Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Florentina Receives a House

Florentina in front of the house she was staying at.
Florentina Velazquez is a widowed Huichol Indian who, as she describes, is like a bird without a nest, traveling from place to place.  In the past few years, she has lost her husband and son.  She had been staying with family and friends in Cofradia until the Cy-Fair Team came down to build her a house last week.  It was a very exciting time as we handed her the keys to her new home.  She rejoiced with dancing and singing, "Praise the Lord".  If you have Facebook, you will see the very end of her (about 20 second) dance.  It was one of the most joyful house dedications; her charisma was contagious!  She said her daughter never comes to visit because there is nowhere to stay.  She specifically asked for two beds in order for her daughter to come be with her.

Florentina on her property.
Florentina was given a piece of land that was very small, so this house had to be adjusted to fit on her property.  She still received a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, water cistern, and a covered porch area in the back that will provide her with shade during the day as she plans to sit out there.

Mike and Tina Lucas from Houston, Texas, felt led by the Lord to bless sister Florentina and put together a team from their church to come down and build her a house.  Starting the work on Sunday afternoon, the walls were up to the 2 meter mark all the way around and ready for the bond beam to be poured the next day.  From then on it was a lot of smooth walling, electrical, cleaning, painting doors, and detail work.  The roof went up on Thursday and the dedication was Friday morning.  It only took 5 days to build!

A special thanks to Marion and Loretta Sluys for matching the funds for this project which allowed the Cy-Fair group to only need to raise half the amount.

There are more candidates waiting for houses in our area.  Here is a list of those who are in need.  Come on down and lets change the life of a family together!  Contact Steve for details.

Prenenting the house; getting ready to hand over the keys.

The front of the house.

The back of the house.

The water cistern with washboard and window to bathroom for bucket bathing.



The Cy-Fair Team

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Here are bi-annual updates from our pastors.  They were written in December.

Pastor Gregorio Hernandez is our main lead pastor and oversees all ministries at the church.  In order for him to work full-time as a Pastor, which is very important to us, he needs supplemental income from supporters like you.  Thank you for praying and responding, someone just committed to helping him out for a year.  Please consider how you can help him continue to work full-time.  Click on his name to become a monthly donor.

Here is his report:

At the start of last year we came up with a specific theme that we would incorporate and address over the course of 2017. The theme was “Live Free in Christ.” This really has helped us a lot to get to know the freedom that Christ gives us, and it has helped us to keep our identity, security, and value fixed on Christ.
Without God’s help and the support of so many brothers and sisters in Christ, nothing would be happening that has happened over these last six months. The theme is being applied in practical ways such that it has stimulated many of the successes the ministry is experiencing in both Las Pilas and Arrayanes. In the last weeks, we have had new people attending in Las Pilas who have never attended before; for this reason we hope to establish a central meeting space there by the end of the year. In Arrayanes we began a meeting every Friday evening at 5:00 p.m., and people are attending! We will continue to nurture a culture of weekly attendance there. We have also begun home visits in Arrayanes, and we put on a street evangelism event in which brothers and sisters from both Arrayanes and Cofradía participated.
We want to thank you for your prayer and financial support because it has allowed us to continue sowing the seeds of the Gospel. Thank you for being such an active part of our ministry. May God bless you with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)


Pastor Gregorio and Maty Hernandez-Espinoza, and family

Pastor Luis Vazquez is our Student Ministries pastor and maintenance director for the church.  He also serves as the Cofradia Dwellings Foreman for building homes for less-fortunate people.  He is very busy and struggles to make ends meat each week.  Thank you for responding in prayer.  Someone has committed to helping hm financially for one year. Consider how you can help him by clicking on his name to become a monthly donor.

Here is his report:

Blessings to you and your family through Christ Jesus.

It is my pleasure to greet you with the highest respect and gratitude I have for you because of the essential part you play in my life and that of my family.

We find ourselves currently in a time of transition with our younger children as they are becoming adolescents, and we are learning together to follow God through this season of moments that stimulate our faith and teach us patience. We have also grown in our marriage through all these things, but thanks be to God we are abundantly blessed by the growth continues to produce fruit in our lives as my wife has taken on more responsibility in the church and our ministry. We find great joy in serving God together as a couple.

In the youth ministry in which we serve, we finished EL RETO after another excellent series of events enjoyed by both our youth and those of nearby churches that visit us frequently. After the event concluded, approximately ten youth from those other churches have continued to attend our gatherings.

We also concluded another New Life discipleship class for our youth, and we began with the second class, which is being co-taught by my wife and daughter. Six young people are participating in this discipleship opportunity, and I will be working with them to identify ways in which they can take on more responsibility in our youth ministry so as to continue training them up in leadership.

