As Regional Directors of the Americas and Caribbean we are to visit with each affilate family once a year. We had tried to visit with our affilates in Haiti two previous years but because of unrest or huricanes, we were forced to cancel those trips. Unfortunately, once again this year, we were forced to cancel our visit because of major unrest in Haiti that began in Februay. The US Embassy had raised the threat level to Level 4, which was a "no-go" recommendation. We just recently got word that that the threat level has been lowered to 3, which means we should be able to replan that visit next year.
During the third week of April our team invited two senior Pastors to come to Queretaro for a Vision Summit about the next church plant planned for Queretaro. David Garrison from the Northside Christian Church and Brandon Guindon of Real Life Texas and one elder from each congregation joined us here for the Vision Summit presentation and conversations about the possibility of participating with the new church planting team. It was very quick but we saw that this was an effective way to present the vision that IMPACTO has to reach Mexico. We are still talking with these congregations and are praying for their decison making processes and are hopeful for good news.
In April, we joined the Administrative Group of La Viña. This group meets once a month to help counsel and guide our new Churches. Dee has been participating in the Staff meetings for several months at the leader in the Children's Ministry area. Eric will also be participating on the Administrative Group for the next church that will most likely launch the frist part of next year.
As International Cross-cultiural missionaries, we are not aways around for important family events. However, in May we were able to participate in the wedding of Nancy, Dee's sister as she married Dennis Felix. Eric was asked to do the ceremony at a small village close to Lafayette, Indiana. It was a great family event and we were very excited for Nancy and Dennis.
The following week we had the privilage to visit with New International affilates in Buffalo that are working with refugees from Samolia that have settled in this northern US city. We were able to visit with this visionary couple and are excited about their commitment to reach a very resistant ethnic group.
On May 19 the La Viña Church celebrated its first anniversary. Eric and Dee were asked to organize that celebration which included the meal and the decorations. It was a lot of work but the celebration and dinner were great blessings.
We had a extra special blessing however, our two granddaughters, Abby & Emmy were baptized after the the celebration.
Upon returning to Mexico from our visit in Buffalo, Eric had to re-pack at the airport to continue traveling on to Dallas as Dee caught a bus back to Queretaro. Eric participated at the Excel Discovery Center at the TCAL church on the southside of Dallas. The Discovery Center is an assessment and teaching time for potential new church planters. Joseph Klein and Holly Alvarado were part of the IMPACTO group that was invited to observe and participate in the assessment of several couples looking at Church Planting ministries. After traveling about two weeks, Eric was happy to get home.
On Sunday, June 9, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We went out to eat with Holly, Sergio and the kids for a special meal after church. This was a simple celebration but a more extensive one will be coming in October. We are taking a Cruise from Athens, through several islands, Crete and Patmos and will also visit the ruins of Ephesus (Turkey). This cruise is called the "Cities of Paul" and will have teaching times lead by David Faust, associate minister at E91 Church of Indianapolis. We are going with long-time friends Marvin and Donna Hitchcock. It should be a great 10 days!
During the last week of June we had a group of youth from the Commiunity Christian Church of White March, Maryland (Baltimore area). Twenty-four youth and sponsors were quite a project for the team to host in conjunction with the La Viña church. The Community church is one of 5 U.S. congregations that are partners with the La Viña church here in Queretaro. Joy and Hector Rodriquez took the lead with this group as the missionaries that work closely with La Viña. They did a wonderful job! As you could imagin, we were very blessed by this group but also very relieved that they all left with no major injuries or major crisis.
-July 4-8 We will visiting with long-time friends Juanita & Jorge Del Angel in Albuquerque. Juanita and Jorge were our colleagues who ministered with us in the Jubilee Church in Pachuca. They just recently accepted an invitation to help at a Spanish speaking congregation in Albuquerque for three years.
-On July 8 to 11 we will be visiting with a New International family in Wichata and exploring how their vision and ministry fits into our Region. We return to Mexico on July 12.
-On Sunday, July 14 Eric will be preaching at La Viña and then later that week, we will be leading an IMPACTOLatino Team Retreat as the Regional Directors.
-The Weeks of August 20-23 and August 27-30 Eric will be teaching the classes of the Residency Program at the IMPACTOnetwork.
-Beginning August 31 we will leave for our Fundraising trips during the months of September and October. We will be visiting with potential partners for the new churches and hope to talk with new potential missionaries.
- September 1-5 New International Offices in Fort Myers
- September 6-8 / Daytona Beach, Eric will be preaching at the Hispanic Service of a church in Daytona Breach.
- September 8-10 Visiting with a Pastor in the Orlando area. Also, we will visit Disney one day.
- September 12-16 / Atlanta area, we hope to visit several churches but will be reporting to the McDonough Christian Church, a major supporting congregation.
- September 17-19 / Johnson University, Knoxville, TN
- September 20-23 / Johnson City, TN area.
- September 24-25 /Lexington with the Tates Creek Christian Church.
- September 26 Louisville to visit with the Mission Area of the SouthEast Christian Church
- September 27-30 / INDY.
- October 1-4 /Chula Vista for the Southern California Regional Exponential Church Planting Conference
- October 4-7 / Los Angeles to visit with a New International affilate family.
- October 8-11 / Orland for the Spire Conference (formally the NACC).
- October 11-16 / INDY.
- October 17-28 / Anniversary Cruise
- October 31 / Return to Mexico
-November 16-25 the Mountain Christian Church Gobal Conference (Maryland). This is a conference that is held once every three years and they ask all of there missionaries to attend.
-December 11-14 we will be participating at the Evaluation and Planning Retreat for La Viña Church.