Saturday, February 23, 2013

February Trip - Part 6

This man allows us to use his side yard for the services. Here he is putting a bulb in a makeshift light socket.

The light fixture for the outdoor meeting.

Brennan Muir and Dolores Hernandez accompanying the congregation as they sing.

A man from the Cuchicuato church participating in the service.

Some of the children at the meeting.

New converts of this mission following along in their donated Bibles. This couple was saved from a life of witchcraft in the first outreach Pastor Cuco held in the new tent purchased with funds sent by Bible Methodist Churches in the USA.

The Cuchicuato youth group singing for the San Cristobal mission outreach.

The children of the family whose yard we use.

February Trip - Part 5

Heading into the town of San Cristobal.
Setting up for the outdoor service at this mission outreach of the Cuchicuato Bible Methodist Church.

Bro. Dolores playing gospel songs to welcome people to the service while Pastor Cuco and others set up chairs.

Pastor Cuco's wife, Rosa and family invite people from the town to the service.
A dear man that Pastor Cuco is working with. He is addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Steve Stetler translates for Bro. Tim Keep.

Brennan Muir gives his testimony.

Steve preaching the evening message.

Special thanks to Brennan Muir for some of these pictures.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Trip - Part 4

Bro. Tim and Brennan on Saturday, February 9, at the Cuchicuato Bible Methodist Church.

On their way to visit two church plants/missions of the Cuchicuato church, they share the road with some horses and goats .

The village of Tamaula is so small and remote that their school receives live-streaming instruction by satellite from a school in the city.

The road is rough and rocky.

Saltillo Pastor Dolores, Cuchicuato Pastor Cuco, Brennan Muir and Tim Keep pray that God will open a home for Bible studies and church services in the town of Tamaula.

Another rough road through the village.

Men working in strawberry fields nearby.

Heading down into the valley to the next mission.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February Trip - Part 3

On Thursday, February 7, Steve left Texas and traveled 4 hours southwest to the city of Saltillo, Coahuila. He spent the night at the home of Saltillo Pastor Dolores Hernandez and his wife, Sylvia.  On Friday, he and Pastor Dolores headed south about 8 hours to Leon, Guanajuato, where they picked up Bro. Tim Keep and Brennan Muir at the airport. Then they stopped to eat some delicious tacos al pastor.

Later they drove to Cuchicuato, Guanajuato and ate a wonderful meal at the home of Pastor Cuco (in the center of the picture below, with his wife, Rosa, on the left and Pastor Dolores, Steve and Bro. Tim on the right).

One of the interesting foods they ate was pickled pig skin.

Here is some freshly fried pork skin.

Pastor Dolores, Bro. Tim, Brennan and Pastor Cuco.

The room where Bro. Tim and Brennan stayed.

The home where all the guys stayed on Friday-Sunday nights.

Special thanks to Brennan Muir for these pictures!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February Trip - Part 2

These are the Facebook posts from the past few days:

February 13 - A (somewhat edited) note from Steve in San Gabriel:
I finally have some time to catch up on what is happening down here in Mexico. Brennan and I are at an internet cafe to try to contact our wives.
Yesterday we were ready to leave but heard an awful sound coming from the right front brakes so we decided to check them before we started on the six hour ride through the mountains. When we got the tire off, we saw that the brakes were totally gone so we had to replace them before we left. One of Daniel Silva's older sons, one of the twins, is a mechanic so we called him and he came and did the job. We were planning to leave at about 9:00 but didn't get left until about 11:30.
We finally got here about 5:15 and they were waiting for us. We had a service scheduled in Santa Maria at 5:00. We got there about 45 minutes late but that was no problem. We had a good service and really needed to leave immediately after the service because we had another at Mangales on our way home. However, that was not to be. One of the ladies in the church had prepared a special meal for "los Hermanos de los estados" and we went to her house to eat a meal. What a meal it was! We had a Cactus salad which was a bunch of different vegetables cut up and combined with cactus. That part was very good. Of course we had the normal black beans and tortillas too. The surprise was when they brought out the bowls with the main entree... "Lizard Roll!!" For real, the main food was mole de iguana. It was a first for all of the gringos and only the third time that Bro. Dolores had eaten iguana lizard. As long as you didn't eat the skin, it really wasn't too bad. But if you got a bite of the skin, it was impossible to chew it. It just got bigger and bigger. I did fine until I bit into what I realized later was the eyeball and then I suddenly lost my appetite for lizard. HA! We also had tole con maiz which was served as a hot drink and had chunks of masa floating in it. It wasn't really bad but it wasn't good either.
We actually had the tole at Mangales. That was the first time I have been to Mangales and there was a good group of people and we had a good service. Obviously, there are many people praying for me because the Lord is helping me to go way beyound myself and my abilities in translating for Tim. Dolores and Brennan help but basically I translate all day long every day and by the time night arrives I am worn out both physically and mentally. Today we ate breakfast at Hermana Eufemia's and then at one o'clock we have a service at 201 where I am to preach, then at 5:00 this evening we will be at the central church in San Gabriel for a service then we will finish up the day with a service at 7:00 at Las Palmas, followed by another supper at the house of one of the families in the town there. Tomorrow, we leave early and go to Bugambilias and leave from there to head back to Oaxaca City. If you post something on Facebook, ask everyone to keep praying that the Lord will continue to help. We have spent time each day talking with the pastors about how things are going in the church and about their plans for the future as far as evangelism and outreach is going. Those conversations tax my abilities big time.
Another thing I forgot to tell you is that we bought some grasshoppers at the market in Oaxaca and Brennan is officially a missionary. HA! We passed on the fried grubs though. The lady did try to sell me some grub salt. She told me that it really enhanced the taste of watermelon and other fruits. I told her that I preferred my fruit UN-enhanced. HA! HA!
We're all fine but somewhat tired. Keep praying for us.

