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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mike Makes a Decision

One of the guys on our adventure to Tepehuaje was Mike. I had asked a friend who was a youth pastor if he knew of someone who was bilingual and could travel with our trailer of materials from Los Angeles to Tepehuaje. He said he had a guy named Mike and that he would be a great help, so I said okay.

The first time I saw Mike he showed up with baggy jeans, a tank top, and a baseball cap on sideways. Not exactly your perfect picture of a missionary. The second time I saw him he was dressed the same way, and that was how he was dressed when he met Pastor Melesio.

Melesio has a reputation of being pretty open and liberal about these types of things. But apparently even he has limits. He told me that Mike was not going to ride with him through Mexico because he was dressed like a thug. So Mike rode with another member of Melesio's church.

During the time Mike was in Mexico, God began to work on his heart. Without being told, he started changing. As the time went on, his appearance was different and you could see a new spirit emerging. Mike was in the process of becoming a new creation. All as a result of his experiences with the committed people around him.

The people of Tepehuaje just loved him...as Mike. Not as someone to be converted, because they assumed he already knew Jesus, but just as himself. Perhaps for the first time in his life, Mike could just be Mike, and enjoy life.

This last Sunday, in his home church, where he had grown up, Mike gave his life to Jesus. He decided that he really needed to be in a relationship with God, not just know about him. This is what happens when people get outside of their comfort zones, serve, and are challenged by having to really live the Gospel. They are changed.

Each person on that trip played a part in Mike's decision. The people from the U.S. and the people from Mexico. Even as we get further from that week, God continues to show us what happens when we follow Him.

I praise God for Mike, his decision, his life, and I ask you to join us in praying for him as he moves on from here.

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