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A letter from Donald Wehmeyer in Mexico

April 27, 2009

Greetings from Mexico!

Greetings in the name of the Lord whose love is everlasting!

Martha and I want to thank you for your love and support and tell you a few things that have been going on in southern Mexico. For Easter, we organized the first-ever in Mexico, labyrinth or prayer walk. The idea is to provide a walking meditation by following the pattern of a labyrinth. We are grateful to SarahLee Morris of Palo Duro Presbytery Resource Center for sending us the books we needed and Berry and Elizabeth Long and the Lake Square Presbyterian Church of Leesburg, Florida, who brought the MP3 players we needed for the participants in the labyrinth to listen too.

Photo of a young girl carrying a small boy in a checkered textile. The background is a building painted a deep turquoise.

Two chol children.

The Lake Square Church, led by the Rev. Stephen Hulsey, completed their third mission trip to Chiapas. They did great work at four different Chol-speaking churches. For the labyrinth, Martha and I translated the meditations, a woman from the church became the voice on the recording, and members of the church spent a long night taping the floor to make the outline of the labyrinth. To my surprise and delight, in addition to the regular church members, the boys from our ministry for homeless teenagers who have had problems with the police were especially receptive. Ten of these kids made the walk and the responses they wrote in the exit book said the hour-long walk was life-changing for them. Indeed, several have asked for the recordings so they can listen to them again and again. Truly the Lord works in unexpected ways. If you are interested in learning more about a prayer walk, write SarahLee Morris. For a copy of the Spanish recording we made, write me.

We ask your prayers for several women who are interested in community life. Many of you know of our interest in fostering Presbyterian-Benedictine communities for mission work. Two seminary students, Alba and Virginia, will spend a month this summer with the Sisters of the Transfiguration (an Episcopalian order) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We pray that their experience with an established community will help them understand both the challenges and the great benefits of doing missions as a community. Isidora is a third sister from Chiapas who has been learning English for several months. She will go to Whitby, England, in June to spend six months with the Sisters of the Holy Paraclete, another Anglican order that has missions all over the world. They have a novitiate program that will be teaching Isidora. We pray that these women will form the nucleus of new mission endeavors for the Presbyterian Church in Mexico.

Photo of Don at a pulpit wearing a white shirt and a brightly colored stol.

Don Wehmeyer preaching at a Presbyterian church in Chiapas, Mexico.

Since our last letter, Martha has had knee surgery, but she has now put the crutches in the closet and has started swimming twice a week for low impact exercise. I guess my low impact exercise is typing. We are praying for David to be accepted at a university in Texas, as I have family there. We should know in a week or two. The Door of Salvation Church, where I am a part-time pastor, has recently received 10 new members. This week Martha and I had the privilege of leading Nelsy, a young mother with many challenges, to the Lord Jesus Christ. Nelsy was in church Sunday with her children, so pray that she continues to learn about and experience the grace of our Lord Jesus.

Recently I have been working with the Berea Bible School in Palenque to get the training they need to start a tilapia fish farm. Tilapia is a commercial fish ideal for the tropics, and we think the students can run the farm for their own food and sales. If you have any experience in fish farming I would love to hear from you. For some reason this was not in my seminary curriculum at Austin Presbyterian Seminary, but if we are successful—Who knows?—they may add it in the future!

We’d like to encourage you to support the World Mission Challenge ‘09. It is time now to contact your presbytery office to ask for the missionary who will be in your area to visit your church. Forty PC(USA) mission personnel will visit hundreds of congregations across the United States this fall to tell how God is at work around the world. World Mission Challenge, a reprise of a similar event in 2007, will be held September 25–October 18, 2009. Learn more: at the World Mission Challenge Web site or by calling Ellen Dozier at 888-728-7228, x 5916. I participated in this program in 2007 and can assure you it is an excellent way to bring international missions into your church so everyone can be a part of sharing the gospel around the world. In fact, the Rev. Rob John and members of Old South Presbyterian Church, one of the churches I visited near Boston during the 2007 Mission Challenge, made their first ever international mission trip to Mexico this past January. Congratulations Old South!

Please keep us in your prayers.  We are happy to reply to email requests for items to put in Sunday bulletins.  Some churches include few lines about the missionaries they support in their weekly liturgies and we like to encourage this practice.

Your servants, serving with the peace and joy of our Lord

Don and Martha Wehmeyer

The 2009 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 275

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