Dear Family, Friends, and Partners in Ministry,
MERRY CHRISTMAS...and a HAPPY NEW YEAR in 2018!! We hope that 2017 was a good year for you and that 2018 will be even better! After a long while, we are happy to give you an update on all that happens in our lives here on “Edge.” Well, let’s get to it!!
If you have supported our ministry financially through TMS Global (formerly ‘The Mission Society’), you received a letter in mid-November letting you know that we have formally ended our 12-year tenure with this amazing organization. We have a great relationship with TMS Global and we are abundantly grateful for their encouragement, support, guidance and prayer through the years...even as we are grateful for yours! And, the life in mission is NOT over—we have settled in south Texas on the US/Mexico border where we continue to live and minister...where we continue to impact men and women, young people and children on both sides of the border, in English and Spanish, with the Good News of God in Jesus Christ
In January, we will begin our fifth year of ministry at the First United Methodist Church of Rio Grande City, Texas. During the four years of service here, we have seen growth in so many ways. As a part of this border congregation, Jon leads a Spanish worship service at 9am and an English service at 11am. In September of this year, Jon began three in-home Bible studies—a way to disciple many of the new and growing Christians in the church AND a way to invite others who are unchurched into the fold. This was very successful and will continue through 2018. In addition to pastoring Rio FIRST, Jon continues teaching English at South Texas College part-time, and he’s on faculty at Edinburg Theological Seminary (a school that trains leaders and pastors primarily from Mexico) where he is completing his doctorate. Ministry and education are Jon’s calling, and here he is able to do both as he continues to live out his life of mission.
Jeanne has poured her life into the youth of our church. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, several families with youth showed up looking for God, for friends, for connection in the Fall of 2015. We immediately had seven youth, so we started working with them. Through summer youth camp, outreach, and word of mouth, we now have 18 youth who are part of the church!! In March of this year, after seeing some of the youth bands at summer camp, our youth decided they wanted a band! Jon taught three of them the basics of guitar, and Jeanne taught three of them the basics of keyboarding. Two of them already played instruments (bass and drums)...and the rest were ready to sing. Since June of this year, our youth have played in the services two or three times each month. Besides her work in the church, Jeanne also works closely with two schools near our house as a substitute teacher where she gets to see some of our church youth on a daily basis. Finally, she has been meeting with two ladies in our congregation who desire to speak English, teaching them conversational English. Her passion, joy and excitement keeps people hoppin’ in the congregation!
Jesse and Edgar just celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary! Where has the time gone? They are both living here in south Texas, teaching for Idea Public Schools. Jesse teaches 9th grade Geometry and Edgar teaches Art and Theatre for the school’s IB program. They have been in the US for just over a year-and-a-half, and make regular trips back to Monterrey to visit Edgar’s family. Living only an hour from Mom and Dad, they drive up every few weeks to enjoy Mom’s cooking!
Megan continues her life as a registered nurse (RN) working in emergency/trauma. As we write this, Megan prepares to move to San Antonio, Texas, where she has been accepted in a highly competitive trauma internship program. She will do six months of rotations through all areas of this Level-1 trauma hospital and will then work for a year or two in a high-need area. As the great adventurer, she continues to surprise us in the variety of her joys and activities...oh...and she does have a ‘special friend’ in her life!
Andrew is in the middle of his junior year at St. Edwards University where he studies Computer Science. He also works part-time for the IT office on campus, helping faculty, staff and students figure out their internet issues. This coming semester (Spring 2018), he will be adding TA to his resume as he assists a professor in one of the programming classes. This New Year, he is in Monterrey, Mexico, with friends from college and connecting with friends from the past. So, no graduation plans other than plans to graduate—YAY! 😊
And, we are getting ready to add another daughter to our family. Many of you remember that we invited our dear Sandra to live with us when we served in Venezuela. We and some of our supporting churches enabled Sandra to be the first ever in her family to get a college degree. We loved being able to help Sandra gain the power of education in her life, and it has made all the difference. For those who know/knew Sandra, she is now married, and she and Joey have a precious boy, Derek.
So, the story continues.... This year 2018, Abi Caceres will be coming to live with us here on the US/Mexico border. Her family is from Honduras, and they live and serve in Mexico. In fact, the last two years we were in Monterrey, we worked with their family in ministry besides the work we did through the John Wesley Methodist Seminary and the Instituto Laurens. The family is in a ‘catch-22’: As Hondurans, they would have to pay ‘international’ tuition in Mexico...a tuition cost established with Americans in mind who might study abroad. Sending their oldest daughter back to Honduras is NOT a good option because of all the violence that country is now encountering. SO, after much prayer and conversation and contemplation, we have invited Abi to come live with us and attend the community college where Jon teaches. The college offers one four-year degree—in exactly what Abi wants to study: business. The cost for her as an international student is $3500/semester. We are providing all of her room and board, and we can provide some of her tuition, but we hoping that others—like you—would like to help this missionary kid get her education. Her plans are to return to Mexico and continue in the ministry her parents are a part of...to use her education and talents to reach others for Christ. Would you like to help us help her? Please send a check or money order to us (made out to Jon –see address above) or deposit it directly—we have an account set up for Abi’s educational costs at our bank: BBVA Compass (routing #113010547, acct. #6753788636.) (We will gladly provide a letter acknowledging your contribution for tax purposes.) So, our adventure continues...the family grows...and God is good!
And, that is where the Herrins are today!! We continue to live lives of joy in the grace of God, inviting others to do the same. The variety of ministries, activities and service keep life interesting from one day to the next. Our children are growing up and finding their own places in life, and for that we are immensely grateful. Please continue to be in prayer for us. Feel free to contact us via email, Facebook (click on our names below!), phone (above)...or however. May the Lord bless you this coming year...and may you bless others as you have been blessed!
Jesse (and Edgar!), Megan and Andrew (The J.A.M.!)