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April 30, 2013

Prayer Concert, May 2013

2013 Annual Retreat! We had a great time of sharing and mutual learning amongst fellow missionary families. All of us gathered together along with uninvited mosquitoes. However, it was a time to pray each other. Praise God for His ceaseless care to listen our praises and prayers.

1) Praise for Coffee Break ministries and its ongoing growth. Elaine, along with 2 leaders, is leading 6 groups in total. By the end of the year, they will form a Coffee Break ministry team. The groups just started the book of Esther.

2) Praise for a Presbiterial Study on Discipline (April 29) with invited speaker Constantino Ortega (Toluca). Our 14 attendees-pastors and elders-expressed and shared their rich experiences on the polemic topic. Some have confessed to have inappropriately applied it in the past, so to lament and to fix it. God has touched their heart to strengthen their ministry to God's churches.

3) Pray for the four people (Manuel, Juan Pablo, Elpidio, & Juan Francisco) who have just finished Bible Reading in 90 days. Please continue to pray for them to keep on visiting the Word! Pray also for another group to start the reading.

4) Pray for those who had taken God's Image Follow-up studies. Now some of them will join our ministry team to serve at future seminars and studies. May they continue to grow in Spirit and Word making themselves servants to their families and neighbors!

5) Praise God for Marlon who is discharged from the hospital after a month of severe treatment. Now his cousin sister Andrea is encouraged to celebrate her 15th birthday (Quinceaño) that has been postponed since March.

6) Pray for Socorro Perez to gain self-confidence for the teaching assignment at seminary by extension. At first she is very nervous and scared to teach the students (Mario, Maria de Refugio, Manuel, Tomas, Francisco). Praise God, she is doing much better now.

7) Praise God for the 8th God's Image Seminar held in Villahermosa, Tabasco. There were 86 attendees and made renewing commitment to rebuild their broken relationships with God and the loved ones. Abe and Israel Melendez (the praise leader) will visit them again on May 4-5 to promote the 8-week follow-up studies and the use of Tiempo Con Dios.

8) Pray for our next seminar on August 30-31 in Cuernavaca for which our ministry team is getting busy by inviting people around them and humbly preparing with prayers to serve with the servant hearts. We will have our first preparation meeting on May 24.

9) Pray for God's Image Book Club. The seven ladies meet together on weekly basis to broadly discuss on their reading. Now they have chosen to read Cambios Que Sanan (Changes That Heal by Henry Clouds).

10) Pray for B4 mentoring on May 13. One of Abe's goals is to help young pastors discover and develop themselves for ministerial emphasis-Israel as a gifted musician and homiletic passion, Noe for his noble personality toward church planting, Socorro with her passion to learn and overcome her own boundaries. However, Hector has always been tough for Abe to lead him on against his shadowy personality. His speaking habit is the most worrisome foothold for his growth.

11) Praise for our children's birthdays: Nathan on Jan 19, Nahum on April 12 and Naomi on May 13. Naomi will be 10th grader next year. Wow, time went by so fast. They are getting taller everyday. They also invade our closets. Not to mention, their shoes sizes are like boats.

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April 12, 2013

The 8th God's Image Seminar in Mexico

We are pleased to report you for the God's Image Seminar held in Villahermosa, Tabasco on April 2-3 of the current year. Since it is a tropical area, the temperature went up to 100ºF with over 60% of humidity. We ended up using all the fans, about 20 of them, I guess. However, the 86 participants and 30+ volunteers enjoyed the warm arms of God. His love was clearly shown to each one of us. There was a lot of tear and laughter during the two-day event (from 8am to 9:30pm). It was a great pleasant for us to serve God's people. After each participant turned in his/her written testimony, all of them have returned home to build up a different lifestyle. God is good! Thanks for your prayer and givings! Blessings to you!

Here is more pictures. CLICK HERE

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April 10, 2013

Prayer Concert, April 2013

The smell of the spring is permeating the whole city of Cuernavaca. Its color is beautiful. Trees in town are picturesque. Praise God for this great season of colors! Please join us in praise and pray.

1) Praise for Coffee Break ministries and its powerful impact on many lives. Though there are ups-and-downs on leading it, Elaine has been prayerfully leading four groups here and there in town. It really keeps her busy but she loves to visit them and challenge them with the living word.

2) Praise God for Marlon (20) who was out of hospital for a while after brain surgery. However, he is back in hospital again, due to an infection. Please continue to pray for him and his mom, Esperanza.

3) Pray for the four people (Manuel, Juan Pablo, Elpidio, & Juan Francisco) who have so faithfully read the Bible for the last 4 ½ months (Bible in 90 days). We’ve finished the Old Testament and a half of the New Testament. Our plan is to finish it in two weeks and celebrate on the 29th of this month for the completion of the reading. Let’s taco!!!

