Once again we were able to have a dinner together with our pastors. This time we met at Pastors Jimmy and Perla's house in Tepic. It was great to have everyone together as we shared stories of this past year, encouraging words for one another, and a great meal that was made mostly by Geña. We are all thankful for each other and are stronger together. In Ecclesiastes 4:12 it says, "a chord of three strands is uneasily broken". Imagine one of 30+!
We are excited to announce a new Leader for our House Building Ministry!
As many of you know, with Pastor Luis' passing, it left many opportunities to serve open as he was very vital to our ministry. Our desire has been to Raise Up Leaders and Luis knew that.
2 Timothy 2:2 "what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
One of the major ministries Luis was in charge of was the formerly known Dwellings Ministry of Cofradia. With other changes that have happened this year, we want to simply call it our House Building Ministry.
This is one of the ways we reach out to families in need and you are a major part of making a difference in a family's life. Many people simply cannot afford to build themselves a house so they end up hopping from borrowed house to borrowed house, unable to establish a home for their family.
This is the simple message of salvation. It is a free gift they do not pay anything to receive. It's one way we are able to share God's love in a practical way.
Our heart is to continue building homes for people in need with your help. One of Luis' helpers who worked along side him closely is Diego Gonzalez. Diego was a student in our youth ministry many years ago and now is married and has four kids. After praying and assessing what makes the most sense, Diego was an obvious choice to ask if he'd like to head up this ministry. In fact, Luis told me about a year ago that he had confidence in Diego to build a house without his help. He had told Diego that, too. Almost without hesitation, he said he would do it. In fact, Diego looked at me intently and with these words (in Spanish) he said, "I'm ready". He is excited about this opportunity and is looking forward to building his first house sponsored by The Well Church from Utah within the next couple of months.
Diego and Carmen with their kids Aaron, Edwin, Estrella, and Deiguito
Mati and Isabel are doing a great job in the mornings feeding children before school. Since in class school started up again, many of the kids are not able to show up, but some still come at different hours of the morning for their breakfast.
The Ministry in Cofradia is calledLa Cofradia United. We depend on donations from people like you who want to see God's love extended to the rural parts of Mexico. Our desire is to Raise Up Leaders in Rural Mexicowith the intention of making an influential impact in our region, state, nation, and throughout the world.
Our friends at Family Renewal Ministries have offered to be a temporary avenue for us to receive your donations for our ministry until we develop a new system.
Four people made the decision last weekend to publicly confess a personal decision to follow Christ. It is always exciting to see people make this step. Romans 10:9,10 says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Confessing and believing go hand in hand; you cannot separate them and get the same results.
It was especially exciting for Geña and I as Emma Rose decided to take this step of obedience. We didn't even know she had talked to Pastor Goyo already about it. I had the privilege of baptizing her in the river of Santa Fe.
From Cofradia, we had two students baptized:
Josué Medina - Centro Cristiano Cofradia Student (Isabel's son)
Emma Rose Silberman - Centro Cristiano Cofradia Student
From Rosamorada, a student and an adult were baptized by Pastor Amado:
This past November we held a Freedom in Christ Conference. An intense three days of teaching and practical application. This year, we invited a couple Pastors and a couple Elders in our church to help teach.
Hugo Diaz led worship and taught two lessons,
Pastor Goyo organized everything and taught four lessons,
Pastor Abimael from Tuxpan taught two lessons,
Pastor Amado taught one lesson,
Chuy Hernández, Pastor Goyo's son, taught one lesson,
I taught three lessons, and
Mari, Pastor Luis' widow, helped us again with the media projection.
It's always a great time together. We had about a dozen participants. In the end, testimonies included one man who was a former pastor that said, "I never gave my identity in Christ any thought". Another said after spending 25 years in a legalistic church, "I finally discovered who I am in Christ." He was a worship leader and fell into drugs for 13 years. After a brother in the Lord told him he had been condemned and lost his salvation, he gave up hope. He was able to regain that hope in Christ. It's never too late to come back home.
