|Issue #5||November 1997|
|- Mark Roth|
Lupe Reyes has accepted the Lord! He is the one who has done much of the masonry work around the house, building the cistern before we moved in and doing some of the remodeling work on the inside of the house. His wife Trinidad is a Christian, having accepted the Lord years ago. Lupe has had a lot of exposure to the Gospel from Christian friends and from having attended services with his wife, but had never made a personal decision to follow the Lord until now.
Chángel Corral, Chuyita's mother, also has made a decision to follow Jesus. She has been quite constant at coming to services on Mondays, and has visited us here frequently also, asking questions and observing the Christian life.
Due to the summer rains, our outhouse floor took a turn for the worse, beginning an irreversible slide downward. We have had no big rains for awhile and the outhouse still stands, but with the floor tilting at an awkward angle. So digging was begun on another hole, to be connected to a "real" bathroom, one with a flush toilet. What luxury! The work is in progress and we hope to have it finished soon.
We have enjoyed recent visits from Oregonians. My father James, my brother Darrell, and Simone Jevremov, Darrell's girlfriend, were here with us for 1.5 weeks. They helped work around the house and yard which we appreciated. It was good to see family again.
|- David Smucker (November 6, 1997)|
|Correction!||Our last issue stated that during the summer of 1991 James and María Kropf spent a month in Guaymas Valley. With apologies to the Kropfs, I clarify that this took place during 1993. - Editor|
A FIRST-TIME VISITOR TO GUAYMAS VALLEY REPORTS . . .
Last month, James, Darrell and I spent some time in Mexico to encourage and upbuild our missionary families and, of course, to be encouraged and refreshed ourselves. Our visit definitely accomplished the latter goal (at least for me) and I hope that it at least scratched the surface of the former.
It seemed as if we were going to church all the time--four days a week! I was really impressed with the fact that it is possible for these missionaries to simply get around the villages and, in time, have a steady group of Sunday School children, church attenders, new Christians! Would that be possible in the States?! What makes the difference? "Race"? Culture? Society? Somehow, those people are more open to the Gospel.
The experience re-awakened an old desire to reach the Hispanics in our own community. Why not be missionaries right where God has planted us?! The Great Commission is for all of Christ's followers.
Another thing that stood out to me was that in Mexico it seemed an almost-natural thing to approach someone with the Gospel, or to ask them to come to church. And yet, in the States I very politely go about living my life, hoping that my mere presence or garb will be enough to convict someone's conscience and spur them on to do something about their lost condition. What am I afraid of? Why am I so slow even to say, "Would you like to come to church with me?" I certainly don't have a lack of vocal ability in other areas!
We need to support our missionaries with prayer and encouragement in various ways, but the greatest way is by standing up for Jesus right where we are.
|- Simone Jevremov|
MORE FIRST-TIME VISITORS
TO GUAYMAS VALLEY . . .
Everyone tried to warn us about how warm it was going to be in Mexico. And they were certainly right. Warm smiles and warm handshakes and warm, friendly faces.
The weather, however, was absolutely beautiful and blissful to the visiting Oregonians. It hovered around the mid-70's most of the time we were there, and even treated us to a brief rain shower one day.
Our time in Mexico was definitely a blessing for our family, and one that built some special memories.
Here are some mental snapshots that I brought home with me:
We truly thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to experience first-hand the sights, sounds, smells and people of Mexico. We thank Him for all He is doing to build the church there.
|- Deanna Boskovich|
"It is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! . . . . Master! Who then can be saved?
. . . .With man it is not possible, but with God all things are possible!"
Many times I had waltzed right over this passage thinking that it did not apply to me. Surely I am not a rich man! Or am I? In fact, my trip to Mexico convinced me that I am not only a rich man, but I live like a king. In my 2100 square foot "mansion" with linoleum and carpeted floors, freezers filled with meat, and hot and cold running water, I am quite isolated from the every-day hardships of the Santa María villager. After spending several days among my brethren in the Guaymas valley of Mexico, I realized more deeply that the Kingdom of Heaven is not meat and drink. Here at home, a billboard at a nearby church reports that over 160,000 Christians were martyred in 1996 in other parts of the world. In many places, the church faces poverty and persecution. Here we face spiritual poverty and emotional persecution. The battle rages on, whether in Mexico, China, or Hubbard, Oregon.
