January/February: Welcome to 2020, the year of our 20th anniversary of serving through ABFMS! What two decades these have been thus far… Our present includes the earthquakes in Puerto Rico, our ongoing backstage work writing the Bible study materials for discipleship, and organizing our next trips to Colombia. Our past includes Carlos’ trip to Colombia last November, his improvements to the Bible study materials, and our Christmas break with our family. And, our future includes Mayra’s upcoming trips to Colombia and to Puerto Rico, as well as both Carlos and Mayra working full speed to have their materials completed soon and starting the translation to English and other languages to come.
Let us start with the present: Puerto Rico has been experiencing earthquakes since December 28th, 2019. The one on Three Kings’s/Epiphany/Wise Men’s Day has rocked the island for weeks to come. The aftershocks have continued and the Southwestern part of the island needs, once again, our prayers and our support. The island has not yet fully recovered from the Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and now these earthquakes have literally shaken many! Lots of people are having panic attacks, resources are limited, and a second exodus has started, leaving the island in an even more precarious situation than it already was. Despite all of this, our Puerto Rico Baptist Churches continue being faithful in their support of the 8 global servants endorsed by this region and we are blessed by their witness of love and sacrifice. IBPR and ABHMS continue in partnership to support the recovery of Puerto Rico. Your One Great Hour of Sharing-Earthquake Relief Puerto Rico offering is appreciated.
Moving to the past: Carlos went to Colombia in November. He preached and taught in Bucaramanga at the Santanderes Region Pastoral Association’s meeting. Carlos went from Bucaramanga to Cucuta with Pastor Luis Eberto to purchase the sewing machines and start up fabrics and materials they need for the blankets and diapers ministry. FBC Cucuta and FBC Las Cruces (Puerto Rico) are partners in this ministry. What a joy to see these matches of ministry opportunity and those who share resources so that many migrants from Venezuela can have some basic needs met while traveling through that region of Colombia. Email us if you’d like to partner in this ministry of love!
Living in Florida has meant being closer to relatives and friends from Puerto Rico who live in the state. We are glad to see them as we and they are able and especially grateful to have shared Christmas with our immediate and extended family on several occasions. Our older children came for their breaks and we thoroughly enjoyed having them in home #68. They are back to their places of study. Being a bit closer is helpful. Prayers are appreciated as we all adjust to being again just the four of us! Before, during, and after this break, the ongoing backstage work continues as we prepare the Bible study materials on discipleship. We continue to inch toward having it ready for translations and distribution. Please continue to pray for discernment, guidance, and anointing as Carlos prepares and Mayra edits/translates these study guides. We pray they will bless those who access them as they are blessing us while preparing them.
What is in our future? We do not have to be clairvoyant to know; we just need to look at the calendar! We are right on schedule for what we had planned our second year of ministry in Colombia to be: one trip per quarter. Carlos traveled last quarter. Mayra is traveling this quarter to Bogota, The Guajira, and Cucuta to continue nurturing the relationships with the people we serve with and will be having discipleship trainings later this year in partnership with UNIBAUTISTA (starting with the Wayuu in The Guajira and the Santanderes’ Pastors Carlos visited in November). Also, Mayra will visit the sewers in Cucuta that are sewing the blankets and the diapers with the machines bought last November. Mayra will also travel to Puerto Rico to support those affected by the earthquakes, to attend the annual sessions, and spend time with her Dad on his 85th birthday.
Mayra’s Mami, Hilda, keeps experiencing vertigo while on land. Flying and cruising are out of the question for her. Knowing that the Ménière’s disease is what is causing the vertigo ought to help keep it at bay. This has not been an easy transition for anyone, even less for her. Prayers are appreciated.
Life and ministry goes on. Thanks for your new or increased financial support inching us closer to 100%: https://portal.internationalministries.org/global-servant-support May God continue to bless you as you bless us to bless the people of Colombia, including their indigenous groups, and the migrants from Venezuela… “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” Ephesians 2.10 CSB THANKS!!!
Stretching further toward the goal “in the present, past, and future”,
your BGs Et Al
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