Journals
Posted on May 31, 2020 Power from Beyond Ourselves
Juan with pastor Nicolas and his wife, Esperanza, at Iglesia Bautista Nueva Jerusalem in the Tseltal community of Tacuba Vieja, Chiapas
Denise & Juan Aragón
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Perplexing, Pentecostal God,
you infuse us with your Spirit,
urging us to vision and dream.
May the gift of your presence
find voice in our lives,
that our babbling may be transformed into discernment
and the flickering of many tongues
light an unquenchable fire of compassion and justice.
Amen.


Dear friends,
                                          
We hope and pray that as the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic you and your love ones are safe and healthy.
 
We thank you for your continued prayers and support. We want you to know our family is safe and sane! 
 
While Covid-19 cases in Mexico have increased exponentially, as of today (May 30th) Chiapas has 1,632 cases. Our hometown of San Cristobal de las Casas has 136 cases. 
 
Tourism is the main industry in San Cristobal; hotels, restaurants, and other shops which depend on tourism have gone out of business resulting in hundreds of lost jobs without unemployment benefits.
 
Health authorities stated the peak in Chiapas would be May 17th through June 8th. While some parts of Mexico are getting ready to re-open this coming June 1st, it’s uncertain what will happen here in the next couple of weeks. 
 
Last week Mexican education authorities announced the school system would finish at home with what they’ve dubbed “Aprendiendo en Casa / Learning at Home.” So, we continue “homeschooling” our children until July. 
 
Every week their teachers send us activities; we guide and help them with their learning process. They also meet twice a week with their teachers and classmates through videoconferences. 
 
They will be going back to school until the next school cycle which starts in August 2020. Juancito will start 4th grade and Ziba 2nd grade.
 
We remain in contact with some of the pastors and leaders who have phone signal in their communities.
 
Our partner churches, most of which are in isolated rural areas, remain without any virus cases. This is a tremendous blessing! However, some still don’t believe the virus is real while others think God is protecting them and they don’t need to follow the measures established by the authorities. Please help us praying that God does indeed protect them.
 
CICEM’s leadership team (Noé Trujillo, Sury Gonzalez, our missionary colleagues the Myers and us) meets on a weekly basis over video calls to pray for our families, partners in Mexico and the USA. 
 
The Myers and us came alongside CICEM to create an emergency fund which will be used to support 22 of CICEM´s most vulnerable churches if they are impacted by the virus. Thank you because your generosity enables us to provide these funds.
 
We’re also creating short videos with encouraging messages and brief biblical reflections that we can share with our partner churches. Most people with phone signal in the mountains have prepaid plans so we must be mindful of the length and size of the videos. We long to visit our partners but we remain uncertain as to when we will be able to resume our presential ministry, so this helps us to keep in touch with them. 
 
What the world is facing is unprecedented. We know that throughout the USA individuals and families have been impacted not only with job losses but with the loss of loved ones. 
 
This coming Sunday the global church celebrates the Day of Pentecost to commemorate the coming of God’s Spirit upon His people. Our family has been, is and will be praying for you and your churches so that the Holy Spirit continues to infuse us all with power from beyond ourselves to carry His mission and be faithful to our calling as we face this worldwide crisis.
 
In an email sent several days ago IM’s Chief Executive Pastor, Rev. Sharon Koh, reminded us that: COVID-19 is not the first (and will not likely be the last) crisis our mission movement has had to face. But when we look back at over 200 years of God’s readiness to carry us through anything and everything, we can truthfully proclaim that God has already carried us through world wars, previous pandemics, and major economic downturns. Our God was and remains faithful, and we are still poised today, as we have been through the years, to respond to the call that God has placed on our hearts to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need so that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
 
With gratitude and love,


“Construyendo el Future / Building the Future.”  While we’re unable to travel and visit our partners, we praise God because the literacy program “Construyendo el Future / Building the Future” at Iglesia Bautista Horeb in the Tsotsil Community of Carmen Grande  keeps going. David, the young man leading the program, has sent us pictures. Some of the youth and women are making good progress in reading and writing skills. As soon as we resume traveling, we will continue with the next phase which is building a small library of books for children and adults that they can use to practice their reading. Our hope and prayer is that by the end of the year they will be reading their Bibles and we will have a graduation ceremony! Thank you because this is possible through your support!