While the believers in Mexico live on a lower level materially, they have advantages over us that we may never understand. The lifestyle there is much slower-paced. People place a great deal of importance on visiting. (Joe devotes several days of the week to visiting members of the congregation.) This relaxed style of living was brought home by a lady that asked Vivian to stop by on her way to church to let her know when the service was about to start. (The woman did not have a clock.) Vivian walked across town to her home just prior to the service. The woman dropped everything and walked to church with her.
On another day, I spent several hours sitting on the front porch and watching the children play outside. It was relaxing to watch them out on the dirt road. The chances of a car coming were small, and I knew that if a car did happen to come by, it would be driving slowly. I was touched observing the children play together as if the language barrier were non-existent.
I met many of my brothers and sisters, but unfortunately was not able to communicate well with them due to the language barrier. I was impressed with Javier's faithfulness and zeal to serve the Lord. I was comfortable with their friendliness and hospitality. I was amazed by a young girl's recent conversion and her calm, sweet, ladylike demeanor -- especially after hearing the description of her former life. I rejoiced to see the believers' excitement over meeting together and longed to communicate with them.
Joe and David are quite busy. There is the church in Santa María, but there are also meetings in the towns of Lázaro Cárdenas and Mariano Escobedo. There is much to do for all that are willing to serve. I hope to return some day with the ability to speak with, listen to, and serve them. It was a great blessing to actually see what God has done and continues to do in Santa María.
|- Dan Boskovich|
Beginning balance 17,520.05 Receipts 50,508.21 Offerings 39,861.68 Gifts 10,046.53 Others 600.00 Expenses 49,448.22 Everett 6,439.86 Mexico workers 18,153.00 Mexico misc. 9,127.68 Mexico property purchase 3800.00 Reaching Out magazine 252.92 Other mission support 6,019.86 Other 5,654.90 Ending balance 18,580.04
Greetings from Marysville, Washington.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bro. Delbert Strubhar and family were up here last Sunday (November 9). He brought an inspiring message on the Lordship of Jesus and the working together of the brotherhood.
It's always good to see, and hear from our brothers and sisters from Hopewell!
I ll try to bring you up to date (a little, anyhow) on the happenings around here.
We ve chosen New Hope Mennonite Church to be our name. We re planning for the 4th of January to be our formal organization. You re all invited to come and enjoy the day together with us.
The Struzka's have bought a place about four or five miles from us. It will be nice having them closer to us all here. They plan on moving the first part of December.
Just heard the coyotes howling so I had to go outside and listen. We live on the Tulalip Indian Reservation and there's supposed to be 80 acres of swamp on the one side of us. (I haven't explored it yet.) But we have quite a number of coyotes around here and get to hear them quite often. Sometimes during the night they ll sound like they re almost on our front steps.
Some prayer requests are:
|- Marvin Boss|
Ron & Corrine Bontrager 16805 91st Avenue NE Arlington, WA 98223 Marvin & Esther Boss 3804 129th Place NW Marysville, WA 98271 Joe & Nancy Mast David & Betty Smucker Apdo. 582 85400 Guaymas, Sonora MEXICO Church Treasurer: Ray King 14377 Whiskey Hill Road NE Hubbard, OR 97032 USA Missions Committee Chairman & Newsletter Editor: Mark Roth 955 Bryan Street Woodburn, OR 97071 USA Other Committee Members: Mark Boss (Secretary), Leland Smucker (Treasurer), James Roth, Rupert Mullet, Wayne Miller, Maurice Boss
|Sponsored by Hopewell Mennonite Church, Hubbard, Oregon.|