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Hello from sunny…. or rather freezing Mexico. That’s right, the climate is pretty cold right now as talk around the church is that “this may be the year for snow.” Our kids are quite excited about the possibility of a freeze, while Jessica and I sit here trying to get warmed up.

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I do want to say “thank you” to our partners once again. Jessica and I have been so blessed these last few years and even weeks with the unyielding support of our partners. We have seen both in good times and in tuff times that you are behind us and support us. This task is so much better with your partnership.

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Because of some of the extra outside communication last month, we decided to send a mixed September and October update. In September we had a pretty slow month with just a couple of events. We started the month off with another clothing drive for the new school year. People in Mexico are so needy (even among our members), and so it is a real blessing to be able to give in a society filled with great poverty. This year we had four large tables of clothing with several hundred items to choose from. It was a real blessing to see so many people find items to wear. Likewise, it is exciting seeing Christian brothers wearing clothing that we no longer need. The other major event this September was for Mexico’s Independence Day. Our annual party is always a good evangelism tool and opportunity for meeting those of the community. This year we had dozens of visitors who shared in our piñata-making contest, enjoyed the traditional Mexican sweets, and played carnival style games with us.

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October events included a marriage seminar, small group parties, and our annual mission Sunday. We were blessed this year to see James and Erin Henderson (Erin is my cousin) arrive from Mexico City to teach our marriage seminar. James taught an incredible series of classes to encourage faithful marriages in a culture where such fidelity is not always common. Although we passed out three thousand fliers for the event, it was good to see a couple of visiting families take part in the event and join with our members in discussion and study together. In the same way, Jessica and I have enjoyed getting together with our Spanish small group as the group has really begun taking off. We now have a group weekly with three Mexican families, three AIM students, and our family. The group is very close nit and has been one of our greatest joys here. Finally, we enjoyed a positive mission Sunday this year. In 2006, we began mission Sunday as a chance for our congregation to support outside mission works and to develop a mission spirit even here in Leon. This year we were able to raise $300 USD that was given to an outside mission work. Cans were given to each family in our congregation as a way to collect change for the donation. It is exciting to see Mexican Christians act in a way that reflects the hearts of so many of our American partners.

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Besides major events, there are lots of other things going on here in Mexico. Jessica and I have really found great peace in jumping into our work and discovering God in the lives of the Mexican people. We praise God for you in your partnership with us and look forward to sharing more of our news with you as 2007 rolls into 2008.

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August Update,

This month I want to send out a brief review of the last few months and inform you of our next stops along the way.  Things are going overall well here in Leon as we begin a new school year.  This summer, we had groups come to us from Oklahoma and Nebraska.  We witnessed the arrival of new Let’s Start Talking workers, and we were blessed with 7 new AIM students.  Having so many partners come our way, we were able to really take advantage of the opportunities provided by more workers.  Thus, this summer we spent some good time in evangelism, doing service projects, and taking care of business around the building.  We are also utilizing a new facility that is capable of the new growth that has taken place.  Weekly we average 75 to 80 people now, so it is exciting to see so many individuals studying about Jesus here with us.  We have recently observed some good follow-up to the Let’s Start Talking work as AIM students have begun a campaign on their own.  Likewise, Jessica and I have been blessed with both of our small groups as they continue to blossom and as we are really enjoying these Christian communities that meet within homes.  The body has gone through some hard times lately as sin issues have caused a break in one of our Mexican families.  However, just last night our small group enjoyed going over to the family’s home to try and encourage and serve them as we know best.  Like everywhere else in the world, Christianity is happening here in Leon, and we are glad to be a part of it.  We have been blessed to see a new family arrive in Leon this month.  Roberto Rubio is a graduate of the Bible school in Toluca, Mexico.  Because Roberto’s daughter worships with us, Roberto has decided to come to Leon and help us in our task.  It is such a blessing to see more individuals come our way and serve us here.  Truly the Mexican leadership is beginning to really take over things in Leon.  Mexican leaders are filling many of the roles here in the church.  From preaching to small group leadership, and even in making decisions, the Mexican men have really started standing up.  I especially enjoyed last week as both of my small groups were lead by individuals other than me.  In the house of Martin and Patricia, it was exciting to see Martin begin taking new leadership, as he taught a group from the book of James.  Clearly, things are progressing forward.  Well, there are lots of other things to talk about, but I’ll leave some for next time.  As always, may God bless you and please keep this task in your prayers.

Chris and Jessica Johnson

Our newest team update is now posted online at the Leon4Christ website. Click on the link below to read all about the news from the Leon Mission Team!

July News Update

Hello to all from Leon. This month was really divided into two parts as we spent two weeks in preparation for the arrival of workers, followed by two separate events with those workers. Here are the details-

We were blessed again this year to be able to work with a group from Shawnee Oklahoma (this year joined for the first time with a group from McAlester Oklahoma). The experience was incredible for Jessica and I (as it was last year), because there are several personalities in the group that just seem like old friends and long-lost companions. Of course, the irony is that we have only known many of these individuals less than 2 weeks of our lives. Still, it is exciting to see God connecting us to those we are so drawn towards.