Here is a short video of our time together...
Thank you for partnering with us and supporting this ministry. You are helping change lives!
Tuxpan, Nayarit, just over ½ hour from where we live in Cofradia was hit by flooding of another hurricane, Hurricane Pamela. Three years ago Hurricane Willa did the same thing, flooding most of the town with over 20 deaths. This time, no deaths have been reported, but some people have lost everything...again.
One of those is Pastor Abimael and his wife with whom we minister from time to time. He lost not only his personal things in the house, but the church building was hit as well loosing instruments and sound system. He is only one of many going through this nightmare repeat.
We built Pastor Abimael's house along side the help of The Well Church from Salt Lake City, Utah in 2017. This is the 2nd time that house has gone through complete flooding. Yesterday, Pastor Goyo along with others from our ministry started helping with clean-up and providing meals.
Pastor Abimael's house. You can see the water line almost to the top of the window.
The property line wall fell that held up is shop's roof.
After opening the door to the church, this is what they found.
Pastor Abimael assessing the damage.
Pastor Amado from Rosamorada with Pastor Abimael
Thank you for keeping the brothers and sisters in Tuxpan in your prayers as they walk through this valley.
GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD
HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!
We do not have specific link to help. But if you would like, you can designate gifts to "Cofradia Disaster Relief" through Family Renewal Ministries.
This is really tough to communicate. Pastor Luis went to be with the Lord the morning of September 9, 2021, after two weeks of battling COVID. He was on oxygen for about a week and got progressively worse. He got up in the morning energetic, breathing, talking, joking...his normal self. After praying for healing, he had all the signs of being healed completely from COVID. He was breathing without the help of oxygen and taking deeper and deeper breaths. He had some juice and tea, then laid down again to rest. His wife mentioned that he looked at her and said, "It is finished." He never responded after that. It was a hard long day for everyone; and continues to be in some ways. His wife, Mari, was devastated, but has been really strong. No one had any idea that Luis, a strong and healthy 42 year old, would pass away so early in life. We all expected him to live.
Pastor Luis was one of the most respected pastors in our region. He had many, many friends and was a bridge in the Christian community between churches and denominations. He wore many, many hats. Not just in the church, but in the community of Cofradía as well as he was hugely resourceful. He will be missed like you cannot believe.
During his service on Sunday, September 12, he was honored and remembered. I have included a video of the whole two hour service. The participants were: Pastor Goyo, Hugo and the worship band, Gabo Garcia, a phone call from myself, Pastor Amado, Pastor Jimmy, Pastor Ildefonso, Brother Nelson, Pastor Abimael and his wife, and Mari and her son, Luis, who were with him when he passed away.
If you would like to help Mari and the family financially, you can send checks made out to Family Renewal, to: Family Renewal Ministries PO Box 293 Defiance, IA 51527 Please make a note that it is for Pastor Luis' family.
Family Renewal Ministries is a ministry we've worked with in the past up in the mountains where there is a large populations of Cora Indians east of Cofradia. They have graciously offered to be a funding avenue for the ministry of Cofradia United.
Here is the information to send to Cofradia through “Family Renewal Ministries” for the time being:
Make checks to Family Renewal Ministries and send to:
Family Renewal Ministries
PO Box 293
Defiance, IA 51527
They also do automatic deposits from banks. They send out year-end tax giving information (unless you need it more often) and have a CPA who takes care of all their finances. They will wire us the money in Mexico.
Make sure your donation is designated for Cofradia.
What you will need to do is CANCEL your automatic donations through Alternative Missions if you are set up for reoccurring giving.
Now you can DONATE HERE.You will need to scroll down where it says "Fund" and search for my name, Steven Silberman. You will be able to use any major credit card or set up a withdrawal from your bank account (ACH). Making the donation "reoccurring" will be so much easier.
