Friday, February 27, 2009

Oaxaca Trip Days 3 & 4

Day 3 - Wednesday. The travelers hiked up to the mountain village of La Canada to hold a service in the Bible Methodist Church there.

Bro. Cuco preached a great message that morning, then it's on to the village of Santa Maria to visit the mission there.
Here's Elsa, Bro. Desi's granddaughter and supply pastor at Santa Maria, receiving her gifts from the Auburn Church.

The church people at Santa Maria.

Day 4 - Thursday. The day began with a river baptismal service. 4 new Christians from the church at Las Palmas (Pastor Reveriano) were baptized that morning.

Here's Bro. Dolores speaking to the people and candidates before he and Bro. Parker baptized them in the cold mountain river!

The 4 young people - the baptismal candidates

After the baptismal service, everyone headed to the village of 201 to visit the mission and Pastor Maria, who is helping in the mission here.

Then the missionaries headed up the trail to visit the BM mission in Bugambilias while the Mexican brothers returned to San Gabriel for the evening revival service. There they go....

At every stop during this day, gifts were given to our Bible Methodist pastors: the Christmas gifts from the Auburn church, Spanish Thompson Chain Reference Bibles (as part of the Bible Institute), the 3 volume set of Spanish "Exploring Christian Holiness", given by the Alabama Conference, etc...

Here's Marc with Pastor Reveriano. At an age when most pastors are retiring and enjoying their rocking chairs, this pastor keeps pushing on. He has a burden to see the lost in his community saved.

Marc and Pastor Edgar in front of the newly remodeled church in Bugambilias

The sun is setting on Day 4...over the village of Bugambilias. How beautiful!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oaxaca Trip Days 1 & 2

I want to try to share the pictures with you on a day by day basis, so you get the feel for the trip and what they did each day.

Day 1 - Monday. Marc, Conference President Dolores, and Steve left Saltillo early heading for the Monterrey airport. They arrived in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca in the early afternoon and met our Missions Director John Parker there. They were met by Pastor Benito and his wife Anna and family and enjoyed visiting with them for awhile.

Pastor's wife Anna (Oaxaca City) and their 2 darling boys

An evening trip was taken up to our Bible Methodist Church in Jayacatlan to visit Pastor Alejandro and his new bride, Chele. Marc was happy to present them their gifts from the Auburn OH Bible Methodist Church (part of their Christmas Project). As you can see from their faces, they were happy to receive them. Thanks again, Auburn!

Steve, Pastor Alejandro, Marc, Pastor Dolores

Receiving their gifts

Bro. John, Pastor Dolores, Marc, and Pastor Alejandro singing in the church at Jayacatlan

Praying a special prayer of blessing over Alex and Chele

I was a little concerned about their night trip back down the mountain to Oaxaca City, but all went well. They spent the night there in Oaxaca City and sometime during this day (I believe) were joined by our pastor in Cuchicuato, Pastor Refugio (Cuco).

Day 2 - Tuesday. The travelers were up early and boarding a bus heading south across the mountains to the village of San Gabriel. The bus ride is a story in itself, I hear; Marc's had "various and sundry" experiences on this particular ride on his different trips to Oaxaca. But they arrived safely and were met by Pastor Desiderio Lopez and his wife and hosted by them during their stay here in this village.

Pastor Dolores preached a great message that Tuesday evening in San Gabriel. Here's the altar scene at the end of the service.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Marc's safe arrival

Marc arrived home yesterday afternoon from his week long trip to southern Mexico to visit our Bible Methodist Churches in the mountains of Oaxaca.

He has tons (I mean it) of pictures and I loved looking at them last night and seeing faces and places that are now becoming familiar to me, even though I have never been there. After seeing pictures from 5 previous Oaxaca visits, I am beginning to recognize things. :) The boys and I are planning to join Marc on his next trip to Oaxaca City in August for our church's anniversary celebration. I'm looking forward to it!

I'll be posting pictures and an update soon - check back!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our boys' dad

On Sunday as we were getting ready for church, I caught one of those father/son moments that I love. They were looking in the mirror on the living room wall, and Marc was teaching Jordan how to tie his tie.

Our boys adore their dad, would much rather be with him than me, and want to be just like him. I remember Marc singing a song on Father's Day at Franklin one year: "Lord, I want to be just like You, 'cause he wants to be just like me."

Marc is such an awesome dad to our boys - the best!

Our Spring Revival in Saltillo

Our revival ended up great on Sunday. Bro. Eli (Bible Inst. Pres.) preached the weekend services and did a wonderful job - God really helped him. I really did not get a good blog-worthy picture of him to post. Especially annointed was his message on the eagle Sunday night, likening the eagle to us as Christians. It was powerful and much-needed.

