Roggenkamp Family to Mexico

Roggenkamp Family to Mexico

Dear Gentle Reader,

I find it hard to believe that we have been living and serving in the small mountain community of Matarachi, Sonora, for one year, while missionary and pastor, Aaron Griggs, is recovering from “Long Covid” back home in Tom Bean, Texas. We have loved getting to know the people here on a deeper, more personal level than before, when we could only come up for short visits. We are actually beginning to feel like a part of the community, with all of its daily life experiences. Our children have adapted to the new challenges of living “off the grid” and in a more remote location with amazing willingness of heart. They have actually told me and Sara that it has become one of their favorite experiences in our nomadic journey as a missionary family. We praise God for that and accept it as part of His Blessing for obeying His Call to go to the regions beyond.

We also cherished the opportunity we were given by God to go back to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving and be with our beloved family members. We took advantage of our trip to the states to do the children’s yearly check-ups with the dentist, eye doctor, pediatrician and chiropractor. God orchestrated all these appointments during the holiday season, inside the very short window we had. He is amazingly Wise and Able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think.

Because of the generosity of God’s people, your sacrificial gifts to our family covered the expenses of our trip there and back. I marvel at the “unsearchable riches” available to the Lord’s servant who eats out of God’s magnanimous hand. He is such a faithful Master and daily loads us with benefits meet for His work. Once a person knows and “experiences” God’s Providential Care, walking by faith becomes a preferred lifestyle over self-reliance. The only way to HAVE and KNOW that assurance is to HAVE and KNOW HIM. I sincerely desire that that assurance would be yours as you walk with God on life’s pathway.

What took us to Oklahoma in the first place was an invitation by Pastor Angel Melendez of Iglesia Bautista el Camino in Tulsa, OK. He learned of our ministry thru a mutual friend of Sara’s (Sarah and Andy Justice, members of Eastland Baptist Church, also in Tulsa, OK). He contacted us and requested that we come in November (just before thanksgiving) and present the work God has given us to do here in Sonora, Mexico. It was a beautiful Mission’s Sunday, and we were delighted by the love and care we were shown while we were their guests. Two ladies gave their lives to the Lord that morning, and we thank God for allowing us to be used of Him to challenge Christians about their part in taking the Gospel to the unreached.

At the end of the mission’s service, Pastor Angel informed us that his congregation chose to take us on as a missionary representative of theirs. We praise the Lord for touching their hearts to help us financially and prayerfully.

Before leaving Matarachi in November to head up to the mission conference, we paid a visit to Don Leonardo Garcia. Pastor Aaron had messaged, telling us that he had a burden for Don Leonardo, and he asked me to go witness to him, as he was praying for his salvation. Don Leonardo is in his 80’s and in declining health. His wife is a believer, and he had heard the Gospel for many years, but this knowledge was never mixed with faith. As Pastor Aaron prayed in Tom Bean, Texas, Sara and I went to see Don Leonardo. I told him that Bro. Aaron was burdened for his soul and praying for him. From there, I led him down the Roman’s Road and finally to the cross of Calvary. Aaron’s prayers, coupled with the Word of God and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, opened Don Leonardo’s heart to the Gospel, and he got saved that afternoon. With tears in his eyes and a softened heart, Don Leonardo thanked us for coming to visit him and for sharing Jesus with him. We left rejoicing over another lost stray being brought into the Lord’s fold. As the song says, “…And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.”

Sara also was able to minister to a young mother who is a neighbor of ours here in the village. Iris messaged Sara one afternoon asking to come over to talk with her. She was very distraught and seemed to be “at the end of her rope.” Tears flowed down her cheeks as she told Sara about her oldest daughter Deline, but I’ll let Sara share about that.