If you would rather write a check, please make it out to "Mission Dispatch" with a note to indicate that it is for "Steven Silberman" and send it to: MISSION DISPATCH PO BOX 641 EDMONDS, WA 98020
Please make this immediate change as "Alternative Missions" phases out anywhere from within two weeks to two months.
If you donate to a Pastor, Specific Ministry, Project, or our Cofradia General Fund, we have another temporary avenue to receive those contributions. Please contact me at email@example.com
I will be sending out an update at the beginning of September.
Please continue to pray for our family and those in Cofradía. We are about 2 - 4 weeks out from returning back there. Things are going awesome and we're excited for what God has in store for our family and future!!
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR US, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK!!
We have a new Ministry Logo! "La Cofradía United" is the name of our ministry. The word "Cofradía" means "confraternity" or "brotherhood"--a group of people focused together on a specific purpose, either religious or charitable. We are based in Cofradia de Cuyutlán, Nayarit. Although "Cofradía" is the name of our town, the reason behind the name is the meaning, not location.
In the logo, notice that the circle is actually a "C" with a "U" connected to it. The left part of the U has a cross signifying that Christ's work at the cross is the at the center of our ministry. Our life and ministry revolve around Christ and the good news of him paying the price of our sin for us. Not only that, his resurrection and life in us give us victory over the enemy.
six months, the pastors that are connected to our ministry share an
bi-annual update from their perspective on what the Lord is doing in
their areas of ministry to let you know what's going on and how to pray.
Your investment is making progress in the Kingdom of God. Thank you for
your donations and prayers!
Amir Tsarfati, an Evangelist/Speaker born in Jerusalem, has a ministry called Behold Israel. He consistently updates his followers on Telegram about breaking news and news in general through the eyes of Biblical Prophecy. You will not see this information in the mainstream media (I've looked for it). Go to his site or follow him on Telegram to receive his daily updates of the truth about Israel and the Middle East. A number of years ago, a friend of ours introduced us to this ministry and I have been blessed by it and I'm sure the same will be for you.
In our last update, we shared a prayer request regarding a married couple struggling to stay together. We worked with them all month leading them through the Freedom in Christ course as well as the Grace course a few weeks later. This couple whom I will keep anonymous, came to us ready to separate, they were living without hope. They once had a vibrant walk with the Lord as they led others to Christ as well. But, because of letting down their guards and allowing strongholds of fear and addictions to overtake them, they arrived at a dark place in their marriage that seemed helpless.
We believe the message of the two courses are only a tool to help us recognize our true identity in Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God being planted as a seed that allows people to "come back to their senses".
After the first day of classes, the wife said, "I can't wait for tomorrow!" We finished the first course in one week and sent them home with a "tool bag" of truth for them to begin to use in their every day life. When they came back for the second course, they were noticeably different than when they first arrived a few weeks earlier. They had smiles on their faces and sat closer to one another. At the end of that week of studying the Grace course, we had a dinner all together with Pastors Goyo and Luis and their families before they left. And, on the spur of the moment, we offered to guide them through their marriage vows once again. They accepted without hesitation and began a new life together. Praise God!! They left here with a new perspective, the Word of God in their hearts, and tools to help them "fix" issues when they surface. Thank you so much for your prayers and support of this ministry. This is certainly an area that you were involved in. Thank you for partnering with us at La Cofradia United!!
In our last update, I shared a prayer request regarding a sister in the Lord from our local church in Cofradia who had been suffering from an anxiety attack that caused her to suffer in fear and lose sense of her surroundings. It was tremendously odd. I personally do not believe a believer can be possessed by a demon. However, I do believe it is possible to give inroads to the enemy with the unhealthy information we fill our minds with that cause a us to be oppressed. A stronghold of fear was formed through constant viewing of a certain television program.
We prayed over her and visited with her and her family encouraging all of them to be filling their minds with the Word of God...the Truth, which we believe is the answer to overcoming strongholds. She was taking some medication from the doctors for a while, but now she has returned to normal and is eagerly filling her mind with the Word and listening to messages of life. God is good and to Him be the glory!