Cody Cullen – UM – Oaxaca, Mexico
This past week has been amazing! On Sunday, we taught on Philippians 4:2-9, talking about how God wants us to love Him with our actions, thoughts, and emotions. Not just one or some of those. It went along well with the sermon about how God wants us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
During the week, we were able to follow up with a household that was interested in following Christ, but also dealing with possible spiritual warfare. After explaining the Gospel in much detail and what deciding to follow Christ looks like, the mom seemed to be wrestling with her decision due to fear of how her abusive, drunk husband and 14-year-old son might react. So she did not fully grasp what we were trying to explain to her. The daughter of the household seemed to fully grasp it when we talked about following Christ. She also seemed like she had been READY to begin following Christ! We had the privilege to be there when she expressed her decision to follow Christ through praying! The aunt seems very close to being ready to decide to follow Christ as well, and we hope to be able to explain more to her next week as well as we urge her to make a decision for Christ.
During one of our house visits, we had been told about an old man who was against Christianity, but he has actually shown to be very open to reading the Bible and open to us sharing how to study God’s word. He told us he had read the different passages we recommended to him last time and he shared what he understood from them. We shared with him that we are not born with a relationship with God and explained how to acquire one.
We got to spend much of the day with the family of this older man. The sons range in age from 10-16. We’ve been able to witness to them multiple times over the weeks and we are quite fond of each other. We also had the privilege to revisit the daughter with her aunt with a lady that she knew who was also from the church (since we wanted to emphasize the importance of having a fellow woman from the local church who could disciple her). We shared with her on how to study God’s word and talked in detail about baptism. The daughter seemed open so I would not be surprised if she decided to be baptized soon as an expression to identify with Christ.
Our English class has expanded to a village-wide-available class. It is very fun and seems like a tremendous opportunity to get us to gain favor with the village and make relationships. We have already seen how the village is growing rapidly in liking us, with an openness to us sharing the Gospel and coming to our Bible studies.
For our evening Bible study, we had families come who have been coming regularly, containing both unbelievers and believers. The daughter and aunt mentioned earlier are two who have been coming faithfully. We taught on Moses’ story emphasizing the burning bush, Passover, and parting of the Red Sea. We encouraged them to continue studying the Bible on their own and corporately with the local church. Seeing the same families come multiple times gives us much encouragement!
On Friday, we got to see the tree with the largest diameter in the world! Photos are included in this post!
For this week, please pray…
That during our last one or two visits with the household mentioned above, these ladies’ wrestling with God will bear fruit of confession to follow Christ. (Genesis 32:22-32)
That the daughter would feel God leading her to baptism and that her obedience would spark her hold household to want to be baptized as an expression of their decision to follow Christ in faith. (Acts 16:30-33)
That all the families with whom we have been making ground would feel so loved by the local church that they would be open to attending services and find fellowship with the members of the church. (1 John 1:3)
That the family of the old man would realize the urgency of making a decision for Christ and not continue on into passiveness. (Matthew 3:2)
That our village would continue to see our presence, our work, and our local church as a blessing, not as things to avoid. (Matthew 5:16)
Thank you all for praying! Our time here has been amazingly blessed and fruitful, so I hope this encourages you that your prayers are powerfully working like James 5:16 says. God is getting much glory from this.