We hope you and yours are well. The last month has seemed to fly quickly with normal life and ministry along with a couple of special visits from Texas. We were blessed with a week-long visit from Chadd's parents in mid-February. Then, at the end of the month, we were blessed with a visit from Bob and Sandy Jackson and Iris Sneed (Al came down with the flu and had to cancel at the last minute) from our sponsoring congregation, the Sunset Church of Christ. As we reflect on this month, we want to mention a few things for your specific thanksgiving and prayer.
Family - Ceci's Adoption - Jr. High Girls
After waiting several months on the paperwork, Chadd and Nancy traveled last week with Ceci to Mexico City where we registered Ceci and were given her original birth certificate. Because of her situation, she was never registered as an infant and did not have a birth certificate. This caused the adoption process to be placed on hold. With this document in hand we are being told that Ceci's adoption should be finalized within 2 or 3 weeks (We'll see--but at least they are saying soon)! When the adoption is final, we will be issued a new birth certificate with her new apellido (last name). We will then be able to begin working on a United States Visa so she can make a trip to Texas later this year. Please thank God for this blessing and pray that the rest of the process will move along quickly and smoothly. Please pray also for the healing of Ceci's legs--that she will walk soon! We are praying that God will continue to use all of this to open doors for Kingdom growth in new areas.
Morgan and Natali are doing well--right in the middle of 7th grade with all the fun (please hear a little bit of sarcasm here) of being a Jr. High girl! We are praying that God will continue to form them into godly women--that He will help them navigate difficult times-- that He will use adolescent trials for good.
Nancy continues to work with Morgan and Natali as they form a spiritual formation group for girls. Morgan and Natali, along with two of their friends from school Sofia and Priscila meet together every two weeks. It is generally a time for eating together, Bible study and prayer, and discussion of some of the real issues facing jr. high girls. It seems that God has put on Nancy's heart a burden for girls in this age group. We are praying that God will bless and lead this group of girls in their formation...that He will lead them to reach out to others.
La Piedad, Michoacan
We are thankful for good news from La Piedad, the Camarena family and God's work in their lives. Since our last update, three visits have been made to La Piedad. We see evidence that the young house church that is based in their home is on the road to health again. Martin has remained sober for over 6 weeks--he and Rosa have recommitted and shown follow-through in their walk with Jesus--they continue to grow stronger and are beginning to envision again how God may use their family/home as a strategic base of operation for Kingdom expansion in their city. Bob and Sandy Jackson accompanied us on a visit there a couple of weeks back--God seemed to use the time for mutual encouragement. We plan to travel there this weekend. We are thanking God for His recent work in their lives. We are praying that God will continue to heal the wounds in their family, that He will show them how to incarnate Jesus in their neighborhood, and that He will use all of this to see many vibrant churches planted in and around La Piedad. We are praying that God will use us to work from this household...to teach and coach this group as they move toward maturity.
Entering Into a "House of Peace" in the Las Pintas Colonia
For well over a year we have been daily praying the prayer of Luke 10:2 and reflecting on this passage as a way to envision ourselves as we follow the Lord into mission in Guadalajara. Praying this prayer and its context in Luke has led us to look for God's answer in people who would open their home to us and the proclamation of the gospel--these "people of peace" are welcoming us and turning their homes into a "house of peace"--which we are hopeful will lead to new house churches as some of these people fall in love with Jesus and committ their lives to Him and to one another as disciples.
We believe God has recently shown us an answer to the Luke 10:2 prayer. For the past couple of months, our family has been praying specifically for a new opportunity in Las Pintas (a large colonia on the southeast side of GDL). Back in January we got to know Luis Bernal who had recently been deported from Kansas after living there 15 years and becoming a disciple of Jesus. While there he had experienced Christian life in a small house church. After his deportation he found himself living with his mom in Guadalajara. We were connected through a common friend. Luis feels a strong burden for his family and their neighbors who all live in Las Pintas. He has asked that we help him develop as a planter of house churches--that we walk with him as he begins something new in his mother Rosario's house. After a couple of visits with her and family members, we recently took further steps to begin a regular time of Bible study and prayer. Luis and Rosario are inviting family members, neighbors and friends to join us in this time. Besides this, Luis and Chadd spend time weekly in Bible study, discussion and prayer. We are praying that God will continue to develop these relationships...that this group will form around Jesus and that it will become a vibrant New Testament church in the months to come.
We continue to pray for similar stories of missionary coworkers, Mexican church planters, and growing churches as they are ministering in the following places: The cities of Aguascalientes and Tepic; the GDL colonias of Ciudad Granja, Residencial Moctezuma, Chapalita, San Sebastian, La Floresta, San Pedro, Mariano Otero, Jardines del Valle, Cerro del Cuatro and Lincoln School.
Odds and Ends
A university group from the Sunset Church of Christ will spend their spring break with us beginning this Sunday. Please pray that this time will be used for good--that hearts will be cultivated and influenced for the Lord--that seeds will be sown.
We are still in need of monthly ministry support to replace the ministry funds that the Bell Trust provided in 2005. We are praying that God will connect us with like-minded partners who are able to help in this way.
As always, we thank God for you and pray for His richest blessings for your life--that we will all know Him better and be transformed into the image of His Son Jesus.
Chadd, Nancy, Morgan, Natali and Ceci Schroeder