Pastor Ulises from the Iglesia Menonita Buenas Nuevas (Good News Mennonite Church) in San Juan, Texas is working to call and encourage new leaders in the congregation. With the help of Marvin, persons who have been called for this outreach group began personal discipleship training in December. The church, it seems to Ulises, has reached as many persons as it can in San Juan and has plans to use the discipleship group training to reach persons in the city of Edinburgh. This is a “hands on” effort to train leaders within the church. The thought is to maybe start another group in Edinburgh with services in a house led by the pastor on days other than Sunday. Responsibilities for beginning this group have begun to be delegated and young people from the Buenas Nuevas congregation are also being involved in the new group. Pastor Ulises is excited and has been encouraged by the ways the discipleship training group is already working toward furthering the Kingdom.
Over the past two years, Ron Voss has been on a journey towards Jesus. Ron said, “I started coming because of my kids, then Kendra gave me a job in the sound booth. That gave me a reason to be at church even if I didn’t like ‘church’.” Soon, Ron and his family joined a Missional Community, he says, “I didn’t really believe that God actually spoke to people, but then in March of last year God spoke to me and told me to give someone a pair of flip flops. It was weird, but I decided to do it… that’s when my skepticism of God started to change… A few months later I watched someone experience a physical miracle at Men’s Encounter and I was convinced that Jesus is real and I wanted everyone to know that I’m committed to following him.”
Ron wanted to celebrate his new life in Jesus on New Years Day… in the RIVER! Even though the temperature was cold, Ron’s Missional Community as well as others from the Journey@Yoder campus and some friends from Men’s Encounter gathered to welcome Ron into the church and celebrate his new life in Jesus. Ron wants you all to know that it’s the people that are walking with him towards Jesus that are the most important part of his journey. If it wasn’t for people reaching out, becoming friends, and eventually inviting him to join he wouldn’t be where he is today. Take a look at THIS VIDEO from his baptism
This year Bethel Mennonite Church near Inman, Kansas is making the verse “Let your light shine…” (Mt 5:16) their theme for involvement in their congregation, in their community and beyond. Part of the effort “beyond” Is sending 12 of their Youth and 7 adults on a short term mission trip to Kenya in July this year. They have felt God’s leading and blessing in the past 6 months as they have been able to raise all of the funds that are needed for the trip. They have created and printed a cookbook, hosted meals, and had special meals at restaurants that gave them a percentage of all sales and all tips. They are working with Global Infusion and are receiving training and preparation from that organization. They will be helping conduct Bible Schools for youth and giving their testimonies. Supporting and training for this mission team has turned out to be an encouragement to everyone in the church to be prepared to let their light shine for Christ.
-James Wenger Regional Conference Minister
Rey de Gloria congregation in Brownsville, Texas, has been working on their new building for over 4 years now. It is about 75% completed and they have no outstanding debt on the project as a result of much fundraising and donated labor both from outside and within the congregation. They estimate that it will take about $50,000 more to finish. They recently thought they had found a bank willing to give them a construction loan to finish the building, however, that application was recently denied. In the meantime, since the building is not being used as a church, the city has begun to assess property taxes on the building of about $5,000 per year even though once the building is finished and being used as a church it will become tax exempt. It is also anticipated that once finished they will be able to get a mortgage on the building to cover the $50,000 since that only represents about 20% of its value. Pray that the church will find a way to move this project to completion soon.