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Entries in Mexico (8)

Monday
Jan312011

A Return to Mexico

Andrew, and AWM's World Outreach Director, Wendell Parr met with Alex and Julie to discuss their plans for ministry in Mexico. (Click to enlarge)In the summer of 1978, Alex and Julie Palomares met for the first time when Julie traveled with some high school classmates from the United States to Mexico. Alex’s brother, Pablo was the group's tour guide and he invited Alex to a party being held in honor of the visiting Americans. It didn’t take long for Alex and Julie to spot each other at the party. Despite the fact that Alex didn’t speak English and Julie only spoke high school level Spanish, Alex asked Julie to dance. The two formed a lasting bond that afternoon and three years later they were married.

The newlyweds chose to reside in Puebla, Mexico. While living there, God surrounded the couple with born again believers, including some missionaries, whom the Lord used to draw Alex and Julie to Himself. The two had been raised in Catholic homes, but both came to the realization that they were missing a personal relationship with God. Alex and Julie in 1982, right after receiving Jesus as their Savior in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico.
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In 1982, their friends brought them to a church service where they gave their hearts to Jesus. A short time later, the couple went to a home bible study and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

It was not long before Alex and Julie had the opportunity to go on their first missionary trip. The two visited a small mountain community in Mexico; it was there that they fell in love with mission work and ministry in particular. Separately, each asked the Lord to prepare them for ministry, but to their surprise, He redirected the Palomares to move to the U.S. to focus on their marriage and raising a family. They did so feeling assured that God would show them the right time to step out into ministry.

Fast forward nearly twenty-six years, three children and eleven relocations later, to a regular morning in March of 2008. Alex and Julie's ordination ceremony at the 2010 Summer Family Bible Conference in Colorado Springs.
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Julie was watching Andrew’s Gospel Truth program on television, and although she had seen the program and the promotions for Charis Bible College (CBC) hundreds of times, this morning was different. Julie felt led to order the CBC correspondence courses, and when she discussed her idea with Alex, she found that he too wanted to take the courses.

By August first, they had completed the first year program, and had also decided to sell their home and move to Colorado Springs to begin their second year at CBC. All CBC students are required to go on a foreign mission trip during their second year, and the Palomares mission trip brought them back to Mexico. It was during this trip that the Lord began to prepare them to return to Mexico, to begin their ministry in the same country where they had found each other and God three decades earlier.

Julie and Alex in Querétaro, Mexico. (Click to enlarge)The Lord continued to speak to Alex and Julie about the timing being right to begin their ministry. During their third year at CBC, they focused their apprenticeship project on the research of three cities in Mexico. They found the city of Querétaro to be a good fit for their ministry base, and in January 2010, the two decided to visit the city. They believed that God would confirm the leading they felt during their visit.

Querétaro is a lovely colonial city of about 800,000 people. It is clean, safe and situated approximately two and a half hours northwest of Mexico City. It is also an area that is home to many international companies and a number of educational institutions. It is the number one non-beach tourist destination in Mexico. Beyond these facts, God confirmed to the couple that Querétaro was in need of hearing the message of God’s unconditional love and grace.

Querétaro, Mexico“The time we spent walking the streets of Querétaro and praying confirmed to us that this was where we needed to be. We met a young pastor and his wife who moved to Querétaro three years ago to start a church. They graciously showed us around the area and picked us up for their church service the next day. Over lunch we were able to tell them about our desire to begin a discipleship program that we believe will grow into a Bible college. They were very interested in our plans, assuring us that there is great need in Querétaro and a lot of work to be done. We returned to Colorado knowing that the Lord prepared us as He said He would many years ago," said Julie.

Alex and Julie were ordained by Andrew and the CBC staff following their third year apprenticeship, and they began to make preparations to move to Querétaro. Alex teaching a Discipleship Evangelism lesson. (Click to enlarge)They moved to Mexico in September 2010, and soon after their arrival began teaching Discipleship Evangelism in León, Guanajuato, about two hours northwest of Querétaro. A short time later, the couple began teaching a second discipleship group at a local church in Querétaro. They continue to lead these groups and teach at other meetings by invitation.