Worship With The Americans

The group this year assisted us in two large projects. The first project involved service to the community. This year we addressed the issue of poverty in Leon by serving an area that I had mentioned before as “God forsaken.” Amazingly, even the Mexican people are afraid to visit the area because of drug and crime issues. We did spend some time out in the neighborhood, feeding the hungry and sharing Jesus. Mr. Bible (one of the church’s puppets) made a rare appearance and seemed to bring a smile to the kids’ faces. The event was a great success in my eyes and seemed to be a real blessing to those who had attended. Besides taking food and teaching classes, we also did some construction work, painting, sorted through groceries, among other tasks needed for the week. We were very pleased at the outcome of the event.

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Besides working with the poor (and serving a children’s home… a fact that I failed to mention earlier), we spent some time organizing literature and serving the body in Leon. As our second half of the week rolled around, it was good to be able to make visits to various families’ homes with the group, organize literature, pass out fliers, etc. The time with the group was a big success and had a positive outcome for the congregation.

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The rest of the month has been spent in preparation for a campaign that took place towards the end of this week. Invitations were made and sent out in our area as a way to again bring new contacts into the building outside of our other events and our small groups. We were blessed with several visitors during the campaign (the campaign is not over yet), and saw a good turnout. Our guest speaker is the father of one of our members here who just completed his time at the Bible School in Toluca. We were excited to see his abilities and are likewise imprsessed with his humble spirit.

That’s about it for this month. Other than what was mentioned, life here keeps pressing on. We want to wrap this newsletter up by saying thanks to our supporters. Many of you began supporting us 4 years ago this month! It has been such a blessing with you here at our side and we look forward to sharing more updates with you.

Chris, Jessica, Alison, and Christian

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June News

Sorry that I’m running a little behind on this newsletter. I have tried to write a few times in the month of June to share our updates, but was prevented on more than one occasion. I do hope this news finds you well and in good spirits this summer break.

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June has been a busy month for us here in Leon. It began with us putting some of the final details in the new building that we are renting, and concluded with a Let’s Start Talking campaign. In the middle of all of the fun, we painted the church building, had AIM Bootcamp, worked with a Nebraska campaign group, finished up our new songbook, started a new small group, and did all of our normal work as usual. Needless to say, it has been a busy month.

First Sunday

As June first took off, it was obvious that many of May’s tasks had yet to be completed. The new AIM students who had just arrived were now knee deep in their forty-day bootcamp study with me. I absolutely love doing bootcamp with the AIM students because it allows me to get on the same page with the workers. This year (like last), we saw some real growth in the Aim students as they were challenged in their behaving and acting to be more like Jesus. When boogtcamp finally ended last week, the AIM students seemed to have enjoyed the process.

Our AIM Students

Since we had just recently moved into a new building, there were still several loose ends that needed to be covered. These loose ends included buying more chairs, getting fans, painting, setting up speakers, etc. There have been a lot of bases to cover, and we are still trying to cover them all. However, the results have been very positive. The first month in our building was a success with new contacts and new directions taking place in the work. We did see an increase in worshippers and have made a number of new contacts with our move. Needless to say, it is exciting watching some of the pieces come together as our work grows stronger.

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June did see the arrival of two groups. The Nebraska youth group from York was a real blessing as workers put on a kid’s event, assisted in passing out fliers for Let’s Start Talking, and worked on our new building. The day after the Nebraska group left Leon, we were then blessed by the arrival of Let’s Start Talking. The LST workers had another successful year and have been followed up in their work by our AIM students. While the months of June and July can feel like a storm here with the arrival of so many new groups and workers, the ministry is blessed in having so many partners.

LST Workers

As stated before, aside from the arrival of groups, bootcamp with the AIMers, and moving to a new building, we did continue our normal work as usual. Finally a new small group got underway in the household of Patricia (who was baptized a few months ago) allowing us to further influence that family. Besides these things, business has remained steady as we continue to enjoy watching the Mexican people grow in Christ. As always, we highly value your part in the work and thank God for your support of this task. Again, I apologize for the delay in getting this news out, but as you can see things have been a bit hectic here. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue the work in Leon.

Nebraska Kids Day

Chris Johnson

Hello everyone, this month is a bit crazy with the arrival of U.S. groups, getting new AIM students, and changing to a new place of worship. We have included our new team update for anyone to read who wants to see what is going on here. Before I forget, I also wanted to mention that a couple of our AIM students are lacking one-time funding for any congregations that may be able to assist in that area. Again, we are very thankful to God for you and thank you for your continued partnership.

Chris

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To Read The New Leon Mission Team News –
Click On The Graphic Below

APRIL NEWS

Hello to all. I hope everyone is doing well as April turns to May. Things have been hectic here with the anticipation of new workers arriving, a new building move, and new contacts accepting Christ.

