December 2012

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December 2012

Posted by david on May 27, 2013

December 2012

Christmas greetings from southern Mexico! This year has been so full, for which we couldn't be happier! God has given us a lot to do, and we're so very blessed to be in His service here.

We have tried to capture some of the highlights of the year in the photos below.  We begin with a couple of photos from Festival Victoria last December.  Festival Victoria is an annual family camp in which usually about 3,000 people come and camp out on the property of the missions base to attend the meetings.  It is a time of celebration, teaching, and ministry at this time of year when we are remembering God's greatest gift to us of His Son and salvation and eternal life through Him.  It is exciting to see the truckloads of people coming down from the villages -- Chatinos, Mixtecos, Amuzgos, Zapotecos, and others -- to join those from the coast and from places as far away as Mexico City for this time of celebrating Christ together!

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Festival Victoria -- first aid station 

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Spanish School students Beth, Krystal, and Brandy selling fruit at Festival Victoria last year

     We have had numerous trips out to the villages this past year and cannot show pictures of all, but have chosen some photos from a few of them to share with you.  God continues to touch the hearts of the people as the medical and dental care is offered and the Gospel is presented and ministry offered to the patients.  We have seen many open their hearts to receive Christ into their lives, and have seen God touch and heal many of them, both physically and spiritually.  He is a healing God!  Our records show that we saw 6,587 patients (medical, dental, and some eye patients) this past year, and that 1,897 of those prayed to receive Christ.  We praise God for all that He is doing here and for allowing us to be colaborers together with Him!

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Emily Davis and her mom, Lisa Davis R.N., checking in patients

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Missions team from Kansas (Cook, Wright, Adams families) and other colaborers in an Upper Chatino region town, Panixtlahuaca

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Medical Consultations in La Consentida. Dave is translating for nurse intern Emily Fitzgerald and Physician Assistant Joelle Schlepp.

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Brother Jesús praying over a patient

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Patient Herlindo, a man who has been persecuted for his faith but is standing strong.

     You will also see some Spanish School students in some of the village pictures.  Dave currently has 17 students coming in for the new session beginning January 7th, and possibly another 3 students which would give a total of 20.  We try to do a combined village trip once every 2 months with the Spanish School students preparing Children's Ministry to work alongside the medical team in reaching out in the villages.  It is a great combination and allows the Spanish School students further opportunities for cross-cultural ministry experiences.  Dave has received a number of very encouraging testimonies from Spanish students who on returning to the villages where they are working are surprised themselves and are surprising others by how much better control of the language they have.  That makes it all worth it!

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Spanish School student John Floyd weighing a young patient in La Consentida

     The photo below is of Onesimo and his family, a graduate of our first and second year Bible School programs.  In their town of El Ocote, Onesimo has been the only believer up until now.  He invited us to come to reach out to his town with medicine, and we were able to do that in November.  The people's response was very good -- they were open and receptive, and many of the people opened their hearts to receive salvation through Christ.  Onesimo and his pastor from another town will visit the people and continue to minister to these new believers.  Praise God for how He is opening new doors for the Gospel!

9-Onesimo_graduate_of_1st_and_2nd_yr_Bible_School_at_the_Base_with_his_parent_in_the_village_of_El_Ocote.__There_is_no_Evangelical_church_in_El_Ocote.jpg

Onesimo, graduate of first and second year Bible School at the Base, with his parents in his natal village of El Ocote.  There is no Evangelical church in El Ocote.

     Another highlight this past year for us is that we were able to complete construction of and move into our new home!  Dave and I are so very grateful to New Horizons Fellowship in Avon, NY who initiated and raised the funds for this project, and also sent a team down to the base in June to help in finishing out the house!  It was a special treat for us to be able to receive the team from New Horizons and have them work alongside us in a village as well as on the house during their visit.  They completed almost all the finish work inside and outside of the house!  Another very special blessing was that Korey and Esther Buzzell (Dave's daughter and son-in-law) and their 3 children were able to come down to be with us for a month both for Korey to do a lot of work on the house and preparation for the New Horizons team to come, and for us to be able to spend some time with them during their visit.  It was a very special time, and we are very thankful for their coming, all their work, and having the opportunity to be with them.

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A team from New Horizons Fellowship in front of Dave and Laura's almost completed house in June.  It was a special treat that Esther (Dave's oldest daughter), Korey (her husband), and their three sweet children were here!

     We are also very thankful to the First Presbyterian Church in Corinth, MS, who have also given very generously toward the completion and furnishing of our house.  We are very overwhelmed by everyone's generosity, and can't thank you all enough.  We are greatly enjoying being in the house!  We were not able to post pictures of the house finished as it is now, so will post an update in about a month to share some photos of the completed house.

     Another event reflected in the photos is a visit to the U.S. by Dr. Eder Matus and his wife, Paulina, and little girl, Nelly.  Many thanks to Ralph and Ann Classen and Drs. Dave and Mary Kay Ness for heading up this project and making it happen.  This was a time for Dr. Eder and Paulina to meet our supporters in the U.S. and for the supporters to get to know them.  We felt it was important because Dr. Eder and Paulina are moving into more leadership in the clinic, and they will be needing to be able to communicate and connect with our U.S. supporting churches in the future.  Also many thanks to all our host families who allowed us and the Matus family to stay in your homes this summer.  It was wonderful to spend that time with you all, and we so appreciate your hospitality and generosity toward us.  Paulina was about 8 months pregnant when she finished the trip -- she was a real trooper, and we are happy to announce that little Eder Sebastian was born on September 22nd -- a beautiful and healthy little boy!

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Eder, Paulina, and Nelly travelling with us in the U.S. this summer

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Baby Sebastián, born September 22nd

     In the following photos, you will see some interns who have served with us anywhere from a few weeks up to six months recently.  These are either nursing or medical students, or those who have finished their training.  I will not try to list all who have served over this past year, but we do want to say a big thank you to each and every one.  You all have made a difference is what we are able to do from the clinic, and each one brings specific giftings which contribute to our team, so we thank you.

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Some children's ministry in La Consentida with Irma (Spanish school teacher) and Kristin from the Spanish School and intern Debra Doran.

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Nurse interns Emily Fitzgerald and Aubrie Dolliver with Spanish School student Kristin Fitzgerald. What a blessing it has been to have them!

     Now both the Missions Base and the Clinic are gearing up for this year's Festival Victoria to be held Dec. 26th - 28th.  We anticipate seeing many patients and enjoying being able to worship together with many tribes who come in for Festival Victoria.  We are also preparing for a visit by an American physician, Dr. Doug Holte, and his wife this month, and for Oklahoma Baptist University who will bring down some of their nursing students on Dec. 29th.  We are thankful that we have more teams signed up to come during the spring.

     We're so pleased to be able to share these paragraphs and photos with you, and again we want to say a big thank you to each and every one who has given, has prayed, and has encouraged us in the work here that God has called us to.  May God bless each of you with a very special time with family and friends this Christmas, and with His very richest blessings in the New Year!  We love and appreciate each of you!

 In His Love,

Dave and Laura

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Dave's 59th birthday shared with a few close friends.  Across from Dave are Maurilio and Carmen, the couple who open their home for our Bible Studies in Cacalote.