Greetings from a warm Santa Ana, El Salvador. Many of you are experiencing chilly winter weather, as we continue to enjoy the eternal spring of our region. We are very thankful for the honor to represent you as your missionaries here in EL Salvador. Your financial support and prayers on our behalf are what allow us to continue in the work God has set before us. As we wind down toward the end of the year, we are reminded of God’s blessings in allowing us to serve Him and be able to count on friends like you to hold the lifeline in prayer.
Iglesia Bautista Independiente de Santa Ana
Our attendance has gradually increased this year from an average of 80 in attendance on Sunday mornings to over 120. This represents an increase in families, young people, and some children who come alone on one of our 4 bus routes. We have had an average of 18 people saved on a weekly basis and many first-time visitors.
The churches being pastored by our Bible institute graduates are doing phenomenally well. We are encouraged as we see them grow in number and in their walk with God. They send reports of dozens saved, Bible Clubs, and increased soul winners reaching others for Christ.
I preached at two Missions Conferences, one in Honduras and one in Nicaragua. I was able to visit two of our missionaries while in Nicaragua. God is doing a great work in those two churches.
Our Thanksgiving potluck dinner was a great time to get together and rejoice as a church family over the blessings of God in our lives. One testimony stands out in my mind, as our school principal spoke on the challenging year he’d had. It is his first year to be our Christian school principal. He spoke of how it had been the most financially challenging year of his adult life. Despite this, he is happy serving God in his church. This is a great encouragement to us as God leads our church to serve Him and count the cost a privilege.
End of the School Year
We had two graduates from junior high this year. The school year was the most challenging to date in many ways. It was our first year to have junior high and high school levels, which increased our budget by 33%, without increasing our income. The financial toll has become very difficult to manage for our family. The blessings of seeing young people come to Christ and families strengthened through the ministry of the Christian school far outweigh the financial load. Nevertheless, we need an increase of at least $2,000 a month in support in order to continue financing this young ministry. We have reached out on numerous occasions, yet it seems that this is not a ministry that is very attractive to investors. When investing in the school, it is important to remember that it is an extension of the local-church ministry. It is a furtherance of discipleship and Christian-service training. Just this past year, seven students trusted Christ as Saviour, three teens surrendered their lives to be missionaries, and one family of four started attending our church faithfully every service. God is blessing in ways we cannot even know.
Please prayerfully consider adding our Christian school to your missions support program. We need all the help we can get. Within a few years, it is my desire that the school will grow and become completely self-supported. Until then, we must finance it.
We had 27 young people attend Youth Camp last week. God met with us, and many young people made life-changing decisions. Please pray that they will follow Christ faithfully. Our youth pastor, Jimmy Trujillo, is a great blessing. He was called to preach at Youth Camp 20 years ago. Now he and his wife serve in this and other church ministries. They are faithful, fruitful servants. They completely ran with the program of the camp and were greatly used.
Christmas and Family
This year our family will be together in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our son-in-law AJ King and our daughter Brenda have invited us to spend Christmas together with Daniel and Megan. Joel had to cancel his trip at the last minute; we will miss being with him. So in two weeks, Grace, Tammie and I will fly to the frigid USA for Christmas. We look forward to making memories with our grandbabies and children. I trust you will have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year season alongside those you love.
Joyfully in His service,
Henry Gonzalez and Family