Dear praying friends and family,
Happy New Year! This January marks not only the beginning of another year, but also the beginning of our fifth year in Mexico City. As you know, this is an important time for us, as our initial five year commitment is rapidly coming to a close. We hope that this letter will shed some light on recent activity, as well as future ideas.
2005 in Review 2005 was an eventful year, and overall a very positive one. Namely, we saw the completion of our second and third âLa Vida Profundaâ? (Deeper Life) teacherâs manuals. The âLa Vida Profundaâ? books have been used throughout Mexico, and in at least one Hispanic congregation in the US. We firmly believe in this curriculumâs power to help spark new youth ministry in Mexico, as well as deepen existing youth minitries. As for our family, the year has been one of celebration and sadness. We celebrated our fifth year of marriage and our daughterâs second birthday, but we also unexpectedly lost a baby in July. We thank God that we have had wonderful people to pray and talk with about the loss.
We are more comfortable in Mexico than we have ever been, with our Spanish flowing more naturally. We were able to spend some blessed time with other missionaries at Mission Training International. Also, we moved (again!) into a new apartment in October that has been a wonderful blessing for our family.
Hopes for 2006 We have some big ideas for this year. At the end of this month, we will kick-off a discipleship ministry called âLa Vida Profunda al Extremoâ? (Deeper Life to the Extreme.) This is a new twist on the weekly discipleship groups we have been doing over the past 2 years. We will be meeting with 12 students from 4 different churches every three weeks for an all-day âextremeâ? activity. Each activity is an object lesson to illustrate something about the Christian life. For example, there is a rock climbing day that is designed to teach about burdens. Students will first attempt to climb with sandbags, then by themselves, and finally with the help of the group. With the aid of the community, the climb is still difficult, but not impossible. La Vida Profunda al Extremo will also be published for other youth leaders around the country to use.
Another hope that we have for 2006 has to do with the publishing of these books. We have over 300 pages of LVP material, and it is becoming too much for us to manage the printing, collating, and binding of the books. If we print just thirty copies of each book to distribute at an event, thatâs 9000 pages, plus the covers and bindings! We have recently heard of a missionary who is starting a Christian publishing house and bookstore in the Mexico City area, and we would like to talk to him about the possibility of publishing the books for us and distributing them through his bookstore.
Finally, we hope to train at least one student to teach a discipleship group. We have a couple of students in mind, and we are praying that they would be willing and ready to learn how to lead a simple bible study. We believe that this is an important step in long-lasting youth ministry for the church that we attend.
Whatâs Next? We have had many people ask us about what will happen after our five-year commitment is complete. The short answer is, we donât know. We are currently praying, thinking, and seeking counsel about what to do next. The good news is we are certain of our desire to continue as missionaries. We are, however, uncertain of the field. Right now, we are considering a furlough in 2007 to regroup and prepare to re-enter the mission field for another four to five year term. Returning to Mexico City is a strong possibility, but we are open to opportunities in other countries as well.
Please pray for Godâs wisdom and direction as we begin the ministry of 2006, and look ahead to 2007. We are truly, deeply grateful for each one of you: the faithful supporters who have made all of this Kingdom work a reality!
Love, Luke, Lindsay and Bella
P.S. If you have any questions, we would love to answer them! Just email us at [email protected]