TAPALHUACA, EL SALVADOR
2023 has flown by and probably passed us twice if life was a race. We live in a time where the world is worried about sickness, violence and finances, just to list a few. As Christians, though, we don’t ever have to worry about any of these things. King Jesus has got our back and is taking care of all the details! But as humans we still worry and fear sometimes, and God in His loving way is using all these circumstances and conditions around us as catalysts for our faith, trust, obedience and reliance on Him to grow stronger.
Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you. For us as a ministry, the events of this year have been very fast paced & unexpected in a good way!
We have been working on our new base, visiting pastors and churches in different countries, all the
while completing the mundane office work involved in ministry. God has used the last few years to catapult us into this new place. And honestly, though painful & stretching, it has totally been worth it! The happiest place we will ever be is in the center of God’s will for our lives, anything else will be plain, simple and lacking. As His creation, God has made our every detail for a His purposes. We have been made for God’s heavenly purposes, not earthly ones.
Isaiah 49:1 (ESV)
Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my
This season of thanks giving makes us look back on 2023 and see God’s love and faithfulness written all over it! Where would any of us be without Jesus Christ to hold us up, take our hand & maintain us on course?!
Philippians 2:12-13 (NASB)
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to
work for His good pleasure.
We are also so thankful for you and for all the ways you have followed God’s leading to support this ministry over the years. We are a team God has put together, and we are one spiritual family, the body of Christ! We pray that Jesus continues to bless and protect you, your family and all that He has entrusted into your care.
We have compiled below a summary of some of the things God has done in 2023, to mark them so we won’t forget and can share them with the next generations (Joshua 4:20-24). We hope you will find encouragement in His faithfulness.
LOLA IN JIQUILISCO, EL SALVADOR
January: Several members of our OneLife team visited El Salvador, and God encourage both the team and the leadership of the newest church plant in Tapalhuaca. This great endeavor is in a precious village perched up in the mountains near the coast. This location was selected by the pastors and leaders of El Salvador to become the first OneLife base project in El Salvador.
February: The Lord provided a new facility in Arkansas out of which to operate our ministry. The facility is about 12,000 ft2 with the original church structure being 120 years old. We hit the ground running, started fixing it immediately and have not stopped since! Little by little, throughout this year, we have been repairing this base that God has given us, and we are so grateful for it!
March – May: We had a OneLife intake starting here in Arkansas. The students later traveled within the United States and finally went to work in Spain for a month. While there, they experienced foreign missions firsthand, and language and cultural barriers were definitely stretched. During the intake the team had to learn how to participate in new ways and places, and witnessed God working in many different environments.
June: We encouraged the church in El Salvador and helped get them more involved in international ministry. Partnering with FGEA, Rick along with pastors from El Salvador participated in the 2nd annual Costa Rican FGEA National Convention. They ministered, received, fellowshipped and saw the Costa Rican Association of churches gain new Clarity of vision and purpose.
RICK IN COSTA RICA
July: Rick and several pastors traveled to Tijuana, Mexico for our 2023 Mexican FGEA National Convention. It was a wonderful time of ministry and encouragement with the altars filled in many services. We see God activating a missionary vision in Mexico that is transforming them from being a mission field to becoming missionaries.
August – September: We focused in on continuing to repair the new building in Arkansas and set up our IHNM and OneLife Bases. Like previously mentioned parts of this facility are up to 120 years old which means a lot of dust and other things have been collecting.
During this same time frame, our central church branch in San Marcos, El Salvador had grown to 28 people faithfully participating in their Bible School due to God faithfully bringing in new families. And they had their annual youth retreat where 19 were baptized!
October: God allowed us to be part of a campaign in Mexico with Evangelist Dale Everett. During the four-night event God moved mightily and Rick, John and several other pastors, who participated with them, saw hundreds saved and around 1,000 people baptized in the Holy Spirit! They also witnessed many miracles including: a woman walk after 4 years in a wheelchair and a translator receive his hearing back in a previously deaf ear.
In our church branch in Tapalhuaca, El Salvador great things were also going on! They began meeting in March of this year under the trees on their property as they built a roof for their meeting place. By October they finished the roof and had electricity. They were in the process of installing drinking water, with the construction of bathrooms as their next project to tackle.
November: In our Jiquilisco, El Salvador church God continues to move through Pastors Chuz and Lola and their congregation, and they are continuing to focus on making disciples in an extremely hot place, with many harsh conditions on a physical and spiritual level. Many of you have witnessed firsthand some of the hardships when you have visited on mission’s trips. God is strengthening Chuz and Lola and the team as they stand in the gap for the people of Jiquilisco.
And in our church branch in Tapalhuaca, El Salvador they are getting together final details to start construction on the bathrooms!