It's been about three weeks since my last update - I'm sorry! I said I would do better but it's been hectic! However, I did want to do just a QUICK update about our upcoming mission trip to Mexico!
Lori and I, along with our daughter Joy, will be headed to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. We will be joining Joel and Angel Dyke, and their daughters for the 20 year celebration of the founding of the Agua Viva church in Coatza!
On August 8, 1988 (8/8/88) the Dykes and the Martins moved from Matías Romero, Oaxaca, where we had been working with various indigenous tribes, establishing churches and training leaders. We moved to Coatza to begin a new type of work, one in which we would not use "religious" terminology - we were being very intentional about trying to establish a fellowship of believers whose sole purpose was to know and follow the teachings of the historical Jesus.
God granted us much success! We were only there a few weeks when we started our first Bible study, then Sunday morning meetings in our living room. In October we rented a building to begin having services in - we held our Grand Opening services with just a handful but soon the 75-seat building was at capacity. We rented the house next door for children's services to free up more room for adults.
Soon we had to rent another building, which would seat a couple of hundred. Over time Agua Viva rented another, larger facility and then bought their own property and began having services in a theater. Lori and I had returned by this time but we were blessed to get to visit them from time to time. Joel visited more frequently and kept me in the loop on the progress.
Now they have purchased several acres outside of town and have built a large building that will seat several hundred - and they don't owe anything on it! In addition, they have started 3 other urban churches in nearby cities and continue to provide oversight to the rural churches that we began in Oaxaca.
It's a great honor to be invited to join Joel and Angel for the 20 year anniversary of the founding of Agua Viva Coatza. We fly from Houston on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Here is our schedule:
- Saturday - Meetings with leaders
- Sunday - All day celebration in Coatza
- Monday - Travel to Zacatal for celebration with the rural churches of Oaxaca
- Tuesday - Minister at Agua Viva Acayucan
- Wednesday - Minister at La Casa del Alfarero, Agua Dulce
- Thursday - Minsiter at Agua Viva, Las Choapas
- Friday - Return to the States
BTW, if you're interested, below is the presentation I made at Christian Challenge this past Sunday, sharing some pictures of our time in Mexico, to help everyone understand what our life was like when we were missionaries:
Please keep us in your prayers. I look forward to updating you!