These past days we have been having a lot of challenges. It is hard to see how the devil and evil is persecuting new hearts that are seeking for a new life in Christ. We have been having a lot of up and downs. A roller coaster of needs, needs of prayers, needs of wisdom, needs of forgiveness, needs of survival in God’s hands during the afflictions and trail. We understand that the more we grow, more needs that are new come to the ministry. I am so thankful from my heart that we can be there for every one that has been in afflictions and trial to encourage and support with prayers, with God’s love and reading in the scriptures for answers with every member and visitor. We are still together, knowing the devil is like a lion around us every day. But we know our Shepard is there for us too. Please encourage us for a second and share in praying to our God for us when you can. For:
Studying the word of God together in our home and their homes, having fellowship and love in Christ, has been helping us to grow and to be able to speak to one another for courage, and strength us in Christ, like the church in the beginning in Act 2:46.
Acts 2:46 NKJV 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
We have been having new converts classes, and each of them every week after their jobs end. The only time for every study are evenings 5 or 7 or 8 even 9 pm during the week days or even weekends. I am so thankful that I am able to be there for every soul that needs Christ. Also during the weeks, we have had some new Bible studies with two more families.
We still have visitors coming and still coming to our Sunday services. We still have Bible studies via Zoom on Facebook live. People have been listening our Bibles studies and are leaving comments about our services and fellowship. I also had the great opportunity to participate in a Virtual Seminar from Honduras San Miguel Church of Christ. Preachers from USA, Mexico, Panama and Honduras. We were able to speak on several topics for four days. I preached Tuesday evening and Friday evening. It was great seeing local members and also a lot of people from different countries and areas to follow and learn from each other.
Taking advantage in the good weather we had this past week (only one week in August) we gathered with the members at the park Wednesday night with a devo and fellowship and shared meals too over a bonfire. Members were so happy for everything we did that day. God is Good. In the devo with the lake view, I spoke about Matthew 17:24-27 NKJV Remembering this Phase from Jesus to peter in verse 27 b. “cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a [a]piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”That phrase from Jesus reminds us that it does not matter how much you need in the world to pay or do, Jesus knows and He will provide the way to help you! And us, because He was here and He knows what it takes to live here in this world…after the devo we gathered to eat hotdogs and smores in the bonfire and tamales from Honduras. As you see we finish well and full.
We are printing a new invitations and post cards to distribute in your congregations. As soon as we have them, let me said the brother Bruce has talent, he designs our business cards and post cards. He is great and patient with me ha! I am so thankful for him for all he does for us. These new cards are smaller to give to Spanish people that you can carry on you when you go to the store and invite them and you help us also to spread Christ to the Spanish speaking souls.
My family is blessed and in good health so far. Noah has to visited the dentist and Isaac the eye doctor to check his vision. I am going to coach soccer with my kids’ times. It will be crazy tiring but it helps to pay for fees to have them into soccer team if you coach them. So also they started homeschool year 2020-2021, and so far my wife is doing great with the kids. I am so thankful that we are able to have them homeschooling to have extra time when ministry needs it.
Thank you so much for your prayers, for your spiritual and monetary support. To all the supporters and churches, thank you for being part of this ministry that is spreading seeds of love and salvations into the heart, Together we are more in His kingdom.
May our God help us and bless us in everything!
Since the beginning, we planted the gospel with love and perseverance, and we knew that the Lord would give the growth. June the 10thin 2018, when the project started, we began with some supporters worshipping with us that Sunday morning. (see pic below).
JUNE 10, 2018
By that time, we were having morning services with AM Bible classes. The Cano family came, and still put all theirs hearts in God. We kept searching, preaching, visiting, helping, consoling, evangelizing, loving, every person that came to us. Helping them to find Christ in the scriptures and be Disciples of Christ. But we all understand that having first time generations of people to be Christians has more than teaching and helping, it is about changing their minds to understand how important it is to be saved and come to the church every service. How they need to fight in Christ every temptation and trial. It is hard for them to be the pioneers of faith in Christ. But this is why we are here to establish Christ’s church to everyone who is seeking the truth and the only way to Christ. This past June the 10th2020, we had two years of worshiping in the truth in Spanish.
