Friday, February 18, 2005

February Update

I hope everyone is having a good 2005 so far. Things in Mexico are “business as usual” right now, with all of the ups and downs that one might expect from life in general. Of course, a large portion of missions is dealing with passports and visas and the Johnson family knows too well how much fun such paperwork can be. Last week Jessica and I found out that we needed to get some paperwork completed for our visas in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico (on the U.S./Mexico border). We were forced to race up and fill out the forms, but we are now blessed that everything is ready finally for our permanent visas to be processed. In a month or so we should have the new missionary visas and not be forced to go to the border nearly as often as we have had to in the past.

Not all the news from Leon is a stressful as paperwork thankfully. It is exciting to announce that the Leon Team has started renting a church building and look to buy it in the future. I really feel that we stumbled across a treasure with the new church building. As you all know, we have been looking for a place several months and have been deciding what would be the best option for our work. We did find a large two story building in a growing part of Leon at a great price. Most of what we looked at in buildings were double if not triple the price of what we finally decided upon. The location is wonderful as well in that it is both close to where most of our contacts are located as well as easily accessible by the bus system here. With so many positives, you might ask, “What then is the catch?” I suppose the catch is that unlike other more expensive buildings, this one is a fixer-upper. For the last few days we have worked dawn to dusk toting trash, peeling paint, and removing rebar. It’s been a mammoth task, but in the next couple of weeks we hope to have the building up and running for worship. Because of our decision to go with this new building, we have decided to postpone our groundbreaking one-month to the first week of April. Doing so allows us to have our campaign in a permanent place and creates a sense of stability. Please continue praying both for the groundbreaking and the open doors that having this building will create.

Finally, I should point out that this week marks one year ago that Jessica and I arrived in Guadalajara to begin language study. Looking back over the last 12 months, I can honestly say that I have never had such a challenging year. Spanish study, mission work, evangelism, support raising, team building, church planting, and all of the other things we have faced this year have been a great, great challenge. Between the intense feelings of accomplishment and being completely overwhelmed, Jessica and I find peace, joy, and humility. To all who have been praying, to all who have been donating, and to all who have been simply hoping the best for this work… thank you so much. Good things are happening in Leon, Mexico.

-Chris Johnson

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