“Who are you? I have never heard teaching like that. Why are we not doing this in all the state?”
In April a new class began with 580 cadets. Isaiah and Pedro were invited once again to teach Bible for one hour every Saturday of the six months these cadets will be in training. Two weeks later the class dropped to 380, a normal weeding-out process. Three weeks into the training, Isaiah decided it was time to share the plan of salvation. 180 cadets responded! Wow! Next we needed Bibles. We called a dear friend on the East Coast who helps us get Bibles. We asked if he could help us get 200 Bibles for the cadets. By the end of the week, he had ordered and sent us 1116 Bible
The situation is consistently changing, and we try to be flexible to be used in whatever way the Lord leads. We want to see not the “problem or crisis” but the opportunity. At first, we were feeding them at the shelters and giving a short teaching and asking for prayer requests. We would fill up at least 5 to 6 pages of requests. The situation has changed again and many agencies are filling the need of food. We also adjusted and realized the children are waiting with their parents, in a shelter, not able to go out and play, go to school, or church. So we bring it to them. At two shelters our men teach a bible lesson, memory verse, sing songs with actions, color, pray, and give a snack. We find many times the moms and dads participate. To them it is church!
In June it will be one year that we have been going to the state police station in Juarez doing devotions, praying for them and counseling them. A few weeks back, Javier went to the station to check on how to import a car his brother from Tucson wants to give him. When he arrived, they grabbed him and said, “Oh good you’re here.” They were having a meeting of the top municipal police, state police, federal police, military, national guard, and special forces. He thought, Nolan always says to be ready so here I go. He taught on unity, not knowing the meeting was about that very subject. Afterwards, off to the side, a General waited to speak to him. He said, “Who are you? I have never heard teaching like that. Why are we not doing this in all the state?” Javier told him what we do in all the stations and have been doing over the years. The next week when he went to teach, he saw someone come out of an office and video his teaching. Then a week later a drone was sent out to video what he was teaching. We don’t know the plan for these videos, but God does. Nolan tells the men, be consistent, obedient to God’s calling and word, and He will open the doors!
It is never easy to see our students graduate and move on, but as Nolan says, “We are Servant Senders, not servant keepers.” Lorenzo and Victor graduated in February and continue in ministry. Lorenzo with the soldiers and National Guard and Victor at the academy when possible. Both have secured local jobs.
Hard Work, Loving Hearts
We like to come alongside other ministries and encourage the leadership, who often have no one to pour into them. One such couple, Miguel and Viri, in their late 30s, are the directors of “Casa Hogar de Esperanza” (House of Hope). They take in the elderly that no one wants. Families drop them off and some never come back to visit them at the home very far southwest of Juarez. It is a nice facility and right now houses about 20 men and 5 women. However, their main support source was Miguel’s grandparents’ pension. They passed away a few months ago. His parents started the home but are in their 70s; both have had Covid and not fully recovered and are unable to help. They have someone who pays the electric bill, and the city supplies the water to a cistern since there is no other water source in the area. The government supplies rice, beans, oil, flour … the basics. They have 4 local workers, when they can pay them $50 per week. This week when I went to see Viri and let her pour out her heart. She said, “I just wake up sad and I don’t know why.” (Stress!) Then she said that they had enough to pay the workers this week, but not next. Our men go at times to help clean, but most of the time there are no cleaning supplies. Viri and Miguel have three teenagers who help and sacrifice a lot. Schools are still closed so school is online with a cell phone if you have one. When they can’t afford workers, the kids take up the slack. Can you imagine how much laundry alone needs to be done daily from accidents to clothing, bedding, food spills and such. This couple humbly go about their work as they have done for most of their married life, trusting the Lord to provide. Please lift them up in your prayers! If the Lord leads you to bless them contact us, we’ll pass it on.
What a blessing for our men when men or women come to equip our men in their ministries. One of those teams has been faithful year after year to come and work on our men’s cars and teach them how. It is a challenge as most of the vehicles are ones we consider ready for the Junk Yard! Ha-ha! Thanks Jacob, Brady, Jack and others from Calvary Worship Center in Colorado Springs.
New to Us Blessing!
Friends that are like family are always a blessing. That is how we feel about Connie and Kevin. We walked through the most challenging time of our lives’ together, and now have a son, ours, and daughter, hers in heaven waiting for us. Recently Connie was blessed with a new car from her hubby. For years she had a beautiful suburban that was like new. She decided the next home her baby would go to was ours. Not only that but she reached out to friends to fill it with needed items for Mexico. We are so grateful. Trust me, it will get much use for the Glory of God!
It is so very important to pour into marriages in this day and age. It is the hardest job we will have and the one we are least trained to do. It requires selflessness, patience, good listening skills, communication, forgiveness, and many other things, along with the most important – to have Jesus Christ as the foundation. We are so grateful to pastors, teachers and leaders who have come to pour into our pastors’ marriages so they in turn have skills to use while counseling the police, firemen, soldiers, those in rehabs, church members and neighbors. Thanks to dear friends Neil and Robin for coming and teaching “3 2 1 1,” a tool used in communication and care of one another.
