Sunday, May 15, 2005


Greetings to all from Leon, Mexico. I hope everyone has enjoyed the spring and has plans for a good summer vacation this year. Things for us here in Mexico are as always, “business as usual.” The first month following our groundbreaking has been a time of both ups and downs, with victories and challenges facing us along the way.

As April turned into May, Jessica and I were filled with the excitement of having three weekly one-on-one Bible studies (in both Spanish and English) with those living in our neighborhood. Our contacts Roberto, Patricia, and Neptalí, who are studying with us, seemed to be eager to hear what we had to say and come to our weekly meeting times. These times, which addressed scripture and the Gospel message, have been a real blessing to both prepare for and share with our contacts. Needless to say, during such Bible studies, both language skills and Biblical knowledge are stretched in ways that they aren’t otherwise outside of the studies. Thus, having such study times are a real blessing and benefit to our contacts and us.
Jessica and I have however faced a bit of frustration with these studies when we learned that some in our community are warning others about studying with us. Evidently the rumor has surfaced that Jessica and I are trying to “convert people.” The accusation is obviously frustrating on one level because it causes others to be fearful of us. Still, I am glad to know that there is nothing hidden with us here. Many in our neighborhood know that we are Christians and that we want to share Jesus with them. The accusation of our desire to “convert” our neighbors is a true one. Yet, as I told one contact, “we genuinely care for the people of this community and want to share Jesus with them.” For certain, giving the gift of the Gospel to others should not be something to be ashamed of.

Although a majority of those who attend Sunday worship with us are middle-aged s, we are also in frequent contact with several young s. As you may recall from various presentations we have made about the culture, a large percentage of Mexico is filled with youth between the ages of 20 and 30. Jessica and I personally have seven non-Christian contacts that we are regularly meeting with in their early twenties. These young s show a real desire for spirituality (much like their American counterparts) although they tend to be disillusioned with structured religion. After sharing the Gospel with one of these young men, he said “it makes me angry to know that the religious leaders here don’t teach us these things.” Clearly the truth of Jesus touches people on a very personal level.
There are several plans and ideas floating around to minister to these young s, two of which we are very excited about. Starting last month, I began on late Friday night from 10:30-1:00 to have a game night in my house. We play everything from the board game RISK to Playstation 2 as a way to bring in more young s into our lives. Already we are seeing positive results from the time as “game night” has turned into early morning tacos and conversations. Two weeks ago at 2:30a.m. I sat at a taco stand with one of these young guys as he opened up to me about his perspectives on God and life. I enjoyed telling him what the Bible said on the issue.
We are now making plans to have a campout in July at an area campground with our “20somethings.” If possible, we would like several of the local congregations in the area to bring their young s too. This time could be a great opportunity for us to not only bond with our contacts, but also to demonstrate what Christian community is to look like. Please keep these plans in your prayers as we work to influence the future of Mexico.

For the last several months, Jessica has been leading the other missionary wives through a workbook entitled “Evangelistic Women” as a part of their ladies class. The ladies class for the missionary wives was designed as a way to create strong communication between the ladies, and to offer renewed direction in times that missionary life seems commonplace and redundant. The class is very encouraging for Jessica who enjoys getting together with the other ladies and sharing with them.
The missionary ladies class also led the way for the congregation’s new ladies class for all of our female members. Tana Palafox leads this group on Saturdays for an hour of fellowship and study. It is true in Mexico, as it is other places in the world, that women have a real desire for spirituality and Christian unity. We are blessed to have two opportunities for the ladies to bond and learn together.

Following our groundbreaking event, we are starting to create various forms of ministry as ways to “plug in” our contacts to studies. Besides the ladies class and game night ministries mentioned earlier, we have also begun a weekly prayer time and an evangelistic outreach time for the congregation. We continue our three weekly small group studies, Sunday morning and night meetings, as well as the teen study that Shawn leads weekly. Our goal has been to offer as many options to the city of Leon as possible, as well as to utilize our new building.

For those who want to hear even more about our news as a team, we have updated the Internet with our quarterly newsletter. You can read that news by clicking here.

Please Pray For
Us as our visa work goes through
Strength and unity of our mission team
Chris and Jessica’s language study
Visitors for our 5 weekly Bible study times
More contacts to result in more studies
God to raise up his workers in Leon
Satan’s stronghold in the city to be broken

Once again, we appreciate all of your prayers and are grateful for all of the ways that you contribute to our work. You are a great blessing to us here in Mexico.

-Chris Johnson

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