Each group of hungry hearts has received an abundance of revelation from the lessons that Alex and Julie present each week. Participants have received a clear understanding of water baptism, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, their authority as believers and so much more. “DE training doesn’t just give people discipleship materials to share with others. It allows a person to experience the Grace of God through a systematic study of basic Bible topics and then they share what they have experienced firsthand with others," Alex explained.

Alex and Julie ministering in Leon, Mexico. (Click to enlarge)The Palomares are thrilled to see God’s word changing so many lives in Mexico, and also find joy in sharing their testimony of God’s faithfulness in their lives, as an encouragement to all who God puts in their path. “What a precious moment it is when you realize that you are in the right place at the right time,” Julie said.

To learn more about their journey and their ministry visit the Palomares Ministries website.

Monday
Oct042010

From the Medical Field to the Mission Field

Charis Bible College graduates Carolina and Oswaldo Santos are the directors of the Home Cell Groups at Palabra de Vida Church in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico. (Click to enlarge)Oswaldo and Carolina Santos, originally from Nicaragua, came to the United States in 1983 seeking political asylum, exercising the basic right to seek shelter in another country if one has a reasonable fear of persecution within their own country for differing political opinions. They were granted asylum, and in 1995 the couple became United States Citizens. In 2004, they moved from Nebraska to Colorado Springs to attend Charis Bible College (CBC).

Both physicians, the Santoses worked in the medical field at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota from 1983 until 2003. After their youngest of four children graduated from college, they made plans to move to Guadalajara, Mexico to serve as full-time missionary physicians. Before they left, an elderly friend, Jack Simmons from Gordon, Nebraska, asked Oswaldo to drive him to Estes Park, Colorado to attend Andrew’s annual Men’s Advance conference. Oswaldo (yellow shirt) teaching Discipleship Evangelism. (Click to enlarge)Oswaldo agreed, and thought he would spend the majority of the conference working out the details for his move to Mexico. Instead, he found himself engrossed in Andrew’s teaching of the Gospel and made the decision that Mexico would have to wait (Isaiah 55:8-9). Two weeks after the conference, Oswaldo sent his application to CBC in Colorado Springs. After the couple attended the Summer Family Bible Conference in 2004, Carolina made the commitment to attend CBC as well. The couple graduated in 2006.

While attending CBC, the Santoses were chosen to go to Mexico for their second year mission trip. There, they met and sensed a strong connection with Bobby and Lynn Crow of World Missions Outreach and Palabra de Vida Church in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Bobby and Lynn Crow with Carolina and Oswaldo. (Click to enlarge)After returning to Colorado Springs, Oswaldo and Carolina shared the desire to go back to Mexico to serve the community via the Crow’s ministry. After seeking guidance from Andrew and CBC Dean of Students, Wayne Knurr, the couple contacted the Crows and asked them if they could serve their ministry as volunteers. Bobby and Lynn agreed and the Santoses once again made plans to move to Mexico—this time they wouldn’t be serving as physicians.

The couple began volunteering at Palabra de Vida (Word of Life) Church in August of 2006. Two months later, Bobby asked Oswaldo and Carolina to take over the care of the Home Cell Groups for the church. Map of Mexico (Click to enlarge)Despite their lack of experience, they joyfully agreed to take on the additional responsibility. “God does not call the equipped, but He equips whom He calls,” Oswaldo said.

Carolina and Oswaldo have had great success teaching the Discipleship Evangelism (DE) program in their Home Cell Groups (2 Timothy 2:2). For many years the couple had the desire to disciple people, and the DE program has given them an excellent tool to do so effectively. They have seen lives transformed, saved, and delivered. They have also had the honor of baptizing some in water and to lead others in the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Teaching a small group in the local community. (Click to enlarge)The couple has not limited the DE program to their groups, they have also assisted some local pastors from different denominations. The pastors have reportedly received the teaching with joy, and their churches are growing again. Oswaldo and Carolina have also shared the DE program with believers back in the nation of Nicaragua.

