Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Los Apostolicos de Puebla

Directly across the street from where we were living, some people began to build a building. They said it was going to be a factory. We were needing a building at this time and God spoke to Elder Wakefield and said, "They are building you a church". Every so often, Elder Wakefield would visit the construction workers to let them know they were building him a church, but they would just laugh and say "It's going to be a factory!" Several months passed, and they finished the building. However, when they went to get the permit to open a business, they found out this property was zoned for houses and churches only! That's when they came knocking on our door asking if we wanted to buy it. With the help of churches in the US, we were able to purchase it and are still using it today!

Children's Day in the new church

After about a year of living in Puebla, we had to go on deputation. So in the space of 5 months, we drove through 27 US states in our little Volkswagon Jetta. It really was wonderful to be able to visit so many different landmarks and churches and experience so much at such a young age. What a priviledge! I remember going to churches and singing in Spanish.We did all this traveling during the summer and did not have air conditioning in the car. I remember driving through Texas and Louisiana with a bucket of ice in my lap. We were miserable at the time, but made memories we will never forget!

Dad and Mom with our little Jetta

Here is a group from Pastor White's church that came down and visited us.

One of the ways we evanglized...
We put speakers on top of the car and announced through a microphone about the church and upcoming special services. Us girls would hang out the back windows throwing candy and passing out fliers. 

We loved doing this! One time we went all over our area of town announcing a special service for the Dia de los NiƱos (Children's Day). We were throwing out candy, passing out fliers, and just having a good ole time. Kids were chasing the car to get their own flier--it was wild! This was when we were still having services in our living room and 125 kids showed up!!! We did not have room in the house for them so they were all out in the yard and everywhere...everyone wanting their candy!!

Popocatapetl errupted during the time we were in Puebla. It spewed ash everywhere and was even overflowing with lava!

Having service in someone's house
(See my mom behind Nicole playing the accordian).

A concert in the street

This lady visited the church for the first time during the street concert. Here she is getting baptized...
She is so sweet and funny, but none of us know how old she is, not even her!

This is some of the church people years ago...
Who woulda thunk it, the girl up front in the yellow dress would be our Sunday school teacher now!

Washing the church sign with Grampa
I was baptized in this new church when I was 9 years old. Here Nicole and I are getting our baptismal certificates with some other saints. 

Nicole praying at the altar

Elder Wakefield performing Jorge and Natalia's church wedding

We eventually bought the property beside the church and built the Universidad Apostolica. 

This is how it looks today, except the garden out front has grown a lot!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Tent

…..On to Oaxaca! They moved there fully intending to start a work, but when they arrived, the news came from headquarters that they were to go to School of Missions, then on to deputation in the U.S. While they lived in Oaxaca, they helped a church that was already there, and gave Bible studies to people they met there. For nine months they lived in Oaxaca, then left to deputize in the U.S.
Elder Wakefield giving a Bible study to the landlord and her family

The house Elder and Sis. Wakefield lived in was at the end of this road

For ten months, they traveled all over the continental U.S. and were even able to visit Alaska! When they had raised enough support, back down to Mexico they went!

This time, they chose Puebla. They moved there, found a house, and started giving English classes as a way to evangelize. The curriculum used to teach was the Bible study called Search for Truth. Elder Wakefield set up one chart in English and one chart in Spanish. They had many people wanting to learn English, so these classes were a hit! But instead of learning just grammar, etc, they were learning everything from GOD creating the heavens and the earth to baptism being in the name of JESUS!

Giving English classes in the house

Elder Wakefield in downtown Puebla

My parents had visited Elder and Sis. Wakefield in Mexico a few times and and it was always very emotional. They enjoyed the services and loved the people. Soon my dad began to feel a burden. Finally the decision was made to leave California for Mexico. We sold the family business and had a huuuuuge garage sale in which we sold almost everything we had. Elder and Sis. Wakefield came and picked us up and down, down, down we drove to Puebla like one big, happy family!  I was 7, Nicole was 5. Austin was not even a twinkle in our eyes.

Gramma and Nicole soon after we arrived in Puebla

When we got there, we moved into the big white house the Wakefields were renting. It was big enough for all of us to live in and start the beginnings of a church. We continued with the English classes in the house for a few weeks until a church in Missouri bought us a tent to have church in.
God opened up a door for us to be able to set up the tent in the middle of a very busy, commerical area.
Setting the tent stakes out

El Pastor

Elder Wakefield

All set up and looking good!

We were in the first location for 3 months. We baptized 26 and 13 got the Holy Ghost!! About 30 people got their certificate of completion for the English class.

This is how we filled the baptistry back then. A tank of water on a cart pulled by a donkey.

