Monday, April 29, 2019

The Long Way Home

Well, tomorrow begins the long journey home.  With the little guys, I don't think we will be able to drive more than about 6 or 7 hours per day.  So it will take a while to get there!  By the weekend we should arrive!  I have be assured that our vehicle which broke down in Helena Montana is fixed and paid for by the original mechanic who did the work that failed.  So that is a huge blessing!  We will pick it up Friday if all goes according to plan.

We have enjoyed a great trip to say the least!  Our older 3 have had a great time doing ministry with the High School Team and then connecting more intentionally with their Mexican friends the last few days.  It has been good for their hearts to come back "home".

The twins have also done quite well!  Judeson has struggled some for sure but all in all they have done well!  They even sat and listened to children's church upstairs doing the regular church service (Lane preached).  They have NEVER done that in their lives.  They are always to hyper!  But they sat and listened and were the only boys who received a "you behaved well" sticker at the end!  Jackson even understood that there was going to be a surprise at the end of their lesson and that he needed to behave well etc!  Sheri hadn't heard that there was going to be this surprise so she certainly didn't tell him!  I asked him later at home how he knew and he said "mommy told me."  So it is pretty obvious that he understood it from the Spanish that was spoken!  Incredible!  They had a great time playing and running with new friends down here and they even loved the food here too!  Maybe it is a sign we should move back!  Ha!

Please pray with us that someone at our church will take up the torch and lead the way to continue Evangelizing at the Vineyards!  We have talked to a number who are interested but follow through can be light.  Please pray!

All in all we have enjoyed this trip immensely and thank each one who has contributed in some way for us to come, be it financially or via prayer or encouragement.

Please continue to pray us home!  Especially for the long hours for the twins in the vehicle that are ahead of us!


Lane for all of us

Friday, April 26, 2019

Last Night at the Vineyards

Jackson and Judeson with their new friend Miguel
I know many of you have been praying for Jackson and Judeson on this trip.  We are so grateful!  Thank you!  It has been a good trip even though Judeson has been struggling emotionally.  He certainly has had a harder time than Jackson and it has meant that Sheri has stayed back from events with them more often than we would like.  However we know that lots of action each day is something they don't do well with even at home.  So yeah, keep praying!  Please pray especially for the long trip home which starts on Tuesday!
We did get the boys out to a town about an hour from here where the High School team was doing kids and women's ministry as well as putting the roof on a house for a family.  That is what you see pictured in the background.  Miguel (pictured with the twins) and his family will move into that house once it is finished.  They played and played in the dirt and dust!  We threw them in the water trough to clean them off once we were ready to leave!

Last night I was out at the Vineyards again with a team of 7 from our church.  Some new folks came along who haven't been out there before.  This time they gave the message rather than me.  My hearts desire is that the local church here would take up the amazing opportunity that this ministry represents!  They can totally do it!  I have trained them in years past, they have also carried on this ministry without me in the past for a season.  However currently no one is going out there to tell these people the truth.  There are so many young men who want to know the truth!  Let me tell you a quick story.

A few nights ago a young man approached me by the name of Neftali.  He is from the South like everyone else and he had a question for me.  I had just finished preaching and he wanted to know if I could interpret a dream for him that he had.  I gave it my best effort telling him not to trust my interpretation as the ultimate truth but then I directed things toward the message I had just preached.  I wanted to know what he thought about it, what he believed etc.  He proceeded to tell me that he had a Catholic Church back home where he had heard some of the things I mentioned, but there was much he hadn't heard before and he had never understood the bible as a comprehensive story (that is how I had explained it in my message).  So we continued to talk and I could see that he was very interested in the Word of God and knowing more.  I made sure he got a Bible Tract that I had brought from home and encouraged him to read it and cross reference the bible verses in the tract with the verses in his bible at home when he returned there.  Well last night he approached me again, this time with his phone in his hand and his sister on the other end, back home which was about 5 states away. He was asking that I pray for them as a family.  So after getting some more info on his family, I prayed for them so that his sister could hear.  Afterwards, he and I talked some more and he had read through the tract and was so excited about what he was reading!  I proceeded to get his phone number and connected him to a leader in our local church down here.  I also have kept his number and through WhatsApp, I will be able to continue to encourage him and disciple him in God's word!  Technology is amazing when used properly for good!

Please pray with me that this ministry would continue once we leave.  There is no reason it couldn't.  Last night we had about 130 mostly young men watching the Christian movie we showed and listening to the preaching afterward.  And this is one of the smaller Vineyards that we go to!