The gospel is powerful, there is no other way to describe how God works from His word. This past week of Sunday June the 7th we rejoiced in the Lord that Oscar decided to follow Christ. He was baptized. He has been attended worship and Bible studies since early 2019.
On June 10th, 2020, 3 days later, Sandra obeyed the Gospel of Christ and also took on the Lord in Baptism. She found us on facebook a little over a year ago, and has been having Bible study and worshiping with us ever since.
THEN! On June 13th, Mayra, was baptized into Christ. She had only met us one time, and is a friend of Sandras. After hearing about Sandra's transformation, she attened a Bible study with her, and decided that very night to become a Christian.
All these new converts are bringing us Joy, love, and energy. Also, there are more to do. They all are in discipleship lessons to grow in knowledge and wisdom. Our goal is to have a process of new converts lessons and practicing what they are learning during these cycles of teachings. Please pray for them, they are pioneers in Christ, First time Christians with their families. Our minds and prayers are for strength for them and knowledge in the scriptures to have strong families in Christ.
As you know, we were celebrating our 2ndanniversary this past Sunday. It was so special this one photo that we took with all members and kids and a new family was visiting us.
During these uncertain times, we wanted to update our supporters and encouragers that have shown us so much love and generosity. A lot of our days look the same right now, but the good news is that the word is continuing to be spread throughout the world, thanks to our wonderful technology. I wanted to post a few pictures of Elias as he has preached on facebook live, spreaker, and zoom of the past 3 months. He has learned so many new things about how to reach more people through the avenue of technology, and it has not come without its hiccups and headaches. From keeping the kids quiet in a small house that echos while Daddy goes "live", to the internet cutting in and out at times, from teaching several other preachers how to use certain apps to live stream their own service via FaceTime, to preaching with some crazy distractions in the background, Elias has overcome these many challenges with grace and they have helped him to further his ministry.
Thankfully during these times of online services and Bible studies, our members have all been connected with us at EVERY service. It is so encouraging. We even have old friends who we miss dearly from Nashville, Memphis, Honduras, Peru, Mexico, Domican Republic, and even more countries and states that are connecting with us on a weekly basis just to hear the Gospel. God is working! Elias has been able to continue his Tuesday Bible studies with Raul via FaceTime or Zoom, Elias and his family have begun a Podcast on Spreaker that records 3-5 times a week, and we have purchased a membership to Zoom so that he can facebook live while showing his powerpoint screen. These tools have truly been a blessing for the ministry and we hope to conitnue to use them even after we return to normal worship circumstances. These are just a few of the advertisements he has created to show the people where and when he will be broadcasting.
The Children have surprisingly done very well with the Quarintine...I have to admit they have faired better than thier momma. One even stated, "Mom, sometimes I forget about the Virus outside because we are having so much fun inside." Believe me, that only included a couple fun, out of the ordinary things, and we went on with business as usual homeschooling, but apparently they liked it! We DID finish up a bit early our very first year of Homeschool, and we are so thankful. What a great year to decide to homeschool the boys, since we would have ended up doing it anyway! They worked very hard, and it wasn't with a lot of patience, tears, joys, shouting, laughing, but we did it!
The boys were excited to get out at times and deliver groceries that some donors had contributed. It was pretty fun for them to ring the bell and run away quickly.
We were given several opportunities to help other countries during this time, and we are so thankful for the people and churches who reached out to donate. Honduras, like many other countries, has been under strict military enforced quarantine. They are given certain days of the week that they can leave their home for essentials based on the last digit of their ID number. So many people have to work DAILY for their physical needs to be met. They do not have anything that resembles a pantry, and "Stocking up" is a foreign concept to them. If you don't have money to buy food daily, how are you going to have money to buy a weeks worth at a time? Thankfully we have had a handful of good samaratans reach out and ask what they can do to help. Here are a few pictures of what has been done. To God be the Glory. These donations have made such a great impact.
