Dear friends of Mexico Ministries:

The new year is here and we should start it out right, but how? The Apostle Paul wrote, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead...” (Philippians 3:13), to which I would add, forgiving what is past. Unforgiveness becomes a tremendous weight that keeps us from moving forward into what God desires for us.

I am reminded of the story from Genesis 27 where Jacob stole Esau’s blessing and, “Esau bore a grudge against Jacob,” planning to kill him the next time they met. For twenty years Jacob lived in fear. For twenty years Esau bided his time. When the moment arrived, Jacob saw his brother coming with 400 men, but instead of raising a battle cry, Esau ran to his traitorous brother, embraced him, kissed him, and the two of them wept together. I’m sure they wept with a surprised joy, but also probably tears of sorrow over what had been lost the last twenty years.

In Acts 15 a dispute arose between Paul an Barnabas over whether John Mark could go with them on a missionary trip. It was so hot that the two men of God parted ways, Paul having nothing to do with Mark, while Barnabas took him alongside. Years later, toward the end of his life, Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “Do diligence to come to me shortly. Take Mark and bring him with you, he is profitable to me for ministry.” We don’t know if there were tears shed at that reunion, but there was forgiveness given from both sides.

We all have encountered strained relationships and hard feelings. I for one refuse to carry them into 2018. Instead, I choose to heed some other words from Paul: “Old things are based away, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5.17). We are new in Christ. All things are new. And it is good to revisit this newness that is ours as we approach the beginning of a new year.

Speaking of new - the new church and ministry center in Tuxtapec is moving forward beautifully, and we plan to have the roof on sometime this month (check out the pictures on the flip side). Thank you so much for joining with us in making this new phase of ministry a reality.

Happy New Year, and God bless you all,