Denise and Juan will serve in partnership with the Council of Rural Indigenous Evangelicals of Mexico (CICEM) in Chiapas, Mexico. They will both work in training, prevention and education as they learn the community needs and look for ways to emotionally and economically empower leaders in their communities. Juan will focus on theological education and leadership training as he accompanies, coaches and disciples new church leaders. Denise’s ministry will seek to empower women, especially those who are victims of domestic abuse.
They write – This past weekend our family attended Camp Global 2017 at Camp Cowen, WV. Camp Global is a family mission’s camp, which we’ve attended every year since 2008. There we met and connected with some global servants from International Ministries who inspired us with their love for God, passionate commitment to God’s kingdom and stories of how God is changing lives across the world through their ministries. God used this camp, the people we met and the stories we heard to plant the initial seeds to become global servants.
It took nearly seven years for these seeds to germinate. When we started our discernment process in early 2015, we were opened and willing to listen where God wanted us to go. Through time in prayer, reflection, dialog and different experiences God made clear He was calling us to Chiapas, Mexico.
After the call to Chiapas was evident, we launched into full fundraising mode. For one year, we’ve been sharing about our call and inviting friends and churches in West Virginia, Colorado, California, Illinois, and Kansas to join us in what God is doing in Chiapas. At the beginning, as Denise and I looked at the road ahead, we saw an imposing mountain. “Will we be able to climb it? Can we do it?” we wondered.
God spoke to us. He said, “Enjoy the ride, imagine this season of your lives as a spot covered with a pile of bright and colorful autumn leaves and you are playfully diving into the leaves.” So, in faith and obedience we started the journey. With every step we’ve felt joy, gratitude and love, but we’ve also encountered anxiety, frustration and exhaustion. Without a doubt, we can affirm all along we’ve experienced God’s faithfulness and goodness through each one of you who have joined our Mission Partnership Network (MPN).
As our departure date set for September 6th approaches, we keep trusting in the grace, love and faithfulness of the One who called us (1 Thessalonians 5:24) to sustain and see us through this transition.
We know that in the coming days, weeks and months we’ll continue to face the fear, anxiety, worry and uncertainty of life in another country and culture, but King David gives us a striking picture of God’s unfaltering loyalty and presence no matter where we are: “If [we] rise on the wings of the dawn, if [we] settle on the far side of the sea, even there [God’s] hand will guide [us], [His] right hand will hold [us] fast.” (Psalm 139:9-10)
What’s more, our Lord Jesus promised he will be with us day after day after day as we serve his kingdom and purposes. (Matthew 28:20) “I will never leave you or forsake you,” he promised. (Hebrew 4:5)
As we start this new chapter, we thank you for enabling us to go. God’s mission is done with the feet of those who go, with the knees of those who pray and with the hands of those who give.