“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 1:14 (ESV)
Funny how far off the point things have gotten with the Christmas season. As far as secular celebrations go, it’s never been my favorite. High expectations of joy and cheer, often met with disappointment and sometimes depression.
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year. The focus on gratitude puts my heart in a position of joy. Yes, a position. Although joy can be expressed through emotion, true joy is a state of mind (or an attitude) influenced by the hope we have in our risen Savior whose birthday we celebrate during our Christmas traditions. Thanks to consumerism, those traditions have turned into celebrating “giving” as the reason for the season (not a bad thing but not the thing), or even “getting” as the focus.
I’ve found that directing my attention to the real reason for our festivities–praising God for the eternal hope we were given wrapped in swaddling clothes in that manger–is how to maintain an attitude of joy. Remembering that the hope of peace in eternal security is what moves us to praise instead of expecting our worldly gifts under the tree–gifts that break and fade over time. That is where the real joy is. That is why we celebrate. Because that baby grew up, lived a sinless life, and died to pay for the sins of the world. Giving hope to each individual who believes in Him. That’s why we sing “glory to God in the highest.” I’m praying you are singing the same thing!
Now for the updates
The Obrero Fiel team has now evolved into an arm of our Avant organization called Global Engagement and we have doubled in size (see the zoom meeting screenshot). We have a combination of supported missionaries, paid team members, and volunteers working together to provide resources to Spanish speakers who are eager to learn more about God and to make disciples around the world. I have a new title, “Head of IT and Web Development”. I no longer have to worry about the administrative tasks (no more payroll, yay!). I’m able to focus on everything technical and the overall look of our different segments of ministry. Previously, I handled tech and web development, graphic design, marketing, team management, bill payment, payroll, and more. Now we have team members dedicated to most of these tasks, and my focus is on creating a better online experience and getting our Amazon book library “stocked.”
This may sound nerdy, but It’s so exciting for me to see how God has pulled this group together and how He’s using the internet to equip disciple-making disciples. Our vision is to see churches in the global south effectively participating in God’s mission.
Here’s a breakdown of the different segments of our online ministries:
- Obrero Fiel (Faithful Worker): Online Spanish resource library of Biblical resources (almost 10,000 free resources). All items from the combined ministries that we offer can be found on this main website.
- Premium: Our premium resources that are obtained by users through a subscription or individual purchases. The cost is low, but we are hoping to help support our ministry through subscribers. We curate articles and study aids for theological studies and we develop curriculum for pastors to use in their churches/ministries.
- Escuela Obrero Fiel (school): Online/email based school for students wanting to go deeper in their walk with God. Our facilitators work with each individual student as they work through the courses.
- Buscad Primero (Seek First): Ministry with a redemptive focus on personal and professional development that seeks to form communities of leaders who are committed to remaining faithfully involved in their quest to be Christlike.
- Red de Iglesias misionales (Misional Church Network): Program geared toward helping church leaders to develop the five fundamental elements of a missional-minded church in their congregation. A mentoring program is offered, and we have several missionaries dedicated to participating with these church leaders.
- Ediciones las Américas or ELA: This ministry began in 1957 as a Christian Publishing House located in the city of Puebla, Mexico. We have the publishing rights to over 200 previously printed Christian books, many of which are timeless treasures translated from English. These books are a big part of theological studies, and we have begun converting them into ebooks. This is a huge undertaking and will be our development focus for 2022.
- Obrero Transcultural (The cross-cultural worker): A ministry created to support Spanish speakers who live and work among people of a culture other than their own. We offer support, resources, and aids at no cost in Spanish to promote the training and spiritual development of Spanish-speaking people.
- Iglesias Obrero Fiel: A website directory of Spanish speaking evangelical churches around the world.
Natalie and Carl are still in Corpus Christi. Natalie is at the tail-end of her coursework to receive her Bachelor’s degree. She took a leap of faith a few months ago and quit her job to begin her own business (freelance writing: online social media management and technical writing for small businesses). She’s doing an awesome job! Carson just finished boot camp and will be heading to Pensacola in a few weeks as he serves in the Coast Guard.
Amanda and Casey, still in Waxahachie, are raising their littles (one and three) and trying to keep up with them. They grow so fast! Amanda moved on from VIP Kid (lot’s of changes in the Chinese company), and accepted a position at her previous school, Green Oaks Academy. She is now the Reslife Administrative Director (the Reslife program is for the adult students living on a nearby college campus and learning/practicing life skills). She only has to work away from her babies two days a week and the rest of the work is from home. Thankfully there are enough grandparents to handle the babysitting, so no daycare is necessary!
Joe is still in Austin working for Aspyr Media in the marketing department. He continues to record music with his friends and can be found on Spotify and other online music services. That’s about all of the information I could pull out of him!
Not much has changed for Scot and me. He continues to work from home. They keep projecting when he will return to the office, but it hasn’t happened yet. We’ve both remained in relatively good health. I’ve come to accept the pain in my back and neck for what it is. It’s manageable for the foreseeable future, and I work to make sure it stays that way with exercise and home therapy. Check out the photos/captions to see some of the things we did this year.
The curriculum project (book of Acts) for the women of Grace Bible Church (where we attend) is finished and we are halfway through the study with our women’s ministry. You can check that out here. This was an amazing experience of growth and community with the group of women who served on the curriculum team. The Holy Spirit is real and active in the Church and we look forward to seeing how God continues to use His Church to invite people into a relationship with Him.
Please find me on Facebook if you want to keep up with more life details and see lots more photos (ie. grandkids, dogs, and food).
Wrapping Things Up
I’d love to hear from you. Email me or or text/call. Or better yet, let’s have coffee!
Please consider a year-end donation to help meet my ministry support deficit for 2021. I’m also in need of more monthly supporters for 2022. Please contact me for details or go to the Avant website to sign up. Just put my name in the field and the amount, then on the next screen you can set up the frequency and payment.
You can also mail a check to Avant headquarters: 10000 N Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64155.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. It means more than you know!
Merry Christmas and Happy new Year from the Jenkins!
P.S. You can download and print the pdf version of this newsletter here.
You know I always have to have photos! Enjoy these, and checkout my Facebook page for many more. If we aren’t connected yet, send me a friend request so you can see all of them.