Dear Family, Friends and Partners in Ministry,
We imagine that you are well aware that crime, violence and social instability have continued to increase in Monterrey and much of Northern Mexico. Foreigners are not immune--from an American government officer who was targeted and killed in February to an American missionary was shot and killed just two hours from where we live.
After taking into account the above, after considering the needs of our family--our children and ourselves, and after much prayer and seeking God's guidance for our lives, we believe that the time has come to move from this area and continue in ministry stateside. A confluence of life-events--no single thing--and God's leading bring us to this decision. At the end of this academic year (June 2011), we will relocate our "base of operations" three hours north to McAllen, TX--a large "border-city" with a 90% Latino population. We believe God will have us continue to minister and serve Latinos there using experience gleaned from years of service in Venezuela and in Mexico.
We will remain with The Mission Society as we transition to the Rio Grande Valley / US-Mexico Border area. We plan to maintain an on-going connection with both the Seminary and Teachers' College in Monterrey, serving as a 'conduit' for resources for those ministries. We also plan to continue our "tent-maker" life-style (bi-vocational ministry) by serving in education as we live and minister in the McAllen/Rio Grande Valley area.
Making this change will not be easy, but we have not sought the easy way--only God's way. Over the past years you have been our lifeline of support through your prayers, gifts and finances. As we make the adjustment and transition of our lives to McAllen, we would ask--as God provides--for your continued support of this ministry through your prayers and your gifts. And, we ask that you continue to keep all of us in your prayers: Megan, as she begins her senior year of high school; Andrew, as he enters American high school; Jesse, as she spends the summer working and then continues her college studies; and Jon and Jeanne, as we confirm avenues of ministry through education and community outreach.
We cannot say enough nor show you sufficiently how grateful we are for your prayers and gifts through the years, for your faithful participation in this seemingly small but impactful ministry. God has already used you to touch more lives than you'll ever know--Saturnino and his family in Boca de Garza, Venezuela; Sandra Sanchez in La Concordia, Venezuela; Cheo and Monica Gomez in Tumeremo, Venezuela; Pastora Yolanda at the Lugar Altisimo Church in Venezuela; Choco Guzman in General Tehran, Mexico; Ugan Alcaron from Sonora, Mexico; Mary Carmen in Escobedo, Mexico; Ana Lucia Alcarón in Santiago de Nuevo León, Mexico...and literally hundreds of other lives have been directly impacted by your giving, going and praying. You have been--and have allowed us to be--conduits of God's love and faithfulness. We thank you for caring, for sending, for praying, for giving--all of these acts of faith have worked together to see lives forever changed...and those changed lives will impact still others. Now, as we move in ministry to the US/Mexican border, we look forward with great anticipation to what God has for us all as we work together in the days to come. May the Lord continue to bless you as you bless others!
With Great Thanksgiving, your co-laborers in Christ!
Jon and Jeanne...and the J.A.M.