Hopewell Outreach Newsletter

Issue #4 August 1997


for all your hard work as a Voluntary Service worker in Mexico. Lindsey will be ending his one-year term of service and moving on to other ministry opportunities. The reports we received throughout the year about Lindsey were very commendable and encouraging. Lindsey was quite busy repairing electrical equipment and neighborhood bicycles. This, of course, was when he wasn't busy handing out tracks or giving a devotion. No doubt Lindsey has grown spiritually this year as he exercised his gifts and willingness to serve for the Lord and His Church in Mexico and we all have benefited by his contribution.
- Dan Boskovich, chairman



The rains have arrived! We are rejoicing in the liquid essential to all life. Several nights ago we had a real downpour, receiving an inch of rain midst the flashing and crashing of lightning and thunder. This morning it has been drizzling for several hours, like an Oregon rain. This is the time of year when the prayed-for rains arrive to rejuvenate the desert and provide water for planting crops. In the same way we need water to sustain life, we also need the spiritual water of life that only God can give. We need to be drenched, be rejuvenated, and thus have a crop of spiritual fruit.

The rain has brought a welcome change in the weather. It hasn't reached 100º for the past couple days, and got as low as 74º this morning. It has got up to 112º here in Lázaro Cárdenas in previous days.

We usually have Sunday School in our yard, but we cancelled it today because of the rain. The spot where we have it is a big mud puddle. The ground here is sandy, so it should dry out fairly soon.

There is cause for rejoicing here in that two more souls have been freed from Satan's grip, freed to serve the Lord. Elvira, an 84-year-old lady, accepted Christ, saying she doesn't want to live in sin anymore and that she wants to be a child of God. She is a quiet lady who wants to learn and is ready to accept whatever the Bible teaches. Her granddaughter, Chuyita, following in her grandma's footsteps, has also decided to follow the Lord. She is a very serious 12-year-old girl. She has begun taking off rings and a bracelet and wants to obey the Bible. Please pray for them. [On August 1, 17-year-old Angélica (cousin to Chuyita and granddaughter to Elvira) also accepted the Lord! - Editor]

We continue to have many visitors, both children and adults. Benjamin and Melisa have many friends who come to play with them. Many nights we get to bed quite late, since visitors may stay until 11:00. People seem to enjoy the nights when it is cooler, and stay out later that we are used to.

Betty and I made cactus jam, jelly and syrup from pitahaya-cactus fruit. We don't have all the fruits we did in Oregon, but there are different kinds here.

Please continue to pray for the work here.
- David Smucker (July 20, 1997)


Paola, a neighbor girl, and Holly sit here on the floor quietly drawing and coloring. Perhaps it was the heat (116º) that chased them indoors from their "house" play.

This is not the usual, but all of us are spending a piece of this afternoon doing study/writing projects. 'Tis a short afternoon between lunch and a 5:00 o'clock departure to Mariano Escobedo for a Gospel meeting tonight. Javier and Ana from Santa María plan to go along. Driving time will use most of an hour, then we should still have a couple hours to visit before the meeting at 8:00 pm.

All around, our family is just not the usual! Earlier this month, we went to a family reunion in Colorado. We had a refreshing time drinking in the beauty of greenery and big mountains and kind words from relatives and friends. Before we came back home, we enrolled Shaphan, our handicapped son, in Faith Mission Home in Virginia. We are grateful for the training and care they provide in a Christian atmosphere, but his absence leaves a very tender Shaphan-shaped hole in our family. In case you want to send him a colorful card, here's his address: 3540 Mission Home Lane, Free Union, VA 22940. Shaphan will be ten years old on August 24.

"Is it my turn to lead songs?" is a question often voiced in a tone of anticipation. The members show delight in getting to participate in the church services. Ana often testifies how God helped her with the morning Sunday School.

Our 13-year-old son, Travis, made the best decision of his life on June 22, when he joined God's family. Rejoice with us!
- Nancy Mast (July 24, 1997)


On May 14, Margaret Miller Flew to Mexico for a Three-week Visit . . .

The daily temperature highs were 104-114º, which really saps one's strength. It is necessary to do one's outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon.

On my first Sunday in Santa María, one of the regular Sunday School teachers, María Quintero, sent word that she couldn't make it to class. So Ana Calderón filled in for her, doing a very good job of telling the Bible story with flannelgraph figures. Vivian and I helped her with the 25 or so children. Class was over for the primary and junior age, and floors had been cleaned by the time Javier Calderón arrived at 11:30 to lead the youth class.

That evening Joe spoke to a nearly full church house on "Our Focus Being Upon Eternal Things." When he gave opportunity for people to express themselves, at least seven people asked for prayer. Praise God! He is still at work in people's hearts and lives.

It was a real treat to visit the brothers and sisters again in their homes and share together about God's working in our lives. It was a joy to see definite spiritual growth and maturity in some.

Another blessing was visiting the villages of Lázaro Cárdenas and Mariano Escobedo, meeting old and new friends there. How special to meet Elvia! How humbling to be served a bowl of delicious soup in Elvia's home or that of her mother, Doña Joaquina, knowing that they have only the barest necessities to live! How beautiful their sacrifice of joy and love, no doubt bringing great pleasure to the Lord! What a joy to sit on the backless benches under the trees in their yard, singing and praising the Lord together, and listening to the teaching of God's Word!

Unfortunately, some kind of "bug" made its rounds among us. We nearly all took our turns with headache and fever, upset stomach, etc. We couldn't seem to find the right day to celebrate Travis' birthday. Travis, did you finally get your birthday celebrated?

