The Challenges of a New Missionary

Becoming a new missionary has quite a few challenges. How do you go from working a regular 40 hour job to transitioning to the missions field? How do you raise support? What are some of the challenges you will encounter? Should I sell everything or put it into storage? Just to name a few.


For me, personally I have had an interesting experience. When I returned from the DR to raise support I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew that I didn’t have enough funds coming in yet to go completely to support based finances, I knew that my car loan and insurance would basically take all of the funds coming in so I had to do something. I was able to return to my retail job and work full-time. I was so thankful that they would allow me to return knowing that I would leave again a short time later. But then it came the challenge of how to do work full time and speak at churches or have meetings to share about TIME. Thankfully once again I had a job that was willing to “work with me” for the most part. Originally I thought,  raising support can’t be that hard! Well, it is definitely harder then I first thought! It is a challenge to get churches to return your calls! Then, you hear well as a church we can’t support you, we have all of the missionaries we can support right now. But, thankfully many of the churches I reached out to allowed me to come and share about the ministry. Opportunities at Awana, Small Groups, Socials, and church services were all opened to me. Every time it seemed like I was beginning to doubt that this was what I was to be doing, well God would send me another speaking arrangement. While I am not 100% supported I am going to the field trusting God to provide all I need.


I also wrestled with should I sell/ donate all of my stuff or should I put it into storage. Well, most of my things have been sold or donated! Literally the only things I have anymore is clothing. I have sold or donated everything else. This includes my car! I knew that I had to get rid of it. I knew that it couldn’t just sit here month after month not being driven and paying on it. But, I was unsure how to go about it. During my time in the States in the Spring I had posted it shortly and I had heard from many that I was asking too much money for it. I knew that I had to get the pay-off amount for it or else I would still have a ton of debt and I wouldn’t be able to pay off that loan. When I came back this fall I kept telling people by word of mouth that I needed to sell my car, but I didn’t know what to do because I still needed a car to get back and forth to work and speaking arrangements. I trusted that God would take care of me. Finally it was a few weeks prior to my departure and my father asked what I was going to do about my car. Honestly I was afraid! I had begun to doubt that I would get rid of my car prior to my departure. I told him that I had contacted 2 places before Christmas and hadn’t heard from either. The next day I sat down and said ok I NEED to call them again. The same day I left the second message for them, one called me back. He asked me to come get my car appraised and he would see what he could do. I already knew that the appraisal would be less than the amount due, but I was praying the entire way there saying God I am trusting you with this. I don’t know what else to do. Within minutes of me walking in and handing over my keys the owner walked up to me and introduced himself. He said that they were going to appraise my car and would be right back. A short time later he returned and said the words, Your car is worth less than what you owe, and my heart sunk I thought he was going to say he can’t help me, but he quickly continued.  BUT, we will take care of your full amount due on your loan! We want to help you get to the missions field and now have to worry about this! I can only imagine the look on my face as I said Thank you! I cried the entire way home saying God I trusted You, You did it again! Thank you for your faithfulness! That same day later I found a vehicle that would be loaned to me the last few weeks I am here! To me this was yet another affirmation that this is what God wants for me.


Now, a few weeks prior to my departure for the DR things are becoming real. It didn’t all sink in until I sold my car that I will be moving in a few short weeks! Then it will be an entire set of new challenges that I am excited to encounter and to learn as I go. Please keep all of your missionary friends in your prayers. We have a bunch of challenges in our every day life that are unique to each of us.

He is an Unstoppable God!

Awesome!  He is an Unstoppable God!  He is the God of the Impossible and without equal!!

Around 40 ladies visited the “Woman, Practice Your Faith” conference each day the first week of November. They learned, prayed, fellowshipped with new sisters and studied the Word in intimacy with God!  Ladies from different parts of our country and foreigners from Cuba and the USA gathered in unity at the feet of Christ, searching how to become more effective for His Kingdom.



 Fellowship and building bonds with our sisters in Christ.                                         

This week we initiated a new project by visiting 5 wives of pastors and one leader.  Days before the beginning of the conference, we met to pray with them since our ministry has as one of its purposes to help them so they may find restoration in their private lives and to equip them with a strong foundation in God’s Word and prayer.  At the same time we attend to their physical and spiritual needs both in their lives and in the churches where they serve alongside their husbands.

The Mission and Vision of Woman, Practice Your Faith


We are a Christian Ministry of Faith, committed to God, restoring and equipping wives of pastors and leaders, with prayer, sharing the Word of God, attending to their physical and spiritual needs in the churches


Ministry that inspire communion around the world, as an example of Christ, by bringing the Good News with the action of love.

   Thanks to God we were able to accomplish that goal by visiting the sisters with different schedules; and in different places.  The relation which unified us was very impactful.  Furthermore, it is an opportunity to help equip and help to restore them in Christ. By means of this activity, they could obtain new things and revitalize their lives in Christ.

