Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends of Portantorchas,

2009 was another great year at Portantorchas. Once again we had a full group of students. We had a students from all over the World: Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, Peru, Mexico, USA, Canada and Norway. We had two married couples as students. But more importantly, the Word of God was taught. Christ was proclaimed. Students and staff grew in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord and Life. We reached out to the children in the community, receiving upto 60 kids from the neighborhood for camps, bible club, and "afternoons with friends." Our students reached out to multiple ministries on a weekly basis including orphanages, rehabilitation centers, camps and churches, taking the message of life in Christ to others. We received groups from the US in June and July for a short-term missions' experience, and with their help remodelled churches, and built a large dividing fence at an orphanage. We also received a group of 25 leaders from all Latin America as they were trained in outreach.

The year began with the donation by Chris Crookston, a professional landscaper in Michigan who donated his time, effort and experience to beautify Portantorchas. He completely redid the entrance, the circle in the middle, moved many trees, removed many stumps, and most noticably, build a beautiful pergola. It ended with a new wall at the bottom of the property, and the replacement of the porch in the back. We continue to try to keep the property that the Lord has given us beautiful.

2010 will bring new changes. New growth. New experiences. As an example, one of our married couples is expecting to have a baby in the middle of the term. That in itself will be an exciting experience, and will be a first for all of us. There will be a lot of staff changes, including the transition of leadership. We'll share more about that later, but please begin praying for Tom and Sara Marcus, as they will have a lot more responsibility with their role at Portantorchas, and pray for the rest of the staff as they will fill new shoes and also assume more responsibility. We continue to have full enrollment, and will continue to discuss whether or not we need to increase our facilities to accept more students. It is difficult to have to turn students away because of lack of space, but at the same time, moving into further growth has implications that cannot be taken lightly.

Please keep us in your prayers this new year. Pray for our students, that they will continue to grow and mature in Christ. Pray the same for our staff, but also that they may share the message of Christ with their whole hearts, and through their responsibilities. Pray for wisdom and direction for those who lead the ministry. Pray that 2010 will prove to be even better than those years that came before.

Also, let us know how we can be praying for you. If you are an alumnus, we would love to hear from you. Drop a note on our facebook page, or a comment on our blog. We want to know how God is working in your life.

May God bless you in this New Year. "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Cor 13:14