"I have but one passion - it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can most be used in winning souls for Christ."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June Update

Hey everyone,
Today officially marks the longest amount of time that either Abby or myself have been out of the United States. We do miss a lot of things about being in the States, typically the small things that we never even thought about in the States, but we are truly enjoying serving the Lord, waiting on Him, watching Him work, and taking opportunities He gives us to minister. We've had a variety of different ministry opportunities and even some new ones this past week. We'd like to update all of you who are having such a vital role in our lives through your prayers and finances.

Visiting: May 16th marked our first wedding anniversary! It is so amazing to look back and see how much the Lord has done in our lives this year. He has directed and provided for us, taught and corrected me, and grown and stretched us. I do believe that we are closer to the Lord and closer to each other than we were at this time last year. I pray that every year this will be true! For the week of our anniversary, Abby's parents flew down here to visit with us, take a relaxing weekend in a hotel, and share in ministry with us here in the Yucatan. It was really neat that they, as a part of our financial support team, were able to come visit the people and church and villages that they've directly invested money in as the Lord led.

Preaching: On Sunday, the 23rd, I was able to preach my third sermon in Spanish during the evening service at Iglesia Bautista Cristo Te Ama. I had planned initially to preach the same Spanish sermon I'd prepared in Jimenez in 2008 on the Great Commission. But in response to the spiritual climate we've sensed here in Cancun, the Lord led me instead to preach on the book of Jude and the need to "contend for the faith" in the midst of a postmodern culture of religious superstition, doctrinal confusion, and biblical skepticism. This area abounds with churches, but as we've visited, discussed, and observed many of them, we've found that the majority of them are weak, uneducated, corrupt, cultist, or floundering with no theological or doctrinal certainty and blown around with every new wind of teaching, healing, or miracles. To the contrary, Jesus Loves You Baptist Church, founded and pastored by Martin Lemus PatiƱo, is a solid, Bible-teaching body of believers who study and teach the Word every day of the week. They are based on Christ, the Solid Rock. I pray the sermon was an encouragement to them and to Pastor Martin as well as a wake-up call to confront the culture of confusion with the truth of God's Word.

Serving: This week we received another special blessing in the form of a ministry opportunity. We had a couple of college students come to visit us for the week with a desire to spend some time with orphans. So we got online to look for orphanages here in Cancun. First of all, for a city of over 750,000, there aren't nearly enough! Second, we drove to find those couple of orphanages we had seen online. One that we found is "Casa Hogar Esperanza" (The Hope Home) run by Pastor Asencio and his wife Esther. They began the orphanage in 1993 when a woman left her child on their doorstep. Today they have 19 orphans, ages 3-18 who live with them. The next we visited was called "La Casita" and is an institution for helping children, teenagers, and single moms who have come out of abusive situations. They have about 80 people living with them as they care for their needs, help the moms find jobs, and legally fight for the rights of the abused. Over the past week, we've gone to each of these orphanages twice and just spent time playing with the children. We played basketball, soccer, kickball (or "foot-base" as they call it), tag, soccer, coloring, making bracelets, soccer, baseball, and soccer! We actually kept playing soccer until one of the boys kicked the ball over the huge wall into a neighborhood and we never saw it again! Then we also visited an elementary school where a lady from our church teaches special needs children - anything from Down's Syndrome to autism, learning disability, crippled, blind, deaf or hard of hearing, any special need. We came to the end of the week very physically exhausted, but internally refreshed by spending time with such sweet children.

But there is not really time to rest up just yet. Tomorrow morning, Abby, Brad, and I are flying to Monterrey, Mexico to visit with a ministry that the Lord has introduced us to that also serves orphans. The ministry is called Back 2 Back Ministries and we met them about 3 months ago through some really neat God-directed circumstances. They are praying about beginning a new ministry center for orphans here in Cancun in the near future and invited us to come up and see what they do in their ministry. So we'll be there from June 3rd-8th and then come back down here again. After that, it looks like things will slow down for a few weeks before July.

In July, we're looking forward to having our first official visitors from Cornerstone! A couple of girls from the youth group, Kristi Fanning and Brittney Beal, are coming to visit us for a week and join us in ministry to experience it first-hand. We're really excited to have some familiar faces around here and get caught up with old friends and new. Then in the middle of July, we have another very exciting adventure planned! We will be driving with a group from the church to Mexico City for a missions trip. In fact, if anyone is looking for an opportunity to help out with a financial need, here it is:


From July 17th-25th a group of 25-30 members of Cristo Te Ama will be taking a missions trip to Campo Mas Agua near Mexico City. Sunday night we had a meeting about the trip and got the details laid down. The estimated cost of the total trip is about 35,000 pesos - or $3,000 USD. That's gas, food, lodging for all 30 people for a week. Abby and I offered to pay a portion of that and another man in the church offered to pay another portion. Pastor Martin's sermon on Sunday was about missions work and he encouraged everyone to be involved in the trip - either by going or by helping someone else go. If any of you, our brothers and sisters in the States, would like to help out some of the people who have signed up for this trip and are trusting God to bring in the money, you may send the money to us through Cornerstone and we will put it all towards the cost of this trip. We don't want to pressure you, but do want you to have the opportunity to be a part of this trip and its crucial role in the life of this church. This is the furthest missions trip the church has taken in its 12 year history and one day, Pastor Martin wants to take the church to a foreign country to minister and share the gospel as well.

If you want to contribute to this missions trip, please send your check to Cornerstone Baptist Church c/o Jonathan & Abby St.Clair and mark it specifically for "Campo Mas Agua Trip". This will keep us from confusing it with our normal financial support. Also, if you are already one of our regular financial supporters and would like to give to the trip but prefer to write a single check, please just mark how much of your gift you want to designate for the trip.

Thank you again for your faithfulness to the Lord and your support of our ministry. We are grateful to God for you all!