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New Year Greetings!

January 3, 2014

The author Jane Thiboult says in one of her books that “God saves the best for last.”  Hoping that our days will number at least 80 years (more gladly accepted) we can testify that age 60 and up just keeps getting better and better!  Our life and ministry in San Luis Potosi, MEXICO is better than we had dreamed.  We not only enjoy living here; our work as Global Ministries “service volunteers” fills and fulfills us in unexpected ways and we are so very thankful.  The past year, our first full year, in Mexico has expanded our experience of love - love of God, love of people, of family, of friends, and of each other. 

Doug and I were thrilled last January to have our first visitors - his brother Fred and wife Mary!   Exploring San Luis Potosi, introducing them to our friends, taking them to our favorite eating places, sharing a birthday party (Kate’s) and finally taking a tourist trek to Guanajuato for a couple of days.  We look forward to our next visitors!  Could it be YOU???  Certainly hope so!

We visited over 50 churches this past year, speaking everywhere we went, sometimes delivering the sermon, and nearly always breaking bread with the Disciples of Christ and Congregational Churches of Mexico. It’s a great joy to feel part of the spirit of “hermanos y hermanas” seeking to do God’s will and help one another.  We participate in the churches as preachers, worshippers and missionaries, and we share in the joys and sorrows of our church friends in their marriages, births, graduations, and deaths. 

For a month in May-June we visited family (Doug to Virginia, Kate to Kansas) then met up in Kansas and traveled to Minnesota with our friends Kris and Larry Allen.  Kate and Kris froze at Hand Lake while the fellas went fishing in Canada (where it was warmer than 300 miles south…go figure!)  Wonderful visits with our friends on the way from and to San Luis Potosi who shared love and friendship (and even a new sewing machine!—thanks Stephanie Lewis!).

After our return to Mexico, it became apparent that our beloved dog “Ozzie” was ill and we lost him in July to an aggressive cancer.  The neighborhood vet came to our home to administer the last rites and console us.   Later in July, the “Summer Session” was held here at the seminary – wonderful to see the dormitories full!  Kate taught a week long class on Biblical Exegesis:  Women in the Bible; she taught it in Spanish!  Doug and other translators were present to help with the discussions.  Over 50 people from all over Mexico came for the classes.

In August, more church visits and trips to fun places in Mexico such as the Nayarit coast for the Congregational Church Pastors’ Retreat where Doug served as facilitator.  We went on to Mazatlan where we visited several Congregational churches and their mission projects.  Meeting new friends in that beautiful beach city was another of the past year’s highlights.

In September we both participated in the Global Ministries’ program, “Woman to Woman” or Mujer a Mujer as it is called here.  This ten day trek with women from the USA to meet, study, worship and play together took place in Jalisco and Aguascalientes before concluding at the San Luis Potosi seminary where we live!  Such an exciting time learning about each other and exciting projects of Church women in Mexico.  Multiple micro-loans have enabled women to start small businesses and their earnings pay school fees and buy clothes for their children.

October became something of a nightmare when Doug became extremely sick.  After a hospital stay here, his jaundice, fever and shakes eased up enough (he had wonderful doctors and great care) to go to the USA for further treatment covered by Medicare.   From the airport, we went directly to Kansas University Medical Center where a huge blood clot in the liver portal vein was discovered and treated with blood thinner.   After recuperating for nearly a month at the home of Kate’s sister Virginia and Tom Wilson in Baldwin City, KS we returned to San Luis Potosi.  We are so grateful for all the prayers and expressions of support and solidarity that were a great help in Doug’s recovery.

We wish all of you the best in the New Year.  Our prayers are with you all and we treasure the love we share.  May you find the Christ who dwells in every heart and honor each person as if you were in the presence of God, because you are.

Doug Smith and Kate Moyer serve as Long-term Volunteers with the Joint Table for Mission Development formed by the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico, the Christian Church (DOC), and the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (DOC) of Mexico. Doug and Kate serve as Consultants for Mission Development. Doug serves with the emphasis in stewardship and resource development.  Kate serves with the emphasis on women’s development and theological education.

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