Thank you very much for your continued faithful support and prayers for our ministry. God has used you to enable us to do what He has called us to do. These are challenging times, for you and for us. We are convinced that God will use this “crisis” to bring about some wonderful things in the near future.
Emily and I left home on February 29 to be in the Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference in the Spanish Department of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, March 1-4. My nephew, David Sloan, is the Spanish pastor. We had a wonderful time. My sister, Billie Sloan, David’s mother, was there. That was the fourth meeting she and I had been in together in just a few weeks. What a blessing!
We were in two Spanish churches the following Sunday in the San Jose, California, area. On Monday, March 9, Emily returned home, and I went to Lemon Grove, California, to preach in Bro. Gil Torres’ Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference, March 9-11. This is where it gets somewhat confusing. I flew to Monterrey on Thursday, March 12. Emily met me at the airport, and we drove 625 miles from there to Gainesville, Texas, just north of Dallas, arriving at 1:00 Friday morning. Here’s why we drove instead of flying: we applied for Emily’s residence permit in October of last year. Because it had not yet been issued, she could travel out of Mexico by car, but not by air, thus, the long road trip. (Praise the Lord! Her residence permit has since been issued—after 23 trips to the Immigration Office!) We were with Bro. Omar Vera in his Missions Conference in Gainesville, Texas, Friday through Sunday morning, and with Bro. Danny Ortiz in Lewisville, Texas, Sunday evening. Bro. Vera was called to preach under Bro. Ortiz’s ministry.
We returned home on March 18. We have been here ever since. Like you, I’m sure, we have taken precautions to prevent contracting COVID-19. While the Mexican federal and local governments insist on the “stay-at-home” guideline, it has not been as rigorously enforced as in some places. We try to limit our outings to only necessary things. None of our church services have been canceled. Pastor Jonathan has had every service online. He has insisted that we stay at home and join the online service. A few people who live close to the church attend, and he has had two parking-lot services. I preached one Wednesday night, and we have attended other Wednesday evening services. We plan to open back up on June 7 with several precautions.
While our programmed soul winning has been limited, we try to witness to people with whom we do have contact. One recent Saturday morning, someone knocked on my door. It was a state congressman, along with his wife and other people, going door to door handing out hand sanitizer and some information flyers. I gave him a tract and witnessed to him. He did not have time to listen to a complete presentation but was very interested. Please pray that I will be able to contact Marco González after this “contingency” ends and that he will listen to the plan of salvation.
A dear friend sent an offering designated to provide food for people affected by the quarantine. Praise the Lord! We were able to help many families, some church members and others who were friends and neighbors of church members. A Gospel tract and a John and Romans were included in each package.
I have had the opportunity to speak online several times: in a Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference that Pastor Jonathan hosted, in a Missions Conference hosted by Bro. Noé Montelongo, and on the Bus Ministry in a Sunday evening service for Bro. Caleb Carrizales of San Antonio, Texas. Last Monday evening, Emily and I were privileged to speak—Emily to the ladies and I to the men—to the Spanish Department of Worth Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, where Bro. Oscar Gonzalez is the Spanish pastor. Emily gave her testimony and then took questions from ladies who work in their church’s Bus Ministry. She was in her element!
We are scheduled to resume traveling on June 5. The rest of our summer schedule is almost full. Please pray that God will use us to encourage and challenge God’s people.
Thank you again for the part you have in making all this possible. We need your support more than ever. People are being saved and baptized, workers are being trained, and Christians are being challenged to expand their efforts in getting the Gospel out because of your faithfulness. Thank you.
Yours for souls,
Tommy and Emily Ashcraft
PS. Please send us your email address if you would rather receive our prayer letters and updates by email.