Praying that you are all doing well! God has been so good to us despite the many obstacles and challenges we have had to face and we thank Him for his mercy’s which are new every morning. Through it all we have been able to see God’s hand upon us especially through the “very” close car accidents that we would have been part of if it wasn’t for His angels watching over us! Mark, especially has had some very close ones; either the drivers were falling asleep at the wheel or they were drunk! We are on the road a lot either traveling back and forth from San Juanito to Chihuahua (four hours one way) which we do almost every weekend to be part of the church services or making trips back and forth to El Paso. We would greatly covet your continual prayers for our safety! Besides, Roxane recently started a youth study in San Juanito and because of the interest the kids are showing, she and Daniel get on the bus in Chihuahua almost every Friday at 11:45 a.m. bound to San Juanito and then on Sunday at 3:45 they head back to Chihuahua. At times, Mark will drive them to Chihuahua so he can spend time with Crystal and Cassandra since they have classes Saturday and are not able to return to San Juanito on the weekends.
1st Update – All three children in their uniforms:
Roxane continues to live out in Chihuahua with our three children. Crystal and Cassandra are in their 5th semester in the Medical Program (total of 10 semesters & 2 years serving in hospitals) and Daniel started his 1st semester into the Registered Nursing Program (6 semesters & 2 years of serving in hospitals). Since our children have always been homeschooled and have never been in a school type setting they all had to go through a “transitional time” of experiencing and learning what it is like to be in a class room of more than 3 students and to see firsthand how others interact with each other and how little respect some have for those in authority. Since the girls entered the Medical Program together, they had each other as they went through their “eye opening” time and helped each other make the necessary adjustments to adapt in a school room environment and overcome any obstacles that they were faced with. Daniel, on the other hand, had to enter alone and despite the challenges he faced (especially the first week) he is doing quite well. He was so nervous his first week but God has been with him every step of the way and he continues to press on even though 6 of his 26 classmates (5 boys and 21 girls) have already quit. God has blessed him so much with endurance, perseverance and great classmates! Not to mention another blessing was when he and one of his classmates (Brandon) connected right away and to find out that they both were Christians! Brandon seems so strong in his faith which truly amazes us since the other members of his family are not. We are so proud of Daniel because of taking his schooling so seriously. He wakes up at 5:45, showers, does he quiet time, at school from 7:00 – 2:00 (except on Fridays), returns home, does school work, works out on the weight machine, relaxes a little and calls it a night around 10:30. Please continue to pray for all three of them that they will remain faithful to the One that has called them to be a light to those living in darkness and to give them much wisdom and understanding in their classes.
Besides meeting the needs of the children, Roxane is also visiting people in the hospitals, attending funerals, visiting or making phone calls to those that need words of encouragement, running errands, paying bills, answering letters, working on paperwork for the IRS (US and MX) and everything else she can do to lighten the load for Mark. She never seems to have a dull moment in Chihuahua and/or in San Juanito! Please pray also for her as she continues to juggle her time between God, her husband, her children, and the people that are in need.
Mark continues to stay back in San Juanito keeping the ministry running. He has a cell group on Tuesday at someone’s home in San Juanito, a bible study at our home on Wednesday, and another cell group about 30 minutes out of town. He keeps busy with these three studies, the Sunday services, and then of course all the visiting that is involved to attend the “sheep” that God has so graciously entrusted to us. When he is not with the people he is working on a number of building projects and/or doing maintenances on vehicles etc. Mark also never seems to have a dull moment in San Juanito. He wishes he could be out in Chihuahua more with his family but with the church growing, (for which we are so thankful for every sheep that God brings into His fold) comes more opportunities of ministering. Please pray also for him as he juggles his time between God, his wife, his children and the people that are in need.
Our Co-Pastors Armando and Olivia have been such a blessing to us as a family and to the ministry. I cannot imagine how much more pressure we would have been under these last three years if it wasn’t for God sending them our way. They have taken so many of our concerns away and carried so many of our burdens. They truly have been a blessing sent from the Almighty hand of God! Please continue to pray that the Lord gives them many more years to be a blessing to us! (Armando is 64 & Olivia is 66)
The cartels continue to fight for power and with that come the loss of many lives – many under the age of 25. We have been to so many funerals this past year and wonder if this will ever end here in San Juanito. It is so sad to attend a funeral especially when the deceased is so young knowing that they fell into the lies of Satan – believing that riches and power will buy them much happiness and only to find out that it brought them much suffering and / or lost of their lives in a very painful and cruel way. Please continue to pray that the covering over their eyes – the deceitfulness of Satan – will be lifted and that they will seek the One true God – Jesus Christ – that will give them the happiness and peace that they long for and the joy knowing that they will live with Him for all eternity.
2nd Update – Repaired our 60 foot cross that sits on a very high hill:
When the girls had time off from their studies we went to do some maintenance on a cross that we built a little over 5 years ago. The last time we climbed up the mountain to work on the cross was about 1 ½ years ago and we were not really prepared for what we saw – a lot of weeds and very difficult tree vines that had made their way through the rocks which formed the cross. We didn’t have as big as a crew as we did the last time but we were so very thankful for all those that did show up and give us a hand. The numbers on the pictures are put in the order that they were taken. Number (1) is Crystal pointing to what the cross looked like before it was painted and number (9) after the white paint was applied.