4) Praise for the 6 small groups of God’s Image Follow-up studies. These are to strengthen our servanthood for its upcoming seminar attendees. The study consists of eight sessions to remind of the seminar topics.

5) Praise God for the Basic doctrine classes (Mi Primer Paso a la Fe Reformada) at Puerta del Cielo missions. It was meant to offer to a group of adult church-goers, but ended up with a handful youths, their teenagers. It took three months to finish. Now the mission leader, Socorro Perez, will evaluate before taking further ministerial steps. Pray also for Socorro who will teach Homiletics at TEE—April and May—following Abe’s Hermeneutics class.

6) Praise for an opportunity of teaching the Easter hymns that enabled our churches to lift the Risen Lord’s name on high in the Easter Sunday early morning.

7) Praise God for God’s Image Ministry volunteers. We’re able to serve a healing community in Villahermosa, Tabasco. We were used by God to be a blessing to 80 attendees from Tabasco and the Yucatan Peninsula. It was our 8th God’s Image Seminar (April 2-3) at El Buen Pastor National Presbyterian Church. The local coordinator happily scheduled for a reunion a month later (May 4-5) where the attendees would be grouped for the follow-up studies and daily devotional. They will also consider to host more seminars in near future.

8) Pray for CRC Prayer Summit 2013 at ANC (April 15-17). We witnessed last year’s summit, where God has unleashed His Spirit throughout the time. May God dialogue with His people from across Canada and US, so that CRCNA faithfully and obediently act upon His shown path.

9) Pray for our Mexico missionary spiritual retreat (April 18-22) in Cuernavaca. The Giffords and our family will host the retreat this time. May it be a nourishing and recharging time for all of us to boldly serve God’s church in Mexico.

10) Pray for "Praying for churches" project that Elaine is launching. Socorro and Elaine will visit Reformed Presbyterian churches to pray churches and prayer requests which each church has. On 4/11, they will visit three churches in Cuernavaca area; Nazareno, Betesda, and Puerta del Cielo churches. They will spend about 1 1/2 hours. Church members are welcomed. Next month, they will go to churches in Temixco area.

Thank you so much for your ongoing prayer and graceful giving.

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Prayer Concert, March 2013

1) Praise for good reports on life challenges and transformation through Coffee Break small group ministries. There are about 50 people (mostly ladies) in 6 groups gathering every week. We have so far finished Ruth, Jonah, Hoseas, and now studying on the Easter. Elaine is leading them from Tuesday night to Friday morning: 2 groups at National Presbyterian Churches, 1 at Reformed Presbyterian Church, 3 at homes. Our goal at the end of this year is to have a number of small group leaders who’d open more centers and lead them.

2) Pray for Marlon (20) who recently had brain surgery to take out the tumor. At this moment he is in a critical condition. His mom Esperanza took God’s Image seminar last November, so is in close contact with us, especially with Elaine. Her sister Rosario is also at her side, being the only Christian family member to provide spiritual assistance.

3) Pray for a Coffee Break group in Toluca (March 16). The 20 ladies are studying the book of Ruth, hoping to see God’s hands and listen to His voice. Elaine has gone twice so far and will go back on March 16 to finish the study.

4) Praise for the four people faithfully reading the Bible in 90 days. We’ve so far read day 50. Manuel Garcia who plans to enroll to the Reformed Seminary is taking every given opportunity to have basic knowledge on the Bible. At weekly Monday night classes, he comes with so many questions from the reading. He really enjoys it.

5) Praise for the 6 groups of God’s Image Follow-up studies. We have 6 group leaders, including us. This is to help our ministry volunteers deepen their relationship with God and shape further ministry attitude. We’ll continue these studies following every God’s Image seminar.

6) Pray for the Basic doctrine classes (Mi Primer Paso a la Fe Reformada) at Puerta del Cielo missions. We’ve invited Socorro Perez (All Nations Sem grad) to work at this small missions for women ministry. Elaine thought it would help the missions to stabilize general attendance to her own activities. It’s been a little over 3 months, but she is learning more and strengthening her passion for small group ministries. We’ve also taught an 8 week course on the Basic Christian Doctrine. Nelly has shown quite a bit of attitude change since.

7) Pray for a gathering to learn hymns (March 23). Due to the musical transition from hymns to contemporary praise songs, our pastors warned (?) churches to use more of classical hymns. For one side, we agree due to the unilateral leading of worships songs. No words are being provided, as they sing newer and sometime off-doctrinal messages from inappropriate originated songs.

8) Pray for a breakfast gathering of a Baptist church (March 23). Elaine will speak (unknown topic yet). May God speak to the ladies in a way they will love more of God’s heart.

