Dear friends, feliz navidad from Reformed University Fellowship in Mexico City, where the fog and traffic are thinning, and excitement is building towards the celebration of the True King’s birth…
We are thankful for another fall semester serving among the 120,000 students of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and we are thankful to the Lord for your faithful support of this ministry as it reaches out to students with the gospel for the sake of Christ’s church and kingdom!
It has been a full semester on campus, beginning with our servant team retreat just before classes began, continuing with our large group, small group, and one-on-one activities (as well as special social, service, and prayer events) and culminating in our Christmas party.
In our large group, Peter preached on the parables of Jesus and the proverbs of Solomon. In the parables, we looked at the radical nature of Jesus’ kingship and kingdom, and what it means to be a citizen of heaven. In the proverbs, we explored the practical implications of living as members of the kingdom with wisdom in our faith and friendships, our words and work.
In our small groups, pairs of servant team students led studies on the passion of Jesus in John (Sciences Faculty), the joy of Jesus in Philippians (Urban Design Faculty), and the foundations of the Christian faith (Central Quad). We have begun to offer a quick course on “how to study the Bible” and another on “how to lead a small group Bible study”, and students are growing in their ability to study Scripture and to guide others in observing, interpreting and applying God’s word.
In our one-on-one meetings this semester, we continued to talk with and encourage students as they struggle with vocational decisions and opportunities, with family relationships and deaths, with the fights and forgiveness of friendship, with finding and becoming members of a healthy local church, with battling addictions to pornography and approval, with reading Scripture and growing in prayer and service and joy, with growing in leading and loving others.
This semester through God’s providence and the help of intern Lara Sullivan, RUF exchange student Taylor Kern, and English Literature student Antonieta Cancino, our Conversational English Clubs grew and we got to know over 100 students, many of whom became our friends and joined us in other RUF activities. These friendships led to many fruitful conversations about our faith and our redeemer!
Some of our big events this semester included:
- A Mexican Bicentennial celebration with over 40 students that included joining our local church and celebrating with thousands in the local plaza. (It also included a couple of miles on crutches for Peter, who had a cast on his broken foot!).
- A retreat in which we took about 30 to the neighboring state of Morelos for fun and learning centered around the theme “Conversations from the Abyss: If God is good, why am I suffering?” The sermons and discussions were brought to us by Victor Cruz, a veteran Mexican pastor who is planting a new church in the cultural center of Mexico City. Almost half of our group was made up of English Club students interested in finding out more about Christianity!
- A fantastic ?nal Christmas party in which we crammed 44 into an apartment without water and power for cooking, cleaning, drinking, or flushing! (Construction shut them off in the complex at 6AM and they did not return until 7PM as we broke the candles out).
Some prayer requests for the year end and new year include:
- Growth in grace and protection for our RUF students and student leaders over the break. Pray that the work that God has been doing in their lives will continue and grow through the start of classes at the end of January.
- God’s work in the hearts of many non-believers with whom we have been dialoging over the last semester. Pray especially for the non-christian students who recently attended our retreat.
- Our service team and their growth and development as leaders. Pray that our Lord will continue to give them strength and training for his work, especially as they prepare materials to lead their bible studies in the different faculties.
- Our campus minister and his leadership of the ministry. Pray that our Lord will bless his work, give him strength in his struggles, and provide for his needs.
- God´s provision of a place near the university that we can use as a study center, and for different activities such as counseling, small groups, and a library.
- The integration of our students to the church of Christ, and their growing solid roots in a local community of faith.
- Two new National Presbyterian Church church planting projects that are beginning in Mexico City (one has already begun and one is planned to start in June of 2011).
The funds that Peter and Ruth need to keep doing RUF in Mexico. Peter and Ruth both need to raise $1,300 to $1,500 in monthly support to meet their budgets.
Thanks again for supporting this ministry – may God bless you in this new year as he reaches your heart with his grace and equips you to love as you have been loved!
Peter Dishman & Ruth Martinez
RUF Mexico – National Autonomous University of Mexico