Raymond and Laurie Jones – Missionaries to Mexico
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings from Mexico! This year has started very differently than we had anticipated! We pray that you are all doing well and staying healthy.
At the end of our last prayer letter, I mentioned several things we had planned for the new year. One of those events was Miguel and Jaqui’s wedding! Miguel and Jaqui both graduated from our Bible Institute last May and desire to serve God with their lives. Miguel is the young man who is in charge of our ministry to the drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers in our area. Jaqui is our youth director’s daughter and grew up in our church. It is exciting to see these two young people serving the Lord together. Their desire is to serve Him full-time in the ministry God has called them to. Their wedding was God honoring and an excellent testimony to our church as well as unsaved family members and friends.
We had a teen group of 22 come from Oregon and we saw God work while they were here! There were three adults saved during their time with us. One lady was saved at the end of a Sunday evening service, one young man was saved at a special service at the rehab ministry, and another man was saved one day as we were out sightseeing! The group passed out many tracts, did puppet shows in our services and one of the plazas, played many instrumental specials, and gave salvation testimonies. They also helped us clean up the camp property when we went up to Tapalpa one day. It was exciting to hear their testimonies of how they desire to serve God with their lives. We pray that God would call some of these young people to the mission field!
As COVID-19 spreads throughout Mexico, they are placing more restrictions on sizes of gatherings and are encouraging quarantine, like what has happened in the states. We called the government health department to make sure we would still be able to run camp in April without any problems. As of right now, the quarantine and restrictions on gatherings has been extended through what would be the end of camp week. This is the first year we have had to cancel camp since the camp began over 30 years ago. Even the year my dad was killed in a car accident just weeks before camp, we still went ahead with camp. We are all disappointed, but we know God is in control and we’re trusting Him. We have also had to start meeting in small groups throughout the week in order to stay within the 20 people or fewer guideline.
This means we must have services just about daily in order to see everyone weekly. We are going to do online services this Sunday for the first time. Many of our people don’t have access to internet, so we weren’t sure if this would work. But, in each of the villages, there are church people who do have internet access, so we are encouraging them to invite those that don’t to their homes. This way we will still have small groups but they will be happening all at the same time. This past Friday evening, we were holding a service in a home and a new couple came for the first time. The husband prayed to accept Christ as his Savior at the end of the service! Praise the Lord! It is encouraging to see God continue to work in spite of all of the negative things going on. People are scared and feeling insecure without Christ, so we are praying for opportunities to reach them for Christ and show them the hope they can have in Him! Please pray for many to be saved! Also, please pray for our people to stay strong in the Lord, and not allow the devil to distract them with fear or complacency towards the things of God during this time.
We know you all are doing many of the same things we are here, and we pray for you as well. We pray for God’s protection and blessing over your churches. We pray that you will be strengthened during this time and stay faithful to Him. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in praying for us and supporting us. We really appreciate you and your heart for missions! May God richly bless you!
Raymond, Laurie, Rachel, and Joel Jones