Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Busy Summer

"Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, except through me."
John 14:6

What a busy and fruitful summer we had. We started off the fun with a day trip to Word of Life Bible Institute in Bernal to see the kids show. 20+ kids and their parents joined us for this activity. We rented a bus to take us. The show explained the Gospel with pirates, Indians and town people. After the show the actors shared the Gospel again with small groups of kids and also shared with the parents. The kids loved this trip and ask us often when we are going again. This was a great way to get to know some of the parents and share the Gospel with them too. 

Towards the end of July we had a great time at VBS. The theme was "The greatest gift". Over 20 kids joined us for the week. They learned about Jesus and how the gift of salvation is the greatest gift ever! We played games, sang songs, did crafts and as usual their favorite part was memorizing the bible verse. You can see in one of the pictures new friends are helping each other learn the verse. The Lord is good and we see His hand working in the lives of these kids. 

After VBS week we took a group of 20 youth to camp in Guadalajara. Six adults from our church went to serve. My wife and I served in the counseling part. It was a very blessed week. Over half the youth there were nonbelievers and by the end of the week most had accepted Christ or shown interest in learning more. It was a very exhausting week but well worth it for the Kingdom work. 

Ministry in San Nicolas keeps growing and showing fruit. We have a steady 15-16 kids each week at Kids' club. Three members of the Tequisquiapan church have been helping us weekly with the kids. The kids love them. One of the ladies taught the kids a new game to memorize the bible verse, I think it is their favorite time of the day. 
Sunday service is growing. We have more regular people from the town each week. I am still preaching weekly and my wife has her Sunday school class with about 4 regular kiddos. 
Between camp and these weekend activities we have more discipleship opportunities. I have started meeting one on one with two youth from the town and my wife now meets weekly with one of the moms who brings her kids to the kids activities. Thank you for your prayers and support, God is using them in bigs ways in this small town. 

Preaching is one of my favorite things. This summer I was also able to preach a few times in the church here in Tequisquiapan. The church service is still some on Zoom and the majority in person. 

Baby bump update. Alicia and baby are doing great! We are already at 26 weeks pregnant. Baby boy moves a lot and we love feeling him kick and roll around. 


Prayer requests: 
  • The church is San Nicolas, that it will continue to grow and establish well.
  • Healthy baby and healthy pregnancy for my wife.
  • Our relationship with God, that it would grow daily.
  • Our disciples; Maribel, Irma, Martin, Roy, Eliel, Isabel 
  • September 2-3: I have my US visa interview with the US embassy here in Mexico. We will be traveling to Guadalajara and then to Tijuana. I am very nervous, please pray for me to trust in His plan. 
  • We continue sharing with churches, families, and friends about our ministry. Please pray that God would add supporters to our team as we work towards meeting our financial goals. 
Thank you for your prayers and support. We could not do what we do without all of you by our side. Thank you! 

Blessings,
Jorge and Alicia Ramírez
jramirez@fim.org
awhitmore@fim.org

To give financially: www.fim.org/give/ramirez


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

April, May and June blessings

"The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it."
 Proverbs 10:22

Hello from Mexico! God has been moving and doing great things in San Nicolas these last 3 months. We ended April celebrating the Day of the Child. Two days before this event our permission to use the Community Center was taken away from us. Just in time we were allowed to use the house next door free of charge. God is good!! 30 children and 3 women joined us this day and heard the gospel preached. We had fun singing, playing games, doing a craft, memorizing scripture and learning from God's word. 

Shortly after using this space for the Kids' day activity God provided a way for us to rent the garage area and the kitchen/living room area monthly. This opened many doors for our ministry. One of my biggest and long time prayers was answered with this place. On May16th, 2021 our first Sunday service took place. There were 14 people in attendance. Each week there are new people who join us and a few faithful. My wife does Sunday school with the kids. They are studying King David. Praise the Lord for this answer to prayer. 

That same weekend we began a kids club on Saturday mornings. In this time I play a game with the kids, teach a lesson about the book of Mark. Each week we have the story part and the application part. The kids are starting to understand and are now able to tell me what the application is on their own. My wife sings and does a craft with the kids. One thing that has surprised me the most is how much the kids love to memorize the bible verse we give them each lesson. We have about 10-16 kids each week.  

God is also at work in our local church here in Tequisquiapan. Now that the vaccine has reached Mexico and many of the people in our congregation have it we have been able to open up more and more. There are more people attending in person than on Zoom and soon we will stop the Zoom part all together. I am still preaching about once a month and leading worship once or twice a month. 

Defensores: Youth group. God has done great things with these young people this past year. It was a joy for me to be their youth pastor and see them grow. At the beginning of June we had our first and only in person meeting of the year, it was a special night to remember all that God has done this past year. It was also great to see all the youth in person. We finished the school year and will now take a break for the summer. In the fall I will hand over this responsibility to another man from church so that we can spend more time serving in San Nicolas. 

It is with great joy in our hearts that we share with you that God has blessed us with the blessing to be parents. We eagerly await the arrival of our son in late November. Alicia is doing well besides the normal symptoms of pregnancy. 

