These have been extra busy weeks! Here's some of what's been going on:
Holy Week: 4 "Noches de Gloria" Monday to Thursday evenings in Chiconautla. These services had great times of worship and teaching with great attendance, and the Lord's presence among us was felt in special ways--so much so that many people didn't want to go home. Praise God for the work He did in so many hearts, minds and souls those 4 nights!
Good Friday: A combined outing of the Tizayuca "Church in the Park" and the "Uno Más en Cristo" church plant in Heroes Tecamac. Pastor Domingo and John Pieters both led worship and Manuel delivered the message. Domingo baptized 4 from Tizayuca and John baptized 11 from Heroes! Praise God for the growth occurring in these young congregations!
Easter Sunday: A time of rejoicing that Christ is risen, celebrating with a potluck after each of our usual 3 Sunday services. Traditional religion in Mexico leads people to celebrate Christ's death on Good Friday, but His resurrection is sadly overlooked by most of the population. What joy it is for us to worship the risen Savior with those who have come to know the power of His resurrection personally! Praise God for those who have begun a personal relationship with Christ and are learning to walk with Him daily!
Kids Day: April 30th is "Día del Niño" in Mexico. Our staff and many church members put together a play and full program to celebrate kids and share the Good News in 2 areas of Chiconautla. Our son Caleb acted in the play, both events were well attended, and many kids and parents heard the message clearly presented.
Christian Homeschool Conference: 2 days of inspiring and encouraging teaching sessions (1 hour north of us) on raising children in the fear of the Lord. Although I (Laura) was only able to attend 1 of the 2 days due to other commitments, I returned home inspired, not only to be a better homeschool parent, but to do all I can to encourage the many moms we work with to grow in godly parenting skills. (I'll be speaking to the women's group this Friday on related topics.) I was also thankful to be able to take a young mother of 3 from the Chiconautla church to the conference, and she is anxious to put into practice all we heard there.
Leaders' Meeting: A monthly gathering of all the full-time staff and lay leaders from the Chiconautla church. This time it was our turn to host the meeting, so we all had fun grilling and baking to feed 25 Saturday evening. We're so grateful for these committed leaders who have followed God's call into ministry, using whatever time and skills they have available, so we are glad to bless them whenever possible.
In the midst of all this we also kept up with school at home (except for Holy Week), celebrated Laura's birthday, and had 2 extended family gatherings (1 to welcome a nephew's new baby and 1 to enjoy Manuel's mother's yummy Oaxacan tamales). God is good, and we are honored to be in such fulfilling work!