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Mexico Christmas 2012

Tonight, as we performed the drama, rejoiced, and fellowshipped with the church, we thanked God for 2012 and prayed for 2013.  There is nothing that compares to bringing in the New Year like Jesus Ministry, like seeing the Lord of the harvest pass away the old and embrace the new.

 

Today, Salvation was found on aisle fifteen. Team Negras saw the Lord move once again in a supermarket. As the students were performing the drama, the crowd grew in multitudes. When the presentation was finished, tears filled the eyes of many, even an employee’s. An invitation was given and the employee came forward. Our students surrounded her. She cried and gave her heart to the everlasting Father. She found what she was missing. The Lord rid her of her old life and created her a new today. As she accepted Christ into her life, another woman came forward with one simple request. Prayer.  She asked for prayer for her two children who have AIDS. Will you join us in lifting up the supermarket employee and these two children?

 

Team Piedras had a great day today, God moved in a mighty way. As our vans pulled up to this yellow building the students began to attempt to read the black writing on the building. It was a drug was a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The students walked down the steps, through the building, into a courtyard they had prepared for us. As we watched the men make the way to the prepared seats we noticed some appeared to be the age of some of the students. However they looked much different; many had tattoos, and piercings, you could tell by their faces that many had experienced more in their young life than most. The students presented the drama to the attentive crowd. When it came to the end one of the leaders knew God was calling him to share his story with these men. He took the microphone and began to share his story of how his old life was full of drugs and alcohol and God rescued him and gave him a new life in Jesus Christ. The students went out and shared boldly to the men who almost all came to accept Christ and began their new life. Many of the men at the center approached the leader and asked, “How did you change? We want to have a new life and follow Christ like you.” What a great reminder of how a changed life changes lives. The students also prayed for a miracle to happen for a man’s leg to be healed. Please join us in calling out to the great physician for this man leg to be healed.

 

We have countless more stories and many more to come New Year’s day. Our hearts yearn to share His Hope and share of the great things He has done. Tomorrow will fight the good fight. Please pray that the team would finish strong, for continued focus, for boldness, for continued health, and for more divine encounters.

 

 All praise belongs to Him who gives new life!

Zach Smith

Gerri Smith

Mike Lehew

Meridith Ingram

Walker Moore

 

 

Tonight, as we came back together as one team, our hearts are full. We are rejoicing in this day that the Lord has made, this day of salvation! Today we saw the Lord’s redeeming and restoring hand at work.

 

As the Negras team walked down the aisle and onto the stage, the excitement grew because of the condition of the audience. We had made it to a drug and alcohol rehab center.  After pouring out their hearts and giving it their all in the drama, a student gave an incredibly moving invitation. This student explained that nothing, not drugs or even alcohol, could save them. Their only freedom and redemption was Jesus Christ. Ten men stood up and walked up to the front to be prayed for and over. Some of these men came to know the Lord! Today as their relationships with God began to form, the restoration process began. These men once in bondage are no longer captives. They now stand upon the grace of God.

 

The Lord allowed one of the teams to perform in three commercial marketplaces today. Hundreds of people saw and heard the message of Christ.  The manger at the first store had been touched so deeply by the love displayed through the drama that he brought his wife to the third store we were sharing at. We were so excited to see a familiar face! She too was deeply moved. She gave her heart to the Lord!

 

This morning team Piedras went to the streets. Our prayer this week has been that God would open the eyes of the people so that they may see and open their ears so they may hear about the love of Christ. And also that God would give us His eyes. While the students were performing the drama the leadership saw a man on a bike watching the drama at a distance, however he began to ride off before the students got a chance to talk to him. One student asked, “Can I run after him?” He was very far away, we encouraged them to pray that God would have him return. As the students shared with others the leadership saw Him return, but again he rode off. However this time he went into a store close by. We watched closely and waited to see the man return to his bike and we began to speak to Him. Soon a group of students approached and spoke with the man. As they were sharing about the redemption and restoration that could be found in Jesus Christ the man began to weep. He desired that, so he prayed and asked Christ to be the Lord of his life.

 

We stand in awe of all the Lord has done, is doing, and what He is yet to do. He is still far more awesome than we know! Continue to pray that the Lord would allow His spirit to move and lead among our team and in Mexico, for boldness, for more opportunities, for continued health, for furthered unity, and for more hearts to be restored and souls to be redeemed. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers! God is not finished yet in Piedras Negras!

 

So humbled to serve the Almighty God,

Zach Smith

Gerri Smith

Mike Lehew

Meridith Ingram

Walker Moore

As we started off our second day of ministry, we all had a prayer on our hearts, “Jesus, break every chain”.  Today we saw that prayer come to fruition.

 

While the students were proclaiming the Truth through the drama, a lady walked up and started taking pictures. Our missionary contact Anabel soon came over to the lady and began to converse with her. She then told Anabel and one of our leaders that she was with the newspaper and was going to put a picture and an article about the drama in tomorrow’s paper. She asked where we were from, the ages of the students, and a couple of other questions. Her last question was “What message about your group would you like to be in the paper?” There was only one message to share, and that was HIS. Tomorrow as the people of Piedras Negras pick up Sunday’s paper they will read the message of Hope and Love. They will read the Gospel.

 

While out ministering today there were many stories of broken chains. There is great joy that comes as a student brings a little white paper with the name of a person who accepted Christ. We had many tear filled eyes as students were able to minister for the first time and be a part of someone coming to Christ.

