Xul-Ha, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Dear Faithful Pastors, Friends, and Members of the Lord’s Churches,
New Year Greetings to you in the name of our glorious Lord who teaches us to number our days and to redeem the time because the days are evil! We are excited about a new year of service to our Lord in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, hoping that we can serve Him with less distraction and be more about our Father’s eternal and spiritual business.
The year 2014 is now in the history books. We are thoroughly amazed at how the Lord has worked in our lives during these past 12 months and are really excited to see what He has for us in this new year. I am convinced that our eyes must be fastened upon eternal, invisible, and enduring things, for these are the only things really worth living for. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but things eternal, like the Word of God, shall stand forever. When our life in earthly time has been run and we stand on the brink of eternity in the presence of God, what will be important? No doubt what is eternally important is the glory and truth of God and those precious souls from every kindred, tongue, tribe, and race….those souls, valued souls, loved by God with an everlasting love and for whom Jesus Christ so willingly denied Himself, laid down His life, drank the cup of the wrath of Almighty God and shed His sinless blood to redeem. We must seek and gather the Lord’s sheep, knowing they will hear His voice and follow their Good Shepherd; and while doing so, we preach the Gospel to every creature.
GROWTH IN THE LITERATURE MINISTRY
There are some very positive changes in our literature ministry. Since Ruth Elisabeth has finished her high school studies, I have asked her to help oversee much of the process of bringing Biblically-sound literature to a publishable and printed reality. In just a few weeks, she has helped publish two, new evangelistic titles and she is also reworking some of our older literature that is in need of language refinement, grammatical and punctuation corrections, etc. We have also been preparing for our blanketing of the Yucatan Peninsula villages with Gospel literature. Because of the high moisture content and rain, we are packaging the Gospel of John and 4 or 5 titles in plastic bags so that they cannot be destroyed by the elements. This is something that we have never had to do in Oaxaca but see it as necessary in these parts of Mexico.
BLANKETING VILLAGES WITH THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
After preparing several hundreds of plastic bags with the Gospel message and the Book of John, we began to make day trips to extended and isolated communities with the express purpose of placing an evangelistic package in every home and witnessing to those who show interest in spiritual things. What an exciting labor when it is bathed in intercessory prayer! We have covered the villages of Los Raudales, Cibalito, Sacrificio, and a good portion of Laguna Guerrero. We have had some excellent opportunities to witness and some open doors to return and preach the Gospel in a more formal setting. Please pray for a man that I met from Oaxaca who is from one of the fiercest and most violent Indian tribes in Mexico, the Triquis. We have prayed for this indigenous group for many years and finally had the opportunity to present the Word of God to one who would listen. His heart was touched by the Word and he asked us to return and give a further explanation of Gospel truth.
VISITING THE CHURCHES & MISSIONS OF OAXACA
A good portion of the month of November was spent visiting a group of people in the State of Tabasco and three different congregations in the State of Oaxaca. We were well received and taken care of by the congregations. Brother Narciso and I preached two or three times daily as we tried to take advantage of our time and address the different needs in each congregation. There was such blessing in this intensive ministry that we hope to do it again this year during the months of May and November, the Lord-willing. Our 2000 mile trip of confirming the brethren in Biblical truth and setting in order things that were wanting was prospered by our heavenly Father and we trust there will be good, lasting, spiritual fruit.
SPECIAL PROVISION FOR THE CRAFT FAMILY
Due to the changes in the geographical location of where we live and minister (we are now three full days of driving from the Texas border), the joyful departure of two children from our home, and also the financial burden of regular maintenance, upkeep and repairs, the Cadillac Baptist Church has given their full consent to sell our six-door pickup truck. Of course, the logistics of its sale and our subsequent family needs were somewhat overwhelming to us until we received a phone call in recent days. The Lord has made a special provision for these needs through the Bible Baptist Church of Columbus, Nebraska, in that they have offered us a 2007 Chevy Suburban, and at the same time, have committed themselves to sell the elongated pickup at fair market value. If it pleases the Lord, we hope to make a trip to Nebraska in February to drop off our present truck and to receive the vehicle that has been freely offered to us. Praise the Lord for His perfect provision in just the right time. The Lord is and has always been so good to us. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support during this past year. We have been abased and have abounded and hopefully we are learning the contentment of the Lord in our hearts in all circumstances and situations. He does all things well! May the Lord’s hand of blessing be your daily portion and may He use each of us to be instruments of blessing in the salvation of souls to the glory of His name. Yours most sincerely for where Christ is not named,