connectivity icons
It seems that everyone everywhere is connected these days.  We're connected to email and facebook and instagram and google maps.  We're connected at home, at school, at work, and at play.  In fact, we’re so connected that not only do we know the news taking place around the world, you know what your missionaries are doing out “on the field” thanks to email and we might also know what someone on the other side of the globe ate for lunch today.  

Perhaps connectivity is a sign of our times.  In the past month and a half we’ve had the blessing of exploring our connections; strengthening some and disconnecting others.  We've been blessed by our connections with fellow Latin American missionaries, fellow pastors, students, our support team and our connection to God’s great mission.  

As you read about some of our connections, please know how much we value our connections to each of you.   Thank you for being a part of our lives and for welcoming us into yours!  The connection of our Christian family is a great source of strength for us, as we hope it is for you!
Connected in Mission
This January we had the pleasure of hosting all of the Free Methodist missionaries to Latin America in Medellín.  Together we enjoyed great biblical teaching and soul care as well as vision casting for the future.  Our corporate, connected goal is to fuel and sustain a biblical movement to reach Latin Americans for Christ through empowering local leaders to multiply disciples, groups, leaders, and churches; beginning initiatives and facilitating partnerships to plant clusters of churches in strategic cities; and creating appropriate structures and sustainable systems to encourage and support the exponential growth of the Church

After several days of focused meetings in the city, we were able to travel to the Colombian countryside and enjoy a weekend retreat in fellowship with God’s beautiful creation and one another.  There was even time for some international soccer competition, with 5 countries represented.  We are so thankful to be connected to this wonderful group of servants throughout Latin America!
Latin American Missionaries
soccer game
Connected to the Culture

One of the blessings of serving on a seminary campus is that it is full of students (most of them younger than us).  We think (hope) this helps keep us relevant to the times.  (At least it certainly comes in handy when our smart-phones out-smart us.)

This semester we’re making a more concerted effort to make that connection because, in addition to teaching the Theology of Mission, Ricardo is teaching Cultural Context this semester.  Now more than ever we need to follow Dr. René Padilla’s advice to serve with the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other so that we make sure we the answers we provide are not only Biblical but also relevant to the culture we serve.  It is great to be investing in the generation that is and will impact the cities of Latin America for Christ.   Please pray for Ricardo and his students as they are in the midst of 8 weeks of very intense study and grading.  He is teaching nearly 80 students this semester.

A small portion of the 39 student class
In the same vein, Beth and her team are beginning the ministry to women on campus this semester with a questionnaire so that we can make sure our ministry meets the women at their areas of greatest need and interest.  Our first meeting for this year will be next Wednesday, February 15.

Of course, now that school is back in session, Juliana and Jonathan are getting their daily dose of cultural connections.  Both are now in middle school and... so far, so good.

Connected with Pastors
Perhaps this year will be characterized by the various mentoring relationships we have.  We continue mentoring students here on campus and feeding some of them regularly  but there is more.  Inspired by John Wesley’s small group system, Ricardo has begun a small group for local pastors here in Medellín for support, Christian growth and discipleship.  Likewise, both of us are involved in separate Skype discipleship groups with the other FM leaders here in Colombia.    (The Colombian pastoral team is pictured at right with our area directors.)
Our goals are build accountability, develop our Wesleyan identity and create a movement that will reap a great harvest through the multiplication of leaders, disciples and groups.  We ask that you would pray with us that the goals be achieved and that these weekly meetings will provide opportunities for deeper connections to God’s word, His mission and His people.  Also please pray for each pastor as they fulfill God’s call on their lives.
Connected Unexpectedly
Casa Grande's fb page
Earlier this week I was reminded of traveling from Santiago, Chile to Lima, Peru where, there in the lobby of our hotel we met a man who used to live on the same street we lived on in Lexington, K and   It is a small world! 

Something similar and much more significant happened recently on campus.  The Academic Dean appeared at Ricardo’s office with a lady from the neighborhood.  Ina was seeking pastoral advice and wondered if Ricardo could talk to her.   It turns out that Ina has, in her words, “separated from the church” due to some problems in her life.   She told Ricardo that needs to return to church and she needs professional help.  The problem is…she’s moving to Santiago, Chile and doesn’t know where to go.  Ricardo was able to direct Ina to Casa Grande (the church that we planted in 2009) and the new pastor there who is a licensed psychologist and counselor.  Not only are we thankful to still be connected to that church via facebook but Ina had actually visited it on a previous trip to Chile!   Just more proof that God is the master connector!  Please pray for Ina and for Comunidad Cristiana Casa Grande and Pastor Diego.
We really are connected by God’s design.   There are various scriptures that point to that fact but, since Valentine’s is upon us, we choose to close with this example of it.  “ Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

What we do here is an extension of your to the world.  This ministry is made possible by your faithful prayer and financial support.  If you or your church have not yet made your commitment toward our support for 2017, please remember that we must have at least 75% of our support committed by May.  You can make that commitment or give a donation on-line by visiting our FMWM webpage (see button below). 

Lovingly connected to God and you,
Ricardo, Beth, Juliana and Jonathan

US Phone 1 859 559 0628   Beth's WhatsApp +57 317 730 5344