Ewing First Baptist Church recently sent a mission team to Lerdo, Mexico. Randy Rayl organized the 25-member team and worked with Ed and Starlene Williamson (missionaries in Mexico for 31 years). The team constructed a 22 x 50 cement block church in 5 days. The lot was purchased on Friday and cleared for construction to begin on Monday. As the team began trying to chip thru the rock to lay a foundation a man came by and offered his backhoe. Pastor Juan Manwell was thrilled to have the church walls and floor completed in such a short time. A crew had been paid to finish the roof the following week. It was definitely a God-sized project!
Charlotte Parrish, Sandra Bradshaw, Danny Mittelberg, Dennis Owens, Josh Mittelberg, Acie Sparrow and Merritt Lomax worked in children’s church. Starlene was our interpreter. We met 2 hours twice a day all week and started with 8 children and ended with 150! Many of our church family helped furnish supplies for the trip but also community people helped. Willa Roe made 500 cloth squares for "prayer rocks" and over 400 gift bags which we filled with crayons, color pages, pencils, toys and witnessing tools. Billie Miller, and Brenda Vaughn also helped with these. Sandra made paper doves (to share the Trinity), wordless necklaces and booklets, etc. Logan Garrett donated over 1400 candy canes to share the life of Jesus. Mark Baron translated tracts for us to share the Good News. New Life Industries donated over 500 hats and t-shirts to give out. We shared these with various churches, a church came and the children!
Nanna Anna (Charlotte) and Faith (Sandra) clowned for the two Friday sessions thru illusions, balloons to share the Armor of God, "Senor Rat ton" (rubber rat) told the story of Peter in prison, animal balloons for Noah’s ark and we sacrificed our "puppets" on the alter of Baal-story of Ahab and Elijah. The children gathered rocks for the alters and assisted in acting out the story.
A police woman asked us to visit and pray for two elderly men who basically lived outdoors in a very small shack outside of town. They had two chairs, one single bed that completely filled their "home" and an outdoor kitchen with a "cement block" fireplace to cook on and a 5-gallon water jug the police woman kept supplied. We took prayers, clothing, food and love offering for the pastor to see that their needs were met for a long time.
The highlight of our children’s ministry was "Jose," a l2-year old boy. He came to every service and lived next door to the present church. He was a leader and tried to be tough. He tried to distract the other children. Everyday we would hand out the wordless necklace to share how to become a Christian. Each day he added the beads from the day before to his necklace. It surrounded his neck by the last day. The first day when we prayed with the children, Jose refused to participate. He often walked around during the story or climbed to the top of the basketball hoop. But, when a question was asked about the story or skit, he knew the answer! He was listening! The second day he seemed to be praying during prayer time and the third day it appeared he chose to become a Christian as he lay face down on the cement basketball court and prayed out loud! Praise God! !
Ewing hopes to continue to send teams into Mexico each spring. This was the third or fourth trip for some of the team. We have sent other short-term missionaries to Honduras, Nicaragua, Romania, San Salvador, Germany as well as Karyn Reichert to Israel and currently in Africa and many USA trips.