Not pictured: The Roque Family that has also been helped tremendously by your generous donations. Thank you so much for thinking of them and their needs as well. I have posted a couple screen shots of them broadcasting services during this time.
We plan to begin worship services May 31st, and we look forward to seeing faces in person that we miss so dearly. We pray that we never take for granted the freedom to worship in the Church building again.
“Be safe and take care of your family,” These are the words that everybody is saying to one another during this hard situation with concerns and suffering that we are having in our country and in the world.
During this time, my family is doing well so far. We keep what we can and sustain as we can. Thanks for asking also for my parent from Honduras, it is very difficult for them in Honduras. They have military enforced quarantine, and they have been for 15 days in the home. The government is providing meals for all the people but it is not much. There are more infected people like other country but this is a country that people work daily to eat daily. My heart aches thinking about the preachers there that lost support in the beginning in this year, and some of them don’t have enough to buy food when the government lets them go out to purchase items. So Sad…
We are like everybody preventing and staying at home as many of you are doing. We are doing what we can for us and others in His name. Thanks for your concerns and messages and prayers.
Three weeks ago, we were on a weekend mission trip in South Carolina helping a Spanish congregation that has more than 15 years of establishment. This trip was made with the intention to help the ladies and Kids Class teachers from Greer Iglesia de Cristo. We taught them how to set up Bible classes for kids. I also had the great opportunity to preach to the youth that weekend and preach on Sunday morning with the topic: Pioneers of Faith. (The importance to care for our generations of our families to have future elders and deacons in our congregations). It was a great time spent together and helping others in Christ growing together in His name.
My wife and a group of ladies from Foristell COC did a tremendous job also during that weekend teaching around 15 to 20 ladies from that Spanish congregation. They even received a recognition from Greer Iglesia de Cristo to them. So much time and effort and money were spent on classroom materials, translating, copying, laminating, and preparing lessons. Thank you so much to these women for all their hard work.
Here in St. Louis, we have been learning also how to adjust to this new way to teach and preach by internet. I want to mention that during this quarantine we are able to help as we can. Calling members, friends and contact. Helping some families driving them to get food, Suggesting new ways to work and support, helping families with the new era of teaching by internet from the school, translating people that need contacting the schools, and of course the most important in all, teaching the Bible, we have been having Bible studies by cellphone calls, internet and even couple counseling at the church building.
We have been learning so far how to set up Facebook live in the Iglesia de Cristo en West End and do the services on live stream via Facebook Sundays 5 pm and Wednesday classes at 7 pm and even adding new day on Fridays at 7 pm preaching on internet. We have people connected from, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and yes! Local from Tennessee, South Carolina, and our faithful members and visitors from St. Louis and St. Charles also are connected by Facebook live. We are reaching more people than even before here locally all at one time.
We are so thankful for every one of you that helps us to keep spreading God’s seed and laboring with God’s time in His kingdom. May God help you in everything you need and help you in your work and family. I want to share a passage that I have been reading on Facebook that help us to remember during this time we are always to keep looking to God for his Mercy and Grace.
I am so happy that God lead us as we can during this time of suffering and concerns but we keep remembering that God is in control. He loves us and loves the world too. He knows everything we need every day.
Psalm 33:18-22 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.
These past weeks, we have been having a lot of surprises everywhere. All those surprises that we had, they ended with a great memory in our life and joy in our hearts.
We started with a week full of emotions, concerns, and sadness, having our son Isaac into a oral surgery. Long story short, He got three molars extractions, and one silver crown, due his constant fevers and pain specially at night. (this can be the case also, why in the middle of 2018 had constantly fevers for several month and legs pain). But that day of surgery, the people in the clinic and the surgery staff were amazing with him. They put him to sleep, and then after an hour, He was out of surgery. They called us, and we went to his waiting room and he was sleeping. Then he woke up, with no pain or any other reactions after oral surgery. (I heard other kids crying so hard after they woke up in their rooms also). The staff was amazed how Isaac was after he woke up normal and talking and calm and ready to leave. To all of you, Thank you so much for your prayers and concerns about his surgery. He is eating more and he is so much happier every day now and more active than before. What a bless to have God in control.
