Monday, October 8, 2018

Super September

"Then the disciples cam and said to him, 'why do you speak to them in parables?' And he answered them, 'To you it has been give to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given."
Matthew 13:10-11

This month we started up all the ministries at church again after summer break. Tuesdays we have a club for kids called "Agents of Christ". Every Tuesday afternoon the kids come to church for a time of games, crafts, songs, lessons and snacks. We are learning all about eight of the parables Jesus told and are applying them to our lives. God has blown all expectations out of the water in this ministry, we have tons of helpers and more than 20 kids each week. 


 Saturday evenings we started a youth group. There are about 8-10 youth each week. We play games, do ice breakers, sing praise songs, study God's word and have snacks. We are also practicing the "Everything" skit to present at the upcoming church anniversary. Please pray that this group would grow in number and the students would grow in their faith. 


Friday nights we started back up the Women's bible study. About 15-20 women from church and the community come each week for this time of encouragement and accountability. This is one of my favorite parts of the week. Many of the new women are moms of the kids we are reaching in the kids' club. 

Three days a week a few of us are visiting the families of the kids that came to Vacation Bible School this summer. Two new families are attending church weekly and doing bible studies with church leaders in their homes. God is at work here in La Mision!! 

September is patriotic month here in Mexico. The 15-16 they celebrate their freedom from Spain. We were invited to a celebration at a sister church in Puerto Vallarta. It was a fun night of celebration with food, music, games and a message to remind us that our freedom as believers comes from Christ. 

 At the end of September Rebecca and I took a trip to Central America. I needed to leave Mexico and reenter for visa reasons so we took advantage and visited Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. The highlight of my trip was seeing my good friend from many years ago, Crystal and her husband Gerson, in Guatemala. We shared many laughs and stories of ministry and life. It was encouraging to see them and hear about their plans for serving God in Guatemala. 

Thank you for your prayers! Please keep these ministries in your prayers. God is good and we see Him at work in so many lives here in Mexico. 

Blessings,
Alicia 
awhitmore@fim.org

Fellowship International Mission
555 S 24th St 
Allentown, PA 18104 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Amazing August

"You will know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will set you free."
John 8:32

The end of July and beginning of August a group of about 10 of us put on a VBS for the kids here in La MisiĆ³n. We planned for 60 kids, had 65 the first day and then had 85 the last 3 days! Needless to say it was a busy and high energy week. The Gospel was shared several times, verses were memorized, crafts were made, games were played and the seeds were planted. The theme was "Agents of the truth." We did skits everyday to tell stories of people in the bible who stood up for the truth and then we talked with the kids about doing the same in their homes and schools. The Sunday after VBS we had so many visitors at church, we ran out of chairs for all of them. It was a blessed week! 






"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."
Colossians 3:2
The second week of August we headed to Arandas, 7+ hour bus ride in land, for a youth camp. These are kids from several different churches and cities in Mexico. We played games, worshiped, studied God's word and challenged the campers in their faith. My cabin had 10 campers and 2 counselors in it. During the week we meet with each of our campers for a time to get to know them better and to see where they really are spiritually. One of my campers came to camp thinking she was pregnant. She shared her fears with me and her convictions about how she knew she needed to change some things in her life. I encouraged her to do what was right and to also start going to church regularly. She left the week fearful of what would happen when she returned home, knowing it would not be as "easy" as camp life. Monday morning she texted me that she had broken up with the boyfriend and that she was not pregnant. Praise the Lord! This was a huge step for her. Continuing to pray for her and that she would learn to put all her faith in Christ.  
Everyone was divided in to countries for games and cabins, we did everything in our country teams. My team was Costa Rica! For not being the best at games we got third place over all!! God is good and at work in the lives of these youth! 




"I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
John 10:11
 After camp we took some time to relax and recharge. The following week Sarah, Silvia and I redecorated the class rooms for the kids at church. Downstairs we repainted and then drew this mural on the wall. 

 Upstairs for the older kids we painted all the walls white and then painted the cross on one wall. We decorated the rest of the room with the bible verses from VBS and added bright bursts of colors. Everyone was very pleased with how these spaces turned out! 

 In the midst of all the activities this month I mentioned to a neighbor kid that I really wanted a kitten. A few days later at 10pm I hear knocking on my door and kids yelling my name. I was a little scared but went down to answer the door. To my surprise there were 6 kids at my door and a baby kitten! "Here Alicia we found her for you! They were giving her away in the park and I thought of you!" Thank you Jesus!! I have been wanting this kitten for 3 years now. She may not seam like much to anyone else but she is my gift from God. She means that He provides for me, that I am making friends with the kids here and they are thinking about me and now I have someone with me at home. Her name is Matti Shiloh. Matti comes from Matthew which means "gift from God" and Shiloh means peace. She was peaceful the night I got her...now she is 100% crazy kitten!!

