Marriage continues to go well as we continue to learn more about each other as well as learning to better love and respect each other. We continue to be able to encourage and advise singles with our marriage and be a blessing to others. We are praising God that Maria’s U.S. visa was approved on August 29! We plan on visiting the States for two months from mid-November to mid-January during school vacations! God was so faithful throughout the whole visa process and our trip to Bogotá. God used us (particularly Maria) to speak to and encourage several people during our time there.
Our work at Esperanza Viva foundation continues to go great. Maria is teaching math to 3rd grade, and I am primarily teaching religion to 3rd-7th grades and leading devotions. It hasn’t been very easy as many of the students have problems with rebellion and broken homes, but God is doing a great work there. God is also using us to revive the school spiritually. We were blessed to go on a retreat with the church connected with the foundation, and I got to preach on the Holy Spirit and not putting God in a box.
Maria’s university classes continue to go well, and she hopes to graduate with a degree in International Business next May. She also continues to teach Sunday school classes for high-schoolers. I am teaching Sunday school classes to 9-12 year-olds and teaching physical and Christian education to 3rd-5th grades at Jireh school. The past two weeks I took the 4th and 5th graders out to the streets to evangelize and pray for people. This was the third time this year for each grade, and God is really growing them and giving them an excitement for sharing His Word. God used them in awesome ways! I am also teaching a “Bible” class Friday nights at Fundadores school.
Barrio 17 Ministry – Enciende Un Fuego (Set A Fire Ministries)
God continues to pour out opportunities for us with many kids from Barrio 17. We usually have between 30-40 kids each week, and new kids continue coming. We have moved to a new ministry location – a beautiful new park that was built a few blocks from our old location. God has been backing us up and giving us favor with the community president as well. God has now given us a name for our outreach there called Enciende Un Fuego (Set A Fire Ministries). The name is birthed by our desire for the kids to know Jesus and to be trained in God’s Word and spiritual warfare to impact Santa Marta and beyond. We expect God to set a fire for Him in the hearts of the youth of Barrio 17 and Santa Marta!
On September 16, Love and Friendship Day, there is a man from our church that has a special evangelistic ministry that will be helping us with an evangelistic gospel presentation and will be donating 80 Bibles (an answer to our prayers!). We are hoping and praying that this events draws many children and families to a relationship with Jesus. This week we will be having a basketball clinic on Thursday and hopefully we can continue to have more presence in the community and have more clinics and Bible teaching. We are walking by faith and believing that God will open the doors wide and expand His ministry. We are asking Him to see if He wants us to start a foundation in that neighborhood.
We are certainly growing deeper in our walk with the Lord and are continually learning what it means to walk by faith. We are learning that God is so much bigger than just a church. We have seen God’s hand supporting us, protecting us, and backing us up time after time. We are convinced He has an enormous purpose for us. We are asking for God for the gift of faith and to increase our faith. All good we do will be rewarded by God. God has been teaching me a lot more about the spiritual world/warfare. I can call on the Holy Spirit and immediately I feel His presence. Ever since being healed and set free during the retreat in June, I am bearing more fruit and am able to free myself with tongues. God regularly reveals things to Maria and speaks to her in dreams. She is growing in her prophetic gift as well as being a teacher. She is growing in her love for the Lord and is awed by what God is doing in her (and our) lives.
María and Jonathan
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” – John 15:7
Do not grow weary of doing good, for in due time you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9