As a family we also have the great opportunity to visit and I spoke at St Peter’s COC . It was a great time presenting my work so far and I was invited to speak during the am service. It was so great to feel the hospitality and the love this congregation shares every time we visit. It was a blessing be there and have that Sunday together.
We had more new visitors these past weeks, like 6 in total with kids. We heard from a lady her name is Marlene, that she love the way we teach and the truth we search in the bible, she even mentioned “I just visited today and I spent 30 minutes of Bible class with all of you, I feel like I need to be here, I feel you preach the truth here in the Iglesia de Cristo” It was a great joy to hear that from someone that came on Wednesday night Bible class.
We also visit and have bible study with another great guy, knowledgeable in the scriptures , - Director of praising in his religion - “Pentecostal.” We talked about: Why people did not get convinced today through the bible, but people are convinced through the teachings of men . we even found two more people in that house and studied with us.
We were also looking for a formal member that live by Cherokee streets, Downtown St louis . We found him, and talked to him, about The importance to follow Christ. We prayed for him for his strength and his decision to follow Christ. We were happy and glad we found him. It is a bless to study the bible and encourage other to follow Christ every time they let us talk.
I was in the prison this past week, I went to Farmington Jail. How I ended up there? Well, Almost two years ago , We met a lady in the neighboor hood when we were walking with the kids. We ended up to be close to share a little time to talk about the gospel two times. Then we moved to St Charles. So, after we moved, She contacted us and told us that her husband wanted to see me and he is now in prison. When I went there to visit him. Inside, in the visitors room, He was so happy to see me and I see in his eyes the joy of something great in his life. He mentioned that he attended the church of Christ services inside given by Arnold COC, and he cannot believe, what he found through the scriptures. He said: I found the truth (he said with great joy and great expectations). We started talking and ended up to find bibles in the visiting room and we took them and used them to study for 3:30 hours the bible. It was great to hear, All he said about God and the bible, the truth. He also said: This was the message that you tried to teach me that day … I said yes, he continued saying. But I am so thankful that you are here sharing the gospel with me. This phase lifted my soul, He told me: Please hermano, keep preaching, keep preaching, keep preaching the truth, no matter what, keep preaching… I said I will continue preaching . What a blessing it is to share to others the Gospel but most listening them how great it is to find and now follow the truth in Jesus Christ.
I want to thank everybody and every congregation that supports the prison ministry. I respect those brethren that spend time and life, driving to teach the truth inside the prison. May God continue blessing you in all you need to do His will.
We got a great surprise from Foristell Church of Christ this past Sunday. I was in shock when I saw all members getting out from their cars coming to us at the building. Kristi was literally with joy saying … Eliasss!! Look outside all those people in the parking lot!! They are here for us!! They are here for us!! I went immediately outside through the doors, greeting them and welcomed them !! My kids were jumping with joy to see them specially their families and cousins coming. There is no words to describe that moment, I will remember that pictures of people getting off from their cars and people coming to us that Sunday evening . Thanks for your thoughts and phrases and the encouragement you all gave to us that great evening to us … What a blessing to have grace from God and love from one another.
As the weather is going up and down, with good weather and then snow falling the next day, our ministry is also giving us sometimes happiness and sadness. But we know that at the end of the day, it is mostly just our feelings. What a good way to love God more and more. It doesn’t matter the time or weather, our feelings to God are stronger, as we continue on doing His will.