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. You are all such a blessing to me. 
Please keep these things in your prayers: 
  • Agents of Christ starting September 4. A club for kids in elementary. 
  • Youth group every Saturday evening 
  • Women's bible study on Friday nights 
  • The people we visit during the week 
  • The young gal from camp and my other campers 
  • Thank for His goodness and faithfulness 
  • Situation in Venezuela 
Blessings, 
Alicia 
awhitmore@fim.org

Fellowship International Mission
555 S 24th St 
Allentown, PA 18104 






Wednesday, July 18, 2018

La Mision

"The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need."
Psalm 23:1

¡HOLA from Puerto Vallarta Mexico! The past 23 days have been a blessing and a little bit crazy! I arrived in Vallarta on June 26th to partner with Frank and Rebecca Arellanes. Took the first few days to settle in and prepare for my time here. We met people, set up my apartment and made plans for the summer course we are currently doing in La Mision. La Mision is where the Arellanes have a church plant and do most of their ministry. I chose to live here in the apartment above the church. This way I can be closer to the people and interact with them on a daily basis. 

July 3rd Sarah (a young gal who is here for 6 months to serve) and I started a summer course for the kids of La Mision. We have classes 4 days a week from 11-2. We average about 25 kids each day. Our classes are sports, english, crafts and music. We also give the kids a little snack during our time together. The verse above and the little sheep are a few of the things the kids have learned. Yes, they learned a verse in english and most of them can say it from memory.  Below are a few pictures of the kids during class. 
Music class with Sarah and Francisco (a leader from church)
Crafts with Alicia
 English class with Alicia (they love the game in the picture on the left)
 More crafts with Alicia, the two little ones in the picture on the left come back to play/help us when class is over.
Please pray for these little souls, they are so precious to us and to our Heavenly father. We have been blessed to get to share with them that God is our good shepherd and cares for us always! 

On our days off Sarah and I have been taking in beach time to beat the heat. The only down side is that the water here isn't as cold as we hoped it would be! None the less we have a goal to visit beaches on all our days off! God's creations is so beautiful and so is the friendship we share. 

 This week we will end our Summer course and then use next week to prepare for Vacation Bible School the following week, July 30-August 2. The Arellanes, Sarah, a few other visitors and I will be helping the church in La Mision put this on for the kids here. We are excited to share with the kids what it means to be an Agent of the Truth and who the Truth is! Please pray for us as we gear up to share the love of Christ with these kids. 

There are so many other great things happening here and stories I already have of how God is working. I'm excited to see what other awesome things He has in store for me during my time here. 

Thank you for praying with me for this transition and new ministry. 

Blessings! 
Alicia 
awhitmore@fim.org 

Fellowship International Mission 
555 S 24th St 
Allentown, PA 18104 




Monday, May 14, 2018

Hasta luego Mexico (see you later Mexico)

"Yet I still belong to you,You hold my right hand."
Psalm 73:23

April in Mexico flew by so quickly. The days were filled with good byes, new friends and growing closer to God. 

At the beginning of April I had my last English classes and kid's club in the park. They were all sad to see my go. I had such a great time teaching them and learning how to be an 
English teacher. 

Another opportunity I had while in Mexico was singing on the praise band at church. My last Sunday there was very special. We sang, had cake together and several people shared praises to God for my time there. I even took the first bite of cake!! 



The second week of April we (Nevin family and I) headed to Guadalajara for a FIM retreat. Several other FIM families were there. We had a great week meeting and sharing ministry together. The director of out mission and his wife can down to Mexico and spent the week with us too. It was a blessed week. (below is a picture of the ladies) 

Image may contain: 8 people, including Susan Bushre Nevin, people smiling, people standing and indoor

The following week I had the opportunity to visit two of the families that I had just met from FIM in Mexico and see their places of ministry. First I headed to Aguascalientes to visit the Walker family. Julie works with kids doing clubs, camps and homework help classes all week. I saw her in action at bible club and helped her with a camp for the girls. We had a great time swimming, bon-fire, hiking and I shared my testimony with them. 


 After my time there I headed to Puerto Vallarta to visit the Arellanes. They work in a church planting teaching discipleship and also do an AWANA club on Saturday afternoons.  While I was there I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time! 

 My last few days in Puerto Vallarta four of us FIM ladies attended the Thrive retreat at the Westin resort. It was a very special time. We were encouraged by God's word and other ladies there. My small group was one of many highlights for me. The volunteers prayed for us every chance they got. Left the time together feeling very blessed and refreshed. 

The 28th I said good bye for now to Mexico and the Nevin family. It was bittersweet to leave them and this special place. God is at work and I pray the very best for them and their ministry. Thank you Nevin family for allowing me to serve with you these four months.

Monday April 30 I was back in Chicago and reapplied for the visa to Venezuela. Felt very encouraged and at peace after leaving the office. God is good and I can see Him answering prayers. A little over a week after applying I received an email that I didn't want but can only trust is God's will and plan for my life. The visa was denied again and this time I have to wait 3 months before reapplying. So again the waiting and praying continues. 

It has been discussed and prayed over, at the end of June I will head to Puerto Vallarta and work with the Arellanes family. For 3-6 months I will work along side them in many areas continuing to focus on kids and youth. Looking forward to this new opportunity. God is at work.  

Dad came and got me in Chicago and we were able to see a Cubs game against the Colorado Rockies. It was a great father daughter trip! 


Now that I am back in Iowa I have been able to visit some of my prayer warriors! The 5th grade at Joshua Christian Academy and the bible study at Prairie Hills.  

May is full steam ahead too! Visiting and catching up with many here in the Iowa area. Hope to see many of you in the days ahead. Thank you so much for your prays, I can feel them, God has given me a peace that can only come from Him.

Blessings! 
Alicia 
awhitmore@fim.org 

Fellowship International Mission
555 S 24th St. 
Allentown, PA 18104