Today we are off to the Children's Home with the High School team.  Looking forward to another day of ministry!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Weekend

So yesterday we went out to the third Vineyard, one that I had never visited before.  It was another half hour further north of the city.  We were blessed to be able to put up the table and projector etc in the dining hall and project onto a wall.  There were about 50 or so present.  They were so attentive!

Today was Easter Sunday and it kicked off with a 6am service at the church!  I was asked to translate the sermon into English from up front.  I am honestly not a big fan of translating as it takes so much concentration!  And my mind tends to wander!  Once I started to translate, I realized that the Pastor had his sermon written out word for word!  I thought it would be a huge advantage to see his notes and just translate on the fly by reading his notes!  Wow was I wrong!  For the first 10 minutes, it was brutal!  I was terrible!  I seriously wanted to find a corner and run and hide!  Then finally I realized it might go better if I didn't read his notes and once I just listened to him speak, it went quite a bit better thankfully.  But wow, that was a rough experience!

Tomorrow is the first full day of ministry for the team.  They have a lot going on.  I am looking forward to doing some ministry out at the Children's Home whom I run the sponsorship program back home for.  Then back to the Vineyards tomorrow night after a break today.  I will be taking my friend Greg who I served with in Paraguay with me.  I am looking forward to showing him the openness of the people to the gospel!

My allergies are hitting me again and the heat is getting to my skin as well........familiar hardships that I used to have to deal with full time.  My energy is sapped by these allergies and so I think it is time for bed!

Till next time!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

2nd Vineyard

So last night a team of 7 from the church and myself went to a neighbouring Vineyard.  This one was smaller.  We had about 80 people watching and listening.  Again once the movie was over hardly anyone left!  So there were nearly 80 who stayed and listened as I explained the panorama of scripture.
I started with Creation and explained the main points of the Bible all the way through to Jesus' resurrection.  Being that it is Easter I asked them why we were celebrating, why most of the businesses here are closed etc.  People don't really understand why.  So in order to someone to understand not just THAT Jesus died on the cross, but WHY He died on the cross and even what it MEANS for us, that takes some time to explain.
So after a quick explanation that took about half an hour, I invited them to come up and get a booklet that explains it all as well.  Not all of the booklets were given out which is actually a good thing I think.  It shows that they weren't just grabbing them because they were free.  I told them not to take one if they weren't really interested, to leave them so others who were interested could get one.  And it seems like they did.  Most of the booklets were given out though.
I also asked one other thing of them.  At the end of my message I invited them to put their trust in Jesus, realizing that only by His sacrifice for us and our surrendering to Him can we be saved.  I put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we cannot be saved by our own works (many think they can be saved that way down here).  Then I asked them to tell someone who came with me if they had believed the message and put their trust in Jesus for the first time last night.  I made it clear that it was not an expectation, that it wasn't obligatory, but that if they had sincerely trusted Christ last night for the first time, to let us know.
About 10 people told us individually that they had indeed trusted Christ for the first time last night!
Glory to God for what He is doing!  Each of the folks from the church who came with me said in one way or another that the harvest is huge and the workers are few.

Please pray that the church here will take up the work once we leave!

Thanks for praying with us!  Off to another Vineyard tonight!  Not sure which one yet.


Friday, April 19, 2019

First Night of Ministry

Last night went great!  I had the biggest turnout from the church that I can ever remember!  There had to have been 15 or so people there helping me along with Alexis Jemma and Noah!  Remember that a big part of this is that hopefully there will be some at the church who will carry this ministry on once I leave.  Pray for that please!
Anyway there were about 200 Migrant Workers who came to watch the short movie called "The Road to Emmaus" which does a great job of explaining the central message of the Bible and the way unto Salvation.  Then after the movie I preached for about 25 mins.  Something happened last night that has never happened before.  Each time after the movie ends, about half of those watching leave and head back to their rooms.  Last night however, almost no one left after the movie ended!  After I did my best at giving a panorama of the whole Bible all of the Bible Tracts that we had were handed out in about a minute!  The folks from the church helped with that and then some prayed for small groups of the Migrant Workers who asked for prayer.
All in all it was a great evening and we are going to repeat the same thing tonight at a different Vineyard!  The openness to the word of God down here always surprises me.  The harvest is truly huge and the workers are few, but with God's help He will bring in the harvest of souls to His Kingdom!

Here is a picture of last nights ministry.  You are only seeing less than half of those who were present.  There are many more to my left.  I am standing near the table with the microphone in hand.  Thanks for praying!  We need you standing with us!
On another unrelated note, the High School team shows up in a few hours so I am off to the airport to pick them up!

