Mexico City, Mexico
September 2, 2009
For the first time ever we write to you from Mexico City, a sprawling mile high metropolis and home to 20 plus million people, probably the second largest city in the world. Ramona and I have just moved into an apartment on the campus of the Baptist Seminary of Mexico, our new home and base of ministry. We are setting up our living space, getting to know students and colleagues and finding our place of ministry among them. We are glad to be here and optimistic about this new season of work. We are profoundly grateful to all who pray for and support us and our partners in Mexico. Your fervent prayers and generous gifts make so much happen.
Maria Jimenez and Juana Nuñez, our two newest students, share with Ramona the experience of moving from a very small village to a very large city. La Ceyba, Chiapas is a little larger than Glennville California, but both places count their populations with three digits while Mexico City requires eight! While I will be supervising their pastoral work, Ramona will be looking after them as a “dorm mom”, tutor, mentor and friend. Because their Spanish is limited they will need much encouragement, patience and hard work in order to keep up with their classes. These two young Tseltal Mayan women, with God's help and grace have the potential to become important leaders for churches in Chiapas. Please pray for these young women and for all our residence students.
The Baptist Seminary serves churches in Mexico through three programs. Maria and Juana are two of the students who are currently enrolled in a residence program at the seminary campus. More than 100 students are served through seven regional centers, including the Seminario Intercultural Mayense in Chiapas where Ramona and I served during the last year, filling in for International Ministries missionaries Doris and Ricardo Mayol. The third program involves extension courses, self-study supplemented by workshops, and offered to leaders of rural churches. Some 150 students are currently active in extension classes. All of our current residence students began their studies through the seminary's regional or extension programs before coming full-time to Mexico City. Our work in the coming months will develop at the campus in Mexico City as well as with the regional centers and extension training programs. Because most of our students are not on campus, travel will become an important part of our ministry routine in the coming months. We will be back in Chiapas to accompany a medical team from Heritage Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA, in the third week of September and then back to Mexico City and a series of long overdue visits to communities in Puebla, Oaxaca, and the State of Mexico.
Never before in its history has the seminary been involved with so many churches and had the opportunity to impact so many leaders. As we ease into our new role as part of the seminary team we pray for God's wisdom in planning and finding the right places to commit ourselves in our shared and individual ministries as a couple. We ask you to pray with us for guidance, energy, and vision.
And while you are praying, there has never been a more important hour to pray for International Ministries and our many missionary colleagues both in Mexico and around the world who are working with their Missionary Partnership Teams and Networks to build the economic bases for their continued work. You are already doing so much for Ramona and I, but we ask you to pray and encourage your church to generously support the World Mission Offering and our fellow missionaries.
Please continue to pray for Vek from Nagaland who is waiting patiently for a kidney transplant in Southern California. Pray also for 13 year-old Eloy Martinez as he looks at another full year of chemotherapy for leukemia, and for young Mateo Gomez who needs surgery for an infected eye socket so that a prosthesis can be put in place. Thank you for your faithfulness!
--Chuck & Ramona Shawver
Our Address in Mexico City:
Chuck & Ramona Shawver
La Otra Banda No. 24 Dto. 801
Col. San Angel, Del. Alvaro Obregon Telephone (011 52 555) 616-7376
Mexico, D.F. 01000
The Pictures are:
A. Maria, Ramona, and Juana on campus
B. Looking north from our Mexico City apartment