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"Chips Off The Did Block"

News From Marilyn Wood
Serving Christ through:
Spanish American Evangelism
3135 Forney Lane
El Paso, TX 79935
Volume 1 Number 2
Spring/Summer 1982
Dear Friends In Christ,
Much has happened since I last wrote. (If you remember, I wrote in November, but due
to circumstances beyond my control, the letter was not mailed until January.) I'll try to give
you the highlights of my activities since.
The Christmas program, "The Birthday Celebration," was a huge success. The children
did such an excellent job. Audrey and I were really proud of them. Several of the parents
and the children wanted to do it again (We did it twice in the same day.) after Christmas for
those who were unable to see it; however, we just didn't have the time. But we feel that
those who saw the presentation understood a little better just what Christmas really means.
Christmas vacation was filled with packing and mailing boxes and doing all of the myriad
things one does to move. I shipped my car December 22, and I didn't leave until January 4,
but thanks to a friend who was in the States for Christmas, I was not left without
On Christmas Eve Manolin Torres came home from the hospital. We all rejoiced at that.
Several of my friends have written since I left and have told me that he Is now attending
church. The first time he went, he used a wheel chair, and the preacher and another man
had to carry him into the building. I understand he is now walking with the aid of a walker.
Thank you so much for your prayers on his behalf. I know the family appreciates them, too.
One of the Christmas customs in Puerto Rico is the "paranda" or "asalto". It usually
takes place in the middle of the night. Friends come to your house singing songs and
expecting something to eat and drink before they leave. On New Year's Eve I was treated to
my own "asalto". (Fortunately, It was at 5:00 p.m.) Eight of my neighbors came over to
wish me well in my new work and brought me a huge bouquet of red and white carnations.
The neighbor who gave the speech almost broke down and cried. It was a moment especially
touching to me, for several of these people had never been in our home. In fact, 1didn't
even know the name of one of them although I had seen him on several occasions. None of
them are Christians, either. Meredy, my ex-roommate there, is trying to work with two of
them (our next door neighbors). Please be in prayer for Pablo and Nilda and Meredy, as she
works with them.
On January 4, 1982, I boarded the plane and headed for New Orleans where I was to pick
up my car. On the following day when I went to pick it up at the dock, something was
wrong with the engine, and I couldn't drive It. I had to have it towed to the nearest Honda
dealer, who fortunately wasn't too far away. Two days later it supposedly was fixed, and so
1 headed for Houston. However, there was still something wrong, so it was back to the
Honda dealer (in Houston). Since it was Friday afternoon, the car wasn't ready until
Monday evening, and I didn't get on down the road until Tuesday morning. I spent the night
in Ozona, Texas, and when I woke up the next morning, it was snowing! I didn't know
whether to go or stay, but I decided to go ahead and get on down the road. I finally arrived
in El Paso Wednesday evening, January 13. I was glad that trip was over and thankful for
God's care and protection.
I am really grateful to the Joe Martin family in New Orleans and to the Jerry Lamb
family in Richmond Texas, (outside of Houston) for letting me stay with them while my car
was being repaired. It really helped to cut down on the expenses. I must say that my car is
running fine now.
On January 14 I went to work for SAE. I am the receptionist, secretary, bookkeeper
in fact, I do some of about everything except for the actual printing. I am even learning how
to do some typesetting. I keep quite busy, and 1 really enjoy the work.
Since January we have printed three tracts, a booklet, and several other items of literature
for use in churches both in the States and Mexico. A tract entitled "The Truth of God
Concerning Sin" was printed in both Spanish and English. We printed 50,000, and already
we have less than 3,000 left of the Spanish tract. We will be reprinting it in the very near
future. (In the future we will be printing 100,000 copies of each tract. The demand is great.)
If you are interested in using the English tract, please let me know. I'll be happy to send you
some. The booklet we printed is entitled "The Most Important Decision of Your Life." It
was printed in Spanish, but we just received an order for it to be printed in English, too. So
that's another project for this summer.
