October 26, 2012 by estesinmexico
Hi! Some of you may know me, but if not my name is Stephanie Stokes. I am originally from a small town just south of Fort Worth Texas, but it’s just much easier to say I’m from the Dallas area. I graduated from Howard Payne University in May with bachelor’s degrees in Public Policy/Political Science and English. Two weeks after graduation, I packed up my belongings and moved down to The Rio Grande Valley to serve as a missionary. I have spent two previous summers serving in The Valley and Reynosa, Mexico. In August, I began working with Shawn and Carla as a volunteer for Project Fortify. God has placed it on my heart to spend my time in The Valley and Reynosa building and strengthening relationships. One of the ways I have been able to do this is through working with the youth group at Iglesia Evangelica Maranatha. Maranatha is a Spanish-speaking congregation located in Alamo, TX. There are approximately 50 people who regularly attend Maranatha. Sammy and Melanie Morales pastor the church.
There are nine youth that I have the privilege to serve and teach. I am able to meet with them on Friday nights and Sunday mornings to lead them in studying the word of God. In August, I began walking the youth through two different studies. On Friday nights, the youth group is going through a discipleship study. This is a time for the youth to be honest and transparent about their lives and where they are in their walk with Christ. We have discussed several topics including prayer, bible study, and worship. It is exciting to see them come to a greater understanding of topics they hear about all the time in church. On Sunday mornings, we have been able to study the life of Christ. This study has been slow going, but it is very important for the youth to have an understanding of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. Every week, I am able to share the gospel with the members of the youth group who are not saved, as well as spur on the others who have been saved.
Also, this past month I have had the opportunity to spend Sunday evenings with Iglesia Biblica de la gracia (Grace Bible Church). Williams and Elourden Velez pastor the church and have help from other Rio Grande Bible Institute students. The church is just over two years old and is located in Mission, TX. There is much poverty and spiritual warfare that is present in the area. I have been able to begin building relationships with some of the members of the church; I look forward to continuing this in the weeks to come. The people in the church and surrounding area have many needs. Project Fortify is excited about the possibility of partnering with Iglesia Biblica de la Gracia in the future.
Many times we are overwhelmed with all the needs both here in the valley and in Mexico. As Project Fortify seeks Gods direction, please pray that He will give us guidance and discernment to know which ministries here in the valley we need to partner with.