Foot Washing

Come to me and you will find rest.

Among the many blessings which we experienced together in three days, I wish to mention this specific one because it has much value for us.  During the first two days of the conference we succeeded in creating a section of groups with different themes.  Among these themes were: Physical Wear and Tear in Ministry; Depression; Four steps in the Prayer of Moms in Touch; Internal Healing and Conflicts in our Daily Lives. These themes have brought our souls much liberty to enable us to advance in the ministry. It’s one of the battles which we human beings face each day in our ministries and areas of work.

Various ladies with whom we spoke had experienced heavy spiritual burdens.  Some of the prayer requests dealt with their environment and physical conditions.  And even the burdens of others which we should not need to carry, but rather make them matters of prayer as the Father has instructed us.  Yes, of course we are called to assist one another, but we should do it without wearing us out or frustrating us.

One woman shared: Thank you so much for touching that theme because I’ve spent many years carrying burdens which I have not been able to resolve.  And we explained to her in the light of His Word that only Jesus can lighten our burdens.  Our Lord Jesus does not take everything away.  But He does lighten our load because His yoke is easy and light according to Matt. 11:28-30.  After hearing our explanations, the ladies felt a relief and expressed their gratitude with tears in their eyes.  This is the reason for this verse.

    (“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”) This yoke is lined with love. So powerful is the help that it provides us, the exhortations are so adequate and the consolations are so strong that they are found on the road of duty.  Thus, we can truly say, it is a grateful yoke.  The road of duty is the road of “rest”.  The truths which Christ teaches us are such that we can risk our souls for them.  Such is the mercy of the Redeemer. And why should the sinner laboriously and burdened search for rest in any other place? We go to Him daily in search of liberation of anger, guilt, sin, Satan, of all our worries, fears and pains.  But the forced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavy burden.  In vain we approach Jesus with our lips while our heart if far from Him.  Then, come to Jesus in order to find rest for your souls.

Without doubt to follow Christ involves having to bear a cross.  Undoubtedly, there are trials to endure and battles to fight.  But the benefits of the Gospel compensate for the work of the Cross. Compared to the yoke which we live today and the Jewish ceremonies, or the slavery of human superstition, our service to Jesus, in its highest sense, is easy and light.  His yoke is no heavier than the feathers for a bird. His commandments are not burdensome, and all His paths are peace.  I John 5:3; Proverbs 3:17.

Now let’s ask ourselves:  Have we accepted that invitation for ourselves?  Don’t we have sins that need to be forgiven, pains that need to be eliminated, a wounded conscience that needs to be healed?  Let’s listen to the voice of God: “Come to Me” and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29


In our conference we saw many healed souls upon listening to the speakers and testimonies.  The beautiful combination and the connections in many of them.  There was a guest from the Foundation Resplandece whom I asked to pray that God would give her a topic that would touch our hearts.  The theme of our conference was “Advance” and God did some marvelous things through her.  Many sisters are delighted with the strategic plan which we have to help women who are burned out physically and emotionally in their areas of work and ministries.  The foundation works with women who have experienced pain as missionaries. And many could see the hand of God working in their own lives.

Another thing which impacted the lives of the ladies who attended was when they entered the TIME Center and saw the elegance of all the details in the decorations and how God provided everything we needed.  The food was marvelous as God proves each year.


Finally, we had time for prayer each morning so that God would cover each one and that the visiting ladies would be filled with His power.  And that’s what occurred!  God was with us just like Joshua explained in Joshua 6:27.   Jehovah was with Joshua and His name was spread throughout the earth.

God is doing marvelous things among us.  The name of Mujer, Practica Tu Fe is spreading because He is fighting our battles. No one can defeat this ministry because God is working in an extraordinary manner.  God has chosen us ordinary women to transform us into extraordinary women who will carry His glory throughout all of the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the USA and other countries. I thank God for each person who prayed that this ministry would become a reality, many thanks! And that our Sovereign God would fill you with rich blessings!!!

Anyoly Figueroa is a long time National missionary with TIME Ministries who has a heart for her sisters in Christ.

Monterrey 2.0

TIME’s ministry in Mexico has undergone a metamorphosis into something new, relevant and exciting.

…No, that’s not it.  That connotes the idea of an ugly caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly.  And our old ministry in Mexico was never an ugly caterpillar.  It’s really as though a beautiful butterfly morphed into a different, yet still beautiful, butterfly.  Hope that clears it up?