This next week we hope to open seven distribution centers throughout Mexico. Local
church leaders in these areas will be running these centers. We'll be sending them several
thousand copies of tracts and other literature each month. They will, in turn, see that the
people in their areas get this literature. It is our plan to make the literature available as
quickly and as cheaply as possible to the people who want it and need it.
We also keep literature in stock here in the office. I'm in charge of keeping it inventoried
and sending it out to those who request it.
There are only four of us working at Spanish American Evangelism at the present time:
Bill Baker, Barton Morse, Ed Weckerly, and me. One of our biggest needs is to have someone
here to do writing and editing for us. In April the Raul Martmez family came and spent a
week with us. Raul rewrote six tracts that we will be printing in the near future and also
helped to write a new tract on baptism that is currently being distributed. He will be coming
again in the near future to do some more editing and writing for us. It is our desire to be
able to raise the funds to bring him and his family up here to live so that they can work with
us on a full-time basis. For the next few months, he will be spending one week a month with
us and continue his own business In Torreon where he lives. If you would like to help with
this project, please let me know. I'd be glad to give you more details.
In March all of us at SAE, plus one other family, loaded up in three vehicles an
International Scout, a Dodge pick-up with jump seats, and my Honda and headed for
Oaxtepec, Mexico, for the annual Mexican missionary reunion. There were fourteen of us in
the group, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The trip took ten days, eight of which
were spent on the road. We visited with friends and missionaries In Eagle Pass, Texas;
Saltillo, Queretaro, Texcoco, and Torreon. We spent the night at the Mexico Christian
Children's Home in Queretaro and Nihos de Mexico in Texcoco. We tried to find the
orphanage in San Luis Potosf, but we wound up in a cow pasture! Maybe next time we'll
find it.
I had never been further south than Torreon, so I got to see a lot of new territory. I really
enjoyed it. Oaxtepec is located south of Mexico City and east of Cuernavaca In a beautiful
part of the country. One day at the reunion we were able to see Mt. Popocatepetl (Popo for
short). It was beautiful.
The reunion itself was terrific. Ben Wilson and his family came and shared with us. Ben
spoke to the adults on the subject of suffering, despair, and discouragement and how we as
Christians should handle them. He had some excellent thoughts on the subject, taken
directly from the scripture. We all look to this time as one of spiritual rejuvenation as well as
a time of fellowship. Ben and his family have a puppet ministry, so they presented some of
their plays for the entire group. A total of 107 men, women, and children attended the
reunion. We will be going back to Oaxtepec next year. I have already been asked to give a
workshop on singleness presenting basically the same thing that I gave at the missionary
convention in 1980 at Springfield, Illinois.
At the end of March I finally made it to Dodge City to visit my folks and to get all my
things that I had left there. I flew to Denver where my sister met me, and we and her three
children drove to Dodge and spent the week there. While there I helped my youngest niece
celebrate her first birthday. We had a great time.
As you are all aware, school .is over, and it's Vacation Bible School time. This week I'm
leading the singing for the VBS at Eastside Christian Church where I attend. I'm also in
charge of the closing program which will be Friday, June 4.
The rest of my summer schedule is as follows:
june 7-12 VBS with the Town and Country Christian Church in Yukon, Oklahoma
June 13-20 VBS with the church in McKinney, Texas
June 21-35 VBS with the Clearview Christian Church in Dallas, Texas
July 19-23 VBS with the Christian Church in Earlham, Iowa
July 27-30 North American Christian Convention in Kansas City, Missouri
I hope to see a lot of you at the NACC. SAE will have a booth near Standard Publishing's
booth. We'll be next to Bump's Mission to Mexico, El Paso Christian College, and Colegio
Bibllco. Be sure to look us up.
In August the churches in Juarez will be hosting the annual Mexican churches convention.
I'm looking forward to attending that event which will be the week of August 10.
I want to thank you for your prayers and financial help. The Lord is really blessing me.
When I first arrived in E! Paso, I had hoped to be able to find a roommate and an apartment
in short order; however, it just never came about. The Bill Burr family put up with me for
three months until I started housesitting for a couple while they are in Canada. I'll be doing
this until the end of August, so I'm not paying rent, but I am paying utilities. In August I'll
start looking for an apartment again.
