Archive for July, 2011

2011 SUMMER YOUTH CAMP REVIEW

Posted in Mission Updates 2011 on July 19, 2011 by filerofish

These past two weeks were very intense for our camp team as we made preparations and purchased all of the necessities. My wife took care of the menu, kitchen, housing arrangements, and the negotiations with the camp owners. She is very good with that. She also helped in anything else that required here assistance. Miriam is a warrior for the Lord and I couldn’t have done it without her.

I was the general director of the camp, but my job was made a whole lot easier because of the quality teamwork that we had. I also taught several classes on Biblical discernment and basic doctrine.

My son Naphtali was the main coordinator for the camp and wore several hats at one time. He taught the beginner’s class for the seekers and new Christians, supervised all of the team events, and helped with transportation and logistics. He has been such a tremendous help that I cannot begin to thank the Lord enough for having given me a hard-working son. Santiago also took part in as many activities as he could, but he had to come in to town a couple of times to tend to school business. He will be attending the State University this August. Naphtali will be entering the Master’s program in one of the main research institutions in the area. Please pray for them both.

We had an excellent team working in the kitchen this year, in spite of a last minute change in personnel. Sister Carmen could not be with us for most of the week because of work schedules, but Celia and her son Victor stepped in as replacements and proved to be a tremendous help. Lolita, Hernan, Teresa, Ruth, Miriam, and even I contributed to the cooking department. It was a lot of fun. This was the first time ever for freshly backed homemade apple pies with a side of ice-scream. How does that sound? The kids were blown away by this surprise.

Brother Esau and his family helped with the sports activities and with the teams. They planned their vacation time especially for the week of camp, as did our evangelist Aldo Dominguez. Aldo did an excellent job with the preaching every evening, and we enjoyed fellowship with both he and his lovely wife. Brother Ruben was there a couple of times to give us moral support, which was a blessing.

When asked what they had thought about their camp experience, several of the youth gave us glowing reviews. That’s always nice to know, and it gives us something to go by. It was especially appreciated as the churches in Tijuana decided to be absent from the official camp this year and will be holding a camp of their own in El Condor near La Rumorosa.

Just like in the States, summer youth camp has become a real bone of contention over the last two decades. This was the first time that we have hosted the official regional camp in nearly 25 years. The issues are many and far too complex to list hear. So we were pleased to know that at least the three churches that were present had a very enjoyable week.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2011 by filerofish

BROKE – BROKEN – BREAKING

Posted in Mission Updates 2011 on July 5, 2011 by filerofish

During my regular visit to the health clinic where I am getting treatment for my high cholesterol, the nurses commented on how “tired” I look, in spite of the progress made in other areas. I must admit that these past 6 to 7 years have been interesting to say the least. I cannot even begin to recount the many ways in which God has brought us through all the trials and pain. These eyes of mine have seen so much during my life span. This has been an intense period of personal growth like never before, as the Lord continues to work in and through us for the glory and honor of his Son Jesus Christ. It has also been overwhelming to the point of brokenness

Those of you who have been in life-long full-time ministry possibly know a little of what I am talking about. Now take that situation and compound it with the myriad of additional variables of working on a foreign field and you may begin to get the idea. Now the time has come for yet another huge step of faith that dwarfs anything that has been done before. In spite of being virtually broke, broken, and breaking, we must continue pressing forward to finish the divine commission that the Lord has given us. It wont get any easier for sure, as the evil and the hardness of the human heart continues to grow in this crazy world that we live in. Yet we must do what the Lord has commanded us to do, no matter what obstacles happen to come our way, and believe me there are many. Just surviving from one day to the next occupies most of my time these days.

These last 2 years have been spent on several attempts to restore the New Testament plea among the sister churches in the region. A couple of colleagues and I worked long and hard on producing a proposal for a minimum of doctrinal consensus among the preachers, a proposal that was rejected by a majority vote a year ago. This lack of a common bond of faith and practice has made it difficult to build a stronger united front that might allow for expansion and growth. In the words of Ruben Rendon, the present chairman of the the ministers’ meeting: “we need to have some form of doctrinal identity” From this statement, you can deduce that such and identity is likely missing at this time. This present leadership has strayed far away from the original vision and plea of the pioneers of the Lord’s work in northwestern Mexico. Will we ever be able to restore and rescue it before it is too late for existing congregations? Only the Lord knows the future, but I doubt very much that such a restoration can occur under the present leadership, unless some real heart-searching takes place first.

This last thought brings me to my next point. What needs to happen in order to turn the tide of growing deviation in our brotherhood in Mexico? First of all, our churches must find an identity of their own which is not founded on their association with their American counterparts, but rather on their own spiritual journey based on the discovery of central Biblical teachings and truths. This also suggests that an intense period of teaching and training needs to be set in motion in order to prepare the next generation for the task at hand. This will need to become our major focus in the months and years to come, if the Lord tarries much longer. Who will devote themselves to this task?

I pray to God for a miracle that will allow us to at least contribute to that phase of the work. At the same time we must not neglect the work of evangelism that continues every day of our lives. Maybe you have been called of God to be a part of this miracle and to bring healing to our lives so that we might continue moving forward in the Lords will for our lives. If so, please give your comments here.

Love,

Philip Watkinson