A letter from Donald Wehmeyer in Mexico
FELIZ NAVIDAD – 2010
Dear PC(USA) Mission Family,
We send our tropically warm greetings from Mexico to you. May the power, peace, joy and love of our Lord Jesus be with you this special season!
Martha, our children and I are so grateful for the many blessings the Lord has given us this year. Eight mission teams visited and worked very hard in Yucatan and Chiapas. We received tons of email and many churches specifically asked for our prayer needs. We are grateful that even in these financially difficult times your generous financial support has not only kept us on the mission field but has supported the different ministries we are a part of here in southern Mexico. International mission is growing in the PC(USA) and we are excited to be a part of this expanding missional vision of joining God in His love and service for everyone in the whole world.
This Christmas season is especially happy for our family. Valerie is to be married on December 18 to Raul Ramirez, a local man who is a member of our church and computer programmer, and Kristen will finish her course work for the associate R.N. degree — great milestones in both of their lives. David is well and in his sophomore year at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Martha and I celebrated 28 years of marriage on November 20 and we hope to be reappointed for another four years of service.
Christmas and New Year’s are times of both reflection and anticipation. What do we think about? Certainly some happy moments in the past year and gratefulness for many people who shared a bit of this earthly pilgrimage with us. Of course there are those pesky unfulfilled resolutions and good intentions that we never got to, but on the whole the regrets and disappointments are more than balanced by wonderful surprises and hard-won triumphs. Our daily lives are filled with dramas, sometimes comedy, sometimes tragedy, and in it all we are accompanied by our Lord Jesus who is continually interceding for us. This Christmas remember to take time to embrace the events of your lives because God uses them to polish us into His gemstones, His precious children.
Two simple thoughts I want to share come from a book I read while in England in September. I went on a continuing education trip to participate in a liturgy conference but was able to extend my stay to include visits to three different Anglican monasteries. In one of those wonderful places I became reacquainted with the work of David Adam, an Anglican priest who writes about Celtic Christian themes. In his book, The Cry of the Deer, we read:
To be able to make room in your heart for another, especially a stranger, is a great gift. We need to teach ourselves to give others our undivided attention. Often we call, “there is no room in the inn”; no room in our hearts, minds or homes. It is when we open ourselves to the other who comes to us that the great Other also seeks to enter our lives… The Incarnation involves us in social responsibility. It is a challenge to our way of life. It is in the cry of the poor that Christ still calls to us; in the call of the other that He comes to us.
I pray that in this New Year, Christ will often come to you as you welcome the needy and that Christ will appear to them in that same graceful welcome you extend.
For the coming year we have several prayer requests:
- We would like to begin making DVD productions at the retreat center in Chablekal. There is space there for a small studio and we hope to make short videos that will teach teachers in the local churches how to improve their skills, train officers and help give spiritual nurture to the many believers who do not have pastors to teach them. If you know of someone with video production skills we would love to have their name. We are going to need help to make this happen.
- Please keep in your prayers Antonio Gonzalez, a gifted musician who would like to serve the church full time. He is finding that raising support is not easy as so many churches are cutting back rather than adding new missionaries to their rolls. Nevertheless, his piano and choral skills will be very helpful in preparing praise teams for evangelism and youth ministries.
- We also need all kinds of volunteers for the future retreat center in Las Margaritas, Chiapas. Especially we are looking for someone with greenhouse management skills.
- Finally, we ask your prayers and suggested dates so we can visit your church this year. Martha and I will be returning to the States for home assignment in July 2011. Our base will be Austin Presbyterian Seminary, but we will be ready to travel to all parts of the country.
It is more important than ever to keep Mexico in your prayers. The drug cartels have grown so strong in the North that some observers are openly calling it a return to feudal fiefdoms where the drug barons have more power than any elected official. The apathy of government employees seems to be increasing as there is a pronounced lack of vision for the country. For this deterioration of the country we remember the Heidelberg Catechism, which we paraphrase: Our only comfort in life and death is that we have been given a Savior; we work to share the gospel so every heart and mind in Mexico will become obedient to Him. To this end we and all Christians gladly pour ourselves out as loving oblations to the King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Emanuel.
Because the Internet is so common now, I want to share a web page for PC(USA) mission, Mission Crossroads I am new to this site but I do intend to try and use it as a tool for communications. Spread the word about both and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Gloria to God in the highest, peace and goodwill to all.
Donald and Martha Wehmeyer
The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 275