Welcome to our first electronic monthly update. We hope to bring you some key information and prayer requests each month via these updates. Since July of last year we have been on US assignment, spending the majority of our time in the States and visiting churches. During this year we have begun compiling a list of e-mail addresses of those interested in joining our Missionary Partnership Network. It is to this list, plus a few personal additions, that we are sending this first update. Each monthly update will appear also as a journal
at www.internationalministries.org Just click on 'missionaries' and write 'Long' in the box, click on our name and some info will pop up. You'll find a picture, some basic facts on where we serve and what we do plus our latest three journals. Please know, too, that you can always e-mail, write or call us. We'll be glad to respond.
So here goes:
....Entry into Mexico for full-time ministry is scheduled for the end of June 2006. In the meantime trips to Missouri, Florida, Maine, New York and West Virginia still highlight our agendas. Nice, though, that the Missouri and Florida jaunts are pure family adventures.
....We are most thankful to the Christian Community Credit Union for the use of a van during this year of US Assignment. Each year they provide a missionary family, who resides in Southern California during US assignment, with a van. Tremendo! Check out their services at www.mycccu.com. International Ministries now banks with the Christian Community Credit Union and for a number of years now they have offered a credit card -- "The card that gives to missions."
....Actually Patti cheated some this year and didn't take a leave of absence from her ministry in Tijuana. She has continued to teach at a grade school run by the Monte Horeb Baptist Church. This is a new ministry for Patti, just in its second year, in which she teaches and coordinates on behalf of special needs children. For fifteen years the school has provided an education for children from the poor barrios around the church, many of whom fell behind in the public schools for one reason or another and were not able to continue their education. Patti has been able to bring a new effort to the school that purposely looks to the teaching and instruction of children with learning problems, one that includes teachers, parents and students alike. The school had always maintained an enrollment of 80 students over the years. That all changed during this past year. The 2005-2006 school year has seen 220 students enrolled!
....Tim will continue to work with the Baja Baptist Seminary located in Mexicali. Now, for the first time in more than fifteen years, it is under new leadership. Rolando Allende resigned in February and Gregorio Gambio has taken over as Director. Tim is anxiously waiting the summer months when he will be able to sit down with Gregorio, seminary professors and local pastors to plan for the upcoming academic year.
....Border issues, of course, have made and will continue to garner national headlines, at least for the next few months. As witnessed to in the mass demonstrations recently held in major cities, the legislative process around border and immigration reform has awakened a heretofore relatively silent group in the States. There are many complexities to these issues and no shortage of opinions and feelings. We pray and trust that the continuing process will be one marked by civility and one that takes to heart God's concern so prevalent in the formation of Israel many years ago -- that special attention and concern must be given on behalf of the poor, widow, orphan and foreigner in their midst. Last summer Tim wrote a journal, "A Missionary's Perspective on the Borderlands." If interested you'll find it on the International Ministries website.
We close with a Resurrection wish:
!Que el evento singular de la resurreccion del Señor Jesucristo sirva para que con ganas busqemos primeramente el reino de Dios y su justicia!
(May the singular event of Christ's resurrection encourage us to heartily seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness.)
Serving Christ in the Borderlands of the Californias,
Patti and Tim