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Last month I reported that Patricia had accepted the salvation of Jesus. I also mentioned that her daughter Evelyn was also making plans to do the same. I am pleased to announce that Evelyn did in fact clothe herself in Christ in April. It is very exciting to see God working through families like yeast through dough. We were also blessed to see Victor give his life to Jesus this week. The two events combined made for an exciting month for us here and reminded us that the Lord is continuing to bless the work in Leon.
Yolanda and Jessica
These last few months the Leon workers have been focusing on two projects simultaneously. While we continue to work with the original church plant movement that began three years ago, we also have looked just outside of the city and begun our second church plant in an area called Los Sauces.  This work has been a very difficult one in that it is much “grittier” as people in the area struggle with real life problems and issues.  Please keep the Los Sauces work in your prayers as we work with those who desire to give their hearts over to the Lord.

Alison At School
Two weeks ago, I learned of a new work that I have been very eager to be involved in. On the southwest part of Leon lies a district that could only be described as “forsaken.” The area is filled with poverty stricken and hungry people who are in great need of many of life’s essentials. Here children snort drugs to help them forget about the pains of hunger. In the same way, things like alcoholism, robbery, and abuse are an everyday occurrence in this “dark underbelly” of Leon. In the midst of the chaos is a small house where a very serving woman lives who is trying to make a difference in the world. She has decided simply to feed breakfast to the street children and try to influence them by her example. Needless to say, when we heard about the situation we had to get involved. I have been out to the house twice now (once with Jessica) and plan on making it a regular visit during the summer. Honestly, this is the kind of work that really excites Jessica and I, and we are eager to share the light of Jesus with these children.
Street Kids
As some of you know, Jessica and I were in the United States three weeks ago to attend my grandfather’s funeral. C.T. Johnson had impacted so many people with his musical talents and written songs that can be found in many of our hymnals. I was truly blessed to be able to attend the event and was glad to get to enjoy the company of so many friends and family members as well. Thank you to all who kept us in your prayers. We highly value them.
Current AIM Students
Finally, in just under two weeks, we will be experiencing a lot of changes here in Leon. We will be moving to a new location for meeting together with the body, and we will begin the Summer process of watching an influx of workers including seven new AIM students, LST workers, summer campaigns, and much more. The ministry in Leon is getting ready for another big boost. Please keep this and all of the work mentioned in your prayers. Also, please know that you remain in our prayers. Jessica and I would be lost without such incredible partners by our side. You make our ministry work. When we hear that you are praying for us, or when we see that we are provided for financially, we remember how wonderful it is to have you.

Thank you.

Chris and Jessica Johnson
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MARCH NEWS

It’s that time again (or even past time) for a March news update.  As you can see, we are using a new service here with WordPress.  Blogger has turned into a major headache (as Jessica and other former users can testify), so I felt that it was finally time to make a move to another service.  WordPress seems to be pretty good (although some services do cost), but I am trying the free service for now and will see how long that lasts. 
March was a great month with a baptism of one of our contacts that you had been praying for (Patricia), as well as the formation of some new plans for the future.  In many ways this month was business as usual, while in other ways we were excited to see changes take place.

Patricia’s baptism definetly is the big news of the month for me.  She seems to be a real woman of faith and has really opened my eyes to God’s plan for the work in Leon.  Jess and I started studying with Patricia a few months ago after she and her family started coming to worship with us.  Patricia was first contacted through a flier last year handed out by one of our new AIMers coming to Leon named Donovan.  The flier reached Patricia’s daughter Evilyn (who happens to want to get baptized this week), which later brought the entire family into our lives.  Anyway, long story short, Patricia has come a long way these past few months and has demonstrated a great deal of faith.  I was excited to see her accept Jesus as her Lord and can’t wait to watch the entire family give their lives to Christ.

On the family side, many of you know that we have been trying to adopt a child.  Last month we became frustrated as we were told by some of the agencies here in town that we could not adopt in Mexico because of our age, citizenship, etc.  However, we have not given up just yet.  We do know of an agency out of Mexico City that may be able to help us.  I plan on speaking to them at the end of April in person and looking around their facilities.  Please keep this dream in your prayers.  Jessica and I just feel that this is the right thing to do and want to help some child in this way.  It would be a shame for us not to be able to adopt when our hearts really are driven to do so. 
New AIM Students

As some of you know, next week begins Mexican spring break with two solid weeks of holiday.  For us here, this means less contacts in the city and fewer chances to connect with the body as people leave town.  Yet as we prepare for the “dead time” of ministry, we look forward to a busy summer.  We eagerly await the arrival of new AIMers (who still need to contact me by the way) coming to work for us.  Likewise, we can’t wait for the Let’s Start Talking team, Shawnee group, and other who are set to help us out.  Having groups like these arrive makes our ministry that much fuller and creates a bond between ourselves and the congregations back home.
Studying Together
Finally, we were frustrated a couple of months ago to learn that once again we are being threatened to lose the building we rent to another business.  However, we were able to find a great option very close for renting and will make that move (Lord willing) in June.  Although the cost is higher, the space is several times larger and will be a great place to meet as we seek to bring in more contacts.
Johnson Family
That’s all for now.  The work is still going well as Jessica and I tred through our third year in Mexico.  This adventure has been crazy for us, but we are blessed to have you in our corner as God leads us to more and more people.

Chris