A year and a half ago Melinda, Jenna, and I spent two weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico. We took some intensive Spanish lessons in the morning, and accompanied Rod, Connie, and Courtney Johnson to Indian villages to see the people and to observe the places where they were serving. (See my blog posts from May 9-22, 2005.) UBC had already sent one medical team to Oaxaca in 2004, and another would follow in the fall of 2005.
Meanwhile, UBC and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship entered into a relationship with the Johnsons. They are AsYouGo Affiliates and we are their "Encourager Church." You can read an article about them in the September/October 2006 edition of The Fellowship.
As an Encourager Church, our responsibilities are outlined in a covenant we entered into with CBF and the Johnsons --
- Provide a system for prayer support.
- Provide a means for promotion of volunteer needs among congregants and others.
- Act as the primary point for encouragement and member care.
- Give administrative support (e.g., newsletter, board members where needed, assistance in ‘off field assignment,’ etc.)
I want to emphasize what is NOT in the agreement. Rod and Connie are NOT in UBC's annual budget. If they were, I'm afraid they would receive relatively little in relationship to their needs. They receive NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT from CBF. They are volunteers. ALL OF THEIR FINANCIAL SUPPORT comes from the gifts of God's people. I encourage your support of their ministry.
If you have been following the news out of Mexico these days, you know of the turmoil in Oaxaca. Our medical mission trip this September had to be cancelled due to U.S. government travel advisories to the area. Rod and Connie continue to pursue ministry to the least and the lost in this area.
I received the following email from Rod and Connie today:
We are currently in Saltillo, Coahuila. We were in a village yesterday with a fellow missionary family. I preached, and it was a good service. We were able to provide food packets for 15 families at this place. Also left some school supplies.
Today we will be heading into the mountains and will make contact with a new village or two. We have no idea what the names of the villages are. Just saw them on a mountain. We will take food packets and school supplies as offerings. Pray that we will follow the leading of the Lord.
The situation in Oaxaca is still very tense, but no acts of violence for a few days. The roads are open during the day to let food and supplies into the city, and are then locked down at night. There are guerillas in town, and the army is outside the city. At this time we plan on heading toward Oaxaca in a few days. We have peace about going. We will talk to some local pastors before we actually go into the city.
We appreciate your prayers and support. We need them. God bless you all,
Rod and Connie
Please offer your generous prayer and financial support to these servants of God during troubled times in Mexico. You can donate to their ministry by designating your gifts to Oaxaca Missions through UBC.