Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Highlights from the holiday season...

We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and that you will celebrate a Happy New Year! We are looking forward to 2016 as we wait to see what God will do here in San Pedro and in the lives of each one of you who keeps us in prayer. Here are some pictures and videos of different events that have happened during this holiday season here in Mexico.

Guerreros de Cristo Christmas party, making edible Christmas trees

The finished product!

At a special-needs school close to the church. TCL donated presents, a piƱata and cake so the students could have a  Christmas party   

Waiting to be called up for their presents

Santa with the 3 Kings...proof that he DOES exist??

A student receiving his present

Presents from TCL

Each student recieved 2 gifts: one from the school and one from the church.

There were 50 students as well as their teachers and parents present at the party

Group picture outside the school

TCL put on a Christmas concert in the main plaza of San Pedro

TCL's worship group playing Christmas carols

Stephen sharing a brief Christmas message at the concert

Monday, November 09, 2015

March for Jesus

This past Saturday we participated in the annual March for Jesus here in San Pedro. We walked from the outer limits of the city to the downtown and then had a service outside (despite thunder and the threat of rain!).
Starting out, with cars going by in the other lane...

Keeping to our lane....

Marching past the San Pedro General Hospital

Someone always gets stuck carrying everything!

Waiting for the traffic light to change.....

TCL tambourine ministry leading the march

Arriving downtown...

Later that evening, praise and worship led by TCL and a team from area churches

Monday, October 12, 2015

Update from Paty in the Philippines

Here is a report from our missionary in the Philippines, Paty. The original document is in Spanish; I'm posting a picture of it, but I'm also posting the translation here below.

Greetings to my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s an honor for me to share some of what I have been doing this month in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, but before I do, I would like to thank you again for your prayer and financial support that you have been giving me since my arrival here. God bless you and all that you do, and know that you are also in my prayers.
On Sept. 24 I completed my first month here. During this time I have been learning the language and culture of this place, as well as helping in the local church, visiting and praying house-to-house. This month, we have also started a feeding program for children who live in economically-disadvantaged areas, and it has been a beautiful experience being able to share the word of God with them. In our most recent community visit, I spoke to the children a little in their own dialect and taught them a song. I can’t describe the looks on the faces of the children and their mothers when they heard me speaking their language; they were very happy. During these weeks I have also visited different churches and shared my testimony, as well as a short sermon. A short while ago I had the chance to travel to another city and meet the pastors who will be accompanying us on our next evangelization trip. On the return trip I met some Muslim young people and we have been in contact since then. I know that God will use this as a way for me to share his Word with them.
Last week I had to apply for a visa extension and was only able to receive 2 extra months, but I was told that the next time I apply I will receive 6 months. I’m very excited because next week we will be visiting some remote mountain villages and sharing the Gospel. We will have to walk for more than 5 km (3 miles) to reach these villages, as cars and horses can’t pass through these areas, but I know that God will give me strength as we make the climb.
This is just a little of what I have been doing, and without a doubt God has been very good to me. Here in the Philippines he has given me a family who takes care of me, and I also have my family back home, all of you who have helped and continue to help me on this mission.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ministry in Michoacan

Last Sunday, September 13, Stephen traveled to Uruapan, Michoacan to preach in a small church. The founders of the church, a pastor and a doctor, met Stephen through the El Calor soccer ministry and after seeing how El Calor has progressed as an organization and as a ministry, decided to start their own church. They began two years ago with just two members, but now there are more than 50 people in the congregation. As the church has grown the members have reached out to different sports teams and now work closely with two 3rd Division soccer teams in Michoacan, and have contact with other teams and organizations. It is exciting and encouraging to see God continue to use sport, and especially soccer, to reach many people. Here is a short video from the church service where Stephen preached.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Men's Ministry Conference

Saturday morning worship.

 Hi everyone!

This past weekend TCL had the privilege to host our first men's conference. It was organized by the group De Hombre a Hombre, a men's ministry group that does outreach and conferences throughout Mexico. We had participants from all over Mexico who enjoyed two days of praise and worship, teaching and prayer. Men are in the minority of most church congregations and we are excited to have had the opportunity to reach out to men in San Pedro and the Laguna region. Here is the link to the Facebook page of De Hombre a Hombre, where you can find more information and photos from this and other conferences.
The conference had a military theme with the slogan: We are the resistance.
Early morning session.

Praise and worship on Saturday morning.
Saturday morning session.
View from the platform. Ministry from TCL and De Hombre a Hombre musicians.
Keep praying for more men to come into the kingdom of God!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our First Missionary from TCL!

We're so excited to share with you that we have sent our first missionary from TCL overseas! Paty Lopez has been a part of TCL for many years and has responded to the call of God to go to the mission field. She left this week to travel to the Philippines where she will be working with a Christian aid organization for 10 months. While in the province of Bukidnon, Paty will be working with children rescued from the streets and from armies, with women and children at risk from human traffickers, as well as native people in the mountains and remote regions of the province. As I write this she should be arriving in Manila, having been traveling for almost 30 hours. Please pray for Paty as she adjusts to life in her new home and as she starts to minister to the people there. Like any missionary, she needs monthly support, and if you are interested in helping her, you can do so through the PayPal link on this page. Her budget is approximately $1000 USD per month, to cover living expenses (food, rent, utilities), travel and communication, and ministry expenses. We have covered about 60% of this budget, so she has gone on this mission of faith believing that God will supply everything she needs.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Football 7 Testimony

A short testimony, courtesy of Marcela, about a young couple who have been reached through our street soccer league.

