Thank you for taking the time to think of us and pray for us, whether or not you send financial support. The importance of the prayers of God´s people for missionaries is often greatly underestimated.
We were in Ixtapa, Chiapas, in southern Mexico April 15-17 with my niece Elizabeth and her husband, Ulises Martinez. Ulises and Elizabeth and their three children are missionaries to Israel. They have spent a year there and had tremendous results. Immigration issues and COVID-19 restrictions have made their return difficult, but they are confident that they will be able to return there soon.
Before going to the mission field, Ulises started five churches in Chiapas. People from several of those churches gathered for the services on Easter Sunday. I had the privilege of preaching both services. It was a wonderful day, seeing what God has done through this dedicated family.
On Monday, April 18, we went to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, an hour from Ixtapa. God used Tom and Billie Sloan, my sister and her husband, to do a great work, much of it among the indigenous people of that area. We visited one of the churches Tom started. We were so impressed with the pastor, Albino Lopez, whom Tom led to Christ and trained. He has an impressive vision and is building a great church.
Monday through Wednesday, April 18-20, we were in a Fires of Evangelism Conference in the church of one of our graduates, Teodoro Vera. Bro. Vera and his wife Eunice have been there for over 25 years and have one of the premier works in that area.
It was good to be at home for a while this month. While soul winning with our church group, Emily and I were door knocking. We talked to a man, Mario, who readily accepted Christ as his Saviour. Just as we finished talking to him, his wife Jenifer and his son Eugenio came in. When we asked Jenifer about her salvation, she said that she had been saved and baptized at Mount Hebron as a child. When we asked her about her son, she was glad to have us witness to him. He also trusted Christ as his Saviour. Please pray that we can see them get in church.
One of the most dynamic and productive ministries that I know of is the SMITE Camp, directed by my dear friend, Bro. Jerry Purtell. Bro. Jerry is a consummate child evangelist. He has developed an extensive program for training young people to evangelize and work with children. The five-day course is packed with teaching in the morning, Bible Clubs in the afternoon, and preaching at night. Emily and I will have the privilege of teaching and preaching in this great ministry May 30-June 3. We plan to take two of our grandsons, Jonathan Jr. and Tommy II, with us. Bro. Jerry’s ministry is under Central Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Bro. Alan Bartlett is pastor.
Several years ago, four acres of our church property were invaded by people who were attempting to seize it for sale. Without going into much detail, there have been some very encouraging developments in the case just this last week. The prayers of God’s people are being heard. We will give you a complete report as soon as the next stage of the case is finalized. Please keep praying.
Wednesday night, May 18, was the graduation service for Mount Hebron Bible Baptist Institute. What a joy it was to see these wonderful young people finish this stage of their preparation for God’s service. During the ceremony, we had the ordination service for Bro. Andres Luna. Andres was saved and baptized at Mount Hebron when he was 12 years old. He and his wife Lupita, after four years of deputation, will depart for Brazil at the end of this month. Please pray that their immigration permits will be approved.
June 19 is the 40th anniversary of Mount Hebron Baptist Church. Pastor Jonathan has planned quite a celebration. We are looking forward to having former staff members, church members, and institute graduates attend. We would enjoy having you if you can come. Please let us know if we can help you with your travel and/or lodging arrangements.
Thank you so very much for your faithful support and prayers. God continues to use this ministry to reach souls and train workers. Thank you for the part God leads you to have in helping us.
Yours for souls,
Tommy and Emily Ashcraft