7.08.2017

DIVINE APPOINTMENTS By Brooke


I wish I had the space and you had the time so I could share all the divine appointments God has brought about in just the past few weeks. Honestly, I have seen God move many times and in many ways, but usually at a pace that I find too slow and I have to reign myself in, or my husband does! However, this time He is moving at a pace where we find ourselves running to keep up. It seems that every day there is a divine moment, a conversation, an unexpected meeting, an event that can only be of God.


For example, two days ago a "chance" meeting brought us into contact with a family here. I heard they home-schooled and wondered if they were Christians. My friend and I went for a visit yesterday which turned into another God event. This Christian family from Colorado has been living in Puerto half the year for the past 10 years. They currently travel to Cancun for fellowship and have been praying for years for the Lord to bring someone to Puerto to shape a Christian community. They are as excited that we are here as we are that they are here. They have a wealth of knowledge about the community and the culture of Mexico which will be a great blessing for us as we set down roots. Plus, I will have a friend with a kindred Spirit in Christ!

The best part of the pace with which God has chosen to build is that we don’t even have the chance to get our hands on it. What I mean is, so often, because God does move slowly, we think we need to help Him out. Kind of like Sarah did with her maidservant, trying to force or make things happen! When Wayne and I moved here to Puerto, we made a covenant with God and each other that we were going to let God do all the building. We simply wake up each day, pray, avail ourselves for His use and see what happens. So far everyday something happens. Life happens, people happen and God’s Love happens!

Look around the fields are white for harvest, so many searching for answers and we can provide those answers. Thanks for being a part of this divine journey!

When Change Happens



The main event this past month (May) has been Brooke’s accident. She fell from her bicycle and damaged some discs in her back. We had enough frequent flier miles to send her back to Iowa so our chiropractor could help “put her back together”. Please take a moment to read her thoughts posted here in her new blog, "Fun And Faith"



The building for the Coffee House Ministry did not materialize, but we know the Lord will open up another opportunity in His time. We are in no hurry to “make something happen”. Until that time, we realize that our home is in a great location to use it for ministry. We are already meeting here for home church on Sundays and when we return in July, we want to open up our home a couple of days a week for people to receive prayer and have conversations. We will "hang a shingle" outside, post our intentions on FB and see what the Lord does. Please pray for many divine opportunities.




We are heading back to Iowa for the month of June to deal with our remaining worldly possessions. We will also be speaking at several churches so please come see us if you are in the area! One of the best things about this trip, however, is that our two oldest grand-daughters, Naomi and Tabitha, will be with us. We have many fun things planned and we are all (them & us) very excited about our time together. Marillyn is travelling with them into Chicago so we will also be with her and Mathias, the newest Beard addition, for a few days!

When Change Happens by Wayne
I read a good article the other day “The 7 Ways we Secretly Rank Each Other”. It talks about how we judge a ministry and its effectiveness; Is it on the front lines? Does it add up to our paradigm of what ministry should look like. Etc. So take a moment to click on the title above which is linked to this article.

Following are some ideas I posted on Facebook regarding our journey and the subsequent changes as a result of the accident I had in Honduras in December 2014 as it relates to this article. Please take a moment to read and hopefully this will reveal more of our heart and philosophy of ministry.


For several years, we were traveling 9-10 months a year. Now the Lord has settled us for a season in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We used to minister to hundreds of people every year. Now we have the beginnings of a church plant and there are less than a dozen people that we minister to on a semi-regular basis. We used to see a lot of really cool places. Now we are in a very little fishing community. So it is easy to wonder at times if we are "being effective". But we know the Lord is using us and will use us because he has always used us for His kingdom. We have pioneered several ministries, this one just looks different!


This is a very different but exciting season for us because we are in a community where people are seeking truth, peace and joy but not truly finding it. They are looking in the wrong places; Buddha, meditation, self-actualization, mysticism ... you name it, total New Age but seeking after all of the old lies.

I believe Jesus told us that if we want to be somebody in the kingdom, we need to be willing to be nobody! We are told not to neglect the days of the small things. We are also told not to grow weary when we are doing what the Lord has called us to because in His time there will be a harvest.