February 15 - Steve, Bro. Keep, Pastor Dolores and Brennan had a good day in Oaxaca City. Some of them visited the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban. This evening they enjoyed a wonderful meal with Oaxaca Pastor Bernardo Rivera Lopez and the Silva family. Tomorrow morning, Bro. Tim and Brennan catch a flight back to Cincinnati and Steve and Dolores will drive the 16 hours back to Saltillo. We appreciate your prayers as they travel.

February 16 – Bro. Tim and Brennan are safely back in Cincinnati with their families. Bro. Dolores is safely in Saltillo. Lord willing, Steve will be home shortly. Thank you for your faithful prayers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February Trip - Part 1

For those of you who haven't seen the updates on Facebook, I am pasting the information here. We appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, February 7 - Steve just left on a 10-day trip through Mexico. Lord willing, he will be covering hundreds of miles visiting Bible Methodist Churches from the northern border of Mexico all the way to southern Oaxaca. Tim Keep and Brennan Muir will be joining him tomorrow. Please keep them in your prayers. In the next hour or so is when he will be going through customs. We'd appreciate prayers that everything at those 2 revisions sites will go well.

Steve made it safely to Saltillo this evening. When he called he was enjoying beans, tortillas, chorizo, salsa, etc. at the home of Pastor Dolores and Sylvia. (Muchas gracias, hnos.)! He had absolutely no problems going through customs. Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, February 8 - Today Steve and Pastor Dolores plan to leave Saltillo, Coahuila and drive about 8 hours south to Leon, Guanajuato to pick up Tim Keep and Brennan Muir who are flying in for a week of ministry in central and southern Mexico. This weekend they will visit the churches and missions in Cuchicuato and Pedregales.

Steve, Dolores, Bro. Tim Keep, and Brennan have arrived in the little town of Cuchicuato. They've eaten tacos al pastor (pork that is cooked on a spit), eggs, ham, milanesa (thin meat that is deep fried), tortillas, pork rinds and pickled pig skin (Steve said it looked like gummy worms). The adventure has begun! :o) They are staying at a home near the church. Tomorrow, Lord willing, they will visit a mission started by the Cuchicuato church in the morning and have a service at another mission in the evening. We appreciate your prayers so much!

Saturday, February 9 - Steve just called from Guanajuato. They have had a great day. This morning they visited a mission station in Tamaula, where the people of the Cuchicuato church have an outreach ministry. Tonight they were at another outreach location. About 40 people were in attendance and Steve translated for Bro. Keep to bring greetings. Brennan gave his testimony in Spanish and then Steve preached the message. God helped in a wonderful way and 6 people came forward for prayer. God is working through your prayers and we are so thankful! Tomorrow they will have services in Pedregales and Cuchicuato.

Monday, February 11 - Today, Steve, Bro. Keep, Brennan and Dolores will travel about 8 hours south to Oaxaca City. They had a blessed and full day yesterday. Thank you for praying.

Tuesday, February 12 - Steve, Bro. Keep, Brennan and Dolores are on their way from Oaxaca City to San Gabriel de Mixtepec, Oaxaca. It is a 120 mile, 5-6 hour trip over very rough and curvy, mountainous roads. For the next 3 days we won't have cell phone contact, so I may not be able to update on their activities unless they can send communication from an internet cafe. Pastor Elias López Ramos has a full schedule of services scheduled in the surrounding villages. Thank you for praying.

Just received a message from Pastor Elias López Ramos, that the men arrived in San Gabriel at 6 p.m. They drove on to Santa Maria for a service after which they were served supper. Then they drove to Mangales and had another service and are just now arriving back in San Gabriel. I've copied and pasted the message below for those who may be interested:

Llegaron casi a las 6 de la tarde e inmediatamente nos fuimos al culto a Santa María, Dios nos ayudó, tubimos un culto muy bendecido, los hermanos nos dieron de cenar mole de iguana y nopalitos muy ricos. De regreso a san Gabriel, tubimos culto en los mangales, acabamo de llegar a descanzar