The Santoses medical career had been rewarding for them; they were always working with people and they saw many restored to health as a result of their medical care. Now however, serving the Lord full-time, they find they are exceedingly blessed and more fulfilled as they see lives changed through their Home Cell Groups, the DE program, and individualized counseling. “We are experiencing eternal rewards that we did not experience while we were practicing our medical careers,” Oswaldo said.

Oswaldo and Carolina Santos are just one more testimony of the process of multiplication that begins at Charis Bible College.

Thursday
Sep022010

Blessed to be a Blessing

CBC Dallas' mission team members, Barron Skelton and Arlettia Sharp on their way to Mexico. (Click to enlarge)One Saturday morning in January, with the temperature in Dallas, Texas hovering at an uncharacteristically cold thirteen degrees, Barron Skelton and Arlettia Sharp, second year students at Charis Bible College-Dallas, and college Administrator, Shirley Johnson departed for their mission trip to northern Mexico. On the way to Mexico the CBC-Dallas team stopped in Harlingen, Texas, just north of the Mexican border, where they met with students from CBC-Chicago and CBC-Kansas City to form one larger missions team. The group was hosted by Bobby and Lynn Crow, founders of World Missions Outreach and Palabra de Vida (Word of Life) in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico.

Although the team headed south of the U.S. Border, there was no reprieve from the cold weather for the missionaries, as Ciudad Victoria was experiencing the coldest winter in recent history. The mission team from CBC-Chicago.
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Everyone was thankful that they had packed plenty of warm clothes. Even though the weather was unpleasant, the students were welcomed warmly by the Crows and their staff.

On Sunday morning the CBC students attended church services at Palabra de Vida, and were blessed by the hospitality of the church members. It was a joy for them to be received and treated as family, and to participate in the anointed worship service, for which the Crows and their church have become renowned.CBC-Kansas City's mission team.
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The first official day of street ministry took place in one of the many poor neighborhoods in Victoria. The residents of the neighborhood were welcoming, and students were humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of those they visited. Although it was obvious that the local people didn’t have much in the way of material wealth, they were eager to share what little they did have with the students. The team prayed with the residents for financial provision, healing, for runaway children to return and for many other needs. CBC students rested after playing soccer with some local children. (Click to enlarge)Ten people received Jesus as their Lord and Savior during the first day on the mission field.

Rita Luckett-Robinson from CBC-Chicago served as one of the team's children’s ministers. She brought many fun items for the kids, and she also played the flute for them. During one tent meeting, the team saw thirty children saved; it was a time of great rejoicing.

Each tent meeting the team held was fruitful. One CBC student would give a testimony and one would share a message each evening. The students also performed skits demonstrating the unconditional love of God, which proved very effective in reaching the people's hearts. Barron Skelton praying for people during one of the meetings. (Click to enlarge)Many residents responded with great enthusiasm and received Jesus, and some were filled with the Holy Spirit. One woman was so blessed by the ministry's outreach on one particular evening that she actually went forward specifically to pray for a student, instead of to receive prayer for herself.

At another meeting a young man who had received salvation stepped forward to share his testimony. He explained that he had been a local police officer but had been caught selling guns to “the bad guys.” He shared about how God had gotten him out of jail when it looked like he would never get out, and how his wife had been sick with a growth in her chest and how God had healed her. Arlettia Sharp ministers in the prayer line after a meeting. (Click to enlarge)It was a very emotional testimony that touched the hearts of those in attendance, including the members of mission team.

The CBC teams were sad to say good-bye to Mexico. They left feeling as though they had received as much as they had given. From the people they ministered to, to the kitchen staff at Palabra de Vida who never let them go hungry, to Bobby and Lynn Crow and their family who shared challenging messages and words of encouragement, as well as met their every need, the students were truly blessed.