Our church hosted the seminar Freedom in Christ. Four pastors participated along with other leaders from their churches and other brothers and sisters from the local church. It was a time of great blessing, as we watched them truly own the freedom they have been given in Christ by believing the truth of God. I and two others helped to lead the seminar, and it loved teaching it and watching it take effect in the lives of those who attended.

We will be working more closely this year with several of our youth as part of our leadership training. Several of them participated in the Freedom in Christ seminar, and it has been a great help to them in understanding their identity in Christ. They will be assigned as team captains in our 2018 EL RETO event and will go through a training seminary for that role over Holy Week this spring.

We built two homes for families that did not have a suitable place to live, and one of those families did not know God at the time. They are attending church with us now, and it is such a blessing to visit them regularly in order to encourage them in faith.

We greet you and thank you for all the support you have poured out on us as a family and on our ministry. Thank you for your prayers and your timely financial support; it has been so helpful in our lives. Words are not sufficient words to express the depth of my gratitude for your generosity.

May you be blessed with all the spiritual blessings in heaven.


Pastor Luis y Mari, and family

Pastor Horacio Garzon leads the indigenous ministry in Mojocuautla and helps facilitate ministry in Arrayanes.

Here is his report:

Dear Brothers and Sister,

It is with great pleasure that I write these lines to you in order, first of all, to wish you well and good health.

We are well, thanks be to God, and we do not tire of thanking you for your generous financial support for my family. Thank you! And thanks be to God who is our great motivation in this life. I give thanks to God for Kenia, who is pursuing her studies with enthusiasm and tenacity. I too have enjoyed training this year through the opportunity to attend two training seminars from Freedom in Christ Ministries.

Brothers and sisters, it gives me great pleasure and fills me with such purpose to see what God is doing in the indigenous Cora community of Las Ajuntas. I am working with and am greatly encouraged by two primary leaders there: Antonio and Cirlio. Both are saved by Christ and have been baptized. I see a great need, and it will be a great blessing when, that God raise them up as a light there. For that reason, my wife and I have been focusing both time and resources on investing in them, which has allowed them to see God’s love in their lives. We pray that God will help them to continue rooted and strong in their relationship with Christ. We hope for a precious congregation there that worships God and grows strong under His guidance.

Thank you, brothers and sisters, for joining your prayers with ours for these petitions, and thank you for your financial support. May God continue to bless you for your generosity. Receive greetings from María, Martí, and the rest of the family. My most sincere thanks to you, and may you have a joyous Christmas and a happy new year.

Thank you,

Pastor Horacio and María, and family.

Pastor Amado Verdin is from Rosamorada and is the lead pastor of Iglesia Hermosa Casa de Oración.  He also is heading up the drug rehab center which he likes to call a Restoration Center.  The center is designed to house interns and help them be restored to good health physically, mentally, and spiritually.  They will also be trained in a trade in order to help them be reinstalled into society once they're finished with the program.  You can read about my explanation of their current financial need here and click on his name to help with his project.

His report was unavailable, but I do have some recent pictures of the place they are renting:


The day after Christmas we headed north to renew our vehicle permit for the truck.  After arriving last summer and finding our house had been broken into, we put more protections on the windows, added locks, an alarm, and had someone watching over the place while we were gone...not to mention leaving two ferocious chihuahua guard dogs to make sure things were completely safe. :)

It is always nice to step away for a few days as it gives us a chance to evaluate from afar, retreat from the daily routine, and enjoy family and friends.

Even though it was a quick trip, we were able to do a number of things.  We made it to the border in one day and stayed the night in Nogales, AZ.  On our way to Julia's we stopped in Phoenix with the Dyck family and in Palm Desert with the Harrisons.

Geña had a good time with her sister and the girls had a good time with their cousins.  We arrived at Julia's for her daughter's birthday party and visited her church the next day (New Year's Eve).  During the week, I took the truck in and had the front end worked on and the oil changed.

Wednesday we were able to visit our friend Fabian who owns a boat and has it in the Marriot marina in San Diego.  Our family, Julia and her youngest daughter, Geña's mom, and one of Rebecka's friends, Evelyn, from Cofradia who lives near Julia now, all got to go.  It was a fun day.

Friday we celebrated Rebecka's 15th birthday (which was in August).  Instead of doing a big Quinceañera for her, we decided to take her to a theme park.  Her first choice was Six Flags.  She absolutely loved it!  She brought Evelyn along and they spent the day together riding as many rides as they could.  In the meantime, Geña, Emma, Elsie (Emma's cousin), Mackenzie, and I did some other things at the park.  This was pretty fun and worth doing again some day.

To end our trip, I spoke at Julia's church on Sunday and we left on Tuesday for the border and stayed with our friend Ellen Konopaski.  It took us two days to get to Cofradia.  The border trip went smooth, but it still takes a while to pass.

Thank you for your prayers.  We arrived back home safely and the dogs were sitting at the gate as if they new we were arriving.