Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Don't be afraid!

The other day, I was watching the Sound of Music with the kids after dark.  There was a thunderstorm raging, and the electricity snapped off, leaving us in darkness.  This happens a lot around here, and the kids know they must not all panic and scream.  (What happened the first few times the electricity popped off when they were much younger.)  Nevertheless, I could hear timorous tittering all around me, as I groped for the lighter to light a candle with.  I could hear my seven-year-old nervously telling our dog, "Don't be afraid, Shasta!  Don't be afraid!  Just don't be afraid!"  When I held up the small flame, there she was on the floor with our rather large dog, arms clasped around the dog's neck in a stranglehold.  "Don't be afraid, Shasta!"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

What blog?

I have been gently reprimanded for neglecting my blog in favor of facebook.  It is understanding, since my loved ones would like to see more of my thoughts than the little blurbs I have time to dash out on the "instant social media".  I had plans to do a thanksgiving post, a Christmas post, a year-in-review post, and others, but they never materialized.

The biggest news for us now is that we are looking for a new area to plant a new church, and plans should get us moving in the next two or three months.  We do not have a place settled yet;  we are studying several different areas.  I thank the Lord that He has always given us firm guidance, and expect Him to do the same.  We will go when He leads!

It won't be easy to leave this group.  They are more precious to me, the closer we get to our departure.  God has been so good to us to let us be a part of the birth of this ministry!

Monday, February 06, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words!

First Anniversary Service!
We met here for over a year.
Greeting church members in the new building!!
A place where many lives have been changed
God knows how to put together a team. It's an honor to serve with these people!
One of the divided classes in the Vacation Bible School.  We had to get creative finding classroom space!
Vacation Bible School!!
It doesn't look like it, but this is a battleground.

At the dedication of the building in August.
Some of the children in our church getting into the spirit of Mexican Independance Day!
The Christmas program was incredibly sweet
The heart of this church is winning souls.  This is our group that goes out every Saturday to reach it's neighbor with the gospel.
These aren't all the great memories we have had.  I hope I'm able to share with you some of the excitement we've experienced here.  The bottom line is, God wanted to do something here, and we got picked to be part of the team He used to do it!  The devil has fought hard for this ground, but he has no power against God's church.  We have seen lives changed, hard hearts softened, people of all ages dedicate their lives to God's service, and most importantly, the gospel bring people from death to new life in Christ!

There is no better thing in the world than serving the Lord!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Year In Review

 This is our last prayer letter.  I wanted to show what God did during the year.  It's kind of unbelievable, looking back at all the blessings we've had, not without battles.  All the glory is our Lord's!  He did it, and we rejoice to be here for the birth of this church.  We pray that the fruit God has given remains to bear more fruit to His glory!

My next post will be some of the pictures I included in the letter.
January-December, 2011;  Year in Review

Dear Praying Friends,

            In this past year, God has done an amazing work here in Tizayuca, Mexico.  I wanted to provide a quick month-by-month review of the year for our supporting churches and friends.  God has blessed and done great things for us!
January:  We started building on the property God provided for us.  A building was an urgent need, as we were meeting in the back yard of one of our church members.  The space was getting very crowded!  I preached on the theme of revival all month long.  God added a man to our pastoral team, and he is acting as a music minister and youth pastor.
February:  Brother Jaimez, our co-laborer here, was injured on the 4th in accident, and began a month of bedrest, to heal bruised lungs.  God blessed the church as they took care of the Jaimez family during this time.  God gave us a great blessing with letting me get plates to put on my van so I could drive legally in Mexico after permissions I was using were cancelled. 
March:  We had our First Anniversary service on the 6th.  We had seen real spiritual growth, and many came forward that day for believer’s baptism, which they had been putting off.  The next service we had nine baptisms in the little inflatable pool we had purchased for the purpose.  Later that month, I travelled to the border to cancel permissions on the van, so we could use the plates.
April:  The focus was Stewardship, and we held a conference.  As we preached the sermons, many people came forward to ask more questions and pray about how they could please God in their stewardship.  They have a heart to do God’s will, and God blessed them for it!  God provided a way for the unmarried couples in the church to get married without paying the punitive fine, and one couple made their union legal and honoring to God. This couple has since grown by leaps and bounds.  They are praying about a calling to ministry, and are serving faithfully in the church, learning all that they can with a hungry heart.  Obedience brings great blessing!
May:   On the 8th, we had our first meeting in the new building.  While there were no windows, or doors yet, the excitement was tangible.  Our emphasis was on missions.  On Mission’s Sunday, families from all over Mexico presented the need for missions in their home state.  Awareness of the need for evangelizing the world increased and people began to be more serious about weekly soulwinning and learning how to win souls.
June; We held a Family Conference, and we spent this month focusing on helping families.  Satan is attacking families everywhere, and Mexico is no exeption.  We worked on teaching biblical family dynamics.  Since then, many of the couples have been working on improving their relationships and building families that please God.
July:  We had a Kid’s Camp right in the church building!  The youth group helped taking care of the children, and they had a wonderful time.
August:  At the beginning of the month, we had a work day to prepare the building for the Vacation Bible School, then we worked together as a church to invite the children in the area.  God rewarded our labor with 58 precious young people lined up the first day.  More children came every day until the last day, when we had 106!  There were 40 professions of faith, and we have had three visiting families.  One family who discovered us at the VBS is still coming faithfully and growing in Christ.  We dedicated the new building on 22nd, giving not just the stone and mortar of the building, but ourselves to serve the Lord in this place.  In a very sweet blessing of God on us, He called one of our teenagers to service during this conference, and she went to Bible College a week later.
September  The theme was Liberty in Christ.  September is Mexico’s patriotic month, and while we are thankful for our religious and personal liberty, we praise God also for the liberty from sin that He has given us, so that we can live righteously before Him.-
October::  Our weekly evangelism had grown again to the point that we needed another clinic to teach the new generation of believers how to share their faith.  I taught on personal evangelism, as well as how to disciple new believers, and we are thrilled to see many of our faithful soulwinners discipling others in the way of Christ!  Excitement over winning souls and obeying the Great Commission is growing!
November:  The emphasis was on the importance of giving thanks this month, and we had a sweet service of Thanksgiving, with many tears and praises lifted up to God for the many, many victories we received at the hand of our great Saviour.
December:  A holiday month, December is usually a very busy time in churches, and we were busy also.  I preached on keeping our focus on Christ, and on His gift of Salvation, so that we can have a holiday that brings honor to Him.  Activities included a couple’s banquet, a Christmas musical in which all the children participated, and a special Christmas service when we remembered Christ’s wonderful gift of His own life to us.

I am amazed when I look back that this year and see all that God has done in our lives and in our families as a church.  I praise His name for the many victories!

Thank you for taking the time to read our report, as well as your faithful support and prayer.  God bless!

In Christ,

Missionary Ryan Case