Don and Martha Wehmeyer (Antioch Partners) - January 2017 Update

Mérida, Mexico

Here is my servant whom I have chosen,     
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,     
and he will proclaim justice to the nations…
In his name the nations will put their hope.  Mt.12:16,21

From Mérida, Martha and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

We want to thank each of you, our blessed supporters, for your faithfulness during the past year. Additionally we want to thank the staff of The Antioch Partners, our sending agency, who take care of our insurance, tax and budgeting needs so we can focus on our ministry, and the team of The Outreach Foundation which supports theological education and leadership development around the world. May your cup overflow with the grace of the Lord.

This year we are also especially grateful to have Guillen with us. There were some scary weeks while he was in the hospital, six weeks in neo-natal intensive care. The doctors and nurses here were wonderful, they saved his life several times during those days.

                                                                   Pastors in Bogota, Colombia

                                                                   Pastors in Bogota, Colombia

Some exciting news I have not brought you up to date on was a trip in late November with Pastor Jose Chay to Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia. Bogota is an enormous and congested city. Our travel time from where we were staying to the church hosting the seminary was over an hour, but several students told us they traveled over two hours each way. We went to Colombia to teach in a Reformed extension seminary called MINTS (Miami International Theological Seminary). This seminary has very solid programs all over South America. I gave a general introduction to systematic theology and a couple of hours on the doctrine of election. Pastor Chay gave several interesting talks on how to use the Westminster Confession in the local congregation. The courses were well-received because often members of Presbyterian churches read their Bibles but don’t learn the theology of the Reformation. Of the fifteen participants, ten were pastors in training and five were church leaders who are making great efforts to educate themselves about the faith we profess in the Lord Jesus. 

In Cartagena we visited with some members of a wonderful Reformed Church. This church has over 100 active members who have all come from Pentecostal backgrounds but were specifically looking for a more coherent theology than they had in their previous churches. The Reformed confessional heritage has been an answer to their prayers. Our plan is now to make a report to the Peninsula Presbytery to see if they will agree to send pastors a couple of times a year to Colombia to help them in their leadership training. I believe this will help the Mexican pastors as much as the Colombians because they gain new insights into their ministries by learning how others work.

Concerning fundraising I should mention two endeavors; one is people focused, the other is bricks and mortar. We plan to sponsor three leadership retreats for 2017 at Gethsemane. Each will be five days, four nights. The great challenge here is how to underwrite the travel and food of the pastors who cannot afford to leave their towns. Our goal is 15 pastors in each retreat. The travel and meals are about $100 each. So we are praying we can raise $4,500 in 2017 to allow these servants of the Lord to have a spiritual retreat for rest and renewal. If you would like to sponsor someone, please send your donation to The Outreach Foundation, mark it Gethsemane Spiritual Retreat and they can work out the details about a wire transfer to us.

Secondly the Berea Seminary in Palenque wants to remodel the women’s bathroom. What they now have is a corrugated metal building that is extremely hot and unhygienic. They want to build a proper cement block building but need $5,000 to do that. The students will do much of the work. Again if you would like to support the bricks and mortar theological education with the Ch’ol speaking people of Chiapas, please send those funds to The Outreach Foundation.

Finally Martha and I would like to remind everyone that we do receive short-term mission teams so if your church has not done so for a while, think about a mission trip this coming year. 

I realize some folks may want more newsletters. My resolution for 2017 is to send out at least 10! Hold my feet to the fire on that. I try to answer all emails within a day or two. We are also happy to skype with Sunday school classes or individuals whenever that is convenient for you. 

Bendiciones y Glad Tidings, Su familia en México, 

Donald and Martha Wehmeyer

Read more about the Wehmeyer's ministry by clicking HERE.

THE NEED
Outreach is seeking gifts totaling $30,000 for support and program funds for the Wehmeyers and $5,000 for repairs and some scholarships at Berea Presbyterian Seminary.