Since arriving in Mexico last August, we’ve been amazed as we’ve watched God at work! What an honour to be His hands and feet! We arrived unsure of exactly what our role would look like. Yet now, as we reflect back, we recognise very clearly that God was shaping both us and our ministry during our year studying Spanish in Costa Rica. He gave us a real burden for pastoral care – particularly for those in leadership. We’re passionate about supporting, listening to, encouraging, and most importantly praying with those who have been called by God to serve in full time ministry.
Jonny’s primary role in Mexico is to provide pastoral care to the OMS staff, both missionaries and nationals, as well as to the pastors and church planters. He meets with them on a regular basis, getting to know them, their ministry, their family, their challenges and prayer needs. This is something we both know God has called us here to do, and it excites us to see God at work in the lives of these individuals. Whilst the task is a big one, and often something we feel too small for, God reminds us again and again that it is HIS plan, HIS way, and HIS work. We feel honoured that He chooses to use us!
Gemma’s main responsibility, and most important role, is being mummy to Matthew, age 7 and Susie, age 3, but also loves to be involved alongside Jonny, providing pastoral care to the female staff and couples. It’s been exciting, too, for her to see the pastors wives come together and begin to meet as a group in order to support each other better. This area of ministry is very special to us and is a small step towards the ultimate goal of developing a ‘member care’ team here, made up of Mexican nationals. Our prayer is that God would place the same burden of caring for others on the hearts of those He desires to be serving in this way.
We are also involved in providing English classes, and one-to-one mentoring and discipleship. These two ministries allow us to build up relationships with people and share God’s message of hope and forgiveness. With each individual it is a journey, and one that we feel extremely privileged to be on. We also serve in communicating with short term visitors who come to help in Mexico. Gemma is field hostess, and Jonny is involved in the preparation of teams and individuals before they arrive on the field. We enjoy sharing our own experiences with those coming on short term teams. For us, that’s where our journey to Mexico began 13 years ago!
During our first visit to Mexico in 2001, we served as part of a team in a church called La Loma. It’s a very deprived area where there’s a lot of need. What an exciting opportunity it is now to be here, as part of the La Loma church family each Sunday! The church has steadily grown over the 13 years and is now a place full of enthusiasm and worship of our faithful God. We are part of the Sunday School teaching team there and look forward to seeing what God has for this church family in the future.
Please pray for us in the coming weeks as we spend time in both England and Northern Ireland. We’re excited to visit our sending church – Lister Hill Baptist Church in Leeds, after two years away! We’ll be sharing with our church family there, as well as in Whitby and Northern Ireland. Relating some of the stories of what God is doing in Mexico, as well as some of the plans for the months and years ahead, is something that we’re really looking forward to.