Marriage life continues to be a great blessing. God has used our dating and marriage stories as a testimony to Maria’s family, relatives, and many others. She has seen the change in many persons. We are super thankful that God allowed Maria’s visa to be approved. We have already bought the plane tickets, and we plan to be in the States November 19-January 23. We are trusting that God has many opportunities for us there. It will be great for Maria to get to know my family, friends, language, and culture better. Maria celebrated 27 years of life on September 8, and we were able to have a party here at the house for her and her twin sister!
God has been teaching Maria a lot as she is now thinking more like a missionary and in evangelism. All Christians have the calling to “go and make disciples.” She is learning to trust a lot more in God’s promises believing that God can change the futures and lives of the children she works with. She is learning to pray with more freedom and authority and to love and forgive quickly. She has seen God’s answer to her prayers with her brother and his family. God continues to take me deeper in prayer and spiritual warfare. It’s amazing all that He has done in my heart and life since returning from the Encuentro on June 18. Seeing God back me up in everything has given me more faith to do more.
Enciende El Fuego Ministry
September was a great month for our ministry in Barrio 17 de Diciembre as God continues to bless us and the kids! On September 9, 81 kids showed up, but we normally have about 35-40. We also started teaching basketball classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-6pm. It has been a great way to build relationships with the kids and teach them biblical principles. Someone from Gideons from Santa Marta also donated 97 small New Testaments for the kids, and we have begun handing them out. This was an answer to prayer as many kids don’t have a Bible!
On September 16, a local ministry (Ministerio Siloé) did an event for our kids. It was extremely powerful as the Holy Spirit descended and moved. God also confirmed our ministry that day as well as our ministry name (in English “Set a Fire”). We are still praying about starting a foundation/ministry there, and we may be able to use a room in the community building as an office/storage space. We also have the 100% support of the community president (who isn’t Christian) in everything we are doing there. Our purpose is to let the Holy Spirit ignite a passion inside the kids for Jesus Christ.
Our work in the schools continues to be a good challenge. We are praying that God raises up an army of young warriors to advance His Kingdom here in Santa Marta. Maria continues teaching math, and I continue teaching religion at Esperanza Viva. God has also used us to spiritually strengthen the teachers/staff there mainly through prayer times as there have been a lot of spiritual challenges. So many of the kids have broken families, rebellion, abandonment, and other problems. We had a “special” prayer activity as we started in God’s presence in worship and then prayed in each classroom and area of the school. Maria is seeing a lot of change in the students in math as students who were doing poorly now are striving for excellence. They also planned a surprise birthday party for her and showered their love and care upon her, and made her feel really special.
The 4th and 5th graders at Jireh had another evangelism event. It was awesome to see their growth since the very first time they’ve done it and their excitement to pray and share God’s Word with their own neighborhood. I have been doing a lot of heart teachings as the Holy Spirit really wants to bring freedom and healing in the deep parts of the hearts of the students (and teachers). I also showed a powerful evangelism video to the students of Esperanza Viva and Jireh, and God spoke to many hearts. I continue teaching a Friday evening class in Fundadores for those who want to learn more about God and the Bible. I have seen God backing me up in what He has me doing and in letting the Holy Spirit move in times of stillness, music, and prayer.
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
“So faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
So let us not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9
María y Jonathan