The beginning of this year has been giving us a good number of people. So far, this past month, our attendances were in a range from low 11 and a high of 31. Which is great compared from January 2019 (a low of 6 and high of 10). A good attendance of people is coming to listen the Gospel this past month. Me and my family have been working so far inviting people to church, but also using this time of weather visiting the actual contacts and having bible studies or having time to see is they are well and praying for them. We have been asking them to come to our house because they have been so nice with us and generous also, they always offer us a meal for me and my family or juices for my kids. A few days ago, we had one family of thirteen in our home to eat an American meal. We had a great time, and we even had people come that never have been in church with us yet. So far what I see is that we are all coming together with fellowship, love, and friendship. We have been blessed having several families come to our house and share in the love they keep giving us. So far Kristi has been learning how to make a homemade tortilla, and they are yummy!!
We have also some families leaving us, for points of the truth. It is hard to see how much they like the church of Christ and its teachings and even open their eyes more and more every week, but in the end, they don’t want to change their worldly ways or with their religions they were born into or the religion that they have chosen. They are in the point to give up these teachings and repent, be baptized, and become a true disciple of Christ. But after all this process in the ministry, we continue praying for: numbers of people who need Christ in St louis. So far, we had 51 people that have come to services, but they are not coming back so far. Plus 29 people that we have gotten close to and study with, but they are not even coming to services since.
Also, we had an activity at West End following up some contacts to come a have a dinner. We contacted 51 phone numbers in the list, just Hispanics, but no one came for the follow up meal. We also just had our first couples meeting and invited 13 couples that come often, and no one came, gladly one single gentleman and his mom came to learn about the topic: Why we suffer when we love?
We have invited hundreds and hundreds of people. Invited them to come to our services, activities, and home. But we are keeping praying and working in the way of the Lord as he guides us. We are praying for them, and for more people to come thirsty and hungry for righteousness so they can be preached to follow Christ and be in His church growing in salvation.
But, in the end, we preached, and we are preaching, and we will continue preaching here more and more because we love and care for the lost. We still are stronger and motivated to spreading and planting. We have a full calendar of activities already including last Sunday of the month bilingual services. If you can come, we will have it in our current Spanish room. Sundays, at 5 pm. It is a good way to support us physically with your presence during these bilingual services. The time change is coming, and don’t get me wrong I love snow days, but I love spring and fall more. Time passes and time changes, but we are still planting and working one day at the time.
It was so nice to ring in the new year with our new group of friends that we have at the Iglesia de Cristo en West End. It was a time for reflection of the year 2019, and all the wonderful blessings it brought us, but it was also a time of anticipation as we look forward to the things 2020 will bring. The Sermon Elias preached to us was Setting our Vision to 20/20, a great reminder of how God and His Word are the most important priorities when setting our goals correctly and achieving our best selves. As we shared a small meal together, it was refreshing to hear the new goals our members had for this new year, and we shared the things we wanted to improve on. Elias has already been working diligently on the calendar of events for 2020, and it is filled with lots of oppotunities for evangelism, outreach, fellowship, and campaigns. If there are any events you would like to be a part of, please don't hesitate to come.
On a Family note, the first semester of home school has come to a close, and the boys have really done so well adjusting to our new normal. They have learned so much, but also have gotten to spend so much more time together playing and just being kids. Homeschooling has really fit our schedule well. It still blows my mind how we can be done by lunch, and still have the rest of the day to evangelize with Papi! We wouldn't know where to begin our homeschooling journey if it wasn't for our Co-op at West End that meets two days a week. Thank you to all these families for your support and love.
Not Picured: Abel who was found hiding under a chair because he hates getting his picture taken.
Speaking of Abel, we are so blessed to celebrate his 3rd birthday together with our Spanish brothers and sisters. He was so excited to have his Toy Story party.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. We couldn't do it without you.
The Roque Family
November was full of so many blessings to be thankful for. So much so that we couldn't do the blog update till just now in order to include every exciting event of the past few weeks. So without further delay lets just jump right in! To start the festivities off, we were joined in our evangelistic efforts by Ruth and Elias Roque from Honduras. They were able to help us at every single event that we had including Elias Sr. preaching several sermons, conducting numerous Bible studies, and Ruth cooking some amazing Honduran meals to share with our Honduran church visitors.
