Thursday, September 25, 2014

I have been home from Tijuana now for several weeks and just about caught up with everything that waits for me when I am gone.  

Homicides are significantly down this year and many of the First Responder PrayerWalks have been quite large where God has again given us great favor in the midst of tragedy. 

Last week the owner of JR's Jewelry was killed in a robbery and when I announced the PW, we had no contact with the family, yet over 40 family and friends showed up and as God gave us instant favor we had a precious time remembering Jim and praying with his widow, kids and grand-kids. They shared how much they were encouraged by the response and support from our team and the community. 

Above is a picture from the Omaha World Herald...Click here for more OWH pictures. 
For a News Video, Click here, then select "Jim Minshall Remembered" from the video bar below the picture.

A few days ago we had one of our largest Homicide PrayerWalks ever where 16 yr old Johntavious Swift was shot and killed just after getting off his school bus...More on that next Update or check my PrayerWalking Blog in the next day or so.

Tijuana Trip Report:

Sheryl writes so much faster and creatively than me… so this time she’s going to try writing our report without having actually been there!!

This is the first time in several years that Dave has gone and Sheryl has stayed home. Because she’s still not walking following a foot surgery in mid-August, the trip was impossible for her to make this time. However, on the home front friends and family dropped in or stayed over so that she had all the help she needed to get through the week. It was a long week, though, and we’ve decided it’s much more fun to make these ministry trips together.

Upon arrival, Dave “rested” in the San Diego airport for about 6 hours before meeting up with Pastor Jesús Rodriquez,
My hotel room window is a great place to pray over Tijuana
who was having issues with a borrowed car’s security system that had locked everything up. That airport is not a particularly great place to hang out, but the by-word for missions is “flexible”, as we all know by now. They crossed the border that evening, and Dave got settled at the hotel where we always stay in downtown Tijuana. They know him by name after about 12 years of regular trips, and pretty much treat him like royalty….actually, more like a visiting uncle! We’ve outlived several hotel managers, and one of our favorite desk clerks is having a baby next month – which she was very excited to tell us about!

It wasn’t long before Dave learned that he was to be the primary speaker at a conference of young leaders working with the Awana program in a number of churches in Tijuana.

This was a group of new contacts, and an exciting time to be able to pour into these young men and women many new ideas on ministering from a place of JOY to the hearts of the children in their programs. In spite of short notice, the Lord was faithful to give the word and the scriptures that were appropriate to the situation. 

On Sunday we were back with our Nigerian friend Femi Awodele, who leads a ministry called Christian Couples International from here in Omaha. Femi did a conference to train church leaders in strengthening marriages.

Femi's material was so well received that they begged him to return in January to teach again at another conference that they will arrange for him. We’ve seen over the years that the pressures on pastors and their families where we’ve worked cause many of them to break apart. This was confirmed by the reception given to Femi and their assurances that the material was presented in such a way that it took root in their hearts and will be changing their relationships. It was rewarding to know that many who we love were being ministered to in deep ways by another friend from Omaha.

Over the course of the weekend, both Dave and Femi had opportunity to speak in area churches, including el Niño that we’ve previously told you so much about. The drive out there is always a cultural experience in itself, as Sunday is market day in el Niño and surrounding barrios. So much to see and do!

After Femi left, Dave had additional opportunity to teach on Prayerwalking to another new group of pastors at a church
where we taught on “Hearing the Voice of God” last year. They were excited to grab onto this simple technique, and before the evening was done, they had prayerwalked the entire neighborhood around this church…..and taken a practical experience of hearing God back to their own churches.

As with all cities and ministries, there is the ebb and flow of opportunity for the Kingdom. Tijuana at this time is experiencing some difficulties among leadership in the Pastoral Alliance, just as we’re told in the book of James…..each one seeking his own way. As you pray for these men and women, ask the Lord to bring an indivisible unity among them so that the Kingdom of God can be advanced in that place. Economic difficulties have impacted many of our Christ For the City leaders in Tijuana this past year.
Orphanage founders Eduardo & Ana Mendez with Pastor Jesus & Rosa

Children from our two orphanages will be combined into one home, and the other will be rented out to another organization to house more children….this because of a lack of funding this past year.

Pastor Rodriquez, our CFCI Co-Director in Tijuana has had a very difficult year financially and is presently looking for employment to help support his family in addition to his ministry work.  His vehicle is in such bad repair that it’s not even legal to bring into the States. Please pray with us that the Lord will provide for these immediate needs, and if you should feel led to help in any way, just contact us.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Both 
Step Up to Life and Fresh Start continue to flourish and are being used by pastors and leaders all over Mexico now as a result of training that we've been able to bring to Tijuana. Churches all over the city are prayer walking their neighborhoods, and dozens of new churches are being planted – both by eager young evangelists, and by established mature pastors. 

It’s wonderful to watch, and we’re thankful to have been a part of it because of your faithful investment there. One day it will be an incredible time to meet those who have come to know Christ and whose relationships have been healed because of your gifts that made it possible.

Future plans include another return trip towards the end of January to maintain long-term relationships, cultivate new relationships, conduct another marriage conference, and teach wherever the Lord opens doors.

Oh, by the way….as you can see, Femi enjoyed our favorite taco shop! 

Thanks so much for caring and praying for us! 
Information on personal support is to the right and in the Partner tab above. 

We thank God for you and pray God’s Blessings on you so please keep us updated on what is happening so we can pray specifically…

Dave & Sheryl

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