Beth and I helped Noemi teach the combined Sunday School class (our classes plus the preschool class) in the dining room during the preaching on Sunday morning. It was interesting to "rise above" the noise of the kitchen, where the ladies were working hard fixing the delicious lunch, but we did it. :)

The meals and fellowship with our people in the dining room on Sunday were much enjoyed. Pastor Dolores, his wife Silvia and the church people were very organized and worked very hard for this revival effort. We are so thankful for their dedication to God's kingdom and His service - and grateful to share a part in it.

Caught Cameron with his mouth full, enjoying the delicious lunch...I'm sure he'll love me for posting this one.

Here's a shot of the Sunday evening crowd. I was playing the piano although you can't see that in the pic. Click on the next 2 pics to enlarge them.

Marc directed the Youth Choir and I accompanied them to sing a beautiful song Sunday night. The song they sang was "Vencedor" in Spanish - Through It All in English. They did a great job!

Valentine's Day

My husband returned home in the afternoon on Valentine's Day from his trip to GBS. He brought me a beautiful gift and two sweet cards - one funny, one especially meaningful. He's my Valentine forever! has been for 18 years and we plan to keep it that way. :)

I took Rice Krispy Treats with Cinnamon Red hearts for Valentine's Day to revival Saturday night to hand out after church. Everyone seemed to enjoy them. I made a pan for my family, too. Thanks to my friend Renee for the cereal!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pastors' Wives Ministry Care Packages

For some time, I have been thinking about our pastors' wives here in Mexico, and wanting to encourage them in their help equip them to do the job of supporting their husband and enhancing their own ministry and impact in their local church. I have talked to several people, our Missions Director John Parker included, about this idea and have received their support.

I would like to put together a Pastors' Wives Ministry Care Package as a ministry arm of our Bible Institute Classes coming up in April - 13 through 18 (more on that later). Many of these pastors' wives cannot attend the classes although they would be welcome to. They stay at home, many times caring for children, home and even conducting services in their church in their husband's absence. I would like to assure them of our love and concern and that we value their contribution and ministry to their local church.

With this in mind, I recently went shopping for a resource book/Bible study guide for women in the Bookstore at the Rio Grande Bible Institute - a treasure trove of Spanish materials. I found an excellent book on How to Be a Woman of Prayer - Como Ser una Mujer de Oracion - complete with Bible study guides and discussion questions: a wonderful ministry tool. I have ordered one of these for each pastors' wife.

You might be wondering about the pastors' wives themselves - how many do we have? what are their names? Let me introduce you to them. I will give you her name and church first, then a photo of each one.

Hermana Esther - pastor's wife at Soledad

Hermana Areli - pastor's wife at La Florida

Hermana Edith - pastor's wife at Rio Bravo

Hermana Graciela - pastor's wife at Santa Apolonia

Hermana Sylvia - conference president and pastor's wife at Saltillo

Hermana Adalia - pastor's wife at San Rafael

Hermana Macedonia - pastor's wife at Pedregales

Hermana Rosa - pastor's wife at Cuchicuato

Hermana Anna - pastor's wife in Oaxaca City

Hermana Chele - pastor's wife in Jayacatlan (Oaxaca)

There are 3 other pastor's wives that I do not have pictures of. Pastor Panchito's wife in Galeana, Pastor Desiderio's wife in San Gabriel and Pastor Reveriano's wife in Las Palmas. Hopefully I will be able to post pictures of them very soon.

I have also included our Bible Institute President's wife - Hermana Isela. She has a ministry of support to her husband, much like a pastor's wife. He is very active in the local church there in Rio Bravo.

Now that you've seen their faces and know where they minister, would you be interested in helping with this project?

~ Funds are needed to cover the cost of the books we have ordered - about $105.

~ Nellie Miller, my late grandfather Miller's wife, is hand knitting dish cloths for each pastor's wife to include in her care package - thank you Grandma Nellie!

~ We'd like to include other small, compact items that would be beneficial for our pastor's wives to use in their ministry, whether it be entertaining guests, conducting Bible studies, etc....

~ Do you make or sell something that you'd be interested in donating to this project? Keep in mind - you would need to act rather quickly to gather the materials, ship them to our Texas address (see sidebar), or contribute money so that we can purchase the items here. Also, it would need to be a relatively compact item that we can include in the package and send home with her pastor husband in his suitcase, if she's not able to attend.

~ Maybe you cannot contribute at this time, but would like to adopt one of these pastor's wives as your Sister in Ministry - thinking especially of stateside pastor's wives here, but really anyone can participate. Let me know and I'll be responsible for communicating that to each pastor's wife in her Care Package card.