It was so nice to have their help as well when preparing the meal for our Friendsgiving. We were so excited to have the largest turn out in our 18 months of existance. In this picture below, you will see 9 Families represented. There was even one more family that came for worship this day, but wasn't able to stay for the meal. We had 38 people worshiping and fellowshipping together this day.
November is also the month that West End hosts their huge Give Away Day. This event is such a great success. The members of the Congregation provide clothing, food, baby needs such as diapers, toys, and furniture items to families in need. The invitation is given to the schools in the area to pass on to the students they feel need it most. This year the invite was passed around in the Hispanic community as well. We had over 200 people come through our doors this day! At the very end of the line, the attendees were given an invitation to come and join us for a follow-up dinner December 6th. Here is my father-in-law explaining about this dinner to our Spanish speaking friends.
As a result of this give away day, and the efforts of the members who hosted the follow up meal, we were able to sit down and study with 6 different families, including over 30 Hispanics. We have never had such a great turn out at these follow up meals, and we plan to continue to host them every two months.
During the hustle and bustle of the season, we were still able to celebrate Elias's birthday. He was so thankful to have his parents in town to spoil him and sing him Feliz Cumpleanos!
We even had time to squeeze in a Summer Honduran Mission team reunion photo!
The visitors and members of the Spanish congregation were so excited to have a guest speaker for a couple of Sundays. Elias Sr. was able to preach, teach, and conduct individual Bible studies with the famillies that we have been working with for the past several months. It was a nice shot in the arm for us as well to have their love and support. He was so busy, he even had people calling and requesting study time with him!
We were also able to squeeze in a Honduran mission report at the Foristell congregation. Elias Jr. was able to translate for his father, and it was a great time for the members to ask questions directly to the missionary. What a blessing!
Time with grandparents is always precious, and we thouroughly enjoyed the weeks we had with them. The grandsons especially miss Lita's cooking, fun playtime, and bedtime stories. They also are already missing Lito's surprises of pizza and presents. I personally and missing the extra help cleaning and cooking :). They are now safely back in Honduras continuing the Lord's work in San Miguel.
We are so excited to give you the next update for the Hispanic ministry here in St. Louis. We are so thankful to our supporters for taking the time to read this blog, for your constant prayers and encouragement, and for your general interest in this ministry. It means the world to us. The boys are learning so much here too as they help us start this congregation, and here is a photo of Noah leading singing in our "Young Leaders Devotional" before our evening worship. Eli and Noah look forward to every last Sunday of the month where they get to practice leading singing, preaching, and more. The young men do such a great job and we are thankful to the elders and deacons for taking time to invest in the future leaders of the church.
These past two weeks have been packed with getting to know new Spanish-speaking friends from various countries. One of the families that are visiting our worship services are driving from Granite City, IL. They are orginally from Mexico, and they have been struggling to find a sound congregation that worships in Spanish. They mentioned to us that they are ready to be attending worship regularly again, and they are focusing on getting their teenage children to learn about the Bible. They admitted that they were easily influenced by the world and its temptations of staying home on Sunday morning, and their children know very little about the Bible because of it. They even mentioned about driving out on Sunday morning as well so that their teenagers can have their teen class in English. This couple is starving for the Word of God and they had so many questions. Elias and I were able to invite them over one Friday for a "American" meal including apple pie, and they were also able to study the Bible. It was a great evening, and they returned to worship with us Sunday evening. This couple also found our congregation through Facebook.
Facebook, although it has its downfalls, is a huge tool for us to reach the Hispanic community. The majority of them have a cell phone with social media, and they check it regularly. The St. Louis Hispanics group page lets Elias post at least twice a week in their group to invite people and put a scriptural message. It was also through this group that Elias was able to meet Oscar and Sandra from Honduras. After some counceling back and forth, they decided to attend worship about a month ago, and have been regular ever since. They are from Honduras, and we love talking about all the beautiful places we mutally know, and of course the delicious food. Sandra surprised us while we were camping for a couple days over fall break with a delicious Honduran beef stew. She drove 45 minutes just to bring it to us, but we are glad we chose to camp nearby just in case anyone needed us. FUE MUY DELICIOSO. Abel especially loved putting his rice in the broth.