All day long I had been in prayer for Iris. Well, all week, actually! My heart was even more burdened to talk to her about her soul, and I was feeling the urgency because soon we would be making that trip out to the states, and I didn’t want to wait until we returned. Her message the day before said that she wanted to come talk to me. Alone. I couldn’t imagine what she wanted to visit with me about, so I was asking God to fill my heart with wisdom because I understood that God knew what she needed to hear, and He could direct our conversation and give me wisdom in that very moment. I was supposed to let her know when I had some time to visit, but it seemed that window of opportunity alluded me. Between normal, home-life, boy drama and ministry activities that day, the hour kept getting later and later. Finally, I escaped to the neighbor’s and quickly messaged Iris. By the time I got back to the house, she was already there! It was early evening and cold, but the kids remained outside jumping on the trampoline, freeing me to visit without interruption.

Soon, Iris began to open up and pour her heart out to me. I was surprised when she said she needed advice about what to do to help her daughter. She was at the end of her rope and really didn’t know what else to do except come and ask for prayer. Yes, Lord!!! That’s exactly what her daughter needed! In fact, at that moment in my life, with my OWN son, that’s what I needed!!! Prayer!!! I listened as she shared the struggles they were facing. My heart was grieved together with hers. I had noticed Deline’s being more withdrawn and unhappy, but I had no idea what was really going on. And even more than Deline’s battles, I knew that Iris needed Christ in her OWN life! That was the key to being able to help her daughter. I felt that God was giving me this moment to talk to Iris about her OWN heart and life. She had been open to the Word of God and was very receptive. I could tell that Iris enjoyed listening during church services and Bible studies, but to our knowledge, she had never trusted Christ as the Savior of her life. The Lord reminded me of what I had read during my devotions that morning, and it was just what I needed to share with Iris (my memory is so bad, I can’t remember now what it was that I read to her…). Iris knew the truth because she had heard it many times, but she had never come to a place in her life to make a decision in response to the Gospel and make that Truth her OWN. She was ready and knew she needed Jesus herself! In looking for answers for her daughter, she received the Answer for herself.

Ultimately, Iris was broken and needy before the Lord, and in humility voiced that to Christ, asking Him to save her as she put her faith and trust in Christ alone. Both of us were weeping…I was so grateful that, even in the midst of my own personal crisis and messy life, God’s Word rose above everything to shine His light for us to see the right path and walk in it. I don’t have to have it all together to be used of God to do His work. He uses broken people that are humble, submissive and forgiven to reach other broken people. We ALL need Jesus! After the long counseling session I had had with one of my boys, I was exhausted and depleted…not feeling like I had anything to offer anyone that needed help, much less counseling for their child. I had already wept a pot load of tears and done quite a bit of repenting myself. God was healing some things between me and my son, causing me to be even more tender for the visit with Iris. Vulnerable. Real. Open. It didn’t seem like good timing, but it was God’s timing! God is so faithful!!! He does the work and lets us in on what He is doing…and it’s beautiful! All glory and honor be to God!!!

It is our joy and honor to be your representatives in Sonora, Mexico…and wherever the Lord takes us! We are indebted to you for your prayers for our safety, wisdom, and strength in this beautiful journey of life. Thank you for being faithful to support us as we answer God’s call on our lives; we do not take that lightly and know it is a genuine sacrifice, especially more now with increased inflation. God provides for us in mysterious ways, and we are grateful for how He surprises us!

We love you dearly and pray that God will bless and challenge you as you look to Him daily and follow His will for your lives!

To God be the Glory! The Roggenkamp Family

P.S. Many have asked about Andrew and how he is doing. Before going out in November, James made a quick trip to the border to retrieve Christmas gifts that had been sent by Bro. Aaron’s church for the children in Matarachi. On his way, he and Pastor Juan stopped to take Andrew a Bible. They were saddened to learn from the ranch hand that Andrew had disappeared the week before, and they didn’t know where he was. Somehow he had gotten wind that the cartel was coming to look for him, so he left as to not cause his family problems. They roughed up the cowboy to try to get him to tell where he was, but once they realized he didn’t know anything, they left. James has been unable to contact him, and his father does not know his whereabouts, either. At one point his dad did talk to him, but Andrew said “they” would not let him go, and his feet hurt from being chained up. Only the Lord knows where and how he is at this very moment, but our boys pray every day that he will be safe, get turned loose, get a Bible and be able to go to church. Please pray with us that God will continue to care for our brother and protect him.

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