Thank you for considering this special Pastors' Wives Ministry Care Package Project!

Melodie Sankey

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Uncle Verlon and update on Logan

Many of you know that my Uncle Verlon Agan has been struggling physically for some time now and has spent the better part of 3 months in the hospital with severe heart and kidney problems. We, as a family, have been so very concerned and have felt at times that he was not going to make it. I'm so happy to report good news today. Marc caught a taxi and went to see him during his flight layover in Atlanta last night. My cell phone rang and Marc said, "Would you like to talk to your uncle?" I couldn't believe it - Uncle Verlon sounded great! Just a miracle from the condition he was in even a couple weeks ago. He is really hoping to go home from rehab this Saturday. He still has a way to go in his recovery, but I am so thankful for God's touch on him and thank all of you for your prayers.
This is a picture of Uncle Verlon and me at my cousin Sherilyn's wedding last summer.
Logan's been "in the news" alot lately...:) But here's a quick update: After a year of antifungal therapy using oral medication, today is his last day on the medicine. Tomorrow begins a trial period to see how he does off the medicine and if the fungus has been eradicated. He will have a follow up MRI and doctor visit in mid-March to see if the therapy has been effective this past year. I will admit a little uneasiness right now, but I do know that God is in control. He has healed our son and I am trusting Him to continue to do so. Please help us pray that there will not be a resurfacing of the fungus and that in mid-March, Logan can receive a clean bill of health.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Spring Revival in Saltillo

Our revival here in Saltillo began last night and goes through Sunday. Marc preached the opening sermon and the Lord really helped him. He preached about having a real encounter with God and the changes it will make in someone's life. There was one seeker and a time of praying around the altar at the close of the service.

Please pray for the revival effort this week. Steve Stetler will be speaking tonight and Eli Balderas, our Institute President will be preaching for the weekend. We need God's presence in a very real way to touch hearts and send the revival that we need.

Marc left home at 6 this morning to fly to Cincinnati/God's Bible School for a training/demonstration session on an online education system; it may be a possibility for us to cooperate with for one facet of our Bible Institute efforts here in Mexico. He will be back on Saturday, Lord willing.

So for now, it's the boys and me and

Monday, February 9, 2009

Logan's "cake" and party

Here's the brownies and ice cream Logan requested for his birthday.

He got some great stuff for his birthday: money, Lego Power Miners, a tape measure and screwdriver set, a digital camera, and quite a few cards (seems like something else, too but it's not coming to mind). Thank you to everybody!

Logan LOVES to build things - anything.

When we got home, Marc put together one of our favorite snacks to enjoy for Logan's party. Doritos, shredded cheese, and olives. Put in hot oven until the cheese melts - delicious!

Uncle Steve giving Logan his birthday "spanking".

Marc and the boys played a game of credit card Monopoly before heading to bed.

I'm hoping to take some birthday pictures of Logan soon and will be posting them when I do.

Our border trip and visit to our church in Soledad

This is the RGBI guest house where we stay when we go out for border trips. They give an awesome price to language school alumni and since we spent 15 months total living here on the campus, it feels like home to us. My kids are normally running for the basketball courts or their friends' houses before the wheels stop turning.

During our time on the border we enjoyed visiting with fellow missionaries, Michael and Crystal Mason and their two boys. Thank you for taking time out of your language school schedule to spend time with us - we enjoyed it.

Also we met with 'very' extended family (brother in law's brother and family) - Scott and Dawn Weaver and their 2 girls - MKs and former missionaries to Honduras, Belize and Mexico. Thank you, Weavers, for the delicious meal and for fitting us in at the end of your very busy work trip to Mexico. Thank you also for your love and your faithful support of our ministry.

We enjoyed visiting with Pastor Homero his wife Esther and the wonderful people at our Bible Methodist church in Soledad on Sunday morning. Here's a few pictures to show you:

Marc giving the Bible Study during Sunday School

One of Logan's favorite things about his birthday was getting to see his Mexican friend, Irving.

Our Bible Institute President Eli and Isela Balderas (Pastor Luna's daughter) joined us for lunch at the Luna home. The food was just scrumptious as always. And true to Mexican culture, the men and boys ate first....we ladies served them and then sat in the living room and waited until they were finished eating before we began. Of course my "men and boys" love this custom!

Thank you to those who prayed for Sister Esther and sent her cards during her recent gall bladder surgery and recuperation time. She is still not doing well physically and has several other problems that may or may not be related to surgery complications. She was not feeling well at all yesterday and Pastor Luna said he would be taking her back to the doctor this week. She also suffers from high blood pressure. I told her that we would be praying for her...would you join me in remembering Sis Esther Luna, pastor's wife at Soledad? Thank you!