Your support of Servant Senders has made these following ministries possible:
- 6 police stations w/ over 2500 police, 3 times a week, 2 times a day-devotion, pray, & counsel.
- Police academy every Saturday w/ class of 380 cadets. One hour of bible weekly for 6 months.
- Every week a pastor goes to the State police to teach, do devotions, pray for and counsel.
- A pastor is assigned to each of 9 fire stations at least once a week to do a devotion and pray.
- A pastor goes to a new military outpost to share and pray with soldiers on Sundays and goes on Wednesdays along the border to the National Guard assigned to protect the border.
- Pastors go to 5 rehab centers to teach the word of God. Their hope is to start a U-turn in Juarez.
- Most of our men have kids feeding programs called “Feed My Sheep” where they teach the word, memorize verses, play games, do crafts, serve food, and help with school work. These programs are sponsorship programs to help keep kids in school.
- A pastor goes weekly to the local jails and give a message and brings food.
- We have 8 churches, 3 house churches, 5 home cell groups, 9 kids clubs-sponsorship, and feeding programs.
- We are working in 3 migrant shelters and with your generous donations we have been feeding 50 + families weekly who have been without work due to covid and restrictions.
- A precious couple passed away from Covid days apart and left a lot of teaching material that was donated to us to be used.
- Prayer for the migrants and our ministries with them.
- Needed — funds for a car for pastor Temo. He and his wife were hit by a drunk driver. The guy must have been connected to the cartel, as he got off and didn’t pay a cent.
- Needed – pkg of children’s socks and underwear, school supplies, food funds.
- Blessings– Pastor Chez and Laura got a nice metal gate closing in their ministry area to be safe for the kids who come. The area has a lot of cartel influence and gun activity.
- Blessing – Marie enjoyed having the Ruidoso C C ladies come down, take her to lunch and bless her with gift cards. A few months later, Nolan got the same blessing from the men of C C Ruidoso. Feeing loved and cared for!
- Blessing—Nolan & Marie enjoyed a week vacation with their son Curtis’s family
The minute they arrive the kids run to them and cry out, “Pastor, you’re here, you love us, don’t you pastor?”
As we walk through this trial living out James 1 we would like to share some of our prayer request and some of the “count it all Joy” parts of this time.
We continue to have our Tuesday class with the men to hear their testimonies, struggles, ministry opportunities, humbleness and most importantly their hearts. We Christians are the “Front Line” in this battle. We need to be on our knees praying for one another, our pastors, the first responders, doctors, nurses, clean up crews, burial personnel, grocery workers, truck drivers, basically all that are keeping us fed, cared for, and standing in the gap. We need to be praying for our leaders, our Mayors, our President all those in authority that are having to make decisions that effect our lives and future.
Crossing into Mexico, is different at 7:15 am than after 8am. In the early hours the line is short. After 8am it is very long. It is funneled down to one lane and only two out of 10 gates are open. Once through the gates it is again funneled to one lane. Mexican medical care personnel check you. They ask how you are feeling, any cough, fever, etc. Then they point a Temperature Gun Digital Infrared thermometer at your head. Then ask where you are going and what you plan to do. Some are turned back. On Thursday I went to deliver donated food and had to wait 2 hours in line to go into Mexico. Returns to the U.S. have two checkpoints in place, but as long as we have our ID and are U.S. citizens, no problem. The border is not closed, just restricted and no one without U.S. citizenship is allowed in. No persons with visas are allowed, however Commercial trucks are still crossing. No migrants are being taken across the border and the offices are closed. We still have men at the bridge to pray with and feed the returned migrants who have been deported or returned. We are happy to have found some shoelaces and twine we can give them for their shoes so they are not targets to the cartel and harassment from the police. The human services office in Juarez, is not helping with return bus tickets at this time. It has become a sad problem. The migrants are the bottom of the barrel and those landing in the city are not finding shelter in the city. If someone leaves the shelter for an appointment and tries to return the next day they are not allowed in, due to the concern of them bringing in the Covid-19.
Locally it is hard. The culture does not have credit cards or government money to help them get through the crisis. Most live day to day and don’t have a stockpile of food. Those that had jobs in El Paso cannot cross. Schools are closed, churches are closed, factories are closed or have skeleton crews and stores are limited with the amount of people allowed inside and the supplies they carry. (Much like the U.S.)
One more of the African migrants was release this past Thursday from detention and is staying with us for a couple of weeks since her family is in Tacoma, WA and it is still bad in that area. Her name is Ivy. That leaves three more out of the 17 we began with still in detention to pray for and write to and encourage. Sylvester, Celestine, & Melese.
Our men reported this past week: April 14th, 2020
Isaias: The recent class of cadets graduated and now they are having short training classes for other law enforcement until the next class in May begins, they hope.