9) Praise for bazars (March 2) to raise travel expenses for our God’s Image Ministry volunteers. We are going to Villahermosa, Tabasco to bless a National Presbyterian Church through God’s Image Ministries. It will be our 8th Seminar(April 2-3). We’ll have one last prep meeting on March 22. For now we expect to serve 90 participants in total. The seminar will bless each participant to spiritually refocus on God and relationally improve their family and church environment. For this upcoming event, our team is on relay fasting since the last prep meeting.


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Prayer Concert, February 2013

As usual, the year end celebration was an exceptional joy to our family as we celebrated it with brothers, cousins, and grandparents in Los Angeles. We came back with a renewed spirit for another long year race.

Please bear us in your February prayers.

1) Praise for our 20+ volunteers for the eighth God’s Image Seminar at the biggest Presbyterian Church (500+ members) in Villa Hermosa, Tabasco. We are told to expect a big group of attendees. We are all excited, and our team willingly denounced their vacation time, the week following Easter Sunday, to serve God through this ministry. We’d continue to meet monthly till the event dates, to uphold ourselves spiritually praying and fasting. Pastor Ricardo Aquino shows great commitment to this ministry as he planted a virtual church in Culiacan through Skype highlighting some main topics of this ministry. Angel Rivas travels back and forth to attend our preparation meetings from Durango. He is determined to serve the upcoming seminar. The dates are April 1-4.

2) Praise and continue to pray for the growing Coffee Break ministry. Elaine continues to lead such life-changing ministry. In total 30 ladies in four small groups celebrate weekly their heartbreaking and renewing stories of what God is doing in their midst. Especially, she recently dropped a bombing challenge for a group of ladies whose faith should take next steps along with study on Hosea. Elizabeth and Aide started to sense God’s move in their relationships.

3) Pray for Puerta del Cielo Missions and her preacher Socorro Perez have started a journey to the Reformed faith 101 (8 week course every Sunday morning). The few key people of this missions told us that they have never done a formal study. We just finished the first session on Apostle Creed and the Lord’s Prayer through which they barely grabbed an idea of God and how to relate to him through prayer.

4) Pray for Eight-week Bible study of God’s Image Seminar. It deepens themes that we explored at the seminar. Our 20+ volunteers will take the study to enable themselves to fruitfully assist future seminars. We will have four groups both men and women.

5) Pray for the third group of students at Seminary by Extension Center (every 2 year). It will open the first class on Feb 9. Abe will teach during February and early March.

6) Pray for a Coffee Break in Toluca. Elaine taught an opening session on Ruth last month and now she will lead following chapters on the 16th of February.

7) Our monthly B4 mentoring with four young pastors will be on the 11th. We read and share our thoughts from a book, From Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Linier (YWAM). So far, it helped them open their cultural eyes. Now on, we will learn to appreciate each one’s culture.

8) A Service and Learning Team from Grace Korean (GR) will visit our ministries. They will bring oriental medical service during the second week of February. May their healing service encourage God’s church here in Cuernavaca.

9) Pray for our children, NANANA. They continue with Taekwondo classes and enjoy school year.

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Prayer Concert, January 2013

Happy New Year!!!

How did you spend Christmas and New Year? We surely had a blessed time. Our family spent two weeks with Elaine's family in L.A.

January prayer requests

1) Image of God Seminar follow-up Bible study: 6 groups will start in January. Participants from last November were encouraged to participate to review what they have learned at the seminar. It will be mandatory for all future volunteers. Pray that we will have more volunteers as we finish up the Bible study.

2) Bible reading will resume on 1/12. Continue to pray that the participants will fall in love with the word of God.

3) Coffee Break Bible study: This small group study will resume on the second week of January. Elaine will lead 3 groups and will study of the book of Hosea.

4) Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in DF and our local Bible school. Pray for our students as they are preparing to serve God with the gifts that they have received.

5) January 12: Pastoral monthly meeting will be held at Maranatha Church. Our seminary student Noe Santiago preaches on a regular basis there and will host a group of pastors for the first time. May God grant His richness on him.

6) January 21: Mentoring B4 will be held at our home. Pray that Israel, Hector, Noe, and Socorro will humbly start the new year along their call to pastoral duties.

7) January 25: Will have the first meeting of Image of God seminar.

8) January 26: Elaine will lead a Coffee Break study for a women's group in Toluca. She will give a study on the book of Ruth.

9) We will lead Catechism classes at Puerta del Cielo Church for the next 7 Sundays.

10) Esperanza: She attended the 7th Image of God seminar and experienced God's love. She just found out that her son, Mahlon, has a tumor in his brain. She is very devastated. Please pray for her and her son. Let God work in their lives so that they will have firm faith in God.

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