So press on my friends! Let us keep our eyes on the prize of the upward calling in Christ Jesus! ¡Dios les bendiga!



3.26.2017

THE WAITING IS OVER!!



 We are so excited to share that God has finally shown us the next step and released us to go. We spent last week in Puerto Morelos, Mexico and our spirits leaped within us! There is so much ministry opportunity, first with the Expats who come from, literally, every corner of the globe. We met French, German, Canadian, Swedish, and of course Americans. There is a strong sense of spiritually. Many people are into various types of meditation, Zen, Buddhism and everything in between. The exciting thing is that the people are very open to engaging in conversations with differing ideas. It reminded us of the story in Acts when Paul was in Athens conversing with the philosophers and religious people. He named their unknown god for them and that is the feeling we had in Puerto Morelos. The town is set around a beautiful central square in front of the beach. People just wander in and start playing music, selling artisan goods and performing. What a great place for outreach; short term teams doing skits, kids clubs, skate ramps, music and the list goes on. Every weekend the square fills up with tables as the artisans sell their wares, locals sell food and people just hang around and engage in conversation.

Our vision to open a Coffee House/Ministry Center fits perfectly into this atmosphere. In fact, we came upon a little coffee shop that is doing many of the things we envision, but ours would have a Christian perspective. They have conversation nights where they announce a subject and people come for discussion. They have movie nights. They offer palates and yoga classes and they have music nights. Our desire is to engage people one by one, one on one with the love and good news of Jesus Christ. We envision Bible studies, music events, classes, a place for prayer and just for someone to listen. We saw several buildings that might work but we know first we need to get settled, familiarize ourselves with the territory and build some relationships. So please pray for us as we continue to seek His direction and timing for all these things. It would be easy to jump but we don’t want to get ahead of the Lord.


The other wide open ministry field is with the Mexican population and the foreign working class. Just up the road is a little colonial town. Many of the people who work in Puerto Morelos live here. There is a huge housing complex called Villas La Playa. There must be over a thousand apartments and another 500 townhouses. Although it sounds kind of scary, it is actually nicely done and maintained. They have lovely greens and several parks. There are tons of kids and youth and of course just people from everywhere. We found out about it from a Puerto Morelos restaurant manager who is from Ireland. He and his family live here because it is inexpensive and they enjoy the other families. Our desire is to engage the people here as well. We imagine Kids Clubs in the park for both English and Spanish speaking children, ladies and men’s bible studies, helps ministries and whatever the Lord shows us is needed.

I know…how can we do all of this? We have been praying for God to raise up others to come along side. We just received news that our dear friend, Leticia Acosta, is going to join us. She is actually the one who suggested Puerto Morelos! The awesome thing about Leti is that she is a mature Christian with experience. She has already been a missionary, is an older (40’s) gal with lots of wisdom and best of all, she is Mexican American and speaks both languages fluently. We see her engaging with the people in Villas la Playa. Her daughter just graduated from Calvary Chapel Bible College and is also praying about coming along . How awesome would that be? We continue to pray for more ministry partners as God unfolds His plans.

So what is the next step? God has provided us a little one bedroom apartment for April and May. Our plan is to attend language school and commit 100% to finally learning conversational Spanish. We desire to speak it well enough to share the gospel effectively! While we are there, we will begin to pray and search out where we might live longer term. We will also spend time getting familiar with the town and people. In June we return to Iowa to rid ourselves of the rest of our accumulated stuff from our house we sold last year. We will also visit with family, friends and several supporting churches. Our hope and prayer is that in July we will be returning to PM to begin our new ministry!

Let us end with this. We never want to be presumptuous with God. So although we feel pretty certain this is it. We also know that even in the next couple of months He could show up and change our direction. Remember, A mans heart plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9. So, we are moving forward but continuing to pray for final confirmation as we are on the ground there. We would appreciate your prayers for clarity and direction in all of this. We also hope many of you will come and serve with us. It is easy to travel there from the States, very safe and inexpensive. We are 30 minutes south of Cancun on the highway.

God bless you all and again, thank you for the years of support and encouragement. The Lord is good always and all ways!