It’s moved from serving the church with physical labor to serving the church through personal ministry.  Yes, we still do VBS.  Yes, we still do evangelistic meetings.  And yes, we still sometimes mix cement if needed.  But our newest ministry is through the local schools.  From Jr High schools to Universities, there is a desire to practice English skills.  And who better to practice with than Americans.  It’s easy for the Americans, enjoyed by the students and approved by the schools.  They certainly understand who we are and why we are there and each school has different guidelines about how much we can share about our relationship with Christ.  And I think that leads to the two reason for this ministries success.

1- We really want to help the students improve their English skills.  English is the language of business and it will go a long way to helping these students be successful and better their lives. And before you cry ‘ethnocentrism’, this is about their desire to learn English, not our telling them that they should.  Also consider how many more opportunities there would be for any of us if we were fluent in another language.

2- We also want to build relationships.  As these students see that we are interested in truly helping them, we begin to build friendships.  They start asking more personal questions such as why are we spending our vacation to come teach them, which then leads to some interesting discussions.  We can’t stand in the front of the room and meander down the Romans Road with the class, but we can share with a group of students who ask, how Jesus is the reason for our coming to Mexico to help them.

These relationships take a while to build, and don’t always come to fruition through one group.  As was the case with Arturo, it took a whole summer of groups before he accepted Christ at the last VBS of the summer.  And that was just the beginning of his journey.  This is what one of our missionaries in Mexico wrote about it.

We moved to El Alamo on May 7th, 2016. Soon after that God led us to contact the Jr High that’s across the street from the TIME Center. We were well received, and we started a great partnership with the school. They opened their doors to us and the groups that come with TIME. We met a young kid that summer, his name is Arturo. He was part of the activities we were able to do at the school. We became friends with him and we would hang out with him. At the last VBS of the summer, he accepted Christ.  Fast forward to 2017, he starts coming to church with us. Kike is now intentionally investing time in him. Last year, we had our first English Summer Camp at the TIME Center and we invited him to volunteer with us. He did a great job, he has a great attitude and his English was a great asset and it has gotten so much better. That summer, he was challenged to share his testimony before his very own classmates, and he did it. This year, he has shown more growth in his faith and he was a volunteer once again. He is now a sophomore in High School and God has been working in his life so much. Arturo has made the decision to be baptized. It is a blessing to see how this young man has made a commitment to follow and obey Christ and to see the value of every single person who has invested in Him, from group members, interns, leaders, volunteers, missionaries, etc. Pray for Arturo and his family. He is a great testimony to them and to us.

Arturo Baptism

As you might have noticed, working with the schools has naturally progressed into developing English Summer Camps.  Hosted at the TIME Center and in partnership with our anchor church, it is a fun, crazy, exhausting, educational time centered around the Gospel.  There is no bait and switch.  Both the students and the parents know what we are about, that we are affiliated with a local church, and that we do an excellent job at improving the students English.  I believe that the affiliation with the local church gives us credibility.  It also challenges the teens from the church that come and help at the camps.  Read what Aide had to say.

This summer I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I knew what the English Summer Camp was about, I knew the missionaries (Sam, Kike and Jess) I was going to live with them for the next few weeks. But I can say I didn’t expect the impact this experience was going to have in me. Being vulnerable by practicing my English 24/7 for the first time, being “far” from my family and, it may sound weird, but be reminded of God so often, praying a lot of times per day, having more than one devotional daily…that’s what I was afraid of and at the same time excited about. But God is way bigger than my expectations. These people became my family and being reminded of God that often is now the lifestyle I’m sure I want to have.

About the activities, games and projects we had, I loved each and every one of them. I saw the students getting so interested in English and in the volunteers from the States. I believe they really enjoyed learning while playing. I was also challenged this summer, I shared my testimony for the first time, and it wasn’t just that, I did it in front of people from my church, who I’ve known my entire life, and it went great. I also had the opportunity of sharing a devotional for the youth helpers of Nuevo Pacto’s VBS, who were also friends I’ve known my whole life, and it also went well. I was challenged this summer, I was vulnerable, but I was also loved and welcomed by all the people I got to hang out with. I know God wanted me to be there this summer, He wanted me to learn all the things I learned about His unchanging love and I know He wants me to share that love with others. So, it was an amazing summer, I can’t wait for the next one.

Aide Sánchez Martínez

Camp Reegistration

But most importantly, it reaches out to students that wouldn’t otherwise be reached.  A student who has no connection with a church and comes to the English camp to learn English, or to meet Americans, or to hang out with friends or whatever reason.  They make new friends and build stronger relationships.  They meet not only Americans, but peers that go to our partner church.  They get invited to church with their new friends.  They are exposed to the Love of God.  Introduced to a Savior they didn’t even know existed.  Begin a new life as a Child of the King.

Sounds great.  But does that really happen?  Read about Roxanna and her journey.

