Teri Cain was able to talk to some of the Mérida Missions team last night and the following are some highlights that she posted on her blog:
All is going well and the team remains excited and energized by all that God is doing. Dennis reported that they have had many good witnessing encounters throughout the parades. One man stood out in particular…he told his wife, who was anxious to leave, that he was staying to listen! The team was able to present the entire Gospel to him and it is their prayer that the encounter will produce fruit for the glory of God.
The seminar on Saturday was a great success. There were many positive reports and excited participants. Approximately 70 people (adults and youth) attended the day-long training session. About 30 of these are now serving with our mission team at the parades.
You may remember that we had asked prayer earlier for our friend Eduardo (pictured at right with Dennis and Eduardo’s friend Mar on our way to witness at the Yucátan State Fair last November)…Dennis is excited to report that not only did he attend the seminar, but he is taking what he learned to the maximum level! Dennis said, “watch out and just stay out of this guy’s way, because he is on fire!”
A special prayer request to report: Millie, Pastor Sam’s wife, is going into Cuba soon to lead an evangelism conference for 500 women, which is tremendous news about a country closed to the Gospel. She was furiously taking notes during the seminar; pray that Dennis would be granted permission by its producers to leave his Spanish language copy of the seminar DVDs with her to take into Cuba. We do not know if this is a possibility or not considering that it hasn’t been released yet. We consider it a gift from God that he was even able to use it in Mérida, and he will certainly freely accept God’s answer regarding this, but keep this and the Cuba conference in your prayers…
We also asked prayer for Pillin (pronounced “Pee-shing”) the professional clown. Dennis actually ran into him downtown during one of the parades!… Continue to pray for Pillin’s salvation and another chance to share the Gospel with him.
The team plans to go into the village of Hocába tomorrow (Monday) morning to share the Gospel of law and grace. The church has a mission there where they teach, preach and reach out to this small community of people living in huts tucked away in the jungle. They are working on providing a system of running water for the church neighborhood there, as well as other basic physical necessities.
Pray that the team will have successful encounters for God’s glory both in Hocába as well as later in the day back at the parade in Mérida. It will be a busy day tomorrow.
I also spoke briefly with Fran (Dennis’ Mom) and Mary. I could hear the excitement in Mary’s voice about all that God is doing. She also reported making many new friends and how sweet and wonderful the church members have been to the team. She said that she can see why Dennis and I (Teri) love them all so much.
Fran reported that they can’t hand out tracts fast enough…especially the million dollar tracts. She said hands come at them from every where – so many and so fast that it reminds her of the hungry begging for bread. And on the back of that “novelty” million dollar tract IS The Bread of Life: the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Dennis hopes that Tuesday or Wednesday their schedule will allow for some “down time” and that he will be able to find a computer to borrow (one with an English keyboard on it!) so that he can send more reports and some pictures. In the meantime, I will continue to report anything that I hear, but hopefully I will be able to post a more detailed report later in the week…
Please continue to be in prayer for the team.
It was truly a joy to spend our normal Friday post-service worship time to specifically pray as a congregation for the Mérida mission trip and the future of missions at Sovereign Joy Community Church. Teri Cain has posted the following update from Dennis and the team on her blog:
It’s Friday evening, February 20th, and after a pre-dawn start this morning, the mission team is in Mérida, Mexico by now. All five team members were beaming with anticipation and excitement when I left them at the airport this morning at 5 a.m. (Thanks to our neighbor and brother in Christ, Aaron, for taking along his truck full of all those bags!)
I heard from Dennis about 10 this morning; he called from their lay-over in Mexico City laughing and saying “Things are just different here!” They had made it successfully through immigration (easy) he said, and were now looking for their gate for the flight to Mérida (which was not so easy! You’d think it would be the other way around!) It seems that the departure gates displayed on the electronic signs were all over the map….15, 17, 13A, 18B, 5, 9C etc. Their connecting flight to Mérida? Gate “B”! Gate “B”? What did that mean and where in the world was it? But he was laughing as always (Dennis has taught me a lot over the years about seeing the humor in things!). They were waiting in a long line to find out exactly where “Gate B” was, just like all the other people whose phantom gate letters appeared on those “modern, useful” electronic signs!
Once in Mérida, Pastor Sam was to pick up the team at the airport and take them to the church mission house where they will stay. The church has also graciously offered use of a van and this evening, probably right now, they are watching the first parade for a taste of the fun before getting to work tomorrow, when they will hold a seminar on Biblical Evangelism. God has used Living Waters and our Trisha’s connections to provide the team with a copy of the entire seminar that has been translated into Spanish. (It’s not even on the market yet!) After tomorrow’s seminar, they will hit the streets in teams to evangelize as people gather to watch the parade. There are five parades in all over the next few days, each drawing hundreds of thousands of people…all souls headed to an eternity in either Heaven or hell.
Pray that many will attend the seminar tomorrow and
be set afire for sharing the Gospel
with their families, friends,
neighbors and community.
Pray that there will be enough translators
to make several teams
as they evangelize at the parades
over the next few days.
Pray that the team will be safe and
the trip without incident for tonight
and for every day.
Pray for Dennis, David, Fran, Ellen and Mary by name.
Pray that the team will be able to rest well each night
and that they will have
the energy and endurance that
they will need each day.
It will be crowded, noisy and hot in the streets.
Continue to pray that the teams will not experience
any opposition from the authorities
over the massive number
of tracts that they will be distributing.
(No word yet on how it wentin Customs this afternoon in Mérida.)
Dennis is taking along a team of four others to evangelize the city of Mérida during their annual “Carnival”. The Carnival is much like our Mardi Gras, only much more family-friendly. The biggest events of the celebration are the parades that take place over five days. (Dennis went to Carnival last year at this time to scope out the possibilities of evangelizing during this time and found the parades to be reaping with possibilities for sharing Christ with families and others as they make a day of it on the streets.) Officials estimated that last year over 500,000 people attended the last parade. Ripe with possibilities, indeed.
As Dennis and the team prepare for this year’s trip (Feb 20 – Mar 1), we have some specific prayer requests. I hope that you will join myself and others who can’t physically be there as we support the mission trip with our prayers.
- Pray that the team will clear customs in Mexico City without incident. The picture below shows all of the 35,000 Gospel tracts in Spanish (including 20 Bibles) that they will be taking into the country. Of particular concern are the 3,000 “Million Peso” tracts and the 15,000 “Million Dollar” tracts. These tracts look very realistic but have an excellent Gospel message on the back. We’ve taken tracts into the country before, but never this many at one time and never tracts that look similar to real money.
- Speaking of law enforcement – these tracts tend to draw a crowd quickly; pray that during the parades the outreach will not draw the attention of police who want to break up the crowd while the teams are evangelizing.
- Begin to pray now for those who will hear the Gospel, that God would be preparing their hearts to hear His Word and that they will be receptive.
- As always pray for safe travel, good health, and stamina for the team members.
- Pray that God will raise up evangelists from CC Mérida to carry on the work after the team has returned home.
- Pray for our friends Eduardo and Mar (see November 16, 2008 blog) and Santiago and his family (see November 15, 2008 blog) – that they will attend the Way of the Master training session to help equip them for evangelism.
- Pray especially for salvation for Andreus (who has been feeding our mission teams breakfast for many years) and for Pillin, the professional clown who lives across the street from the church.