September 2018 – Special Communication
This week has been a sad week for the Grand Vision Baptist Church, our Christian Schools and especially for the Panalachi and Natahuachi missions. Last Thursday, October 4th, two of our faithful, dedicated workers: Sister Angelica Zavala , wife of Brother Mario Zavala, and Brother Eliezer Martinez, son of our pastor Jose Martinez and his wife Josefa; along with Abigail Zavala (17), daughter of Brother Mario, perished in a horrible automobile accident while returning from a missions conference. Others, including sons of Brother Mario, Elias (23) and Manuel (12); and a young man from the mission in Panalachi, remain in the hospital in critical condition. Brother Mario suffered a broken leg, a broken wrist and cracked ribs. He will need an operation, but was released from the hospital to attend the funeral services. The funerals will take place on October 6th and 7th. The Zavalas have two other children, Brisa (25) and Ana (22) who were not harmed in the accident.
Although we are not intimately familiar with all the details behind the accident, we know that Romans 8:28 is still true, and we know that God has a purpose in all things. Only the Lord knows why this took place.
Please pray for spiritual and financial support during this difficult time. Expenses for the funerals and medical expenses have strained our budgets. We deeply appreciate your prayers and any financial help you can provide.
Angelica and her husband Brother Mario are graduates of our Bible Institute. In 2010 they felt led by the Lord to begin a work among the Tarahumara Indian tribe in the nearby town of Panalachi, Chihuahua. Through much persecution and perseverance, Mario and Angelica, along with their five wonderful children, established a great work among the Tarahumara community. They also reached other communities in the Panalachi area with the Gospel.
Brother Eliezer had a burden to take the Gospel to the villages and communities around Bocoyna. As the son of Brother Jose and Josefa, Eliezer was part of a family that has been serving the Lord in Bocoyna since 1988. Brother Jose is pastor of the Grand Vision Baptist Church, and he is also the Director of the other ministries of our church. The Martinezes were here, along with other faithful workers, since the beginning when my husband Louis and I began the work here in the mountains of northwest Chihuahua. In 2015 Brother Eliezer started the mission in Natahuachi, a small community of about 150 people. He visited villages and ranches in the area taking the plan of salvation door-to-door, winning souls to Christ. A plot of land was donated and with much hard work, he and the people now have a beautiful building where they can meet. Truly, Brother Eliezer was a faithful, dedicated servant of the Lord, and he will be greatly missed. His plans for the future were to get married and go to the state of Sonora to take the Gospel to the Yaqui tribe.
Please pray especially for the Martinez and Zavala families, for the Grand Vision Baptist Church, our Christian Schools and our Bible Institute. We are all in a state of shock. We know that God is in control of all things, and we are trusting Him with the future. The work continues here in the church and in all of its ministries. Pray for us that God will lead and guide every decision that is made, as there will be a lot of adjustments to make. Thank you again for your faithfulness in praying and giving.
The following is a list of our current prayer requests:
- Pray for Brother Mario Zavala and for those in the hospital, especially those in intensive care. That God may watch over them and that they recover to serve the Lord once again.
- Pray for Pastor Jose Martinez, his wife Josefa, their sons Adriel and Eber and their wives. That the Lord help all of them through this difficult period of grief and despair following the loss of their son and brother.
- Pray for the members of the Grand Vision Baptist Church, the students of our Christian Schools, the students of our Bible Institute, our missions in Natahuachi and Panalachi, and our full-time workers. That God may give us the strength to carry on.
- Pray that God may provide the funds necessary to pay for the funeral and hospital expenses.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to serve the Lord. The work continues, albeit through very difficult circumstances. We deeply appreciate your faithful prayers and financial support. Please continue to keep God’s work here in Mexico in your prayers.
Sincerely in Him,
Mrs. Joan Kahler
Missionary to Mexico
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” – Psalm 138:8
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