Brenda’s Bulletin

Started April 16, 2023 in the air

April 19, 2023 - 9:19 pm - Posted by Brenda Matthews

I was hoping to write before the flight, but the last week or so was full of unexpected events that consumed my time that I’m starting this on the plane.  The washing machine broke down.  It took time to contact two different repairmen, but it couldn’t be fixed before I left.  Then the service engine light came on in the car as we left the ladies’ meeting Tuesday.  Since I was planning on driving it from La Paz to San José, I had to take care of that. 

Willy, his wife, and daughter were here the last week and that added a few additional meetings to those that had been planned.  Rafa was going to pick them up, but he had a health issue and asked me to do it for him April 8th.  Then their return flight last Thursday was cancelled, and I ended up taking them back to the airport yesterday, Saturday.  Yesterday, when I checked into my flight, I discovered that it had been moved up an hour.  I’m functioning on two hours of sleep last night but made it safely to San José and the airport.  However, on the shuttle out to the plane I was dismayed to find that the top had come off the bottle of juice and 4/5ths of it had poured out soaking almost everything in my leather carry on bag.  On the bright side, I am alone in the three seats, so I have all my stuff spread out on the seats and floor hoping it will dry.

All of this could just the enemy trying to discourage me after so many good things.  I’m grateful that the liquid didn’t touch the laptop, my phone, or my passport and that the camera seems to be fine.  I’m also grateful that Willy, Isela and Lilian were able to make the trip and that it went so well.  There is a small faction that opposes him and is trying to make a power-grab, but Willy had the discernment to understand what was happening.  The majority of the church is thrilled that they are coming and enjoyed spending time with them.

Tuesday morning, I hosted a meeting inviting the ladies from the group for an informal time together.  The purpose of the trip was for Willy and Isela to get to know El Faro and for the people of El Faro to get to know them, so we had a time of sharing testimonies.  I had asked the ladies to prepare their testimonies for three minutes so everyone would have an opportunity to share, but I was sure they would use a lot more time.  I was impressed that they stuck to the limit and that everyone wanted to share.  Most of the women come from very difficult backgrounds, some very violent, but they opened their hearts and there were tears and laughter as they expressed how God has changed their lives.  It was a beautiful meeting.  

I was very impressed as well with Willy and Isela and their commitment to follow the Lord in obedience to His call.  They are very aware of a myriad of problems they will have to face with Willy becoming the pastor, but they are not discouraged.  They are wise beyond their years and Willy is also a fantastic preacher, solidly grounded in the Word of God.  They continue to trust God to guide them.

One of the major areas of trust is with the finances.  They are planning to arrive the end of July or early August and El Faro has still not made it clear what they can offer them.  From my unofficial investigation, it will be way short of what they need to survive.  One of Willy’s priorities is to establish financial transparency and responsibility.  There’s also the property issue and the implementation of the Healthy Church strategy.  If you would like to contribute toward their financial support, please email me and I’ll let you know how you could do that directly.  We are trusting God to raise up the financial support to get them started with the goal of the church taking on more and more until the church fully supports them.  Please make this a matter of prayer and let me know if the Lord prompts you to action.

I’m writing on the plane on Sunday, but this probably won’t be sent for a couple of days.  One reason is that I have a lot of appointments Monday and Tuesday, but the other is to set up and let you know the phone number you could use while I’m back.  It will be a local Ontario number to facilitate calls and texts.

(April 19th) And the number is… 226.444-7718.  You could text or call me at this number until I return to Mexico July 20th, Lord-willing.  My Mexican number is also available, but I know that many of you can’t call or text to Mexico.  Hopefully your plan covers Canada.  And another item of praise is that a supporter has generously made a car available for me to use while back.

Please pray for safety with all the traveling, for energy and good health, for the supplying of my financial needs as well as those of Willy and Isela, for clear communication visiting and giving presentations, for El Faro as they and Willy are in transition, for Rafa’s health and for Rafa and Betty in this transition, and for God to be glorified in all of it. 

Grateful for each one of you and looking forward to seeing many of you!


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