"The End Of Your Search For A Friendly Church."
13021 Julian Avenue, Lakeside, CA 92040     

Raymond Gonzalez
P.O. Box 1453
Calexico, CA 92232

Feb. 3, 2011

To our beloved in the Lord who serve Jehovah through Jesus in the city of Lakeside: Greetings brethren. It was great to see you this week end. Again we thank you for allowing us to spend some time with you and the brethren in EI Salvador. They also send you their thanks.

It is our constant prayer the Lord grant each of your more and more love and knowledge in Christ. We also ask the Lord to give each of you a measure of health that will allow you to gather with the saints and remember the price God payed for our deliverance.

This month we bid our farewell to the Rodriguez family. On the 17th we took Sisters Raquel and Alejandra along with little Luzvic to the bus station and with tears flowing, we said our goodbyes. This-family was here in·Mexicali for only 15 months but they had an impact on us. Sister Raquel would attend all of the services and most of the classes we had in homes. She and her daughters became very close to all of the members here. Sister Raquel also told us that she had learned much in the short time with us. She was hungry for the Word and we are happy we could help her grow in the knowledge of our God. They will be a great addition to the church in Ciudad Obregon.

The church here is now in Romans 15 and about to fInish the chapter. We have been dealing with "supporting" the weak. These would be the "new-borns" and others who have a lack of knowledge in some area. We looked at "stumbling stones" and one;, Sister Sofia commented that she had never been explained properly on issues that have caused much trouble in Mexico. We live in a "Catholic" country and it is difficult to escape contact or even participation in the traditions of Mexico. One church withdrew from a family for attending a "Baptismal supper". They did not participate in the baptism of the baby, but were invited to the party afterwards. What got me upset was that the same church that withdrew from them believe they can attend a "wedding mass". I've seen churches withdraw from brethren because they go to the cemetery on the Day of the Dead". It is a tradition and if a brother or sister-wants to take flowers to their dead relatives, I don't see why we should withdraw from them. We should teach them if they believe the dead can still smell the flowers. The class has been very helpful because we need to know our attitudes towards these traditions that come up often.

On Wednesday evenings we are now in Psalms 98. This study had energized me. There is so much teaching and comfort in this book. From the study of Psalms I've gotten several ideas for sermons. It has been awesome.

Our schedule to Tecate and Boulevard has continued. I had told the brethren that I would slow down a bit cause we have aged and I can not drive very well at night. Well, seems like the Lord has given me a shot in the arm, cause so far, even with the winter colds and coughs, we continue as before.

This month was one of illnesses. It started with Brother Andres .. looks like he passed it on to Sister Rosie and then Martha. I took care of the three of them during their illness. Andres and Rosie stayed here with us cause we have a wood stove and the house is warm. They call their houses "refrigerators". We have had two cold spells here and only a few people have heaters in their homes. In the morning, about 8:00 a.m. after my morning run, I come home and I see my neighbors lined up across the street in the sun. Now they take their folding chairs to get some sun if it is not windy. My friend the pharmacist was all smiles last month. I would ask him; "How's business?" to which he would respond, "Thank God, very good".

Sister Maria Borbon is still struggling to recuperate. She is off the respirator but is still having problems breathing.

Our classes with outsiders and shut-ins continue. Our class with Alejandro Flores is getting to a point of decision. We are in Acts 8 and I gave him some homework.. read and comment on the conversion of the Eunuch.

As I have reported in the past, our situation here in Mexico is getting worse. Our building was broken into twice last month. The thieves took an edger, a blower, an electric saw, an electric pump and other tools. They also took a light bulb and a broom. I'm still trying to figure that out .. why a bulb and a broom? Our neighborhood has become a nest of drug dealers, drug addicts and prostitutes. By 9:00 p.m. we are in and locked in and we don't go out unless it is an emergency. It used to be that we could go out at night and visit or have class. Not anymore.

As a side, we help several brothers who teach in Spanish. A brother in El Centro is teaching the Spanish speaking brethren there. He is not fluent in Spanish but he is getting there ...just a fine brother. Up in Susanville another brother is teaching the Spanish speaking folks at one of the several prisons there. We are able to help them via e-mail.

Very well brethren, that is all for now. The Lord bless you.

Your brother in His service,

Raymond Gonzalez