I will never forget this couple. They were Catholic and had been taught all their lives that baptism was in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but when they visited the tent they learned that salvation is in the name of JESUS. No one in the Bible was ever baptized using the titles. When they asked their priest about Acts 2:38, his reply was, "Peter made a mistake."

The tent was on the corner of a very busy part of town. Unfortunately there were a lot of people that were not happy with us and the message being preached. One night vandals came in the tent and tore up jack! They threw the hay bales we used as altars into the water-filled baptistry. As you can see, they knocked over chairs and tables and threw our tracts all over the place.

....This led to us taking drastic measures! We put a radio in there and set up a bed and stuffed it with pillows to make it look like someone was sleeping in and keeping watch over the tent each night. (It did work!)

A Christmas play we did in the tent
(Nicole on the left, me on the right, in white)

After 3 months of having the tent in its first location we decided it was time to move to another location. One day, however, a young man showed up at the house around dinner time saying that Socorro, the presidenta of the colonia, wanted to speak with us. Grampa and Dad finished up dinner quickly and went down to the tent where trouble was brewing. The president of the colonia actually had nothing to do with this group of Catholics that were upset and wanted to tear down the tent. We tried to reason with them as they made their threats, telling them that we were taking it down in a few days, but they would not listen. They said that we either had to take the tent down right then, or they would burn it down. My dad and Elder Wakefield could not calm them down. It was then that my dad got the bright idea that he should take pictures of them. He says this is the dumbest thing he ever did, but then again, I would not be telling this story if it weren't for him...
We happened to have a disposable camera in the truck which my dad quickly got out of the car. He began taking pictures of everyone at this protest. *Click, zip..click, zip* :P
It had grown from a group of about 30 people, to a raging, angry crowd of about 100 people!
The ring leader, a lady by the name of Lawyer McLean, soon noticed my dad taking pictures and came running. She tried to take the camera out of his hands as he snapped two last shots of her angy, twisted face. My dad started back-pedaling...where he was going to run...who knows, but suddenly, a young kid who was playing soccer nearby changed sports and tried an American football move on my dad. In spite of his tremendous strength, the unexpected tackle took him down.
He thought it was the end and that the angry Catholics were going to stone or kick him to death. Somebody ripped the camera out of his hands and as he stood up, he realized that some of the new converts and English class students were surrounding him to protect him. (All women...HAHA!)

The person who had taken the camera from my dad turned out to be a friend and returned the camera to us. The police soon came and Grampa and Dad left. We put the developed pictures on the billboard at church, but they were later stolen by the lady with the twisted face (probably--ha!) In the ensuing investigation, we were ordered to leave tent there for 2 more weeks, in which an earthquake happened and the house of God filled. The whole scenario only increased our popularity there. With the growth of the church, it became necessary to buy a middle extension so that it would hold more people.
However, we could only stay in a tent for so long. We needed a building, and God was already working it out for us......

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


After scouting out Acapulco for a couple of days, Elder Wakefield got on a bus and headed all over the country! He visited Guadalajara, the state of Mexico, Guanajuato, and many more places. He wanted to see as much of the country as possible, to see where God would have him to go. He loved the state of Guanajuato, had actually studied up on it before leaving the U.S. It was a big city, lots of industry, and a nice climate. He decided right off that he did NOT want to go to Acapulco because it was so hot and humid!
But what place do you think God gave him a burden for? That’s right! Acapulco, my dear!!

As you can see, it is a very very beautiful city! (But stiflingly hot!)

So after this 7-day visit, he went back home and he and Sis. Wakefield started making plans to make the big move. They packed what little they could take with them into their brand-new, completely paid for, baby blue Toyota pick-up and headed down to Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico!

When they arrived, they found a house and immediately started a church. Their very first convert was a man that worked across the street from their house at one of President John Kennedy’s vacation houses. When he decided he wanted to be baptized, they went across the street to this luxurious house and Elder Wakefield baptized him in the swimming pool! When the man came up out of the water he was speaking in tongues! Everyone was shocked. The people had NEVER seen someone receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost; they did not know what it was like. This was their first time to see anything like it, but it was the little seed of faith they needed (not to mention a HUGE encouragment to Elder and Sis. Wakefield!) Many people began receiving the Holy Ghost because of this and the church began to grow!

Here they are having church on the beach. 

They did not have a building for the first six months so services were held right on the beach. Baptisms were right in the Pacific Ocean! One time Elder Wakefield was baptizing a woman in the ocean. When he pulled her up out of the water, three men came running full speed over to them thinking the woman was drowning. They asked, “Did you save her?!?” Elder Wakefield’s reply, “Well I had a part in it!” 

Preaching to the people

The church in Acapulco

For five years they labored in Acapulco and founded two churches. They also joined the UPCI after a couple of years. Many, many people came to know God in this time, and some of the most fantastic “missionary stories” I have ever heard are from their years in Acapulco. However, when Elder Wakefield saw that the churches were thriving, he realized he was no longer needed there. It was time to move on…..