Prayer Requests: 
  • That the church in San Nicolas would establish and continue to grow. 
  • For a healthy pregnancy and baby. 
  • Our relationship with God, that it would grow daily.
  • For our support raising journey, we are currently at 45% and would like to be at 100% by the end of the year. Pray that God will add more people to our support team.
  • Continue to pray for Maribel and Irma. They both are faithful in the bible study and church attendance. Pray for their hearts and their home situations, they are both the only believers in their families. 
  • Camp- July 26-30 we are taking a group of youth from our church and leaders/helpers to camp in Guadalajara. Pray for safe travel and for hearts to be open to the Gospel. 
  • September 2-3, I (Jorge) have my interview with the US embassy for his visa. Pray that God will grant us the visa so we can travel to the US soon. 
  • My (Jorge) English. Understanding and motivation to keep learning. 
Thank you so much for your love and support. 
Blessings, 
Jorge and Alicia Ramírez
jramirez@fim.org
awhitmore@fim.org

To give financially: www.fim.org/give/ramirez


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Experiments of life

 "And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."

Acts 2:47 

Happy Spring! This past month we had several exciting events happen here in Tequisquiapan. 

To start off the fun we had a friends event at youth group. Everyone was asked to invite a friend. We planned special games and lesson for them. It was a good evening of fellowship. It was also encouraging to see the kids invite their friends and their peers that they are praying for.      

On Resurrection Sunday we were able to go to church in person again. Jorge lead the service with reading from the last days of Christ. I sang a special song, "Glorious day" by Casting Crowns. It was a great day celebrating our Savior's victory over death for our sins. 

Experiments of LIFE- our biggest event of the year was the kids' three day activity we did in San Nicolas. These three days we presented the Gospel to 47 kids. We were encouraged and surprised by God is so many ways. The first way was all the help and donations we got from our church family. Also two couples, two ladies and two youth came to help us every day.  Another way was the turn out and the excitement of the kids. We had 20 on the first day, we encouraged them to invite their friends and by the last day we had 47! The kids were not only excited about inviting friends but about memorizing scripture. We told them that there was a prize for anyone who could learn all three verses by the last day. The second day we gave them all the verses and to our surprise 6 kids came the next day with ALL the verses memorized!! Praise the Lord for their desire to learn and memorize His word. We made so many contacts in this week. We are encouraged and look forward to visiting all these families. We are planning another event for the kids on May 1st to celebrate Kids' day. 

Prayer requests: 
  • Continue to pray for Maribel, she has been very faithful in her bible study. Pray that she will allow the God's word to change her heart. 
  • Irma, a friend of Maribel who had started faithfully joining us at bible study. This week Jorge saw her more engaged and open with us and the lesson. Pray for her salvation. 
  • The visits we will make in the next few weeks. That God will open hearts and we will be able to start more bible studies with these new families. 
  • Youth group- that the kids will be brave and continue to share the gospel with their families and friends. 
  • Discipleship- that our current bible studies in Tequisquiapan will continue to grow in their faith. 
  • Jorge's visa- the interview is still set for September. Things are getting better and vaccinations have arrived in Mexico, so this should not change. 
  • Jorge's english- he takes classes almost daily. He still finds the language challenging. Pray for his learning 
  • Support- people who want to join our team and support what God is doing here in Mexico. Wisdom and creativity to share and meet with people in the US while we are in Mexico. 
Thank you for your prayers and support! God is good. 
Blessings,
Jorge and Alicia Ramírez
jramirez@fim.org
awhitmore@fim.org

To give financially: www.fim.org/give/whitmore

Monday, March 1, 2021

January and February update

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!"
Psalm 118:29

We started the year off with several visits. Two of Jorge's sisters and a nephew visited us for New year's along with his mom. Then my parents visited us for a week in mid January, Jorge's mom stayed long enough to see them and do some tourist stuff with us. We greatly enjoyed all the family time we had over the holidays. 

We are still going strong with youth group on Zoom. The kids are faithful and have so much fun together. This past week we invited their parents for a "family" youth group. Almost all the parents joined us and we had a BLAST! This week the youth started a Biblical challenge where they will earn points for doing different things, bible study, memory work, sharing the gospel and doing service projects. At the end the three top winners will win their week at camp paid for. It is our goal and prayer that they will grow in their relationship with Christ. 

This month we also started an english class in our home. For now we have 4 youth from church two days a week for an hour. The first week we started with letters and numbers and this past week have been working on questions and answers. We hope to be able to use this ministry as a way to reach out and meet new contacts and share the gospel with them. 
San Nicolas- This is the first town we have started doing ministry in. Jorge lived here for a time and was leading a small group bible study. We are doing lots of visiting with some of the contacts Jorge has and started one bible study with a lady (Maribel). We are very excited to see what God has in store for us here. 
Once a month Jorge has the chance to preach at church, he just finished preaching a two part sermon on the Holy Spirit. On the Sundays that Jorge preaches or leads worship we go to church in person. As you can see everyone else attends church from home via Zoom. The pastor has made the decision to not open church to everyone because of the rules the Government has in place and because the majority of the people from our church are older or have heath issues. 

