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August 3, 2010

As most of you know, we spent our first five months in Mexico pulling together plans and details for our upcoming Marketplace Ministry programs, set to begin mid-October and another at the end of January. Justin wrote up all the necessary literature pertaining to the program, such as applications, disclosures, schedules, curriculum, brochures, and updates to the website.  He built bunk beds for the dorm rooms, other building projects throughout the house, and helped install a bathroom and outdoor counter and sink on the roof to serve as an overflow camping area.  Elisabeth helped with plans and paperwork for the shop, as well as learning to help manage, shop for and balance the finances of the business.  Justin also learned to roast coffee and enjoys that immensely.

In February we were overjoyed to learn that we are expecting our first baby!  This did change the experience for Elisabeth somewhat, as she had many severe migraines during her first trimester and into her second.  We are praising God and happy to say that after almost ten years of battling migraines, Elisabeth has been migraine free for about ten weeks now.  This is the longest without a migraine she has gone since 2000.  Please pray that they stay away and don’t return after the birth of our baby girl.

In May, Justin’s best friend, Steve Kline, his wife Beth, and their baby daughter Breckyn, decided to join us for the upcoming year to help in various aspects of the program and business.  We were thrilled to have the support of another couple and their skills suit them perfectly to fill in the gaps and round out our ministry team.

During the summer, the tourist season dies out completely in Mazatlan.  The coffee shop shuts down due to lack of customers, extreme heat, humidity, and rain.  The Lonsdales return to California where Tom is a mason.  We returned to Pennsylvania on June 1st excited to see family and friends. Justin began working for his dad’s company immediately.

We had hoped that with Justin working we would be able to save enough to live in Mexico for the next nine months.  Elisabeth also hoped to find work but has not been able to find anything.  In some ways, it has been a blessing in disguise, allowing her plenty of time to spend with family, rest and enjoy her pregnancy.

Because we hoped to earn enough to support ourselves in Mexico and we did not see eye-to-eye on a few doctrinal items, we decided not to continue on with Fellowship International Mission.  The Lonsdales informed us that if we needed to raise any support we could always do so through their church, Church on the Mountain in California.  God has humbled us and we are forced to admit that we will have to do that.  With only Justin working, our savings have not increased as we had hoped over the summer months.  With new expenses being added for our baby girl, who will be born in Mexico sometime in late October or early November, we believe God is asking us to trust him to provide for us, and not rely solely on our own strength in this area.

When we left Mexico in June, we had six students completing the application process to come to Mexico in October, and we believed our program was nearly full.  Since that time Justin has been keeping in contact with those students and helping them complete the process.  To our surprise though, during the past two months, all but two students have dropped out to pursue other programs and interests.  We are praying and trusting that God is sending other students to us, and will be recruiting both here and in California before returning to Mexico.

Justin will be driving with Steve to California on August 24th.  Beth and Elisabeth will fly out and meet up with them a week later.  We plan to spend about 10 days recruiting in various cities in California before returning to Mazatlan on September 13th.  This is the last day that Elisabeth is allowed to fly, and it gives us a month to prepare before students arrive in October.

We thought it would be really cool if we had a day and time that we could have a large number of people praying together.  Since Steve and Justin will be driving through Mexico on September 12th, we thought it would be a good time for all of us to pray from wherever you might be.  We have asked our home church of Muhlenberg Area Community Church to pray during their morning service.  Please join us and pray with us even if just for five minutes between 10am and noon EST.

We ask that you pray for the following:

-Safety in travel for the team traveling back to Mexico.

-Safety in travel for the volunteers and students coming down this year.

-For students to fill the programs and for volunteers to help throughout the year.

-For the Gospel to be shared and heard throughout Mazatlan.

-For health and safety as our daughter is to be born in Mexico later this year.

Will you join us in this prayer initiative?  Please pray with us as the Lord is leading in all of this.  If you would like to help us carry out this mission financially you can send monetary gifts to Church on the Mountain at HCR 79 box 71, Crowley Lake, CA 93546.  Just include a note with your gift that reads, Justin and Elisabeth Reese at Looney Bean in Mazatlan, Mexico.

We are trusting the Lord to provide the last bit of finances we need in addition to what we have already received and have been able to save this summer to help us cover the costs of adding our daughter to the family and living for the nine months we will be in Mexico this coming season.

Thank you for your prayers and support as we serve the Lord in Mexico.

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