 

As we bumped down a dirt road we passed many houses that in the states would be called shacks. We came to the end of the road and pulled into an empty lot with one lone building. The leaders when to talk to the people and met some amazing missionaries who told us their story. They run a free library and an after school program to try to reach the community. As the students went door to door inviting people, down the street ran a herd of children, soon followed by parents. As the drama was presented you could see the chains being broken, many people came to Christ. The pastor and the missionaries were overjoyed as many new families came who they had never seen before. Many of these new faces accepted Christ.

 

Tonight we gathered back together as one unified team. Story after story was shared and all began to rejoice in the power of Jesus’ name because He was breaking chains. We know He is far from finished.

Continue to pray for open hearts to receive the gospel, continued health, for the team to continue to grow in love and unity, for more divine encounters, and for more chains to be broken.

 

Serving through and for Him,

Zach Smith

Gerri Smith

Mike Lehew

Meridith Ingram

Walker Moore

 

Today one of the teams went to its first site. As the drama wound down, an older man gave the appearance of having been moved by the Spirit of God. Several of our students went over to talk to him about how God could forgive him of his sins. The man began to weep uncontrollably and his story began to unfold. For twenty seven years he had been a prominent pastor in Piedras Negras, one day his wife left him and he blamed God. The bitterness turned into hatred, and the hatred turned into poison. He rejected everything that he knew and turned to alcohol, and the alcohol led him into homelessness. For the last twenty years he wandered the streets carrying this hatred and each day the load got heavier and heavier. A student began to share with him how mighty and how broad God’s forgiveness is. As they were talking, you could see in his eyes that God was doing a work. And then he let it out, sobbing and asking his Creator to forgive him. The other pastors that were with us were so excited as they knew him very well. The man hugged and hugged our team with tears running down his face. He began (with no prompting) praising our Lord. As the team was leaving, he continued praising God. Please pray for this man. His name is Michael (in English). All the teams had many divine encounters. What we had prayed for had come true…God was with us!

 

Tonight, as we shared and rejoiced in all that God had done, we were filled with awe.  The Lord’s presence was so evident as we worshiped. The team grew in unity and learned how to go deeper in prayer. God is doing a mighty work among our team, in each of our hearts, and in the city of Piedras Negras, and this was only our first day out doing ministry! Greater things are yet to come!

 

Tomorrow the pastor has many more places for us to go and share the gospel. Pray for the teams health (we are all doing well), pray for strength as we have much work to accomplish, and pray for the Lord of the Harvest to draw people to himself. We are praying for you and your hearts, that you will be ready to hear what great things God has done.

 

Serving Him,

Zach Smith

Gerri Smith

Mike Lehew

Meridith Ingram

Walker Moore

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican/Word Feast

Last night after a full day of training, the ladies of the church prepared for us some incredible food. I am not sure what you called it, but it was a beef stew type of meal with fresh corn tortillas. You will see by the pictures how the team really enjoyed the food here. Brother Walker brought a challenging and encouraging message on our theme “Must Work, For the Night is Coming” out of John 9.  

 

The team has been divided into two groups, Team Peidras and Team Negras. Team Peidras is being lead by Zach Smith and Gerri Smith (not related). Team Negras is lead by Mike Lehew and Meridith Ingram. If you are looking for the team your child is on, the one with the leader who has goatee is Team Negras.

 

We are currently encountering some internet issues and are trying to resolve them. Allow me to describe some of the pictures we have posted. There is one of a white building, that is the girls dormitory. The mens dormitory looks exactly like the girls so no use of posting one. The picture of the white trailer is the shower trailer and there are pictures of what it looks like on the inside. There is hot and cold, a rare combination for us missionaries. There are pictures of the pastors with Brother Walker. They met yesterday to go over the weekly schedule.

 

What we cannot be shown in a picture is how the Lord is already moving through our team.

Today the students are ready to go to work.

 

Serving Him,

Zach Smith

Gerri Smith

Mike Lehew

Meridith Ingram

Walker Moore

After some difficulty getting the internet to work we finally got some pictures posted. Look to your left and look for the words “Photo Gallery””, underneath of that are the word Mexico Christmas 2012. Click on that and you will see the pictures.

The Journey:

As the team gathered early in the morning to make their journey to Mexico there was a sense of family in the air. Many of the students have served on the mission field before; the first timers quickly became a part of the Awe Star family as we made our way from Tulsa to Piedras Negras, Mexico.

 The drivers encountered some treacherous roads as we traveled through the bottom part of Oklahoma all the way south of Dallas. Who would had ever thought you would see a white Christmas in Dallas? But our skilful drivers took it slowly while we all hummed “Jesus, take the wheel.” From Dallas to Austin the traffic was stop and go, as the hours added on, our intention turned to crossing the bridge into Mexico.

 

The team got a much needed rest last night and had hot showers this morning. The only complaint we have had since we been here was the showers are too hot. I thought I have heard it all but this is a first; a student complaining the showers were too hot.  Today the missionaries will begin to train for sharing the gospel through Bible story telling through the Freedom presentation.

 

We will get some pictures posted soon and show you some of the surrounding scenery. Continue to pray for the students as they are working on their testimonies, memorizing scriptures, and learning their part in the drama Freedom. Pray for continued health.  Pray for warmer weather.  Pray for the Lord of the Harvest to draw people to him and join us in giving all praise and glory to the Lord for our safe arrival.

 

Hasta Luego!

 

Mexico team Leaders,

Gerri Smith

Zach Smith

Mike Lehew

Meridith Ingram

Walker Moore

 

Walker 1

From the staff of Awe Star Ministries we wish a Merry Christmas!