The e-Newsletter of Rich & Deborah Murphy, Maranatha Life
Dear Friends & Prayer Partners;
It seems amazing to me how fast time is flying past. It's been three months since the last newsletter, and I don't know where the time has gone. I don't like to let so much time lapse between letting everyone know what's going on, but sometimes it just seems to happen that way.
-- IN THIS ISSUE --
-- MINISTRY HEADQUARTERS --
I guess the easiest term I can use to describe what's been happening with the ministry headquarters is "tragedies & triumphs." While it hasn't gone smooth, or even easy, we are going forward, and I know we will have victory in the end.
In the last newsletter, I told you that we were buying a piece of property, with the help of some friends. That's true, but it's taken a lot more time and work than I ever thought it would. As of right now, our friends have the title on the property. That's the good news. The bad is that we can't buy our half from them until we finish a sub-division of the property.
This has turned out to be a much bigger problem than we ever thought it would be. The county has all kinds of regulations that are involved in sub-dividing a piece of property. Some of these are obvious necessities, and others seem totally ridiculous. For example, even though that area of land was just sub-divided into tracts this year, we have to file a new drainage report for our sub-division. It doesn't matter that it was already done this year, it has to be done again.
Most of the civil engineers we talked to were quoting us prices of $6,000.00 to $9,000.00 just to do the sub-division. But, we finally found a Christian civil engineer who would do it for $2,500.00. That's still not cheap, but it's a lot better than the others.
So, we should have that done in a couple more months, and be able to start building. Praise the Lord! Please keep this project in your prayers. We need God's grace, physical help for construction, material donations, and cash donations to complete this project.
-- TRAVELING --
Since we last wrote, Rich has taken a trip to Sioux City, Iowa to preach an annual convention for a Hispanic denomination headquartered out of California. We had never heard about this group, but they heard about us through a brother who used to be a missionary here in Reynosa. The trip was a great success, and they want Rich to preach another one in Guatemala, Central America in November.
At around the same time, Deborah was able to take a trip to Denver, Colorado to see family and friends. Reshma and Dylan (our 5 year old grandson) came from England to meet with her there. Dylan thought in was fascinating to find out that his mommy had a mommy. Deb's said ever since he was born that she wouldn't feel like a grandma, until she could hold him in her lap. So, I guess that makes her a real grandma now. She had a great time with them, and got to see all of Rich's family, most of whom we haven't seen in several years, as well.
While all of this was going on, Josh and Rebekah have spent most of the summer working as interpreters for Dayspring Missions, an organization which brings short-term missions groups to Mexico to work and minister. Rebekah was with them for eight weeks, and Josh for five. It was a real growing experience for them as ministers and servants of the Lord.
As I'm writing this, Deborah's on South Padre Island doing a ladies retreat. She left today, and should be back tomorrow. South Padre is a long island that parallel's the Texas coast on the Gulf of Mexico. There's a resort town on the south end of the island which is pretty well known. That's where she'd doing the retreat.
On the 19th of this month, Rich will leave for another trip to Tabasco, Mexico. I say "Rich" because it looks like he's going to have to make this trip on his own. Deborah's had some problems with the heat again this summer, and we've been trying to keep her in the air conditioning. Most of the churches we're scheduled to minister in down there, and some of the homes we're scheduled to stay in don't have air conditioning. While we believe in trusting God, we feel it would be wisdom for her to stay home this time. This will make our 4th trip to minister in that area of Mexico. God has really opened doors there, and we have formed some great relationships with several pastors in the area.
After that, it looks like we'll be traveling to Toluca, Mexico in the later part of September. That trip isn't confirmed yet, but some of the churches we ministered in down there last year want us back. So, they're trying to arrange a schedule of churches for us to minister in.
As a side note, there are groups of pastors in Villahermosa, Tabasco; Toluca Mexico; and Macuspana, Tabasco that we mail the teachings we write every month to.