My support has been good, but not good enough to be able to rent an apartment. One
bedroom apartments begin at around $285.00 per month; two bedroom apartments begin at
about $325.00. Yesterday, I received word that my health insurance was going to go up
from $59.95 a month to $78.25 a 32 per cent increase. That also means it will be more
than 10 per cent of my monthly income. I also owe my parents for the repairs on the car.
(The total cost of $650.00.) Some have contributed toward that expense, and I'm grateful;
however, I still owe the major portion of that bill.
My support so far in 1982 has averaged not quite $750.00 a month. I praise the Lord for
those of you are helping me financially. I appreciate each one of you and the help that you
so willingly give. I continue to thank the Lord for His care and the way that He provides for
ail my needs. One of my favorite scriptures is taken from Psalm 37:25, "I have been young,
and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."
This speaks to me of the way Lord provides for His own. Truly we can be thankful for His
wonderful care and provision, regardless of our circumstances.
May God bless all of you.
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"Chips Off The Old Block'*
News From Marilyn Wood
Serving Christ through:
Spanish American Evangelism
3135 Forney Lane
El Paso, TX 79935
Volume I Number 3
Fall 1982
Dear Friends In Christ.
The Bible has much to say about giving thanks, and some of my favorite Scriptures deal
with the subject of thanks and thanksgiving. Here are two of them: "I will praise God's
name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving." Psalm 69:23. "Thanks be to God for his
indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15. As you read this newsletter, I'm sure you'll agree
with me that I have much to be thankful for, not the least of which was almost 6,000 miles
travelled alone this summer without one bit of car trouble. I hope you will also see some
things that will cause you to be thankful for the blessings you have.
When I last wrote, I was just getting ready to leave to participate in some Vacation Bible
Schools. I must tell you all of them went really well. The first one was with the Town and
Country Christian Church in Yukon, Oklahoma. I presented a 10 to 15 minute missionary
story each day -- telling the children about some cultural aspect of Mexico as well as giving a
slide presentation and telling them about the work of Spanish American Evangelism. The
highest attendance was 200 on the first day and the average for the week was 196. 131
children had perfect attendance! They gave an offering of over $350.00 for a New
Testament project that SAE has. (I'll tell more about that project later.)
From Oklahoma I made my way to McKlnney Texas, located northeast of Dallas. Their
VBS started on Sunday night and went through Friday night. The closing program was held
the following Sunday night. Since it was held at night, the adults also attended. Average
attendance here was 175, and their total offering was $400.00. Not only did I present the
missionary story, I also led the singing and was "Lollipop, the Dragon". That was a new
experience for me. (Those of you who used the Standard VBS material know what I'm
referring to.)
The church In McKinney has an extensive bus ministry among the people who work at
the cotton mill. Many of these people are Mexicans. Although the adults don't attend, many
of their children do. A sad fact is that no one In the church speaks Spanish, so while I was
there, we went calling on some of these families. Not many people were home, but we did
manage to meet one or two of the parents. One of the girls coming to church does not speak
English, so I went Into her class to help her with the lessons. She hasa deep desire to learn
English and to study God's Word. It was a rewarding experience to see her comeevery night
and to know she comes every Sunday morning to the services, and she understands very
little English, but she is learning.
Sunday night, after the closing program was over, I headed for Dallas to begin a VBS the
next morning with the Clearview Christian Church. I stayed with the minsiter and his wife.
Bill and Dorothy Morgan. You may remember that they used to live in El Paso, and Bill was
my "boss" before I went to Puerto Rico. Anyway, the Clearview church isa small one with
only 2 or 3 children attending Sunday School regularly. You can imagine how thrilled we
were when 36 children enrolled for the VBS. At the closing program on Friday night over
75 attended. The kids had a great time, and they were thrilled when the offering exceeded
the goal they had set for the New Testaments. It was over $100,001
The last VBS was held in Earlham, Iowa. One of the directors was Maxine Fullerton. She
and her family used to live in El Paso, and we had sung in a trio together, so it was good to
get to stay with them and visit as well as share in the VBS. This VBS wasalso held at night.
