We trust that you and those around you are well. The last few weeks have been filled with normal life and many blessings. As we think about them we want to mention a few things for your prayers and thanksgiving to God.
We are still waiting on news regarding the finalization of Ceci's adoption. We've been in communication with our lawyer and social worker in Mexico City--they assure us that everything is going well and that the adoption should be finalized very soon. We are still hopeful that we can get things together in order to make a trip to Texas in July with Ceci. Once the adoption is finalized, we must apply for and be issued a new birth certificate for her. This will allow us to apply for her Mexican passport afterwhich we must apply for a U.S. visa for her to travel with us this summer. Please pray for this process.
We are very excited that Ceci has begun to walk again following her double hip operation last fall. The last few weeks have shown huge strides (pardon the pun!) in this area. She is able to walk 20 or 30 feet without falling--its still alot of work for her but we are thankful for God's healing and strengthening of her legs. We continue to pray that she will be walking and running in the months to come! I'm thankful for Nancy and the diligent work she puts into Ceci's therapy and exercises.
All three of the girls are out of school now for the Semana Santa (Holy Week) break. In Mexico, the week leading up to Easter is called Semana Santa and the week after Easter is called Semana Pascua. Most all schools take both weeks as an extended vacation--a kind of mixture between a religious holiday and "spring break." The girls have already been out of school for 10 days and still have another week. They love it! Nancy mom and aunt are coming for a visit tomorrow and will be here for over a week. We are thankful for family and the blessing of a visit from them!
Continuing Work with Two "Luke 10" Communities
In addition to mentoring/coaching several Mexican and American church planters, our family continues to work out of two households which we believe are growing to become vibrant house churches. The Camarena Family in La Piedad, Michoacan is growing stronger in their discipleship and their understanding of mission. For the past couple of months our family has spent every other Sunday with this family with two goals. First, we want to help them as they grow in their walk with the Lord. We are especially focusing on helping them to hear and obey God's word as they learn to read the Bible. We are using a simple tool called "Life Transformation Groups" which allows them to develop three key Christian practices: weekly reading of Scripture, regular confession and honesty regarding sin, and evangelistic prayer for specific people around them. Our second goal with this family is to help them envision their household as the beginnings of mission activity in their neighborhood and beyond...to function as a simple church with a local mission. We are participating with them in this when we are there, helping them to reach out to other family and friends, and coaching them and modeling how a simple New Testament church might function. We were especially blessed this weekend as 5 members of the Camarena family spent the Easter weekend as guests in our home in Guadalajara--this was the first time that we were able to show them hospitality in our home. They traveled back to La Piedad yesterday. Please continue to pray for Martin and Rosa Camarena and for the dozens of people who are being directly influenced by God's Kingdom as it comes more fully to their lives. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will raise up more workers from La Piedad who would participate with them in God's mission.
We are also encouraged by a new group that has been forming in the Las Pintas Colonia in the southeast section of Guadalajara. Luis Bernal and his mother Rosario have opened their home recently. We believe that this is a "Luke 10"-like opportunity and we are being invited in to the household (other family members, neighbors, friends) to proclaim Jesus and the Kingdom of God in word and deed. Last Saturday (the 4th time the group has met) evening 18 adults and children spent several hours reading the Bible, praising God, praying, telling stories of God's work in their lives and talking about what they believe God wants them to do as followers of Jesus in their neighborhood. We continue to focus on teaching, mentoring and coaching Luis and Rosario as this group forms around their home. We are praying that God will transform this group of seekers into a vibrant New Testament church in the days to come. We are praying for the neighborhood around them and for the many who are being directly influenced by God's work in these people. We are also praying to the Lord of the Harvest that he will raise up more like-minded workers from Las Pintas who will join this group to participate in the mission of Jesus.
Odds and Ends
In mid-March (March 12-18) we were blessed to host a University group from the Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock. We felt encouraged by their fresh perspective and their genuine interest in God's work in and around our lives. Besides good conversation and encouragement, they spent several hours prayer-walking and serving in some of the neigborhoods where we hope to find new Luke 10 households to enter with the gospel of Jesus. As a result of God's work in this group and specifically in the lives of Cory and Toni Burns, it seems that a new family is opening their door for the Burns to enter for Bible study, prayer and ministry. Please pray for the household of Javier and Rosario. We are praying that the Kingdom of God will come to this entire household--that a new church would be formed from their house in the Ciudad Granja Colonia.
With the visit of University students from Lubbock, the Lord seems to have awakened in a few of us a desire to pray for the university campuses in Guadalajara. Please join us as we pray that the Lord of the Harvest would raise workers for and from these campuses.
Please continue to pray for our coworkers and similar activity and stories in neighborhoods, Colonias and cities in and around Guadalajara. Some of these include: San Sebastian, Mariano Otero, Jardines del Valle, Cerro del Cuatro, Chapalita, Aguascalientes, Tepic, Residencial Moctezuma, La Floresta and San Pedro. Pray also for other missionary coworkers who are working in Mexico City, Tlalpan, Cuernavaca, Morelia, Toluca, Lazaro Cadenas, Leon, and other cities across Mexico. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest that he will raise up and multiply workers from the harvest...that a Kingdom movement would truely ignite and spread like wildfire!
We thank God for your support and ministry to us in prayer.
Chadd, Nancy, Morgan, Natali and Ceci Schroeder