Brenda is a young woman who plays on one of the women’s teams in our Brazilian soccer league, El Llano. Her boyfriend also plays in the league. After every game they always pass by the little stand where I tend to the players and fans to say hi and chat a bit. A short while ago we were finishing the  construction of our second playing field and we were planning the dedication service (as with our first field, we wanted to dedicate the playing field and the league to God). On this night games were going on as usual on the old field. Stephen, my children and the workers who were with us that night set the time for the dedication to occur. When the time came, Brenda was there talking to me and I told her that I needed to step away because we were going to dedicate the new field to God. She didn’t understand what I was saying, so I explained to her that everything we do and every resource we have we place in the service of God, and before using anything for the first time, the pastor would pray for God’s blessing and give a short message. Brenda asked me if she could stay for the dedication, and of course I told her yes.
            We had the dedication ceremony and Stephen spoke about the importance of placing everything we have at God’s feet for his use. Brenda was so caught up in what Stephen was saying that she began to cry. When the short ceremony was over Brenda came over to me and told me that when Stephen was speaking she felt something unfamiliar but beautiful inside her, something she had never felt before. She told me that Stephen’s words had touched the deepest part of her heart, and this opened the doors for me to be able to speak to her of God’s love.
            The next day she and her boyfriend came to talk to me more in-depth. They confessed their sins to me, thinking, as the Catholic church does, that I would forgive them. I spoke to them again about God’s love and forgiveness and how God cleans and purifies us and sets us free from condemnation when we give our lives to him. They shared with me their desire to get married because Brenda was pregnant, and they hadn’t yet told their parents. I was the first one to know their “secret”. I encouraged them to go ahead with their plan and to put God first in their lives. They asked me how much Stephen would charge them to officiate at their wedding…”NOTHING”, I told them. Now they are happily married and their baby is about to be born. They are still playing on their soccer teams and each day we have the opportunity to share with them the love and salvation of our Savior. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Guerreros de Cristo

Warriors of Christ! This is the name of our revamped kids' club (formerly G-VI) that takes place on Saturday mornings. After a change of staff and leadership, we took some time off to restructure the club, and April 25 was our first day back. We held a party to celebrate Children's Day (a very, very big deal here!) and about 40 kids showed up....20 more than had been coming before the break. We had a Bible lesson courtesy of Marcela, games led by our games team, balloons, prizes, nachos and cupcakes. This past Saturday about 20 kids showed up (it was a long weekend; lots of people went away!) but we still had a great time. This coming week we will be dividing the kids into squadrons, appointing captains, and starting with lessons on God's armor. We want to prepare our kids to fight for God, for the truth and for what they believe in. Please keep this ministry in prayer, both for the children who come and for the amazing ministry team (primarily from our youth group) who give up their Saturday mornings to share God's love with kids who need it.

Open session April 25.

Games! Dodgeball....

Our balloon expert, hard at work making helmets and swords...

Nachos, cupcakes and jello.....yummy!

Goodie bags!

Musical chairs....

Some of our team who dressed up for Children's Day!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Update (now with pictures!)

Hi all! Here's a bit of what's happening in San Pedro....

El Calor are continuing to play in 2nd Division. They're in 8th place in their group (of 14) and on Saturday tied 1-1 playing here at home. Next week the team travels to Fresnillo, Zacatecas.

We had a baptism after the evening service today, a man whose family has been coming to the church for several years, and who finally made the decision to be baptized. God is starting to work among the men of the church, and they are planning a desert retreat later this month.

Our weekly kids' club, GeneraciĆ³n de Vida (G-VI) is still happening every Saturday from 10-12. We are keeping steady with about 25 kids attending weekly and we ask you to pray that God will show us how to increase that number, and provide workers and material as our numbers grow. This month the kids are having workshop sessions with a mechanic who is teaching them (and the teachers!) about how engines and vehicles work, and the kids' greatest hope is that they will be allowed to take something apart (a bike, a motor, a car....) as they learn more! We'll see......

Here are some pictures from our Friday night youth service. God moved the hearts of many of the young people who came and we were blessed with a time of prayer and healing.

Other prayer requests: Stephen is traveling in the States, so please keep him in your prayers. Marcela is visiting her mother in Tepic as she has taken a turn for the worse. And while we're in Tepic, Philip is traveling up to meet Stephen (more prayers for travel safety) and Vanessa and Lucy have continued to struggle with health issues. Please keep them all in your prayers.

One final note: some technical issues with pictures today but hopefully I will be able to upload them tomorrow or Tuesday!....Done! Well, some, anyway. If more come through I will post them!