Again I had the chance to share with everyone about the work of SAE. The total offering
here was $485.00. It was such a good week. Not only did I get to visit with the Fullerton's,
but different ones in the congregation invited Maxine and me for lunch. Maxine and I also
went to Griswold one morning to visit Ron and Jerriene Cochran, who also had lived and
worked in El Paso at one time. (Ron is a former director of SAE.) It was a joy to see them
and their family once again.
The following week was the North American Christian Convention in Kansas City. The
week-end in between I spent with the Horace Solliday's in Hamburg, Iowa. I had met them
in Puerto Rico last winter, and they had invited me to their home anytime 1 was in their
area. It was a good visit, but like most visits, too short.
The NACC was good. I was SAE's representative, so I tried to spend a majority of my
time at the booth. Colegio Biblico, El Paso Christian College, Freeman and Carolyn Bump,
and SAE were able to secure booths next to each other, so we re-arranged our area a little
bit differently. I got to see many friends I had not seen since college and even earlier than
that. One of them was the youth minister at Dodge when I was in 7th grade. It was hard to
think of him and his wife as grandparents. I stayed with friends whom I had not seen in
twelve years, and a mutual friend also stayed there. I hadn't seen her in at least eleven years.
We had a great time visiting -- when we got the time to visit. If you were at the NACC and I
missed you, I'm sorry. At a convention that size it is hard to get to see everyoneand harder
still to visit with those you would like.
Earlier in the summer my father and I had made arrangements to attend a Royals ball
game while I was there. Saturday afternoon he arrived, and we went to the game that
evening. They were playing Baltimore and won. Of course, that made the game very
enjoyable. Dad stayed over Sunday and went to the Sunday afternoon game, but it was time
for me to head back to El Paso. I went through Dodge so I got a very brief visit with my
mother. (I had gone through Dodge on the way up to Iowa and spent a day with my folks
then.) I finally made it back to El Paso on August 3rd.
As I mentioned, the offerings from the VBS's I worked in went toward a special New
Testament project we have. We are trying to raise the funds to have 100,000 Spanish New
Testaments printed in Mexico for distribution in Mexico. There are two main reasons for
this. One is that it is cheaper to have them printed there, and two it is becoming more
difficult to get New Testaments In large quantities across the border. More than once
Mexican border officials have told Bill Baker they have no quarrel with the New Testaments.
They just want them to be printed in Mexico Instead of the States. (Mexico has never had a
Bible printed in the country. The ones in the country have been imported.)
We estimate that we can have them printed in Mexico for 40 cents each -- less than the
cost of a small Coke at McDonald's or Wendy's - for a total of $40,000.00. We can't be sure
of the exact cost until we have most of the money on hand and can deal with the printers.
So far we have over $2,100.00 in the fund -- most of that was given in the VBS's that I and
another couple had this summer. We are making an appeal to our mailing list to help with
this project. If you would like to help, please make your checks payable to SAE and mark
them for New Testaments.
The economic situation in Mexico is not good right now. Inflation Is running at 100%,
and the unemployment rate is close to 50%. The banks have all been nationalized, and the
government has put out all sorts of currency restrictions. The peso has been devalued once
again and is nowworth a little more than a fourth of what it was just last January. The peso
was worth 26 pesos to 1 dollar at the beginning of the year. In March it jumped to 36 to 1,
then in the latest upheaval it went as high as 130 to 1, before the government stepped in.
It's now down to 70 to 1. Where there is an upheaval such as this, the time is ripe to get the
country evangelized.
We have been distributing a lot of literature since the beginning of the year - so much so,
that our tract supply is very low. We have not had the funds to do much printing, but we
have stepped out on faith and purchased enough paper to print 100,000 copies of 4
different tracts. We did get 6 distribution centers opened in Mexico this summer, and we
need to keep them supplied with literature. As one Mexican evangelist recently told me
when 1told him we didn't have any tracts to give him, "It proves the Mexican people are
out evangelizing. They've been asking for literature, and you've been giving it to them. Now
you've run out." Obviously, we have not been keeping up with the demand. It costs us
approximately $500.00 to do one printing of 100,000 tracts. If you would like to help
sponsor a tract, please let me know.