Roxanna came to the English Summer Camp to spend time with her friend Fabiola. She was supposed to be there the previous year, but she couldn’t make it. Little did she know what God had in store for her. Little did we know what God was going to allow us to experience. She was able to connect with the group really well. She loved every second of the English Summer Camp. After the group left, we invited her to come to church to hang out with Haley and she did. She brought her younger sister to the VBS at our church, we invited Roxanna to help at VBS and she did. She started coming to the cell group we host at our place. Lexi, one of the team members, has been in touch with them and through the Bible app they have been reading devotionals together. After cell group I was able to share the gospel with her. She came to know Christ. It is incredible how this is a great illustration of what happens with the groups when they come down and how God takes every bit and piece and puts them together for His own glory. So many parts came into play for her to hear the Gospel and to come to know Christ as her Lord and Savior. Short term missions are not just about that one week or tour you take with TIME Ministries. We believe that we share the Gospel out of obedience to God, leaving all the results in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Pray for Roxanna and her walk with Christ. Pray for her family, so she can be a catalyst in their lives and what God is doing in Roxanna’s life draws them to Christ.

Camp Activity

That’s why we say that TIME Ministries is more than missions.  Or more specifically, more than that one week you spend on the mission field.  It is cultivating relationships to provide opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  It’s sustaining those relationships so they can experience that Love that should define the church.  It’s working together to harvest the souls that long for something that they haven’t been able to define themselves, a reconciliation with their Father and Creator.  It’s teaching them that they have a purpose, they have an important work to do that God specifically created them to accomplish.

It’s showing them how God can transform their life from the ugliness of sin and and the cocoon of  death into the beautiful creation they were meant to be.

A Tale of Two Cultures

My daughter got married earlier this month.  It was a great weekend full of family, food and fun.  She was the first of our kids to get married, our only daughter, and I was a little surprised at how well I handled it.  In fact, the only moment that caused me some reflection was the next day when I saw that she changed her last name on Facebook.  She now had a new last name.  Not that she wasn’t part of our family anymore, but she had become part of another family as well (as did he with us).  And isn’t that the truth, when you get married you don’t just marry the other person, you marry their family, their history, their upbringing, their culture.  And it is the wise couple that recognizes this sooner rather than later and strives to make the two cultures one. To become a third culture that takes the best of both their backgrounds and makes it uniquely theirs.  That’s probably one of the reasons that I handled giving my daughter away so well.  These kids knew that secret and spent the months leading up to their wedding going through the book, Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, by Les and Leslie Parrott.  It goes through 7 questions (which lead to many other questions) to ask and discuss with each other before you get married (or even after).  The idea is to take away the assumptions you might have about the other person and just find out the truth.  Because you come from two different families, two different worlds and it would be naive to assume you held the same views on everything. 

My daughter, and the rest of the family, first experienced this in Mexico.  We lived in Monterrey, Mexico for 4 years serving through TIME Ministries.  Even more so than two families, two countries are very different.  Some people might think that deep down, everyone is the same.  That’s true in the fact that deep down, everyone needs Jesus and different cultures share the same spread of personalty types.  But core beliefs, values and behaviors can differ.  Not all, but enough to make it confusing.  The rule of thumb for a missionary is that it takes three years living in a culture to realize that you know nothing of that culture.  Then you can start to learn.  It doesn’t make that much of a difference if you’re on a short term mission trip, you just get to enjoy the people and the culture.  But when you live there year round, you notice things.  Not always obvious, but it causes a prickling in the back of your mind that can grow into stress if you are not aware.  Your best strategy is to not assume you know what’s right, but ask questions and seek the truth of the matter.  Through communication we can come to understand each other.  Kids seem to be very good at blending the two cultures.  Missionary kids used to be called MKs, now they are referred to as TCKs (Third Culture Kids) because they successfully blend the two cultures into their own and basically make a third culture.

We can also see this phenomenon in the church.  Whether it’s a group of missionaries serving together on the field or your local church ministering in your home town.  The church is made up of different people with different personalities, gifts, talents, visions, etc.   We all serve the same God, but we are not all there to do the same thing, in the same way.  That’s why the Bible compares the church to a body throughout the new testament.  

I Corinthians 12

Romans 12

Ephesians 4

The problems start when we forget this.  We are not there to compete with each other, or even to compare ourselves with others.  We are to compliment each other.  And I don’t mean saying nice things to each other (though that’s still a good thing) but working together, doing our ‘thing’ in harmony and conjunction with others.  A blending of our skills and talents to grow the church.

The only place where this blending idea does not work is in our personal walk with Christ.  When we place our faith in Jesus and believe that He saved us on the cross, we are changed.  We move our citizenship from the world to heaven.