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Well we arrived at 6pm last night.  We already had one of our favourite meals and things are going well!  I just got off the phone with my contact who lets me into the Vineyards where the migrant workers are and he told me we have access into 3 Vineyards.  They have from 400-600 workers each!  So tonight is the first trip out there.

Please pray for us, for those who are going on this ministry trip.  I'm not sure who exactly is coming yet so pray that the right people would come from the church to help.  I am praying that a team would form from this and that after we leave they would continue the ministry!  Please pray for that as well!

It is strange to be here at this time of year.  The streets are basically empty.  I knew that tomorrow that would be the case being Good Friday and all but already today?  That surprised me.  I expect to be able to shoot a canon down the streets tomorrow but I was surprised that so many businesses are closed already today.  But it goes to show you how big of a celebration Easter is here.  So it is a key time to tell people of the good news of Jesus Christ!

I'm so looking forward to tonight!  Thanks for praying with us!  The High School team arrives tomorrow.  We will see them just after lunch.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Almost There

I am writing this update from our hotel room in Tucson Wednesday morning.  Today we travel down to where we used to live and do ministry!  Everyone is excited to go!

For those of you who have been praying for us, thank you!  The trip has gone quite well so far!  The airport process in Calgary went very well, it wasn't busy in the least and the twins did very well!  The flight was also very good, smoothest landing I think I have ever experienced!  Sheri had lots of little toys and nicknacks ready to keep the twins busy and Momma knows best as it worked very well!  There were a few tense moments but overall the twins did great!

We arrived in Tucson yesterday and it was raining of all things!  Alexis Jemma and Noah were transported back to their childhood and stood there in the middle of the parking lot breathing deep the rain/desert air and loving it!

We ate at our favourite restaurant in Tucson (Zemam's Ethiopian Cuisine) and the teenagers and Sheri and I loved it!  They have such good Ethiopian food!  We used to eat there whenever we were in Tucson.  However the twins (who had already eaten a burger as we knew they don't like the Ethiopian food) held their noses the whole meal and complained.  Literally.........

Anyway yes we are doing well and looking forward to arriving at our destination tonight!

Sheri and Jackson and Judeson (and their Paw Patrol Pups) pictured below at the Calgary airport.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Back to Mexico

Wow has it even been a long time since I have updated this blog!  There is so much to tell!  Lots has happened in the last 2+ years!  Due to time however, for this post I am going to focus on what is coming up in the next few weeks here.

In a few days time, our whole family will be boarding a plane for Phoenix!  We will then head for  Tucson and down to Hermosillo!  We will be down there for a couple weeks for a missions trip!  For those of you who follow the goings on of our family, you will know that we used to live in Hermosillo and did ministry there for a number of years.

The teens' high school does a missions trip there every other year and this year it is Jemma's turn to participate as a member of the high school team!  Alexis worked hard to finish up her second year of Bible College 3 weeks early so she could come on this trip as well!  The team going down consists of 32 people.  Plus our family is going to be there and a few others helping as well.  The High School team will be carrying out many different ministries from building a house in a poor area of a town outside the city where we will be, to doing a kids VBS and helping at a Children's Home as well.

While I am down there I will be reigniting a ministry dear to my heart.  It is a preaching ministry to the Migrant Workers of Southern Mexico that I used to do when we lived there.  This ministry is such an amazing opportunity to explain the good news of Jesus to hundreds of young men who have likely never heard the truth about Jesus.  So I count it a privilege of the highest level to go and serve in this manner, using the gifts God has given me to extend His kingdom in Mexico!  I put on a Christian movie and after it is over I preach for 15 or 20 mins.  And they respond.  Wow do they ever!  I also bring young men from the local church in Mexico with me and they take their turn preaching as well.  So it is kind of a discipling ministry in that sense as well.  Check out the video below to see what this ministry is all about!

On a family level we have had so many obstacles prior to going on this trip.  Both our vehicles were broken down at the same time, fixed and one broke down again...............In Montana as our friends were driving it to Phoenix for us!  There has also been sickness in our family, not everyone is well, so we are praying for them to be well before we leave.  Also the Christian movie that explains they Gospel so well and the one that I am planning on using in the Vineyards showed up in the mail today, just in time before we leave!  Also the twins have been having a hard go of it lately and so we are praying they will do well on this trip.  Change is difficult for them.

Anyway, I do plan on continuing updating this blog during our trip, so make sure you come back often for updates!  We are all looking so forward to this trip!  We look forward to seeing what the Lord will do!  

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