Greetings in Christ.
It's been a very strange few weeks.
As we watched the news we saw our home country move toward major attempts to decrease the spread of Covid-19 but our adopted home seemed to be ignoring the implications. Finally, in mid-march several of the State Governments in Mexico began to take steps such as closing schools and limiting crowds to 50 people. Though most restaurants and taco places remained open. After a week or so the State Government here in Queretaro dropped down to limits of 10 people and finally began closing most gathering places. At the federal level there was little movement and what was especially worrying was that major events continued in Mexico City, one of the most densely populated places on earth. That has now changed but there are concerns that Mexico will face some difficult days ahead.
The affect on the La Viña Church has been profound. With the orders of no groups of 50 the church leadership moved to an on-line format for the Sunday Celebration. There was still a hope that the small groups might continue, however, it quickly became evident that they too would need to move to on-line. These transitions were eased somewhat by the expertise that IMPACTOLatino has in producing on-line materials and much of the production can be done at the Network offices and studio. The small Group leaders are trying to keep connected with their groups through phone, text and even the group meetings continuing through Zoom or other apps . We continue to coach church planters and participate on the Administrative Teams for La Viña Church and the Anchor Church by Zoom meetings.
Church on-line at La Viña Christian Church in Queretaro, Mexico. First Sunday was on March 22. Special services will be on the
Church's Facebook site for Holy Week on Thursday, Friday and Easter Sunday.
The newest church, the Anchor Church was to launch at the end of May. They are especially struggling with all the restrictions. Since they were just beginning to work with some small groups in their area. These were new contacts and the groups had not yet "gelled.: We ask for your prayers for this new work to find creative ways to serve during this difficult time.
We have been staying home as much as possible and Holly has encouraged us to be careful since we are in the higher risk demographics. She and Sergio have even done some of the shopping for us. We also have a small market that will deliver. We did make a trip to Pachuca to arrange the final payment for the sale of the house and sign the final paperwork. This was about a month early, but I think everyone wanted to get it finished with all the uncertainty. As we left Pachuca we went by one of the plazas and it was filled with tents that were set up as a field hospital to prepare for what is coming. That was sobering.
Many are very concerned that the medical system in Mexico will quickly become overwhelmed and it seems that the spread of the virus is about three to four weeks behind what has been happening in the United States. The U.S. Ambassador encouraged all U.S. Citizens to leave Mexico saying something like, "If you get sick, where would you prefer to be in the hospital." A bit strong but it does indicate that there are significant concerns for Mexico. We therefore, have moved our leaving date to April 6. Our responsibilities with both IMPACTOLatino and New International will be done from a home base in Indiana until October.
We have mixed feelings about leaving our family and team here in Mexico but we do feel that is the best decision at this point. We will be staying with some long-time friends and supporters north of Indy until we are able to finalize our housing arrangements on the Southside of Indy.
New International activated its Global Crisis Response Team as the virus has progressed across the globe. As Regional Directors of the Americas and Caribbean we are presently involved in doing a risk assessment for each of the affiliate families in our region. We will then be working with those affiliate on contingency plans in the following weeks and will be in contact with our families by phone at least every other week over the next few months.
We express our gratitude to our partners for your prayers and the faithful support!
When we heard that 10 million lost jobs in the United States, we were shocked. Our son, Andrew, was one of those so we are prayerful, asking the Lord keep supplying the needs of individuals and ministries around the world.
The financial situation is stretching our creativity as we find temporary ways to bridge this time of so much uncertainty. The owner of the Sport Club where the La Viña Church rents space is a Christian gentleman and has said that he will not charge for the month of April. Our IMPACTOLatino staff has been working on ways that funds that can be moved around to cover some immediate needs as the La Viña Church has lost a significant donor.
BE PRAYING FOR:
1. We would ask you to pray for Andrew. He is in Minneapolis helping with a Church Plant and was working there to supply his needs. He is one of those that have lost his job. He is looking at options and also got word that the former job may be calling him back but nothing was yet sure.
2. Ask for you prayers as we travel on Monday, April 6. We have our anti-bacterial gel and masks ready to use and praying there will not be any disruptions.
Eric & Dee Duggins
The Duggins have been missionaries for more than 35 years, the last 32 in Mexico. They are currently Regional Director of the Americas with NMSI and Directors of Development with IMPACTO Latino.
God is calling! How will you respond?
for this ministry and the new church planters that are raised up for kingdom work in Latin America.
Our ministry depends on partnership with churches and individuals in the United States and around the world. We regularly ask for prayer and send prayer updates to hundreds of committed prayer partners.
in a new church plant financially.
Every dollar counts in the effort to reach the people of Latin America for Christ.
Please consider partnering with us to be an important part of reaching the people of Mexico for Christ by planting MULTIPLYING churches.
along side us on the field by doing an internship, organizing a work group from your church, providing your professional skills or even by moving to Mexico or any other Latin American country to serve as one of our missionaries.