Woodside Bible in Guadalajara

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My first rather lengthy experience in Mexico as a 23 year old single guy was teaching Bible, Science and Phy Ed at Puebla Christian School. I was invited to teach by Bernie and Phyllis Hill, retired school teachers from the Detroit Public School system. Bernie was the (retired) principal at PCS, and Phyllis taught 5-6 grade. Not only did Bernie’s invitation begin my missionary experience in Mexico, their personal lives were a wonderful encouragement do me during a difficult first year in Puebla, Mexico.

At the time, only three churches supported me monthly: my home church of Word of Life Chapel, my almost-home church, where I grew up, E-town Grace, and through the generous influence of the Hills, First Baptist of White Lake, MI also began contributing to my monthly support. Years ago, to be honest I have no idea what year, First Baptist of White Lake merged with a fellowship of Bible and Baptist churches, and changed their name to Woodside Bible Church, White Lake Campus. The Woodside fellowship of churches now has 14 different congregations, White Lake being one of them.

The last short-term team we had from Woodside was back in 2008, here in Ixtapaluca. You can check that out HERE, HERE and HERE if you wish. The highlights…a Battle of the Bands concert in the neighborhood and a concert at a nearby Walmart/Sams Club Mall. Some less that stellar moments…getting rear-ended coming home from the concert (hit and run) and some upset stomachs coming down the curvy road from the volcanoes!

So it was good news when Michael Wellman, then Ryan Russell began to express interest in a 2024 Spring break missions trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. What a great time we had!  We worked with several church plants that Gracia Comunidad Bíblica and pastor Fernando Amezcua is involved with, as well as a kid’s club, focusing on Easter themes as well as English learning.  Most of the 15 team members (11 youth, four leaders) came from the main Troy campus.

The team was involved with the youth group and ministry team of Fernando and Luz María’s church throughout the whole week. As always in Mexico, some special friendship formed, and tears were shed at the end of the week. Renatto Abrego, videographer with Liebenzell USA, also took a visual record of the week, and I’ll be posting his video here soon. A big shout-out to Fernando and Luz Maria, and the whole team at Gracia Comunidad Bíblica!  Here are some pictures, courtesy of Grace, who was part of the Woodside group. Enjoy!

The local police made an appearance at one of our reading glasses/hearing aid donations.
I had a great time with Ryan Russell, short-term team coordinator from the Woodside Troy Campus, and Moises Ruvalcaba, one of the bi-vocational pastors working in church planting
It was a special moment for me being prayed over before my Palm Sunday sermon
During two separate donation events, the gospel was clearly proclaimed
Fernando is the man!
Renatto, after a LONG time in Mexican immigration, made it to Guadalajara on time.
So many varieties of fruit!
Some goofing around did occur…
34 kids participated in the Easter-themed ESL camp. Lots of fun was had by all!
Worship was an important part of the week
Happy Campers!



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