We are currently based in San Antonio, Texas, and most grateful for the time to have lived and witnessed God at work in Mexico from 2006 to 2020. Our interest to share the gospel in the Hispanic community began in the years before being entrusted to do the Lord’s work full time in May 2006. The desire the Lord gave us led initially to Mexico to study Spanish in Hermosillo, Sonora, and then two years later to the beautiful gulf port city of Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico. In 2009, we had the joy of seeing God’s blessing in the salvation of souls and an assembly established in Veracruz. The work there has prospered by the grace and power of God and continues to grow to this day.
During the past few years we felt the Lord was impressing on us a new location and we continued to pray for His guidance. In 2018, with several necessary trips to Texas, we felt a growing interest for sharing the gospel here, especially in the Hispanic community. It is a state with a large Hispanic population and no resident full-time workers that we know of. We learned that about 63% of the city of San Antonio is Hispanic, the majority of those being of Mexican descent. The Lord has seen fit by various means and circumstances to lead us to San Antonio, Texas, at this time with an interest to work here in the gospel. The goal is to see a local church established for the honor and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, the state of Texas offers us proximity to Mexico, allowing us the opportunity to more easily maintain contact with the Lord’s work in Veracruz and other places, as the Lord would permit.
In October 2020, we began living in an apartment in San Antonio. Over the course of the pandemic, we met regularly online with the assembly in Veracruz. We were also encouraged with different contacts made here in the community. We met a couple in the city who have saved family members in both Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona. She was saved during online meetings by John Dennison on future events. We enjoyed a few visits with them as a couple, and it gave us much joy to learn of his salvation on February 3, 2021, while listening to online gospel messages by Tim Stevenson and Duncan Beckett. The following month this couple moved to Phoenix to be closer to family members, and they attend meetings in West Phoenix. Please pray for their continued spiritual growth.
During mid-February 2021, extremely rare arctic conditions of ice and snow caused lost electrical power and subsequent water service loss in many areas. In our apartment, the cold was intense. We left in our van to keep warm, find coffee and charge our cell phones. By evening, we returned to see that our building in the complex was completely engulfed in flames from a fire that reportedly began with a patio grill, destroying eight apartments, including our own. We are immensely grateful for all the kindness and generosity of the Lord’s people during the recovery process. So many helped in different ways and we were touched by so much care. Soon after, we moved into a replacement apartment at the same complex, and by summer we were able to find a house to first fix up and later move into in August 2021. The same month, our son Jacob began in-person classes at a high school in the city, and our daughter, Moriah, moved from North Carolina to San Antonio.
We were thankful, after an extensive search on the largely Hispanic west side of the city, to find a location to rent for a gospel work. Over several weeks, we made the necessary modifications and preparations before acquiring our Certificate of Occupancy from the city in order to have public services. At the close of December, the Seed Sowers group arrived, guided by Timothy & Eunice McCalley, and worked, despite many challenges, to deliver about 43,000 text/invitation packets to homes on the west side of the city.
Gospel meetings in Spanish began January 2 with the valuable help of Shad Kember for the first three weeks. Some contacts were established over the eight-week series, during which we appreciated the help of Ross Vanstone, Jason Wahls and our son Jacob. In March, we appreciated the visits and help of others, including Jason & Shelly Wahls, Duncan & Anna Beckett, Tim Woodford, Marcus Cain and Shad Kember.
At the time of writing, over 60 different people from the community have attended the meetings, with about half returning at least once. Many of those who have attended were reached through the December distribution. We have been thankful to see our neighbors who lost their apartment in the fire attend several times. Please pray for them as well as for their three small children. The attendance at meetings varies, and we are grateful for a number of people who return and continue to listen to the gospel between weekdays and weekends. New contacts more recently encourage us that God is at work. Rebekah and I continue to distribute John 3:16 texts that remain from the December distribution, along with updated invitations, to homes several mornings each week. A man who came to our defense with a broomstick one morning as we faced some formidable dogs in the street later shared some of his story, including the loss of his son in an accident last year. During several follow-up visits with both him and his wife, they have been hospitable and receptive. They have come to hear the gospel once so far, and we pray they will understand their greatest need and know Christ as their Savior.
We have our rental building contracted until August, and we continue with the Lord’s help to share the gospel on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Moriah teaches Bible lessons to young children who may accompany their parents on Sundays. Please pray for the work among children and adults, that more would know the joy of sins forgiven. The Lord said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Joh 12:46 ESV). We value your prayers for those here who live in spiritual darkness, that the light of the gospel would reach them. We are thankful for the reality that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (Joh 1:5 NLT).