Bruce and Dave who were visiting from First Baptist Church of Geneva – the church Betsy grew up in. We had a fantastic time. We ate and worshipped together and I shared my testimony in Spanish. The ladies loved Betsy and she used her limited Spanish very well. Ethan, Titus and Nora loved the dog who lives right outside the church as well as the chickens. The same group came along with some new people who arrived toward the end. Beginning April 20, we will begin to go in each Sunday to preach, teach, and begin the process of training leaders from within the church.
Prayer requests going forward:
1. What will this look like for our family – does everyone go every time, if not what does that look like, building good fellowship here for Betsy, how can we best help the spiritual needs of our children during this time, etc. The village is about 2 hours away so these will be long days for everyone.
2. Wisdom for me and Garry in how to best proceed in teaching the people and training leaders.
3. Although my Spanish has improved dramatically since August, I will need to be extremely diligent in growing even more very quickly to enable me to be more effective in preaching and teaching.
4. For us to make time for Betsy to really work on her Spanish.
Praise God for His grace and amazing work in village CD!