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

We move from the culture of the world to the culture of heaven.   But there is no blending of the cultures here.  There is no dual citizenship when it comes to God’s kingdom. It’s more of a duel citizenship as we strive to leave the one and become the other

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

to the point of putting it to death and becoming, not a blend of the two, but a whole new creation

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

And we will spend the rest of our earthly lives learning how to live in this new culture of heaven, speak this new language of love, associate with our fellow heavenly citizens who are sojourning with us in this strange land as we await the day we can go home.

And perhaps that is the real reason for the lack of qualms at my daughters marriage.  Yes, they are well on their way to blending their families’ cultures into their own.  They are blending their gifts and talents to be a force for the church.  But they also both made the decision to renounce their citizenship of this world and become solely citizens of heaven.  It’s a firm foundation on which to build not only the church, but a marriage as well.

Rick Jacobsen is the Vice President of Leadership Development with TIME Ministries.  He and his wife were Site Director and Site Administrator (respectively) in Monterrey Mexico and lived there with their two children for 4 years.

La ciudad de las montañas


Haley is a summer intern with us at our site in Monterrey, Mexico.  This is her description of her first week of her short term mission adventure with TIME.  Thanks to all our interns for serving the Lord with gladness as we seek to strengthen and increase His Kingdom.


English speakers, don’t worry! I promise that the only thing in this blog post written in Spanish is the title and the names of the places we went.

I truly cannot believe that I have already been here for a week. It seems like time is flying by and God is doing so much so quickly. This week I had the opportunity to be involved in some really cool things and experience some really awesome places.

On Wednesday night I went with Sam, Jess, and Kike to help with their church’s shower truck ministry, Regarderas de agua viva (Showers of living water). This outreach allows homeless men and women in Monterrey shower, get clean clothes, haircuts, and food. I witnessed over 180 plates of food be given away, 40 people given the opportunity to shower, 27 haircuts be given, and the gospel be shared to hundreds of people. Although I was exhausted from traveling and still getting used to the time change, I was blessed beyond measure to meet some of the men and women from Nuevo Pacto (Sam and Jess’ church) with hearts bigger than you can imagine.

On Friday night Sam, Kike and I were given the opportunity to attend and present at a ministry expo for a youth group at Kike’s friend’s church. We were able to share in worship with young men and women from the community, and we shared the vision and mission of TIME with dozens of youth who were so joyful and on fire for the Lord.

Saturday was a really fun day and Sam, Jess, Kike, Grace, Mia, and I went to Parque Fundidora. When I say this park is HUGE, I mean it is ginormous. We only walked some of it, but it was fascinating to see the former steel foundry and experience the incredible scenery with wonderful friends. I was able to learn more about the culture that I am living in for the next seven weeks which helped me better understand and appreciate what God is doing here.

On Sunday I attended Nuevo Pacto with Sam, Jess, Kike, and the girls. They translated the service into English for myself and the various other groups visiting and working with other ministries. The pastor gave a beautiful sermon about fathers, but He also took the time to give a call to the Church (yes, capital “C” Church). He encouraged us to do our part in influencing and shaping the next generation. He talked about how God is chasing us and He is working in us to affect our communities.

It was so powerful to hear men, women, and children worship God in their native tongue. I did my best to sing along with them during the music portion of the service, but for some I was able to just be silent and listen to others connect to their God. I was awestruck to witness people worship the King in such a unique way.

On Monday, I went to the junior high school with Sam and Kike and invited students to our English summer camp that is coming up in a couple of weeks. I was blown away by the kids and their eagerness to learn. I invited them in English and they translated it to Spanish for me! As a TESOL minor, this experience in particular was a gentle nudge from God that what I am doing in Mexico matters to these people and to me.

Yesterday Sam, Jess, Kike, Mia, and I went to a mercadito, a flea market. I was able to witness another aspect of culture and learn more about the popularity of such markets in Monterrey. After we came back and had lunch (Chinese food!), Kike and I went to the TIME center where Arturo met us to help continue working to clean and prepare for the group’s arrival in a couple weeks.

In the evening we had about eight people from the church come over for cell group. We spent time in the Word discussing Jesus’ encounters with people. This week we focused on Nicodemus and the idea of being born again. After the Bible study we shared a meal together and enjoyed one another’s company.

I thank you all for your prayers and continued support and I continue to follow God’s nudging in my work down here! I miss my family and friends dearly, but (as you can see from the picture) this city is beautiful! Hence why it’s know as the city of the the mountains.



Prayer Requests:

  • That I continue through the next seven weeks in prayerful recognition of God’s presence and His purpose for me
  • Energy and strength for myself and the rest of the team through the heat and the business of the next couple of weeks
  • Peace and patience in the struggles of the language barrier
  • Health for the team as some of us have been feeling a little less the great


God Is In Control!

