The Ruiz Family
Serving the Lord in Tixtla de Guerrero, Mexico
May June 2022 Update
Dear Praying Friends,
Greetings from wet, green Tixtla. Our rainy season is in full swing and how I am enjoying the cooler evenings and the constant sound of rain on the church´s tin roof as I go to sleep each night! The rains did put a hold on getting our new church building´s roof poured, but it hasn´t damped our spirits as far as serving the Lord. Now we are waiting to save more money to continue with our construction project and to allow the rainy season to calm down a bit. That also allows us to put our money and energy into planning our yearly Vacation Bible School, planned for the last week of July.
How do I summarize two months? Any missionary reading this letter knows just how hard it is to actually sit down, analyze the last two months of your ministry, and put it into an enjoyable, readable form. As I sit here trying to think, a most beautiful harmony of Grace (15) and Hannah (17) practicing their duet for tomorrow´s graduation service floats through the open window. This lovely distraction makes my heart thank the Lord for teens who love and serve the Lord with a pure heart. Since Samuel left for college, I cherish their singing much more because I know they won´t be here much longer. As everyone always told me, the years fly by.
Tomorrow evening, our church graduates our first three graduates of our small, local church Bible Institute. Seeing how the Lord changed these young people from such timid, aimless believers to firm, stable Christians is a trophy for God´s glory. I also praise the Lord for my husband´s vision in establishing this practical Bible institute when we literally had nothing but God´s grace to start with.
I guess the best word to summarize the last two months would be birthdays: both physical and spiritual. Six of us celebrated our birthdays these last two months. As the kids get older they enjoy combining parties and planning “their” day together. Having a big family is great for making celebrations without inviting anyone else over! We always have a crowd.
Besides our normal witnessing opportunities these last two months, we had some unique witnessing experiences. One came from a Hispanic lady who lives in the states. She called Efra to ask him to witness to her parents who live in our same state. Yes, they live in Guerrero, but 5 hours away from here! My husband planned a small group trip, leaving at 4 AM to look for this family. Praise the Lord, my husband was able to locate them (their power and phone line had been down all weekend) and personally witness to them as well as other family members. A terrific downpour made their trip home slower than anticipated, but the Lord brought them back safe and sound rejoicing with their sheaves.
Then, about a week later, Efra received another phone call from a very needy teenage girl who lives in our capital, about a half hour from here. After contacting the young lady´s parents, Efra, Hannah, and I were able to meet with her and present the plan of salvation. She was saved, and then we were able to talk with her parents (both wealthy, influential people) and lead them to the Lord as well. Today the young lady came to youth group for the first time.
And then, very late Monday evening, Efra was able to pray with a Hispanic father in Texas whose son is dying of cancer. He also accepted Christ as Savior! It is beautiful to see how God can use a cell phone to bring the gospel to those who need to be saved.
The need for the gospel is so great. Please pray for our protection. Our state is continually under unrest from the different cartels fighting over territory. Thankfully we have all been under God´s protecting hand. The group that witnesses every Tuesday in the mountains has not been able to go the last two weeks due to road blockage after shootings in particular villages.
Please pray that this safety issue will not affect our VBS attendance. Our goal is 500 kids this year. Our church members are actively planning the meals, transportation, games, stories, verses, songs, etc… but only the Almighty God can convince parents to let their children attend. Pray for us. We physically bring the kids to and from the school we are using, using every available vehicle from vans and trucks to VW bugs. Due to COVID, we did not have VBS on a large scale last year or the year before, so many of our newer church members are excited to participate for the first time in this huge event. Please pray that there will be many children and teenagers saved. Our primary goal for VBS is evangelism. Then, use the contacts we have made to bring them to church for spiritual growth.
We praise the Lord for our health and strength to serve Him. Thank you for supporting the ministry here in Tixtla and our surrounding towns. Your prayers and faithful giving keep us here. Thank you. Really. Thank you.
With a grateful heart,
Laura Ruiz (for Efra and kids: Samuel [coming home July 21!!!], Hannah, Grace, Lydia, Laura, Mark, Ruth, and Benji)