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!