More Prayer

During January earlier this year, God spoke to our hearts a simple and clear message that we needed to widen and deepen our prayer—in our personal lives, the life of our family, and in our ministry. We had been unsure how to start our mission here in Villa de Juarez since we were the first missionaries they have had here and we ourselves are still pretty new at this. We had prayed and God gave us this for an answer.Image
While we began spending more time in prayer personally and as a family we really were not sure how to incorporate this message best in our ministry as missionaries. We decided that from week one we would began praying the Liturgy of the Hours Monday – Friday with the people of Juarez. We would use the scripture readings, canticles and Psalms to evangelize. Little did we realize the fruits that would spring forth from praying the scriptures with the people.Image
Our first day of Morning Prayer there was a modest gathering of 8-9 women. We actually were pleased with how many turned out for some young gringos who really couldn’t speak the language too well. They came and the Holy Spirit did the work. We began seeing more and more people each week. After 2 months we had about 25 in the group. 15-20 was the average number of people (a few men also began coming) who showed up every day (except Sat and Sun). We listened to and watched men and women pour out their cares and trails into the hands and heart of Jesus. Through this ministry, we have seen men and women come back to their faith.
Starting the first week of Easter (Easter Tuesday to be exact) we began praying the same prayer in our largest Ejido here in Juarez, La Presa Don Martin. 25 people showed up on our first day! We didn’t even have enough books. We shared and the following week Fr. Rogelio and Jonathan drove 7 hours round trip to Monterrey in the state next to ours to get more books. We had spent lent preparing a few women of Juarez to lead the group while we were gone 2 days a week in La Presa Don Martin. They were so blessed to take on a leadership role in the church. God is so good.Image
Four weeks later we have just started a group in another ejido called El Alamo. There we saw similar numbers and passion including one man, Javier, who cannot read but comes anyways to hear the Gospel and pray the scriptures. This week we started up our forth group in a small ejido farthest away from us called Section 22-0. Please pray for us as we bring Jesus, the Word of God to the people of the ejidos of Juarez and Progresso. Pray that they can understand and accept this great message of joy.Image
It seems like ages since we last wrote a blog or update on all our work here in Villa de Juarez. Suffice to say that this year we have been entrusted with a great task and as the first missionaries here in Juarez this often means we work often and this doesn’t leave us much time to write to you all at home, not to mention we have to drive almost an hour just to use the internet. Know that you all are in our prayers and thoughts constantly. God is so good, all the time!
The Kiehls

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By Jonathan and Teresa

One of the first things we wanted to begin when we arrived in Juarez was the construction of a new chapel in the most forgotten ejido in our municipality.  Mexiquito had never had a Mass celebrated within its borders before we arrived.  It had no place for people to come together and pray, no place for the the Catholics to gather and celebrate Mass, or receive any of the sacraments.  Because of this, the visiting priests (we didn’t have a pastor living here until last year) who came to serve our municipality, when deciding which of the ejidos they would go to to celebrate Mass, always looked over Mexiquito.  There were seven other ejidos to visit with chapels, so of course they would visit those places instead.  The people in Mexiquito had become disconnected to the faith they claimed to profess.  Even now the people of this village have very little knowledge of Jesus, and almost none are married in the church.  The children aren’t catechized and though most are baptized, they can hardly tell you even one story from the Bible.  But the love of the people is profound, and their thirst is evident.

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The beginning of our procession.

 

Through the generosity of benefactors in the United States, we will be able to begin building Mexquito a chapel very soon.   On April 6, 2014 we had a procession from the entrance of the ejido to the chapel construction site, where Fr. Rogelio said the very first Mass in the ejido and blessed the ground.  Hundreds of people attended the procession and the people of Mexiquito served a delicious meal for all who came.  The excitement of having their very own chapel could be felt by all.  Image

We can’t wait to begin construction, but are waiting on an official document from the government saying the land was donated to the church so that in the future no one will be able to claim that the land (and therefore the chapel on it) belongs to them.  In the past, we have been told, others have not waited for the document from the government and then the chapels were claimed by individuals and subsequently destroyed or turned into chapels for other religions.  Out of a sense of precaution, we are waiting.  Please pray that our wait is not too much longer and we can begin very soon!

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Until our chapel is completed, we are content to offer communion services on Sundays in the old school and we return on Mondays for a Bible study.  This week we are starting the first ever Mexiquito Bible Study beginning in the Gospel of Mark.  Through generous donors and benefactors we were able to give each person in the ejido their own copy of the Bible. There is almost no room for all of us to fit, but the families come faithfully, and with open hearts!  May God continue to bless Mexiquito!