Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our dear friends and family! We want to thank those of you who made this time even more special for our family with your cards and gifts. Your sacrifice, thoughtfulness, and care mean so much!
In November God blessed with many people coming to know the Saviour as we continued to spread the Good News in our city. Naomi, a young lady from California, came to be a blessing and help to our family. She helped Amy with the home and tutoring the children in October and through part of November. She had a great influence in the Youth Ministry, and during her two-month stay, she learned the plan of salvation in Portuguese (Spanish helped) and was a good visitation partner for Esther as they knocked on doors with us and shared the Gospel.
Please pray! Helpers in the ministry would be a great blessing not only in helping with family needs, such as homeschooling and music lessons, but also in the many needs of the ministry. If you would like to invest your time on the mission field (short-/long-term, male/female, single/married, young/old), your helping hand would truly be a blessing and encouragement! Or if you would consider helping others who would like to come, please contact us for more information on how to do so!
Our Thanksgiving dinner was a special time to give thanks to the Lord for all that He has done. We thank the Lord for the testimonies, special music, and delicious dinner shared by the church. Would you be thankful for cancer?!? Our dear Anita is battling with cancer again, yet now she is thanking the Lord that He is using her illness to draw her family to Christ. For the past five years, we have been praying for Anita’s family members’ salvation. Then seemingly out of the blue, her daughter-in-law came to church, and Amy was happy to not only lead her to the Lord but also several other visitors on Thanksgiving! God is working, and it is amazing! We are rejoicing that Anita`s scheduled cancer surgery on December 26 was canceled, as the doctor is unable to find any trace of cancer now!! She thanked me for praying and fasting, and we rejoiced together to see God answer prayer!
Nicole is a five-year-old little girl who has come to church with her Grandma Maria (infrequently) since she was just a baby. Ten of her cousins would come on the bus route and loved church. Recently the Lord burdened my heart to revisit their family, and the Lord blessed with a very receptive response from not only Nicole’s mother but also her other grandmother and three aunts. As I have visited them on Saturdays, they make time to listen to the lesson from the Bible and have started to come to church. It has encouraged us that the seeds planted in their lives a few years ago are finally bearing fruit! The sparkle in a little five-year-old girl’s eye as she tells me, “Pastor, look! All my family
Scripture-memory time in Sunday school with the adults and children is a real success. It is a joy to see the people memorizing God’s Word! During our testimony time on Sunday evenings, it is a joy to hear those who are sharing the plan of salvation and leading people to Christ at school and at work. This is a real area of growth, as well as seeing the participation of our people in activities and bringing visitors. Please pray for the church people to be faithful to services and to the Lord in their daily lives.
On December 22, we thanked the Lord for those who participated in the annual Christmas gifting for needy children. Each child went home with a smile! My wife surprised me with a chocolate cake and snacks after the service (my birthday is on the 25th). The children’s church also presented a Christmas play. A lady whom Amy and I have visited for several months, who suffers from severe depression, came with three of her children for the first time that day and brought her mother and sister and three of their children as well. They all received the gift of salvation with delight and told Amy they would love to come to church here again.
Our annual Christmas dinner was also a really enjoyable time! Highlights: One teenager had a big smile because her dad came for the service and the family was together, and a fifteen-year-old girl returned to church after six months.
As the people filled the altar to pray at our New Year’s Eve service, I thanked the Lord that it was a common thing to see the altar full. The seats are empty, as almost everyone comes forward to kneel and pray. We praise the Lord for these whom God has committed into our care to guide and help. They are in great need spiritually and live in such darkness and confusion. We covet your prayers as we seek to help lost and dying souls not only come to know the Saviour but also to find His plan for their lives.
There was preaching, special music, special testimonies, and prayer. Then just before we went outside to see the fireworks, there was a spread of sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and desserts for all to enjoy—and they did!
May the Lord bless you in this New Year 2014!
The Vallejo Family