Hopewell Outreach Newsletter

Issue #2 February 1997


In this issue you will read selections from Hopewell members who have moved away to live in other parts of the field. Please read these as the co-worker that God wants you to be with them. Don't forget that they are counting on your prayer support. Is "every day" asking for too much?

Originally scheduled for this issue was a compressed history of the work in Santa María since its inception in 1981 under the sponsorship of Bible Mennonite Fellowship. Alas, the constraints of something called space do not allow it after all. Perhaps it will fit in the next issue....
- Mark Roth, editor



Greetings from Marysville, Washington.

As I sit here looking out the window, it's a beautiful cloudless winter day. We do have a heavenly view from our yard. With the trees all around, all you can do for a view is to look up.

I've been challenged these past couple of weeks from the children of Israel as they left Egypt and experienced the mighty power of God. Yet how quickly they began thinking of their own selves and began to complain. They forgot the mighty power of God. "Lord, help me to look up, that I might view life from your perspective."

With spring just around the corner, we're ready to get out and get some grass and flowers planted, and do a little landscaping. Yesterday Esther was feeling so good she was out helping the boys clean up some of the many branches laying around. Sometimes it just takes a mother's touch to add that special something.

Some of the fellows from Hopewell were up Wednesday morning (February 5) and helped get the back deck in place. We need to get it finished. Plus I have a couple things to do on the skirting on the trailer. Then we can call for the final inspection. The inspectors have been friendly and helpful.

We've met a couple neighbors now. They seem really friendly. One, when he drives by and sees the boys outside, likes to yell, "Howdy, neighbors."

Keep praying for us that we might have wisdom, understanding and discernment as we seek to help out here in the work.
- Marvin Boss


The Workers in Everett

THE BONTRAGERS: Ron & Corrine, Timothy, Michael, Charity, Lydella, Jonathan

THE BOSSES: Marvin & Esther, Reuben, Jason, Brandon, Jeremy, Caleb

While Marvins finally succeeded in moving "up there," Rons are still waiting for their house in Woodburn to sell. In the meantime, Rons drive to Everett practically every Sunday. That is a four-hour trip...one way. Pray for their protection and endurance.



Greetings from Santa María:

We have now been here for two months and have gotten settled in. We are living in a house that was loaned to us, that no one had been living in for awhile. Since we did some fixing up, it is now more liveable and makes an adequate place to call home.

It seems that sickness has never been far away since we arrived. We've all been hit with one or more sicknesses, but I think things are improving. About all we have now are colds, which are tolerable.

I have been teaching the youth Sunday school class since the end of last year. Attendance has fluctuated from a low of about six over Christmas vacation, to eleven who came last Sunday. We began studying Bible characters, beginning with Adam, and are working our way through the Bible. There are many lessons we can learn from the men and women portrayed in the Bible.

Joe, Lindsey and I have been involved in passing out tracts and visiting in various villages three days a week. It has been interesting seeing many villages close up as we walk through, meeting new people and seeing their reactions to what we are doing. Many people realize the need for the morals of the Bible, seeing how things are getting worse with each passing generation. Repentance and salvation, however, is a personal matter that goes beyond just a moral code.

We as a family have gone to several small villages to pass out tracts. We have enjoyed that, though Benjamin claims that his feet get tired, trying to coax us into carrying him. That's the reason for the small villages. We have also done some visiting here in Santa María.

We appreciate your letters, cards and prayers.

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
- David Smucker


Water! How much we take it for granted. As we go from village to village, we can easily observe which ones have plenty of water and which do not. In some villages there is an abundance of flourishing trees, plants and bushes; in most, there is a limited amount of the same; in a few, there is an obvious dryness of earth.

Jesus! How much we take Him for granted. As we go around in the Valley of Guaymas-Empalme, there is an obvious lack of Him which results in a spiritual dryness. This has become a concern to us. So we want to try to cover all the villages, great and small, by visiting and passing out Gospel literature. For the present we are concentrating on the area north of Santa María. Later we may continue south of here, since there are many villages between us and the international highway. We are looking forward to a shipment of Christian Light Publication's "Para Ti" which is the Spanish version of "Just for You." Up until this time, we have been using some leftover tracts that are here, most of them published by Lamp and Light Publishers. We want to replenish our supply of those, as well.

Since I have been laden with more responsibility at the local church in Santa María, I will be expecting David and Lindsey to do more of the literature distribution in the future. David has taken his family to pass out tracts in a few of the small villages, which has been a blessing to some.

