Sierra Vista, Arizona, February 20, 2021
Relative to our work for the Lord in Mexico, my last report was February 2020. This is a report for the past year.
We had planned to make trips down into the interior of Mexico last year, but all trips were cancelled due to COVID.
The country of Mexico suffered from the virus as much as the United States. The congregation in Agua Prieta, Sonora was especially hard hit. Three elderly individuals in the church in Agua Prieta passed away as a result of the COVID. Others in the congregation also caught the virus and suffered significant health issues and some of the issues linger until the current time.
The church in Nogales had a few individuals that had the virus but there were minimal issues. There were a couple of periods of time when they ceased to meet at the assembly building and families met in their homes. They are currently meeting again in the building, but the attendance is reduced as many are still concerned about meeting together because of the virus. In spite of the problems in Nogales, the church continues to grow in numbers. There have been 19 baptisms since last report. Praise the Lord!
I continue to meet with the brethren in Nogales one Saturday in a month and with the brethren in Agua Prieta another Saturday in the same month. There were a few months that I missed visiting these congregations when COVID was especially bad. These are congregation in border cities. As I said before, no trips have been made into the interior of Mexico due to COVID.
I translate the encouragement lessons I write into Spanish. When I visit the congregations, I typically make a packet of five lessons, make multiple copies, and bring them when I visit. The brethren read the lessons to the congregation and make comments. Our meetings are on Saturday so that those who work during the week and children who are in school can attend. They have their normal assemblies on Sunday and at mid-week. Each time I return home, they insist that I greet the brethren in the United States. Consider yourself greeted by the brethren in Mexico.
My monthly visits also provide opportunities to help them with their physical needs as I can. For example, sister Damirus is a single mother with four young children. I provide her with a little financial help and I also bring her groceries to include rice, beans, bread and milk. These border towns get fairly cold – below freezing in the winter time. They typically have central heating – meaning a portable propane heater or a wood stove. We have helped some of the families a couple of times to buy propane or wood, otherwise they might not have any heat in their houses. We have also taken them blankets. The brethren that we are able to help are very thankful.
Some of the families we work with in Nogales live in make-shift houses of plywood that are very drafty. The Mexican government is trying to improve the standard of living of their people. This past year, several of the families got new houses. The government tore down their old house and built them a new, small two bedroom house of concrete block. Praise the Lord! They are so thankful.
This past year we were able to increase the size of the assembly building in Nogales. The attendance in the old building was so great that the building was packed. We were able to almost double the size of the building and add restrooms as well, thanks to a generous donation. Everyone was sitting on plastic chairs. Then our congregation in Sierra Vista, AZ decided to purchase “new” benches for our building, so I transported our old benches to Nogales. That was a challenge! The congregation in Nogales really appreciates the benches they received.
Then I was informed that the title for the church building lot in Nogales was not in the name of the church. It was in the name of brother Abel’s daughter. We all agreed that it should be in the name of the church. We have begun the transfer process but we have run into many complications. The latest complication is that the city insists that they have a parking lot before there can be any title put into the name of the church. The church didn’t have a parking lot. We found an unimproved lot three lots away that we are now trying to buy. Then it must be improved to be a parking lot. I guess these are growing pains.
If you can help us towards the cost of the work in Mexico, please send donations to Church of Christ, c/o Duane Cogburn, 86C Martin Lane, Moriarty, NM 87035.
Please pray for the brethren in Mexico and for the success of the Lord’s work there.
In His service
Brother Ed Anderson