Earlier this year Joe Garman of American Rehabilitation Ministries ordered 10,000copies
of the booklet "La Decision Mas Importante de Tu Vida" (The Most Important Decision of
Your Life). Already he has distributed all of them and has ordered another 15,000.
As you can see, we have our work cut out for us, and we continue to do what we can
even though the funds aren't available. So far this year we have printed over 500,000pieces
of literature. Only two years ago that number was a little over 31,000.
As for me, the biggest news is that I have moved into an apartment. This is a big step for
me, too. I just barely have enough monthly support to cover this expense along with all my
other expenses. Although I'm still in the process of unpacking boxes, it Is a joy to finally
have a "place of my own". I'm really looking forward to when I have everything put in its
own place and can really call the place "home".
Two major expenses I have are getting my car paid for and getting it painted. When I
made a special appeal for the car a year and a half ago, I received only $75.00 in response.
As you can see, that didn't take care of even one car payment. As for getting the car
painted, the salt air in Puerto Rico and the hot desert sun of El Paso have done their best in
getting rid of the paint -- especially on the roof and the hood. Also, the salt air caused rust
spots in several places which need to befixed. It's impossible to even compound It. I do plan
to get some estimates in Juarez where it can be done much cheaper, but it must be done. I
can't put It off much longer. If you would like to help with these, please let know.
Here is a breakdown of monthly My monthly support contiues to be around
expenses: $750.00. However, two good developments have
Tithes and Offerings . .. 90.00 occurred. One is I'll have my car insurance paid up
Rent 245.00 for the year in October. I won't have to make
Car payment 120.00 another insurance payment until April. The second
Car insurance 57.00 |s that I have found another health insurance
Health Insurance 78.25 company, and if I'm accepted, my payments will
Life insurance 4.60 be less than $30.00 a month as compared to the
Food 100.00 $78.25 I am nowpaying.
Gas'^'^^ ' 40 00
l^j 50 00 savings to help pay my Social Security or to
take care of unexpected bills. I have made no
Total 834.85 provision for dental care either. But as you can see,
the Lord has blessed in unexpected ways. One was the apartment. I'm paying about $40.00
less than I expected to pay. Another is the insurance. A third was a special gift of $100.00 I
received to buy clothes. That was a big help for my winter wardrobe. The Eastside Christian
Church (of which I'm a member) has hired me to be their secretary/bookkeeper, and that
helps bring in some income, too.
I realize it is hard talking about money in this day and age and that many of you are
tightening the "purse strings" as much as possible, but it has been so long since I really gave
you an itemized account of what my financial needs are that I decided to do so in this
letter. I continue to trust the Lord for His provision of my daily needs, and though I
sometimes get a little panicky, He continues to prove Himself to me over and over by His
daily care.
Thank you all so much for all your help. I appreciate each one of you. May God bless you
Sincerely in Christ,
Marilyn Wood
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Volume I
"Chips Off The Did Block"
News From Marilyn Wood
Serving Christ through:
Spanish American Evangelism
3135 Forney Lane
El Paso, TX 79935
Number 4
Winter 1982
Dear Friends,
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and El Paso is no
exception. Even the weather has co-operated. We've had 2 snowfalls
in two weeks one left 6 to 7 inches of snow on the ground
and the weatherman is forecasting more snow for this week. That's
highly unusual for us.
The Lord continues to bless each one of us individually and
collectively here at Spanish-American Evangelsim. Just to give an
up-date on some of the things I mentioned in my last letter: The
paper we bought for the 400,000 tracts has all been paid for.
200,000 of those tracts have been printed. The others will be printed
in January. We also printed 50,000 "El Regalo de Dios" (The Gift of
God) a special Christmas tract and then sent 100 each to all
the workers we have listed in the Directory of the Ministry
throughout Latin America and the U.S. We have more tracts on
hand, so they can order them and distribute them during this special
time of the year. In addition to the 250,000 tracts just printed, we
have also printed the 15,000 booklets for American Rehabilitation
Ministries (prison ministry) and delivered them to the head office.