It is hard to believe that I came to the Dominican Republic as a Missionary Intern SEVEN months ago! The year has been flying! Since the summer ended I have been busy. I started teaching English in a local private school and it has been a challenge. So many say that the classes in the USA are difficult but here I feel it is even worse. I have walked out of class completely discouraged and not knowing if I want to continue. Only to receive encouragement and prayers from so many! Teaching English is more difficult than I ever expected!! But the joys come from seeing the children outside of class and them running up to me yelling “TEACHER!” and I receive group hugs and smiles. It makes the difficult days’ worth it! I am still learning how to teach them, and I must be extremely firm with one of my classes. One of the classes I didn’t think was understanding anything and I was discouraged. I didn’t know how to get down to their level.

However, there is this one boy, Oscar, who has showed me that they are learning! One day I asked them if anyone in the class could sing the ABC’s song that I had taught them. Oscar raised his hand and proudly sang the song. His pronunciation of the letters was clear, and he didn’t miss a single letter! Even his teacher said WOW! I was so excited that day! Because it was kind of like God was saying to me, “I have you! They are learning!” God is so good! The school didn’t have the resources to purchase English Books. And with your help He has provided books for all these children, and they were so excited to receive them! I even heard the words, “We get a book??” from many of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible!

God has been teaching me so much while I have been here. Some days He sends others to speak into my life, some days it is through His Word, and some days it is BOTH. You know that when God hits you across the head multiple ways that you really need to sit up and listen! One thing that He has been teaching me is to truly depend on Him. I won’t lie, this has me nervous at times. I sit here and look at my finances and don’t know how I am going to make ends meet. But God provides! Please join me in prayers regarding my finances. Currently I am sitting at 70% funded for the year and there are living expenses that must be paid.  I am trusting that God will provide, He has brought me here, so I know that He will provide!

Another thing that He has been teaching me is that it isn’t all about Becca. This I feel is a HUGE lesson to learn. In the States we have come to expect what we want when we want it. We just go do whatever we want to do. But here it’s not always the case. We must put others before ourselves and this can be a hard and difficult thing to do at times. God has really been humbling me in the aspect that I have to depend on others and they can’t always stop what they are doing to help me.

Something else that God has been showing me is that to be a missionary it’s not easy! When I came I am honestly not sure what I thought it would be like. Part of me thought oh it will be easy!! We are doing God’s work. But, I have no idea why I thought this. Because when you are living the way God desires you to there are always road blocks thrown up. Because Satan doesn’t want us to succeed in God’s calling. He will do anything possible to stop the work! I have seen this many time since I have been here. With myself and with others. As missionaries and missionary interns, we don’t always agree with everything that is going on. But the thing that at the end of the day we all remember is GOD IS IN CONTROL! He will guide our footsteps every step of the way. We need to just trust and rely on Him.



{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

Why should I serve in Monterrey, Mexico, with TIME Ministries?


My name is Aaron and I am a youth pastor from the Chicagoland area. I love TIME Ministries. My students love TIME Ministries. Our church loves TIME Ministries. For twenty years now our church has been sending groups to Monterrey with TIME Ministries. From its old location at the Elim church to its new location at the TIME Center in El Alamo, the mission of reaching the lost with the Gospel has remained the same. TIME works tirelessly to see young and old respond to the Gospel and get connected to the local church.

Connecting people to the local church is what I love most about TIME Ministries in Monterrey. Too often we see people come to Christ through the efforts of short-term groups but the organization fails to connect these people to a local church. The staff in Monterrey have connected with a vibrant and growing church called Nuevo Pacto. They are consistently connecting families with this church through their partnership. As a youth pastor I am responsible for leading many trips throughout the year. Partnering with TIME Ministries helps ease the burden of our summer mission trip. With TIME, all I have to do is choose my dates and purchase my airline tickets.

The rest of the logistics are taken care of by the TIME staff on the field in Monterrey. I have lead trips with other organizations which do not make the logistic planning nearly as easy. Since I do not have to take care of any other logistics like transportation, housing, or meals it frees me up to really prepare my students for the ministry we will be part of while on the field. This is a much better use of my time while preparing for the trip. With all of the logistics taken care of for me by the TIME staff, as a trip leader I have plenty of time and space to listen and respond to what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me. I don’t just love TIME Ministries because they are connecting people to the local church or because they take care of all the logistics for me.

I also love TIME Ministries because of what God has done in my life through this organization. I have now been on twelve short-term trips with TIME Ministries in Monterrey. Each time I travel to Monterrey God does a tremendous work in my own life. When I was a junior in high school God used the work in Monterrey to call me to full-time vocational ministry. During our March 2017 trip God had some important lessons to teach me. I had the time and the space to be able to listen.

That specific trip has turned out to be the most influential short-term trip in my life because of the fruit it has produced. If short-term missions is new for you and your church, TIME Ministries is a great place to start. I personally guarantee that you will have a great experience. Not only will God use you to bring about eternal fruit for His Kingdom in others, he will also bring about eternal fruit in your life. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at God bless!