He is ministering to a shelter with over 40 Cuban refugees, preaching once a week to them about hope in Christ. He also has a neighbor, Tachito, with one leg, on crutches with 2 adult Down syndrome kids. He has a small house church and is still preaching the hope in Jesus. His wife worked in El Paso and can’t cross. When asked how they are surviving, he said the Lord sends people to visit and they always bring food. We were the visitors who brought them Chicken Alfedo, rice and beans thanks to our generous friends who have an event center in El Paso that is closed right now, but they want to serve the Lord and are sending large amounts of food to the shelters and to us to deliver to those in need.
Churches: Are not having traditional services, instead some set the speakers outside, preach from the doorway or gate way and the people come outside to list to the worship or message. Also the pastors are going patio-to-patio and spending time with the families instead of just the kids. The parents want to know what the bible says about all of this. The pastors pray with them and then give them a paper with verses, a message and homework to have done for the next week to discuss. The kids and parents love this. No they don’t go inside this is done on the patio and respecting the distance limits.
Pepe: Is not allowed in the Federal prison at this time and asks for prayer for the inmates and guards. It is a tense situation when they cannot have any visitors, or messages to encourage them.
He is still allowed at the Federal Police station and they are glad he comes. They say we cannot make it to church, you bring God to us!
They are not so concerned about the virus as they have other serious situations. One is the dam in Chihuahua does not have enough water for the crops and that creates conflict with the civilians and the Federal police who have to guard the dam from break-ins. Also the shooting and Cartel violence is up. Please pray for Pepe and his wife, Vero, who goes along with him on Thursdays to minister. This week the time changed from daytime hours to 8pm. The police station is south outside of town and it takes him an hour to get there from his house. It is not always safe to be out at night in Juarez.
Julio: reports that some of the police have shown virus symptoms and are isolated in their homes for now. The police are afraid. They are in the public, and most don’t have gloves, masks, or germ-X.
Violence is up and a few police have been attacked and some have been shot, which puts everyone on edge. In his ministry to the Tarahumara he needs prayer as they changed governors and the new one doesn’t really care about the people only the title. He has seen new people around, using drugs, dealing drugs, and preying on the children. The old governor protected the people. He is praying for an open door to go to the official meetings of the community. He continues to go visit the kids and the youth. He and his wife Norma decided they would visit, but keep their distance. Ha,ha, the minute they arrive the kids run to them and cry out, “pastor, you’re here, you love us, don’t you pastor,” while grabbing his legs and hugging him and her. They bring cookies, juice and hope.
Efrain: He stands in the street praying in front of the rehab he is not allowed to enter with 60 guys in one small room on lockdown. No one leaves or enters. He is still going there, praying for them, and hopes to get set up on video to preach to them to give them hope. They know he comes. His other rehab said to come at his own risk, he is.
Samuel: This sweet pastor and his wife, Ludy, in their mid 50’s we told you about in our last update continue to open their home to migrants who are abused or on the street. He currently has 14. A few of them single moms with kids who were staying in a catholic shelter. But one of them said she didn’t believe as the Catholic Church and said something against them. They locked her and her children in a shed with a padlock outside. She finally escaped and ran. She met someone who gave her Samuel’s number and she told a few others under the same persecution, and they joined her. We are covering his water, electric and helping supply what food we can get. His wife’s family needs prayer as her brother Lalo went into a diabetic coma and when he was taken to the hospital it was discovered that he has the Covid-19. He has been in the coma since Thursday almost a week. He was with his mother two days before. She is in her 80’s and just recovering from cancer, so the family is a bit nervous for her.
Temo: His dad showed up from his small village south in Mexico. He rode with a friend to Juarez for a few days. He had accepted Christ this past summer when his daughter went home and did a V.B.S. and presented the gospel. He is growing in leaps and bounds and has a group of family and neighbors who are wanting to hear the word of God so he was asking about a pastor to go lead them. He also wanted a large print bible. We prayed about it and got him a large print bible, and three of our teaching manuals with an overview of our lessons and sent him back to learn and teach with Temo’s help over the phone.
Victor: Continues at the academy with Isaias and ministering in his police station. He says the police are glad they are there and those who in the past did not listen, now do. Even the commanders that used to walk away, now stay and thank him when he is done for the message. His wife, Lucy’s family, needs prayer. Her brother Noe, is an uber driver. He had a call and went to pick up his clients. They kidnapped him, tied him up, and used his car to kill someone. They returned with his car all shot up, untied him and let him go, with his car. He was afraid he was followed so he went to a store instead of home, called the police and his dad. The police came and arrested him for being an accomplice. He finally was set free, has accepted the Lord and his family is greatly relieved. About seven years ago two of his brothers were killed at a party, when cartel entered in and randomly shot the teens that were there. Victor was suppose to go, but had just broke up with his girlfriend and didn’t feel like a party.