Sunday, May 17, Spirit of Joy celebrated Mother’s Day. We had a small program in honor of our Mothers and also a special prayer for the mothers who are with the Lord now. People we mentioned one by one shared a positive thing they learned from their mothers. It was refreshing to hear their experiences. Then we offered a meal to the whole congregation.
Holy week was a very intense time for our ministry in the Monterrey area. We celebrated three special services.
On Thursday we had a candlelight service which was well attended by our people. That evening we were together for an awesome time of fellowship.
On Friday we had The Seven Last Words of Jesus from the Cross. Another great opportunity to exalt Jesus. It was an interactive service and a lot of members from the congregation participated.
On Sunday at 7:00 AM, challenged by the savings time hour change, we came to church and celebrated Jesus’ resurrection. Full of power, full of Grace and full of Glory Jesus came out of the dead and He brought us to life!
From there we went to the country and had a blast by a swimming pool. We ate together there and played games the whole day.
What fantastic days of celebration and joy for our MMI-LCMC people in Monterrey! Now to rest a bit to continue tonight with our next activity!
Blessings to our readers! May the Rays of the Sun of Justice shine upon you always.
Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
Max Loera is a teenager who starting attending the church just because he liked a girl. It has been 2 years since he broke up with the girl but instead he fell in love with Jesus. He is the only one in his family loving the Lord. He attends Spirit of Faith and plays guitar at Spirit of Joy. Please pray that this kid may continue as faithful so he may become one of our future leaders of the church in Mexico.
This child is one of our members. His name is Iker Garza. He is just an adorable child. Every time that I am speaking the pays lots of attention.
They are truly children of God
Two of our friends, Erran Miller and Mark Morrison, from Church of the Living Word in Hampton, Iowa came to visit us after seven years of absence. They decided to come in spite of the warning not to visit Mexico. We celebrated lots of time together with our youth and adults, worshiped together and had an awesome time together. Our friendship is deeper now. We are blessed.
Please pray for the people of Mexico and the four congregations of Mission Mexico International…
…For peace at the border towns of Matamoros, Rio Bravo and Reynosa
…For our pastoral family in Rio Bravo that they may be safe
…For our retreat that we decided to change the location to Monterrey area because of violence in Rio Bravo
…For our church in Guadalajara now that they moved into a different location
…For the preparation for VBS during the summer and for means to get materials for VBS and shipping of the same
…For the teams that will be formed to serve during VBS
…For the youth in our congregations as they do social labor visiting people outside hospitals to feed and evangelise them, nursing homes and orphanages etc.
…For the wellbeing of our pastors and their families
Spirit of Joy is a small congregation conformed mainly by Teens and University kids and a few adults. God has blessed us with a group of young adults who meet every Saturday night. They have been in the church for the last 6 or 7 years. Most of them came into the church as teenagers. Now they are looking with hope into the future in order to become what God wants them to become. They are studying the scriptures and thriving to be faithful to God in the midst of this falling world. The main leader for the youth at Joy is Jesus Galindo. He is a very bright man and at the same time very committed to Christ and sensitive to his Spirit.
Spirit of Joy also is active in many areas like:
- Weekly Bible Study. A group of no more than 10 people gathers every week to grow in their faith and in the knowledge of scriptures
- Weekly youth gathering. They see different subjects related to their age and situations. Most of our youth are of Catholic descent with not much knowledge of a relation with Christ.
- Weekly worship
- Valentine’s Day Celebration. We try to teach our people to love accordingly to the love of God
- Spring Retreat. On this retreat we help our people to go deeper in their relationship with God.
- Summer visit to a Foster home or a Nursing Home. We are trying to teach our kids to leave their comfort zone and go and meet the needs of the ones who suffer and have no one to love them.
- A monthly youth gathering with Spirit of Faith. The intention of our Youth leaders is that they may find ways of cooperation to work together as one church.
- VBS with an attendance of no less than 90 children. Thru VBS we are bringing the Gospel to different kids in our community. We find out that many of the adults who attend our congregations were impacted by VBS when they were children.
- Independence day celebration
- Reformation Day celebration
- Christmas for the Youth
- Christmas with the whole Church. This is the time of the year that we invite every one we know and others to come and celebrate with us the Birth of Christ.
Most of our activities are geared to bring new people to Christ and to the church.
Pastor Enrique Estrada
MMI Friends and partners in the expansion of the Gospel, I would like to greet you in the name that is above all names. This time let us declare together that Jesus our Savior is born. We are almost ready to celebrate Christmas and we are full of the Spirit that such a celebration brings. Rejoice as you share with world these tidings of comfort and joy.
Another year is gone and we continue sharing the News of Salvation in our ministry in Mexico. After these two decades of ministry we have experienced fully what it means to be a true Christian in an environment where people are more yield to manifest a lifestyle that fits more to what the world requires than to what God teaches us in his Word. To survive as a Christian in Mexico can be a difficult task. As in many other parts of the world Christianity is under the attacks of the enemy. We live on a very secularized world and each day is harder to express your faith without feeling that your approach is judgmental and out fashioned. So, we as a Lutheran Church in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Rio Bravo are committed to continue proclaiming the unaltered Gospel, keeping it as pure as we can. Our objective since Mission Mexico International was born has been to establish a Lutheran Church with a different approach. And as time passes I can see that our goal is being fulfilled. The ride has not been an easy one. On the way we lost people, we fail again and again. And now we are able to proclaim that Jesus is Lord and that he has been with us along the way. The transformation of the people is more profound when we are able to help them to cope with their sins, when people recognize that they really need Jesus in their hearts and in their daily lives and then they get the desire to live accordingly to what they believe now.
As you can see the work we are doing in our communities is profound. We want God to go deep into the hearts of the people and create them anew to the point that they now are living completely for Jesus. One of the greatest tools that we have received from God to evangelize is our testimony, it is our experience with him, it is our faith story.
In my particular case serving two small congregations in the Metro Area of Monterrey has been a great opportunity to apply what I just share before with you. 2013 and 2014 were years of a deep growth in areas that we thought we were mature already and yet we found ourselves weak and looking for help from the head of the church, Jesus the Master. My ministry is interconnected with Pastor Victor Barbosa in Rio Bravo. He is a men who serves God from his heart. He is a very committed Christian together with his wife Lucy. He is challenged also in many ways to proclaim the true gospel in a community where the Gospel is adultered by others and people do not want to respond to his preaching based on the wrong doings of other Christians. But he is faithful and God is honoring that. Pastor Juan Vazquez is my other partner in ministry in our country. He decided to go to a different city to start a new congregation. The main Challenge he has is to proclaim the gospel also in a community where humans use religion as a controlling tool to stop people of experiencing the freedom in Christ. People are dying in their sins with no hope, As Juan brings this fresh wind to the lives of the people in Guadalajara, we see how his congregants start breathing fresh air and becoming alive in Jesus.
So Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Pray for us and continue supporting our ministry in any way you can. God is at work in Mexico. I know God is with us. Jesus is Born. He will save the world from their sins. I really thank all of you for believing in what God is doing in Mexico. Blessings.
Pastor Enrique Estrada