Visiting in the different villages has more than one purpose. Besides spreading the Water of Life, we are keeping our eyes and ears open for areas receptive to more concentrated evangelism. This is a prayer request I would like to leave with each reader of this newsletter. May God bless you as you participate in the work here, and in this way you are "fellow helpers to the truth" (3 John 8).
- Joe Mast


A Trip to the Field

Our trip to Santa María from December 7-13 was indeed a great way to see firsthand what is happening on the front lines.

We were excited as the airplane approached the Guaymas airport, and our tour guide, James Roth, pointed out some familiar landmarks of the Guaymas Valley: the villages of Ortiz and Santa María, and the long straight road to Francisco Márquez.

Upon landing we were happy to see that Joe and Lindsey had arrived to give us a lift to our destination. The warm sunshine was a welcome sight to us Oregonians, having just experienced floods, winds and all the typical wet Oregon winter weather. We enjoyed the upper 80 degree weather.

The look on Benjamin's face was quite rewarding as I walked up to David's house just a few blocks away from the mission house. He instantly dropped what he was playing with and came running, a huge grin spreading across his face. As far as he was concerned, it would be great having Tío Lelands there for a week. Davids had arranged that we stay with them in their primitive (by our standards) yet useable, borrowed house. James stayed at Joe's place.

Our first night there was a little rough, as Melisa was sick and cried quite a bit, waking up Dale. It made for an eventful night! We desperately hoped this was not an indication of what the rest of the week would be like!

Activities while we were there included building a shower room for Davids, attending services, visiting with the missionaries as well as other church people, going on bike rides with Travis, driving around to see other villages, going to Guaymas to shop for things (like fabric), and going to the beach to say we've been there (it was beautiful!).

We men helped move a pile of sand (an ingredient for concrete) which Joe had bought from a neighbor. The interesting thing about the sandpile was all the toads (dead and alive) that it contained. A few of Sandra's experiences included washing dishes and clothes on the cement scrubbing slab outside.

The purpose of our visit to Mexico was not only to have a fun vacation, but to encourage the missionaries, and to better inform ourselves of the happenings down there. I believe that the supporting group must be involved in order to effectively give guidance to the work.

Although the believers still struggle spiritually, we were encouraged to see the hand of God at work in the group of believers there.
- Leland Smucker


For Your Information

Schedule of evening services:

         Sunday -- Santa María
         Monday -- Lázaro Cárdenas
         Wednesday -- Santa María
         Thursday -- Mariano Escobedo

Approximate driving distances:

         Santa María to Lázaro Cárdenas: 14 miles
         Santa María to Mariano Escobedo: 21 miles


Our Role in Guaymas Valley

We at Hopewell want to faithfully fulfill our support role, as the workers we have sent to Mexico face the challenge of cooperating with the Lord as He builds His church in Santa María and in other villages of the area.

To Joe Mast we have given the role of Field Director. Also we asked him to be mentor and counselor to the local pastor, Manuel Torres. In July 1996, Mark Roth and his family were in Mexico. Through observations and conversations it seemed that perhaps a sabbatical would be in order for the pastor. This he was able to favorably communicate to Manuel. In December when two Missions Committee members were in Mexico, Manuel brought up the subject and later in a members' meeting requested a one-year leave from pastoral responsibility. This was granted. At the same meeting the members of the local church also asked Joe Mast to fill the leadership position of the congregation during Manuel's leave. We trust that for Manuel this will be a time to better prepare himself for serving the Lord in leadership and also a time for training, study and attention to his own spiritual life. Let's pray to that end. Pray with us also for Joe in his added responsibilities.

Besides our role in Santa María, we also plan to reach out into other villages with a church-planting ministry. The groundwork is already being laid for this as the workers get acquainted with the area. In Mariano Escobedo and in Lázaro Cárdenas, outdoor services are being held once a week. Let's keep praying that the Lord would lead as to where David Smucker and his family should settle.
- James Roth


THE MASTS: Joe & Nancy, Vivian, Lindsey, Travis, Shaphan, Holly
THE SMUCKERS: David & Betty, Benjamin, Melisa

Field Address:
          Apdo. 582
          85400  Guaymas, Sonora

          Ray King
          14377 Whiskey Hill Road NE
          Hubbard, OR  97032   USA

Missions Committee Chairman:
          Dan Boskovich
          6057 Waconda Road NE
          Salem, OR  97305   USA

Editor: Mark Roth

Other Committee Members:
          Mark Boss, Secretary-Treasurer
          Leland Smucker, Mexico Sub-Committee Chairman
          James Roth
          Marion Schrock
          Rupert Mullet
          Mark Roth

Sponsored by Hopewell Mennonite Church, Hubbard, Oregon.

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