June-July 2011 Prayer Letter

By and by

Washington’s motto is “By and by”, which struck us as a very good motto for our prayer letter in June, as in, “We’ll write it by-and-by.” What a month-and-a-half it’s been! Let’s fill you in.

Medical team
We had a medical clinic scheduled for a Wednesday-Friday, June 15-17, in partnership with another church here in Puebla (they were very gracious to include us in their plans). We were pretty ready to go on Tuesday…until we got word Tuesday afternoon that the Health Department was shutting things down, due to a paperwork misunderstanding. So Tuesday night and all day Wednesday we worked the phones, followed contacts and prayed. We opened up on Wednesday, but only took vital signs and explained to people why we couldn’t treat them. At the same time we gave away all but 4 of our Gospels of John and many tracts—with a pretty low-key approach of explaining why we were doing this. We managed to get permission via email to continue with the clinic, on further review our ministry partners didn’t feel that the email gave us enough coverage against health inspectors and severe sanctions. I met with a lady from the local Heath Clinic in a last-ditch effort to see if they could do the clinic under their own auspices with us providing medicine and doctors. The meeting was brief and the lady explained it just wasn’t possible. So, not willing to expose our partner church to sanctions we called everything off…

But the story doesn’t end there (and hopefully, by God’s Providence, never will!). The lady from the Health Clinic came back to say that she felt really bad that we couldn’t help the community as planned and sat down with us to get to know us and talk about what we want to do. We had a really good conversation with her, explained our plans, our reasons, our identity, and even gently gave her the gospel. She invited us to work with them on the health events they have on their calendar—even to share the gospel in those contexts—as well as inviting us to training and offering their support for projects we would like to do. Then, a few hours later, we invited the new neighborhood president and her staff to eat lunch with us and had a good time talking with them, getting to know them and letting them get to know us. So summing things up, 1) we made a ton of really good contacts and 2) we got good practice setting up for a clinic and 3) we learned a few things along the way, and 4) we may have a new route for getting permission to do this. Even when things don’t go as planned, God is still in control.

We mentioned some of our visitors who came in June, but they were a great encouragement and help to us. Caleb and Ethan were a great fit here, jumping in and helping with several sports activities, helping with preparation for the clinic, being brave guinea pigs for a climbing course Tim took, making local friends, and being willing to use their Spanish to the fullest. Hannah, a nurse, came down to help with the medical clinic, and even though it didn’t go as planned, she helped and encouraged us. Tim’s parents also came down and were an encouragement to us. It’s great to have grandparents around!

It seems that God is giving us sports as a means to meet people and build relationships. Drew is playing on a soccer team here. With another missionary we’ve done a couple American football camps, teaching the basics, and are developing a little core of participants. July 5th with this same missionary we put on a sports camp with soccer and football being big draws. Tim hopes to use the rock climbing in much the same way, getting to know people and gaining their trust (nothing gains trust like holding the rope that will save their life!).

If you need to know why life in Mexico needs to be flexible, look at the schools! A few weeks before school ended, the Secretary of Education added an extra Monday to the school year! Sometimes it seems as if the school calendar is made up on the fly! Tim finished his computer classes on a high note, with about 350 students passing through his class. A group of moms has been asking for classes over the summer, so we’re going to meet on Mondays for three hours. We planned an English class for the teachers, but a change in the schedule meant they were no longer free the week after school got out (this week) and so we’ve rescheduled the class for August. Flexibility! We are very thankful, though, for this contact which holds great potential looking ahead.

So as we take stock and look at how things are going, it seems that God has blessed and begun opening doors to relationships in the community. We are praying for the day that people will ask not only for English or computers or football, but to study God’s Word with us. This summer we hope to start youth meetings, with Eddie and one of the small group members as leaders. Our perspective is that as we serve and love people in Jesus’ name, He will begin to work in people’s hearts. Pray for this with us!

The clinic

Breaking down the
clinic that wasn’t

Help Wanted
As we begin to work with the Health Clinic, we could use medical professionals to give of themselves. This may be with indirect service such as community health education or working with the health clinic in their projects or direct service, such as doing a health clinic again. If you are a doctor or nurse, or dentist or a related professional, would you consider getting in touch with us to find out what you might be able to do?




1. For our great group of visitors who helped us this past month.
2. For many newly-forming relationships with the local government, in the school, and on the sports field.
3. When we were living here before, a young lady named Miriam lived with us for three years while she was going to college. She graduated a few weeks ago, the first of her family to do so. She was top of her class and has been a real witness for the Lord her time there. Rejoice with us!


1. For time together as a family and a couple. Life has gotten very active and we want to keep our priorities right, especially for Tim as he’s presented with many different opportunities, and needs wisdom to choose well how to spend time and energy.
2. For a team of Mexicans committed to serving and working for the Lord in Pueblo Nuevo.
3. For God to begin calling people in Pueblo Nuevo to Himself.

Thank you for your prayers as we work for Christ in Pueblo Nuevo.

Tim, Barbara-Lee, Drew, Gavin, Fiona


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