God is at work even in the middle of the pandemic. This month we started a bible study with a family that lives close to us (Benita and Pablo). The wife has been connecting for church several weeks, we invited her over for coffee and to get to know her. Her and her husband are doing the bible study with us. Lots of questions and every eager to learn all they can about Jesus and His word. 

Praise from January! After spending two full days in the immigration office I (Alicia) was granted my temporary residency. This means I don't have to leave Mexico every 6 months!! I can renew it each year here in Mexico. 6 years of leaving the country every 3-6 months, I am very happy to have this residency here. God is good!! 

Prayer requests: 
  • San Nicolas- A town of 5.500 people where we have started two discipleships and feel God calling us to reach for His kingdom. One discipleship is with Maribel a mother and wife who is very eager to learn about God, please pray for her husband and son, as well as her grandkids. The other discipleship is with a young man Oswaldo a son and the owner of a store and gym. Please pray for his two brothers and his parents. 
  • Youth group- Please pray for the two young men (14-15 years old) who have started giving the lesson. Spiritual growth for all the youth. That these young people will share the gospel with their families and friends. 
  • Discipleships- Eliel, teen who Jorge disciples weekly. Abdy, teen who Alicia would like to start a bible study with. Benita and Pablo, married couple with 3 children, new in Christ, learning a lot and struggling to leave old habits behind. 
  • Jorge's visa, he has an interview in September! Please pray that this will not change and that the visa will be granted. 
  • Jorge's english- that he will be able to share with you all what God has put on his heart and be able to communicate easily. 
  • Support- people who want to join our team and support what God is doing here in Mexico. Wisdom and creativity to share and meet with people in the US while we are in Mexico. 
Blessings, 
Jorge and Alicia Ramírez
jramirez@fim.org
awhitmore@fim.org

To give finically:  www.fim.org/give/whitmore



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Christmas Letter

"The stedfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him."

Lamentations 3:22-24

September 26, 2020 surrounded by friends and family Jorge and I were married on the beautiful beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We were joined by family and friends here in Mexico as well as several around the world via video transmission on youtube. If you would like to see the video of the wedding, follow this link: https://youtu.be/jLovT9F-ofs Thank you to all who celebrated with us and sent blessings and well wishes for our special day! 

God has called us to the beautiful town of Tequisquiapan. It is located in the state of Querétaro. We arrived here mid October and moved in to our new place, we are currently renting. It is close to church and several other things in town. Shortly after moving and getting settled in we were blessed with an SUV. This is extremely helpful in doing ministry since our focus is reaching other towns. We love it here, are quickly feeling at home and enjoying making this house our home. I do greatly miss my friends and disciples back in Puerto Vallarta and the warm weather. 

This year has been very different from all other years. We have had to quickly learn how to use the internet and lots of new technology. Thankfully Jorge has been able to take his english classes all online and the move has not changed anything for him in this regard. We have been able to connect with the church here in Tequisquiapan weekly and the transition was not so overwhelming, this church has been so welcoming and loving towards me. I already have several friends here and even started a discipleship with a mom and her daughter this past month. Since returning Jorge has been put back on the role for preaching and leading the church services and we are participating in the biweekly bible studies for men and women.  Jorge is also discipleing the pastor's son weekly. We have even sang on the praise team twice. 

Jorge and I have been able to connect with several other courses via internet in the middle of the pandemic. The first was the Pastors conference with Word of Life. This normally happens in a warm beach location. However this year they offered the conference via Zoom. We were able to hear several great preachers share the word of God and encourage us. It was a great time as pastors to talk and seek God's word and wisdom in a very difficult time for so many. We were encouraged and refreshed after these days in God's word with other ministry leaders.
After this conference we headed to the "Con tu consejo" conference. This conference is a week long intensive course with three levels of training in biblical counseling. We were able to participate in the level one week. All the classes were sent to us via youtube links and our workbooks we printed out at home. This was a two week long class that taught us basics for biblical counseling. Again we saw how God is allowing us several different opportunities and preparing us for His ministry in the middle of a difficult year. In both of these conferences we were able to connect with people from all over North and South America. God is good.

Another way we are using technology is connecting with the youth. Jorge and I are leaders for the youth group at our church. The youth were very eager to start back up and connect again. We have about 5-10 students each Saturday evening. We play games, sing songs, have lesson time and small groups. At the end of each meeting we have a hard time getting the kids to say goodbye. They greatly miss being with their friends and find this time very encouraging.  

Prayer Requests: 

  • That God would allow us to see a church in each town surrounding Tequisquiapan
  • Jorge's visa. We are praying for him to have an interview next year and be able to visit all of you next year as well. 
  • Jorge's English, so that he can communicate what God has laid on his heart with all of you.
  • Contacts in a few towns that would open their homes to us for bible studies. 
  • Our new marriage that has just begun. 
  • That soon we can have church services in person. 
  • Our righteousness before God. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 
Thank you for all your prayers and support this year. We thank God for each one of you and hope you have a great rest of the year celebrating Our Savior's birth. 

Blessings, 
Jorge and Alicia Ramirez
jramirez@fim.org
awhitmore@fim.org

To give financially: www.fim.org/give/whitmore