Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We hit the ground running when we got back to Mexico in March! We had a week and a half to finish the preparations for youth camp. My assistant, Tono, and a couple of the other men, had done a lot of the work before we arrived, so we were able to get everything finished in time for camp to start.
Our camp theme this year was “Be Strong in the Lord” and we had prayed that God would strengthen these young people to stand strong against the pressures of the world. God answered our prayers! He worked in a mighty way during camp! We had 9 saved and 32 surrendered their lives for full-time Christian service! There was a good spirit among the teens and we didn’t see as much opposition from Satan as we have in past years.
One afternoon we had split sessions with one of the pastors speaking to the young men and Laurie speaking to the girls. During these split sessions we are able to deal more specifically in areas that affect the teen girls and boys. One girl came to Laurie afterward for counsel. She shared that she has only been saved for a month. God had been working in her heart all week and she expressed the desire to turn her back on the sins of her past and serve the Lord with the rest of her life!
Two of the teens who surrendered for full-time service are from our church. Esmeralda is 18 and has been actively working in our church. God touched her heart and she desires to go to Bible Institute this August. We have always helped support those going to Bible Institute because they have no way to raise the money themselves. They work a job while in school, which pays for their personal expenses as well as textbooks. We try to cover their tuition. The monthly tuition in dollars is $120. If you would like to help support a student like Esmeralda, please include a note with your check stating that it is for a Bible Institute student and we will be sure that it is used in that way. Junior is 12 years old and he also surrendered his life for full-time service. I am trying to encourage and disciple him. I am having him help me in different areas in the church so that he can begin serving the Lord now!
Last year a young lady, Brittany Franklin, came to visit us and God spoke to her heart about returning to Mexico as a missionary. She has begun deputation and has raised about 25% of her support! She has a burden for the Mexican children and is planning to work with us when she has her support raised. She came again this year for camp and was a real blessing. She is a hard worker and jumped right in to help with whatever needed to be done. Please pray as she continues deputation. It is her desire to get to the field as soon as possible and we are praying that God will supply the needed support.
In past prayer letters I have asked for prayer for a church on the coast in Nayarit, Mexico. They have been without a pastor for almost a year and we are praying and working toward finding the man God would have to pastor that church. A Mexican pastor from about an hour away has been going every week to preach and try to keep the church together as they wait for God to give them their own pastor. After camp, my family and I went over there to visit the church people and try to encourage them as well. While we were there we had the joy of seeing four people saved! Two teen boys at the youth meeting on Saturday night accepted Christ! Then on Sunday a man was saved in the morning service and a woman in the evening service! The woman was 52 years old and had been Catholic her whole life. It was hard for her to accept the truth at first, but she humbled herself and asked God to save her. Praise the Lord!
Several of the teens from the church in Nayarit wanted to go to camp, so I sent Tono to pick them up (four hours from where we live). Five boys came and two of these were among the ones who surrendered their lives for full-time service. Because they don’t have a pastor, I am trying to be there for them. They have both expressed a desire to go to Bible Institute to prepare for the ministry, and I have promised to support them. Again, if you would like to help in this area, please designate what your support is for. Please pray for Cesar and Javier. There is so much pressure on these teens from Catholic family members and others. Pray that they will stand strong for the Lord. During the Sunday morning service while we were at their church, both of these young men stood with tears in their eyes and gave testimony about what God did in their hearts during camp. My heart is burdened for the church in Nayarit and I ask for you to continue praying for them.
A pastor in Guadalajara invited me to come preach one Sunday morning in April, so my family and I went as well as our teen girls’ choral group. Laurie and the girls sang several songs and the service was a blessing. God had impressed a certain message on my heart and I was amazed at the ones who told me it was exactly what they needed. What an encouragement to see God working!
Now that camp is over, we are looking to start construction in El Molino! We purchased the land before I left for the states, and now we are getting ready to begin the building project. Please pray that this project will go smoothly and that God will continue to bless Pastor Chuy and the church in El Molino.
We are very glad to be home again. We love the ministry God has given us here in Mexico. We are praising the Lord that the violence at least in our area has seemed to calm down some in the past couple of months. God answers prayer! Please continue to pray for God’s protection over our churches, our family, and other missionaries in Mexico.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support.
Raymond, Laurie, Rachel, and Joel Jones