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May 2002 Newsletter
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May 2002

We started the new year much as we ended the old--continuing to adjust to our new culture and language. We jumped back into language school and hit the ground running. Up until this point Tonja and I had been in separate classes at Harvest Language Center due to the amount of students. However, for 7 weeks we had the opportunity to sit side by side in our Spanish grammar class, translation, phonetics, etc. Maybe we were too competitive or something, but for our 4th session, they separated us (Ha, Ha). Then on April 19 we graduated from language school along with six other fellow students, most of whom had started language school in August with us.

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Todd and Tonja and the other graduates from Harvest Language Center.

We have now finished our formal language training, but we will not be moving directly to Mexico City. Instead we will continue to live here in Guadalajara until Mitchell and Mallory finish their school year. Mitchell will graduate from Kindergarten on July 4th (so hell be celebrating two kinds of independence) and within several days we will move.

While still here in Guadalajara, we will continue to work on our language skills. Weekday mornings we will go to the language school as before, this time to have private tutoring with one of the teachers. As well we will meet at least once a week for a few hours with our language helpers. Also, in June, Todd will be taking a class in Spanish at a Christian Seminary here in town called SembiMex. These activities will help improve our abilities to speak the language more fluently.

God has truly blessed us here in Guadalajara as weve been learning the language, customs, and culture of this wonderful place he has called us to. However, sometimes it just plain hurts your brain to learn another language and we feel physically drained after a conversation. But it is also a joy and lots of fun as we communicate with those around us and can honestly tell that our communication skills are increasing and improving.

We continue to develop a friendship with Paola and Luis. Paola is teaching Tonja how to prepare various Mexican recipes. Luis and Todd are happy to reap the benefits of the ladies cooking. We will continue to get together with them a few times a week to simply talk in Spanish and share with one another. Please lift up this relationship in prayer.

We have planted other seeds that we pray will someday produce fruit. We continue chatting with Antonio our landlord, and from time to time he asks spiritual questions or we bring up spiritual topics. As well, Todd has been able to have some conversations with Sergio, Antonios brother-in-law, about Christ and a relationship with him. We only have a few months left to share with Luis and Paola, Antonio, Sergio & his wife, Laura. And we so desire to see them accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

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Luis, Paola, Tonja, and Todd

As much as we have enjoyed our time here in Guadalajara, we are very anxious to get moved to Mexico City and jump right into the ministry that CMF is doing among the middle class people there. We were able to visit Mexico City the last weekend of April in order to check out several area schools for Mitchell and Mallory, and to look at a few houses. We are so excited about what God is doing at Iglesia Cristiana del Norte (ICN or Northside Christian Church). We look forward to serving alongside them and anticipate starting a daughter congregation with them in the future.

We are praying that God will strategically locate us where we can be used most effectively. Please pray with us that He leads us to live in a neighborhood where we will come in contact with open hearts and fertile soil as in Matthew 13:23.

Upcoming Expectations

Once we get unpacked and settled in Mexico City, we will begin working with the Northside Christian Church. We will be joining fellow CMF Missionaries, Steve and Kay Carpenter and Hector and Rosy Romo, the national Ministers. This congregation has been worshipping in an area of the city called Atizipan for approximately 5 years. They have just about maximized their meeting space. And for some time now have been having difficulty finding and purchasing nearby property where they can build and relocate.

A new prospect has recently developed in a nearby area called Las Aguilas. The Carpenters recently were made aware of some facilities that a Mexican ministry that serves a substantial population of people that live near and off of the various dumps around Mexico City owns. The facilities include a small to medium size school and an empty lot that has the proper zoning for a church facility and are located beside a former dump. When the dump closed and the people moved, so did their ministry. They are interested in selling this property to another ministry that will continue to reach the people in that community.

Representatives from ICN have met with this ministry and have officially told them that we are interested in proceeding with the transfer of the property. We don't know the final costs at this time, but that and other particulars will be worked out as the property is negociated. We are excited about what God has in store for this property and this body of believers.

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The building and property in Las Aguilas

News about M n M

Mitchell and Mallory are not only adjusting to life in Mexico, they are thriving. Of course a visit from family really helps a lot. In March/April the kids really enjoyed the two weeks that they got to spend with Grandma and Grandpa (Tonjas folks) and Uncle Thadd. And the first week of May they got to spend some time with Nanny (Todds mom), Aunt Lori, Uncle Casey & Aunt Teri, and three of their cousins. Together we celebrated everyones birthday at one big party, since we dont get to be together for each one.

The kids are doing very well in school. Mitchell is learning how to write not only in Spanish but in cursive. He is doing a great job. Mallorys teacher wrote on her most recent report card that she is speaking and understanding Spanish perfectly.

Their school is conducted completely in Spanish except for a 45 minute English class everyday. All the English classes put together a special program entitled The English Show for parents at a nearby theatre Each class sang a song or two in English. Mallorys class sang The Wheels on the Bus. In between each class songs Mitchell and one of his classmates, Pavel, acted as the Masters of Ceremonies introducing each act. Pavel spoke in English and Mitchell translated what he said into Spanish. We were extremely proud of them.

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Pavel and Mitchell, Hosts of the English Show

 

Thank you so much for your prayers and other support. We realize that we are not in this alone. Not only is Gods Holy Spirit working within us, but we know that through your prayers and giving you are a part of what is happening among us as well. Thanks.

Prayer Requests

Pray that God will use us while we are still here in Guadalajara to share his love with our friends and language helpers.

Pray for our upcoming transition to Mexico City and that God would guide us to the right house location there.

Please be in prayer for the negotiations on the property in Las Aguilas, especially for the price that will be established.

And pray that funding will be available for this purchase.

 

Praises

Praise God for Harvest Language Center and their ministry not only in church planting in Guadalajara, but also their ministry of teaching Spanish to missionaries.

God bless us, every one,

 

Todd and Tonja Hancock

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