P.O. Box 1453
Calexico, Ca. 92232
To our beloved and remembered brethren in Christ Jesus who serve Him in the city of Lakeside,: Greetings in the Lord.
It is with great joy that we report our labor in the Lord. In behalf of each member of the churches in Mexicali, Tecate and Central America, we thank you for the gift of faith that causes joy and untold blessings to many. With your support, preachers and teachers of God's Word are able to prepare themselves for the great work of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth".
Here in Mexicali we are now in the fIfth chapter of the Gospel of John on Sunday mornings. It is amazing to all of us to hear fue clarity of our Lord as He tells fue people that He has the authority to pass people from "death to life". That no one may misunderstand His claim of being with God and being God (John 1:1). He clearly establishes His complete authority when He states .. "He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father".
On Wednesday evenings we are now back in the Psalms. Weare now in Psalms 104. It is refreshing to listen to .these songs that praise the awesomeness of His power and the greatness of His Mercy. The Psalmists takes us by the hand and leads us outside in the stillness of the night to behold the "heavens" to consider His Glory. We love it. We are being visited by Dofia Maria de Jesus. She is Martha's hair-stylist. She has told us that she will be coming to our services from now on. I had a Bible class with her about 4 years ago tiut we were interrupted too many times so I decided to wait till she could make some quality time. Well, she certainly choose a good time.
Our classes with outsiders continue well. We are anxiously waiting for Juan Leyva to make a decision but that is not our area. Last month he told us that he knew he needed to be baptized but that he would let us know when. We got the baptistery ready ju~t in case. In our last class Juan had some very good questions about God and about Jesus. These questions have to do with very basic things that most people don't ask. He wanted to know what was the difference between the Koran and the Bible. He also wanted toxnowhow contd"webesUtethat the Bible is indeed the Word ·(jf God. I am glad that we could give him some things to consider. I was also happy to see a smile on his face because he does believe. He just wants to be sure. Well we are having very good studies with him and we are waiting.
The church in Tecate is doing about as well as can be. Theirnumber is staying steady with about 15 members. We are now being helped with the Lord's Supper and prayers. One very young brother, Allen, led his fITstprayer last month. This time around he was eager to do his part. Again he was assigned the closing prayer, He gets very nervous but his prayers are full of gratitUde to the Lord. We had a new couple visit us this .last Sunday. His name is Manuel and his wife's name is Patricia. Their visit means that the brethren are inviting people to their services. That has encouraged us tremendously.
We also continue our visits to Boulevard. I usually preach the same lesson to these brethren that I preach in Mexicali. I was translating my lesson as I preached but no more! My mind is npt that fast anymore. It is usually a 3 hour drive to Boulevard because of the long waiting in line to cross the border. When we get to Boulevard I'm tired and stressed an4 my mind just does not function like it used too. The years do not passmvam.
Our class in Calexico is coming along fme even though we had a very excited "second class" last Thursday. After we had finished with Acts 7, we were putting our Bibles away when one sister just blurted out "I'll be very frank with you Ray, I don't agree with you in having fellowship with certain sinners ..". Wow! We settled down and began a second class on "forgiving brethren". Apparently something was said during the class that caused the sister to come out with a doubt. She insinuated that I was naive to believe brethren when they repent. "How can you be so sure they have really repented, especial when they are brethren that should know better?" We told her that only God can see what is in the heart of man (I Kings 8:39). We realize that some brethren have come forward and have "faked" their repentance, but how can we know? We can know by their fruits (Mt.3 :8). This sister is having a hard timebelieveing some brethren when they ask God for forgiveness. We believe that we presented enough information from the Bible to consider.
To anyone out there that could use some study material in Spanish, I have a 12 lesson study. It is for outsiders or new babies in Christ. It is a very effective little tool. It has several True or False statements and then a second section where you match a word with a scripture. It also has an article that goes along with the lesson. It is very basic and has as its goal to familiarize people with the Bible.
I'm still sleeping at the building because of the thievery in this city. I do believe that every home has been hit by robbers. It is staggering to see so many, mostly men in their late 20's early 30's just walking the streets at night looking for something to pick up~ The dogs usually wake me up when someone is out there prowling. I get up and without turning on any light I observe them. These guys should sign up for the Olympics, they are fast and agile. They jump 8 foot fences like grasshoppers and they run like gazelles. This month, one jumped our fence and stole a 40 lb. bag of dog food. The dogs woke me up but by the time I got up and out.. the guy was gone! We have had to lock everything away or tie down everything.
This past end of the month, Martha made a going away party for our daughter April who will be getting married next year. She will be moving to Portland next month to secure a job where her fiance works. Our "little girl" is going far away. Now with Clara in Canada and April in Portland, our girls will be far from mom and dad. I get a little sentimental thinking about that.
O.K. brethren, that is all for now. Hope to see you soon.
The Lord bless you.
Your brother in His service,