After these two trips comes Rich's aforementioned trip to Guatemala, in November, for the convention there.
Somewhere in all this we still have to fit in a trip to Columbia, South America; the Dominican Republic, Posa Rica, Mexico and Acapulco, Mexico. I don't know how all that's going to work out yet, but that's not my problem; the Holy Spirit is in charge of working out the schedule.
-- PRAYER MOVEMENT --
In the beginning of July, while Rich was in Iowa, we had the second city-wide prayer gathering in the baseball stadium. The turnout wasn't as big as it was last year, but the advertising budget wasn't as big either. However, instead of being so much "show" it was more "go." The 4,000 people who came did so to pray, not to see the show. That was an improvement over last years event.
We've also had a multiplication of prayer groups in Reynosa. The group we've had has grown to the point, where it's seeded a group in another part of the city. These groups consist only of pastors, leaders, and intercessors. So, when they get together, it's not for a show, it's to pray.
We've been working to train these groups on intercession, and especially on spiritual warfare. They have the desire, but not the knowledge. We've held several spiritual warfare conferences, and they keep coming back asking for more. This is probably the first time we've seen this kind of hunger to learn here on the border, and oh are we glad to see it.
From these groups, there has risen a desire in a group of pastors in Posa Rica. I was planning on going down to help them get started, but when hurricane Emily came through, we had to delay. Still, I expect to go down soon and help those pastors get their own prayer movement off the ground.
Please pray for the prayer movement in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Due to various scheduling conflicts, I haven't been able to be with the pastors there. But, of all the cities here on the border, they are in the most critical situation. Every day there are drug related assassinations there. While that motivates the pastors to pray, it makes Nuevo Laredo a hard place to live and minister.
-- HURRICANE RELIEF --
You probably saw the news about hurricane Emily coming to visit us a couple of weeks ago. At first, we thought we were going to have to move the motorhome about 50 miles west of here, because it was coming straight towards us. We're only 50 miles from the coast here, and with the 150+ mile per hour winds they were reporting, we weren't sure the motorhome could survive.
However, after praying about it, we decided to stay. We felt that it would hit south of us, and we wouldn't get the brunt of it. Well, that's exactly what happened. Although we got a bunch of rain, it really wasn't all that bad here.
However, the places in Mexico that were hit by it were hit bad. Reynosa had 35 colonias (halfway between a suburb, and a housing development) that were flooded by the hurricane. But, they weren't the worst hit. The hurricane came ashore right at San Fernando, and did a lot of damage there.
We really aren't in the ministry of providing food and clothing to people, but we made an exception for the hurricane. We've managed to locate and provide about three tons of disaster relief to the people of Mexico. That may not sound like much to you, but when you have to move it all by hand it is. Although it was only a drop in the bucket, when you add our drop to the drops of others, soon you have a river of help that traveled across the border to reach those who were in need.
Everything we took across the border went through local pastors. In fact, we tried to make it go through Mexican pastors, to get to the Mexican pastors who were passing it out to the people. There is too much attitude here of looking to the Americans to help. We want the Mexicans to learn how to help each other.
-- MISCELLANEOUS NOTES --
-- FAMILY NOTES --
Josh and Jenni will be starting college in about two weeks. This is Josh's first year, and Jenni's second. It seems amazing to have two college students at once, while we are still living in the motorhome. Praise the Lord that with government grants and scholarships it isn't costing us a cent!
Jenni finally started her new job. She's been out of work for almost two months, and going stir crazy. She likes where she's working and is even somewhat of a celebrity, as one of the managers knows us from when we ministered in their church.
Praise the Lord for everything He is doing. Please keep praying for us, and please pass the word on to others about all that God is doing here on the Texas/Mexico border. More than anything, we covet your prayers.
Blessings in Jesus,
Rev. Rich Murphy
Copyright © 2005 by Richard A. Murphy, Maranatha Life All rights reserved.