Neuendorf (Puerto Rico) Update – January 2022

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The month of January and the beginning of our new year was marked by a Caribbean tradition that we have, until now, never participated in. It is the common practice on most of the islands, known for their colorful houses and vibrant neighborhoods, to paint a fresh coat of color on your house to celebrate the new year and stave off the constant bleaching of the sun. At long last, (without particularly planning to) we joined in and painted the exteriors of our church and mercy center here in Ponce, and what a difference it has made! 

Of course the tradition isn’t merely to paint the house, but also for those who live in it to purchase a new set of clothes to wear into the new year. The idea is that entering into the new year with a fresh external appearance will attract good luck and fortune. If you look the part, then you will become what you look like. What do you think? Would that work? 

Jesus certainly didn’t think so! He said of the pharisees, who were focused on their external appearance of righteousness and religiosity in Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

If the inside isn’t ordered and cleaned, then no amount of external washing or painting will do the job! Now, this isn’t to say that painting and preparing our property to be appealing on the outside isn’t important. Yet it is not the most important thing that we should be focused on either. Although it is less visible, we are hard at work on the more important work of building the foundation of the body of Christ, instilling the Word into hearts and minds. We had our first funeral, finished our Bible study on the book of Romans and started our next study on Acts, and are working behind the scenes to begin our daily order of regular ministry in lent. We know that the outside is nothing if the inside isn’t in order first, and we also know that only the Lord can work to make the inside clean and orderly, and He does this through the water of baptism and His Word! 

Our emphasis as a team across Puerto Rico for the first part of this year until Lent is to strengthen and organize our work on the inside as we prepare to push out into the community again with a number of new ways to connect with people and bring them into connection with each-other and with Christ. The outside of our buildings is a part of that, making things appear inviting and hospitable, but even more important is the inside, making certain that what happens here is Christ and Gospel-centered in every way!

May God also bless you in this new year as He works in and through you to bear witness to Him wherever He has placed you!


English Classes came back in full swing. In January we started back up our in-person classes in Mayaguez and in Ponce. We were blessed to receive some of the same students from our previous classes as well as many new students!

English brings us altogether as a team. If one of us is not teaching, the other is preparing a space or talking to students before and after the class, or inviting them to church activities. It’s been a real joy for all of us. We look forward to in-person classes starting in March and that we continue to get to know the students who have attended.

For this round of classes, we emphasized prayer. One of the pastors would begin our time together with a short devotion and prayer and in our individual classes we would take prayer requests and pray at the end of the class. We also offered for the students to write down confidential prayer requests that the pastors would read and follow up on if desired. Many students took advantage of this opportunity.

A little friend who visits CARD (Mercy House) sometimes.

Fun fact: Iguanas are not native to Puerto Rico.

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We are tremendously thankful for our Mission Senders. They give us the blessing of continous encourgament and financial support. 

  • Thanksgiving for ESL Classes
  • Continued construction at CARD Ponce
  • Visitation and members at Fuente de Vida

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Neuendorf · 1428 Calle Aloa, Buena Vista · Ponce, PR 00717 · USA

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