{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

Understanding Grace

My dad was a proud man, not arrogant but never wanting to not seem be in control. When in his mid-70’s, I persuaded him to attended Bible Study Fellowship along with me. As my elderly mother’s caregiver and reluctant to leave her alone, my daughters stepped up to stay with her on his evenings away, effectively eliminating any reason not to attend. To my knowledge this was his first ever organized bible study, other than a mandatory class in college years before.

At BSF, if unable to complete the lesson beforehand you were not allowed to talk within your group. Fearing the guys might know he was new to studying the bible, he worked hard on the lessons, answering every question as best he could. As the oldest guy in the group, he felt he knew the least. I assured him nobody looked at him that way and enjoyed having him there. Still, he was careful with his words and rarely asked questions for fear of looking like the new guy.

One night, several weeks into the study while driving home, Dad asked me; “I keep hearing the word “Grace” used and don’t know what it means.”Wow- what a great question to ask me! I explained it was like having your debts paid by someone else for free- like unearned favor. In my father’s typical fashion, he stated he understood, then changed the topic. Having to ask me in the first place was embarrassing for him but I know he pondered my answer.

The reality that salvation is a gift does not go well with some people, especially if you’ve attempted to earn it all your life. It seems the older we get, the more set in our ways we become. To be told the good works you’ve been piling up over the years won’t count when you stand before the Lord can be a hard pill to swallow, and to learn they are as filthy rags almost insulting. We have the natural desire to earn it ourselves and take credit in doing so. But God’s plan is different than ours- to place our faith in the grace of Christ’s death in our place to be saved.

As a salesman years ago, I met an elderly man at his simple rural home. We sat together at his kitchen table while he told me of his terminal illness, not having long to live. He told me of his life, his work done for God, his church affiliation and being a good person. Laying out his resume for acceptance to heaven, he would trust in his good works. I explained the gospel, that by placing his trust in Christ’s death for his sins and receiving Him as Savior, he could know for certain of his eternity. His reply was sobering but honest- he believed God would be fare and he would accept whatever God gave him. When his widow called to tell me of his death a few months later, I was sad but knew God was fare, but finds no pleasure in the death of a man who has not placed his trust in Christ.

When Christ was crucified, two condemned men hung on either side. While one mocked and cursed Him, the other asked Christ to remember him when He came into to His kingdom. Jesus’ reply was straightforward: “Truly truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”As a convicted man, guilty and accepting of punishment, he acknowledged the innocence of Christ and trusted Him for his salvation. Jesus paid the price for his sins, and the reward of eternal life for believing on Him. That very day the thief saw paradise with Christ.

So, did my dad place his trust in Christ? After 20 years of prayer and sometimes frustration, I had pretty much decided to quit asking and to just give it to God. Then one morning while eating breakfast together at McDonalds, out of the blue dad confesses his understanding of grace, that we are save by unearned favor, and that our works play no part in our salvation. He got it, and in God’s perfect timing.

We are called to tell of Christ’s love to a lost world, while it is the Holy Spirit who changes their hearts. Don’t stop praying for those people in your lives. Pride may get in the way, but the Lord can soften the heart. God is patient, not wishing for any to perish apart from His son. Be patient, God has it handled.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  

Scott Longstreet




{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

A Leader’s Guide to Missions Trip Prepare the Heart

There always seems to be something else that needs to be worked on to prepare for a mission’s trip.  First and foremost, you must select a place and date, and make sure it coordinates with what everyone else is doing in the church.  And, of course, you need to sign up with the mission organization early to make sure they have that date open.  You need to recruit your group, both leaders and participants.  There are meetings to be had to share what you all will be doing, and how to do it, and to practice and prepare the ministry, and how to fill out the paper work, etc.  There is money to raise and travel plans to make.  And yet, you can do all that, and still have a lack luster mission trip.  Why? Because it doesn’t depend wholly on the leader.  One person can do all the above (though if I may offer an aside; think delegation) but the trip is made up of, and depends on, all the people in your group. The key to a successful short-term mission trip is to not only focus on the practical tasks in preparation, but to prepare the hearts of the people going on the trip.

The preparation of the heart can be done at all stages of planning, it can be formal and informal; It can be individually or as a group.  The how is not as important as the what.  The most successful groups help their people know WHY they are going, WHERE they are going and WHO they are going to see.  You might be saying, ‘Great, we can hit all three of those at our intro meeting’.  But it’s not just knowing in your head but knowing in your heart. It’s not just knowing a fact but understanding all that fact implies.  It’s not just seeing the trip through your eyes but seeing it through God’s eyes.