Our New Testament fund has grown to almost $3,400.00. That's a
long way from our goal, but we thank the Lord for the way people
are responding to this particular project.
The situation in Mexico continues to be bad. Gasoline just doubled
in price, as did several other goods and services. The rest will go up
January 1st. Workers arc demanding pay increases or threatening to
go on strike. The new president went into office December 1st. So
far, the peso continues to be traded at 70 to 1 dollar. However, here
on the border, the merchants can set their own rate, so in most
places it's possible to get 125 pesos for 1 dollar! This is a boon for
the American tourist, but the Mexican people continue to have it
rough. Please pray for us and with us as we try to minister to their
spiritual and physical needs.
I was just re-reading the last two newsletters I sent and realized I
have never told you just exactly what I do I did mention I'm the
secretary, bookkeeper, and receptionist for SAE. Tliis time I thought
I'd go into a little more detail on just what all those jobs involve. Of
course, as receptionist, I answer the telephone, greet visitors, give
them the "grand tour", etc.
As bookkeeper, I set up a completely new system involving a
double-entry system. This is making it easier for us to keep track of
where the money comes from and where it goes. I also write the
checks, do the banking, etc.
Being secretary involves a myriad of things receipting gifts,
writing thank-you letters, keeping mailing lists up-to-date, keeping up
on the correspondence, etc. I'm responsible not only for SAE's
mailing list, but also each individual missionary's mailing list, the
Musicianaries (Jerry, Rosemary, & Tim Baley), and I also help the El
Paso School of Missions (formerly El Paso Christian College) keep
their mailing list up-to-date. Needless to say, it's a never ending task.
I also do much of the typesetting for the individual missionary
newsletters, including the Musicianaries. At times, I have done some
of the set up work, and on occasion, I have done the addressing of
the letters.
Tlien every 2 weeks or so, I find myself serving in the capacity of
chief maid, cleaning the offices etc. That usually takes a whole
I continue to keep an inventory of literature on hand and mail it
out on request. Now that we've got more tracts on hand, we have a
better inventory.
As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, I do just about everything
except the actual printing.
One thing concerning the literature over 800,000 pieces of
literature, mostly in Spanish, will have been printed this year, and
most of that material has already been distributed. During 1983 we
fully expect to surpass the 1,000,000 mark! Please pray with us and
for us that we'll have the strength and health to carry out this
I don't like to mention specific health problems, but since Bill has
mentioned in the SAE newsletter that I'm having problems with my
back, I thought I would fill you in a little. For the past 2 or 3
months, I have been having some problems with my stomach. I
thought I might have a hernia, but the doctor diagnosed it as an
irritated bowel (what used to be commonly called "spastic colon".)
About the only cure for it is relaxation. It's caused by tension
physical and/or emotional. I was also told to find time for some
physical exercise, something lacking in my schedule right now. On
top of that problem, my back was giving me such fits that I have not
been able to sleep nights. So now, I am being treated for that as well.
One of the things I did to help that situation was to buy a new bed
with a very firm mattress. It seems to be helping, too. Anyway, these
medical bills and the cost of the bed were not something budgeted,
but so far, the Lord continues to provide for my daily needs.
Christmas is rapidly approaching, and I'm looking forward to it.
My entire family parents, sisters, brother, brother-in-law, nieces
and nephew will be together for the holidays for the first time in
7 years. I'm sure we adults are looking forward to Christmas as much
as the children, though for different reasons. We had a "short"
family reunion a year ago September, but this time we'll be together
for a few days. We'll be celebrating at my sister's in Denver.
As the year 1982 draws to a close and 1983 rapidly approaches, I
want to thank you all for your many prayers, words of
encouragement, and your financial help throughout this past year.
May God bless each one of you. May you have a most Blessed
Christmas and have a great 1983 serving our Lord and Savior.
In Christ,
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