Posts in The Americas
Todd and Maria Luke

“If you are willing to give up your life to God, he’ll give it back. Not the way you expect it, but as something greater.” Below please find one tiny snapshot of what happens when a bunch of regular folks like you and me take a step of faith that looks to be so foolish.

Fifty-one Cisterns Built in Six Villages in 2018
Fifty-one cisterns were way beyond our expectations this year, but the Lord graciously worked through those mentioned above. Several supporters play important roles in this clean water story without stepping foot in Mexico, while other contributors never leave there.

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Don and Martha Wehmeyer - June 2017 Update

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus, Savior and Redeemer of God’s elect,

We have had some very busy months here. I have been teaching at both San Pablo and the Mints program. Mints is a non-residence program that has become popular in many countries. Here in Mérida, I had nine students (four pastors and five lay folks) for Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and now with the same group I have just started Patristics (theologians from the first seven or eight centuries of church history). The picture here is a few of the students at Gethsemane. 

I was officially installed in the Seguidores de Cristo (Followers of Christ) mission church as pastor for a period of up to three years. In the Mexican Presbyterian church, pastors are installed for one year (pastor oficiante), for three years (pastor comisionado) and up to five years (pastor instalado). 

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Todd and Maria Luke - June 2017 Update

Dear friends,

May is the wild card month for the Xpujil region’s agrarian communities. With immeasurable toil, families have cleared their land and are ready to plant. But sowing seed must wait until the rain returns. So, the farmers wonder. Will soaking rains come in May or in June? The good news is, some rain has already fallen – enough to refill our nearly empty guest house cistern. But more is needed. 

Here is a worthwhile prayer: Lord, send the rains that refill family cisterns and farmers’ hopes.

May is also festival time in the county seat, Xpujil. Two weeks of games, rides, food stands, and men who hawk blankets, pots, utensils, and pans with their voices electronically amplified to eleven. Eleven is also the volume level setting for the nightly concert/dances which begin, appropriately, at 11:00 p.m. and last until the break of dawn.  

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - September 2016 Update

A Few Cistern Numbers
2016 Cisterns Built: 32        
2016 Repayments: $17,000 Pesos
Total Cisterns Built: 401
Number of Cisterns to Be Built Later This Summer: 3

Two of the next three cisterns will be built by partnering with families run by single mothers. The third cistern is for a family living in Cristobal Colon. It will be our first time working in that village. That cistern will have 1/3 more volume. The family will cover 40% of material costs up front and all the expenses related to the larger size. 

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - December 2015 Update

Dear friends,  

Twenty years ago, I packed a bag to move to Xpujil full-time. Thanks to you, I can look back with tons of great memories and look ahead with hope and excitement. 

From my front row seat, I marvel at this ministry that, by design, leans heavily on its partners. Your participation and commitment allow us to continue to make an impact in the Xpujil region. I am blessed to be a part of it. Hundreds of families, from both sides of the border, dedicate time, talents, and treasure to form this unique partnership. Thank you for your role. Truly, I cannot thank you enough.

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Tim and Marta Carriker (PCUSA) - December 2015 Update

Dear friends, 

Soon Marta and I will return to the U.S., in the Charlotte area, to conclude our current term of service in Brazil. We would love to have the opportunity to visit you between December and March to share with you how God has been at work in and through our partnerships and to personally thank you for the support you have given us over the years. Our prayers these days focus especially on our current transition in ministry. We covet your prayers as well. Let me explain.

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Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell (PCUSA) - December 2015

Dear family, friends and supporters, 

Thank you for your support of our ministry. It’s going well, and good things are happening. More people are worshiping with us each week. It’s nice to see young folks in the church, too. Without your prayers and support, these people would not be learning about the Lord.

However, we recently received a letter from World Mission of the PC(USA) informing us of the current financial situation. Giving is down, and the endowment funds have run out. In the 1960s endowments and Shared Mission Support made up 80% of co-worker support. In 2014 they paid for 16% of missionary support. We realize that many of you give to our support, and we are grateful. We were surprised to learn that only 15% of congregations give directly to mission support. Up to 40 co-workers (of 162) could be downsized next year!

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - September 2015 Update

This ministry year began with a father/son trip and ended with a group of high schoolers. In between there were folks who remember when Kennedy was shot, college students, more high school kids, and a family of five with children in elementary and middle school. Every group came to serve God and others through cistern construction, but each had unique experiences. As an eyewitness, I delight in watching the Holy Spirit move around unexpectedly.

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - January 2015 Update

Dear Friends,

In the villages where we build cisterns, not many Christmas lights glow. That’s fine. Our Presbyterian partners have their own traditions. For most, the highlight was an evening long worship service on the 24th. Kids sing. Grown-ups lead prayers, sing hymns, and read scripture. Most churches do not have a pastor, so church members deliver the Christmas message. Following worship, there is a big meal. Very few gifts will be exchanged between friends or family members. Resources are limited, families are big and gift giving is not part of the Christmas tradition. Nevertheless, folks will give thanks again and again for the abundance of blessings received from the Lord, even though they have also endured illness, death of loved ones, unimaginable heartbreak and poor harvests during the past year. 

 

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Don and Martha Wehmeyer (Antioch Partners) - November 2014 Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the name of the Lord! Martha and I would like to share our gratitude with all our partners in ministry this Thanksgiving holiday. Every church, every brother and sister in Christ who has prayed for and supported us is a blessing from God. As we get older the fact that God has worked in so many hearts amazes us more and more. We have known his promises in the sacred Scriptures are true, but now we know they are really, really true

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Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - January 2014 Update

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, I stood at the front of a small Presbyterian Church in the village of Nuevo Campanario—about four miles south of Xpujil. Outside, it was a shade darker than twilight and raining. Fat raindrops seemed to fall faster than the pull of gravity. Water pelted the church’s tin roof. Victor Guzman and Felipe Torres were with me.

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