And... we save the most exciting news for last. This past Sunday we had our record attendance of 25! This included only Spanish speaking people. We had a total of 6 families!!! Since it was the last Sunday of the month, they had decided to have a potluck full of dishes from other countries. We had Mexican Mole, Rice and beans from the Domincan Republic, and homemade tortillas from Honduras, American corn bread, and tres leches for dessert. It was so wonderful to have everyone gathered together for a meal and fellowship. We ask for your prayers for these 6 families especially, that they continue to worship with us on Sundays, that their hearts can be opened to obeying the Gospel, and for those that are already baptized to grow in their spiritual walk. We ask for prayers for us as well. That we may have the right words, and do the right things to bring these people to Christ.
Sidenote: Elias is soooo much better, no doubt thanks to your vervent prayers. He is still coughing every now and then, but he was able to preach his sermon Sunday without much problem.
We have had a whirlwind of a month, but we are so excited to share with you the wondeful new developments that we have been blessed to experience this month.
First of all, we have gotten settled into our new home, and it just feels so great. We love being close to the church building and the large Hispanic presense here in St. Charles, as well as being able to jump across the river in a quick 15 minutes to have studies with our contacts in St. Ann. Since we have discovered that our contacts are usually not in Wal-mart, Aldi, or other stores until around 8:00 p.m. due to their work schedule, it is nice to be able to make a quick trip to pass out flyers and still make it home before bedtime. It feels like we moved from the country to the city again. HA! This is a picture of the front of our new home, and let me just say...aren't the boys getting so big? It's true what they say, the days go so slow, but the years go so fast. We don't have any tiny babies any more.
As what seemed to be a pat on the back for our decision to make some huge life changes in our Ministry, our first Sunday living in St. Charles was our record attendance of 17. (Not including American supporters) What an awesome Sunday it was! We had a large family come that had been communicating with Elias via Facebook, our beloved Aura (her daughter and granddaughter) from D.R. returned from Massachusetts, and of course our ever faithful Lilly, Edgar, and Raul. The English preacher, Matt Stewart, and his family were able to attend services as well which put us at 22. What an encouragement it was to have them worshipping beside us!
Edgar and Elias serving the Lord's Supper.
We were able to share some bread and coffee with our visitors after services were completed. It was truly a great evening.
An unexpected, but very timely opportunity that we have recently been given is being hired as translators in the Francis Howell School District. (for those of you reading from anywhere but the St. Louis area, that is the school district in which the church is located). For more details on how we help the community through translating please ask Elias. He will be happy to share with you the good things happening here.
We also were blessed to be able to celebrate Eli's 9th birthday this past weekend. Happy Birthday Eli! We are so excited to see how God uses you for His Kingdom.
On a not so wonderful note, Elias has been dealing with some health issues since about August when he returned from Polishing the Pulpit. He has always had issues with upper respiratory problems even as a child, but since the "cold" he caught while traveling wasn't going away, we decided to check out urgent care. They gave him some anitbiotics and sent him on his way. Well a month later, Elias still had this lingering cough that especially made it difficult to preach. It seemed to get worse the more he talked, and we all know preachers need to TALK! A couple weeks ago, while the rest of the family was at home school CO-OP, Elias took himself back to Urgent Care where they took chest x-rays, gave him a nebulizar treatment, and diagnosed him with acute bronchitis. He is still struggling with this lingering dry cough, and we have tried EVERYTHING! It seems to mostly flare up at night, when he gets winded, or when he is preaching, teaching, or talking for longer periods of time. Please pray that he can kick this cough to the curb so he can be 100% again.
Elias and Kristi Roque have been married for 9 years and during this time have planted/grown 4 congregations. They have 4 boys 7 and under working alongside them.