Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Our team in Mexico

Deanna and I just returned unscathed from a notorious border town between Texas and Mexico. What an incredible journey!

When our Lord calls us, He also makes a way for His will to be done. We had one of the best teams and trips we've ever experienced! Quite a blessing, during a time we celebrate the gift of the Christ child!!!

Our team was small, and there were concerns before we left. There were concerns while we were there. All were covered by your prayer and that of many others. We saw the hand of the Lord move in power as we saw many surrender their hearts to Him, and encouraged many believers.

There are so many stories of encounters of His divine intervention, that I could write for weeks about just them. I am amazed and thankful that I serve the Living God, who is most Holy!

We do need to pray for the church (call them PIB) we partner with, as our presence brings undue attention to them from the drug cartels. They are brave to allow us to come and serve, knowing they may fall under the scrutiny of those who intend harm for gain.

We did see the presence of these cartels. We also noted a tremendously beefed up military presence as federales were encountered everywhere we went. We are not a threat to them, as we are there to try and restore hope, where fear prevails.

We have seen a great decline in the number of people present in plazas, parks and other gathering places. Even those who reside in Mexico refuse to travel through this area, as it has become known for it's violence.

This would tend to make it seem foolish to travel there, especially with students. I struggled beforehand as I needed assurance that this WAS His will and the peace to go, in spite of the violence. He provided.

While we were there, violence broke out not far from where we were. I could even hear the sound of guns on occasion. However, I had no fear. He gave me complete peace in knowing, He was in control!

I suppose it is always easy to say this after the fact. But the truth is, those closest to me, know that beforehand, I struggled more with this trip than any I have led.

I was honestly surprised to have Him bless us so deeply. The students were amazing, their unity unequalled and our ministry anointed!

I feel as though I have received a fresh touch from our Savior, a Christmas gift of a very unique and enduring kind.

Our students entered with one purpose, share the Gospel, no matter the cost.

They did!

If there was a problem on this trip, it was reigning in their enthusiasm and channeling the uncommon energy. They wanted to share and didn't want anything to get in the way of it. I literally had students chasing people down at times, to be sure they heard about Jesus!

You KNOW who this reminds me of!

We saw many Salvations and many believers receive encouragement (including us)!

One of the young men on our team had served for two years in Belize when he wasn't a believer. He had been given everything as a child and even lived beachfront with an expensive car as a young adult. He was empty and broken, and went to Belize to serve and try to discover life's meaning.

He was confounded by a people who had nothing, but were so joyful. When he asked them why, they told him about Jesus. He began reading his Bible. He cried out to God and asked Him that if He was real, to send him a book in the mail that was more recent, depicting the life of a believer.

In two years, he never received any other books. BUT, the next day a book arrived in his mailbox...it's title, "I Would Die for You!" He surrendered his heart and his life to our Savior!

He is as passionate about Jesus as I've seen! He was such a blessing!

Another young man on our team became a believer just a few months ago. In fact, 5 months ago, he was in throes of death while on a recreational drug overdose at his school. All went black and he could not see anything. He knew he was dying. He cried out to God in that moment, to save him.

He did!

Right then and there life rushed back into him, and he has surrendered his life to serve. He was an amazing asset to our team. As we shared in a youth prison, his testimony was instrumental in 5 young men coming to Christ!

God does not make mistakes. He prepares those He calls whether or not they feel like they are. He uses their obedience to tear down walls and draw men and women to Himself.

I so humbled to serve. I thank God for His amazing provision, and this opportunity!

My attitude was not great going in, but I yielded it and my life to Him, and He blessed in incredible measure.

Praise God! From Him, blessings really do flow!



At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent and Deanna,
It is so good that your team had a positive experience in Mexico! God bless you all for coming to my new country. After living here for four short years, the decline of security and increase of fear is evident. I am so thankful God gave you victory over fear and danger. Using the covering of prayer, caution and common sense can make an unsafe circumstance very positive in the light and leadership of God's calling. Thank you for stepping forward and serving.

Dan, Tuxpan, Veracruz

At 7:04 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

Brent and Deanna, I am so glad to hear of the wonderful experience the trip turned out to be and am thankful that it was a spiritual refreshment for you because I know it was a challenge. It is so encouraging to hear the stories of how the Lord continues to use BJ's life and your obedience.


At 2:02 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Thankful to hear a little more. I miss those stories and am always grateful to see the other side of the prayers (and the writing, too). Praise Him for a visible blessing to the obedience exhibited by this team and its leaders!


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