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just the Beginning

    Many years ago, before I was even born, my grandparents were pastoring a church in Chico, CA. They had lived in northern California for most of their lives and thought they would always live and pastor around there. I would imagine most of us could look where we are now and say, "I never thought things would turn out this way!" My grandparents are no exception. However, through this whole story, it is very obvious that God had a plan. And it is still not over! 
It is with much thankfulness to God and pride over these being my grandparents that I get to tell a bit of their story...

 It was a Sunday morning in 1988 when two Spanish-speaking men visited Elder and Sis. Wakefield's church. They spoke no English, but enjoyed the service. There was a problem though. No one could communicate with them! So Elder Wakefield began to pray and ask God to help him learn Spanish so he could teach these two men. He began to study the language and soon felt a burden for the Latino people, He began knocking doors in the areas of Chico where they lived. It was during this time that God gave him a burden for the country of Mexico. Elder Wakefield shared this burden with some people, but very few were supportive. A leader in the organization they were with at the time actually told him, “If they want to hear the gospel, they can learn English.” Talk about not being missions minded! But this did not deter Elder Wakefield. With Jesus and Sis. Wakefield behind him, they started making plans to move to Mexico. 

     In 1989 they sold their house in Chico and almost everything they owned and moved to Concord, CA to attend Bro. Elias Limones’ church. The goal was to submerge themselves in this Spanish work and prepare for what was ahead. They would try to learn the language and the Spanish choruses sung at the church. They also started a janitorial business and saved up enough money to pay cash for a vehicle and have a little extra to live on once they arrived in Mexico. So for three years, it was “souls and toilet bowls!”

     During this time, Elder Wakefield decided to take a trip down to Mexico to see what it was like, as he had never ever visited before. He wanted to “feel it out” and pray for direction on where exactly God would have him to go. On the flight down, he sat beside a Mexican man that spoke no English. He began trying to testify to him, but was still struggling to learn the language. However, sitting behind him on the plane was an Apostolic woman that spoke fluent Spanish! She helped translate for Elder Wakefield as he witnessed to his ‘airplane buddy’. When this Apostolic woman found out the reason for Elder Wakefield’s trip, she became very excited! She told him that her family lived in Acapulco and begged him to stay and witness to them so they might be saved. She also said her brother was a taxi driver and could show him the city.

     By the time the plane landed, plans had been made for Elder Wakefield to meet this lady’s family. What would be his first contacts in the country. When he arrived at these people’s home, he found a very primitive, poor living area. The family was a mess, deeply involved in sin. He also found out that the chauffer-brother’s taxi was broken down. Remember, this was his first time in Mexico, so everything was new and surprising! For his first night in Mexico, he slept in the back of this family’s house in a hammock, with two stinky hogs in the corner snorting all night long. 

(To be continued........)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Drama--Acts 10

Last night we went to a drama put on by Los Apostolicos de Puebla Bible quizzing team!
It was on Acts 10. 

Here is Sis. Hayde opening up the service. 

The curtains opened and two women were talking about rumors of Gentiles being saved. 
Abner (in stripes) played Peter. 

Peter was praying one day when he had a vision. 
A sheet comes down with all kinds of animals on it. 

A voice tells him to rise, kill, and eat. 

Soldiers came looking for Peter to take him to Cornelius. 

Here are Bro. Mario's funny cankles. :D

 Here, the soldiers are bringing Peter to Cornelius' house. 

Cornelius asked Peter to preach to him and his family and friends. 

Peter then stepped up to the pulpit and began to preach!  

 Abner preached on the need for the Holy Ghost and that it is for everyone!!!
"And while he yet spake, the Holy Ghost fell on all which heard the word."

This little girl is the daughter of one of Elder Wakefield's Bible study families. At altar call, she saw everyone else crying and I watched as her little lip came out and she started crying too! :P

Nicole showing Bro. Mario some love. 
(This was an egg filled with confetti). 

Asuri quoted Psalm 116 for the guys. They were astounded!

After church we had to run to Wal-Mart. Us girls went in and the boys stayed in the car. 
When we got in, I asked Asuri if she'd ever been in a grocery store like this and she said no. 
Then I asked her if she'd ever ridden in a shopping cart...and she had not!! 
I asked her if she wanted to and she said no. I didn't know if she actually knew this was possible. 
I told her, "What do you mean you don't want to?! I used to do this all the time when I was a kid."
Finally she got in the cart, only in time to be wheeled to the registers. 
However, when we got outside, I gave her a ride to remember across the parking lot!!
I bought her a pack of gum when we were checking out. On the way home, I think just about every time I turned around, she was putting another piece in her mouth, or giving the boys pieces. :))

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