We rejoiced when Toño Morales and his wife, Segunda, (of Santa María) made a new beginning in their walk with God. Please keep praying for them and the rest of the believers, who are faced with many spiritual battles and snares of the enemy.
- Margaret Miller


Events and transitions in Guaymas Valley -- a mini-history

1981   August      James Roths move to Ortiz; Joe Masts and Mark Roths go to
                   language study
       September   Mark Roths move to Ortiz
       October     Joe Masts arrive in Ortiz
       December    Joe Masts move from Ortiz to Santa María

1982   April       James Roths return to Oregon
       December    Margaret Miller moves to Guaymas Valley

1983   April       Mark Roths return to Oregon
1984   January     Marvin Bosses move to Ortiz
       June        Marvin Bosses spend two months in language study; Corrine
                   Boss accompanies them

1985   January     Steve and Judy Headings spend three months in
                   Guaymas Valley
       September   Joe Masts return to Oregon

1986   summer      Mark Roths and Sandra Miller spend six weeks in
                   Guaymas Valley
       September   Miriam Bechtel spends three months in voluntary service
                   (VS) in Santa María
       October     Marvin Bosses return to Oregon
       December    Karen Roth moves to Santa María

1987   September   Mark Roths move to Ortiz
       October     James Kropf and Brian Smucker arrive for six months of VS
                   in Ortiz

1988   summer      Joe Masts spend several weeks in Guaymas Valley; Brian
                   Smucker returns for two months
       October     Caroline Smucker spends two months in VS in Ortiz

1989   June        James Kropf returns to Ortiz as a missionary; Karen Roth
                   returns to Oregon
       December    Mark Roths move from Ortiz to Santa María

1990   January     Lloyd Lind spends four months in Guaymas Valley in VS
       December    James Kropf returns to the States

1991   January     Manuel Torres ordained to the ministry in Santa María
       April       Pastorate of Emmanuel Mennonite Church transferred from
                   Mark Roth to Manuel Torres
       May         Mark Roths return to Oregon
       summer      James and María Kropf spend a month in Guaymas Valley

1992   December    Rosana Roth visits Santa María for three months

1993   February    Mark Roths visit Santa María for two months

1994   June        Margaret Miller returns to Oregon

1995   December    Mission responsibility transferred from Bible Mennonite
                   Fellowship to Hopewell

1996   July        Mark Roths and Margaret Miller arrive for four weeks in
                   Santa María
       September   Joe Masts move to Santa María
       November    David Smuckers move to Santa María

1997   May         David Smuckers move to Lázaro Cárdenas
       August      Lindsey Mast completes his VS term and returns to the

* My records may not be entirely accurate *

On August 10, María Quintero's 16-year-old granddaughter Karina made public her commitment to Christ!



Greetings from Northwest Washington,

Yes, we have moved and it is good to see God's leading and directing hand here in the Everett community. We finished moving the last of June. It is very good to be living in the same community with the dear people that we have learned to love. It is good to be able to have them into our home for hot dog roasts and fellowship. We count it a real privilege to be a part of such a seeking, loving and challenging group. We have been studying from 2 Peter in our Thursday evening Bible study and prayer meeting. It has been a challenging study about apostasy and false prophets. On Sunday afternoons we study out of the book Bible Studies for New Believers. Those who attend have been blessed by the studies. It is a joy to see them study and dig into the Scriptures.

We are trying to name our group. So if you have any suggestions just give us a jingle. It seems that more and more we are realizing the joys of being a brotherhood. Of course we have some struggles and we always need more growth, so keep praying for us. We struggle with being willing to give up all in complete obedience to Christ and the Church, and we need encouragement in understanding the brotherhood and how it functions. But we are growing and seeking.

Barbara and her children, three young people, are able to come more regularly now that Wendy has a job at a nursing home. They travel approximately an hour to services. Amy Dickinson will be leaving again to teach school in Wisconsin, and she will be missed by all of us. She is a favorite of the children. Most of the Bruzas family are home right now, after being gone to Idaho for a number of weeks to help with the hay. Jory and Henry Shallenburger decided to take a sudden camping trip to Oregon. After they were driving through the Woodburn area, they realized they were probably driving by some of the homes of the Hopewell families. Esther's health is about the same, but she doesn't seem to get discouraged. Peter and Gina Miller, a young couple that got married this summer, had to miss some services because Peter had an illness that seemed to be a relapse of his bout with malaria. We praise God that he is feeling better and is back to work. We are praying for the safe arrival of the Lenderman's baby which is due this winter. Mick Stone is hoping to be able to locate another job soon, so he does not need to work on Sundays. Pray with us about this need. The Joseph Struzka family is looking to buy a house, so we are praying that God would supply that need. Marvins need to purchase a different vehicle since theirs was totalled when a man ran into them. We thank God that no one was hurt. Donna Walling covets your prayer for her and the family. She has not been able to attend the services as regularly as she would like to.

We thank all of you for your prayers and support, and we appreciate those of you that have come to visit us. You have been a real encouragement to us. Please do not feel that you are a burden to us if you would like to come and stay the night. We welcome the opportunity to have you.

Let's keep praying for each other.
- The Bontragers


Ron & Corrine Bontrager
16805 91st Avenue NE
Arlington, WA  98223
phone: (360) 403-8814

Marvin & Esther Boss
3804 129th Place NW
Marysville, WA  98271
phone: (360) 654-0159

Joe & Nancy Mast
David & Betty Smucker
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

Sponsored by Hopewell Mennonite Church, Hubbard, Oregon.

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