WHY are you going?  ‘We’re going to share the good news of Jesus Christ’.  Great!  Beyond the fact that it’s the most important news you can share with someone, Why? Don’t you think that there are people in that country that can share that good news, and do it better because they know the language?  ‘But God told us to go and preach the good news and make disciples of all nations.’ Great. Have you shared the good news with your neighbor, or your family or your community?  …Ok, ok, before you stop reading, yes, I know those questions are leading and unfair and probably constitute badgering.  I’m just trying to make a point.  In general, Americans have a high opinion of themselves and the way they do things (our way is best).  We have a bit of a savior complex, as in, we think we need to save the world, which expresses itself in any number of ways in the secular realm.  But this also spills over into the spiritual realm. All I’m saying is, help your group understand that they are not going to save the poor native, they are going to serve alongside their brothers and sisters from another country to try and bring more people into the family.  They are going to share the good news of Jesus Christ as God commands, but they are doing so alongside their family that lives there.  It’s the church helping the church.

WHERE are you going?  ‘The Dominican Republic or Monterrey, Mexico.’  Great!  But what do you really know about these places?  Some people think that deep down, everyone is the same.  That’s true in the fact that deep down, everyone needs Jesus and different cultures share the same spread of personality types. But core beliefs, values and behaviors can differ.  Not all, but enough to make it confusing.  The rule of thumb for a missionary is that it takes three years living in a culture to realize that you know nothing of that culture.  Then you can start to learn.  So, on a short-term mission trip, you are not going to learn everything about that culture.   The good news is, you don’t have to.  Just realizing that it’s different will help.  Just remember: just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong; they aren’t the ones that are different, you are; they don’t speak with an accent, you do. You’re in their country after all. Interesting side note: the one thing that is universal around the world is a smile. Use it extensively.

Who are you going to see? ‘Dominicans and Mexicans.’  Great!  Now look a little deeper.  One of the most poignant stories I ever heard from a missionary was about the time he was driving a group through his city.  They were craning their necks and asking questions about various places and buildings.  At one point someone pointed at group of ladies on the side walk and asked, ‘Are those prostitutes?’  ‘No, they’re people’, came the missionary’s immediate reply.  It wasn’t a sarcastic reply, or condescending. Just a matter of fact answers.  That’s how he saw them.  Not with his eyes, but through God’s eyes.  No labels.  Just people. People who needed Jesus.  Just like us.

Seeing the world through God’s eyes is one of the results of being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).  If God is truly in control and he wants us to reach the world for Him, then every encounter with someone is a divine appointment set up from the beginning of time.  He can use every situation for His glory.  The bus/van broke down and we’re all delayed on the side of the road?  You can either feel frustration because things aren’t going according to plan, or excited to see how God is going to turn this around for His glory.  We just need to open our eyes, see the world the way God sees it and react accordingly.

Preparing our heats is making sure our attitudes and motivations are where God wants them to be.  We should have the same attitude as Christ.  Though He had every right, He didn’t play His God card, but took the form of a humble servant to bring the world back to God.

The practical tasks in preparing for a mission’s trip are important, but their purpose is limited for that trip.  The preparation of the heart is invaluable because it’s purpose is for our whole life.



{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}


This year has been one of the best years of my life.  I had the opportunity to serve the Lord in our TIME for Sports Ministries Program.  God is giving me strength to do things that I never thought were possible.

At the beginning of May, TIME for Sports conducted a baseball camp for 170 kids.  Being able to share the gospel to these students in one camp was an amazing opportunity.  They were eating together, sharing, playing baseball and doing devotions together throughout the whole camp.  This is something unforgettable and something that makes my heart race for the Lord.  At the end of this camp 117 kids accepted Christ in their hearts.  That was the perfect complement for this camp.  God showed us that we can do all things when we give Him the glory and the honor.

I am now praying for Pastor Alberto Felix and his congregation.  The kids for this baseball camp all live near Pastor Alberto’s church.  It was through this congregation that we partnered with and that they can follow up with these kids and their decision for Christ.  I am praying that they can guide them to the truth and a good life with God.

My life is changing day by day with the TIME for Sports Ministry program.  We started this ministry in a good way, because we are thinking about the life of the people and their salvation.  I know God will guide our life and this program.  The Bible says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

That’s why I love to work with children.  You can see the result in their lives.  Please help by praying for me and for the children as we desire to do more and more and more.
That’s why I ask for prayers also for a new ministry partnership with Ina York and the Cercadillo Project. We want to go to Cercadillo on a more regular basis and teach baseball and share more about Jesus with the children and the community.

Please also pray for the Rivera Family and our next trip to the USA.  We hope to visit various families and churches in the States.  We are praying for around USD$3000 to assist us with our airfare.

Another prayer requests we have is for our future house.  We want to start the foundation of the house.  This is one of our personal dreams to have our own home as a family.

God Bless you and thank you for being a part of our team.





{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}