April 9

Hello from beautiful Puerto Rico. The last week of March and so far, April  have been busy. Here are some details. 

The first of two major events since our last letter, was Easter week. It is always a busy time for the congregation. Good Friday, as well as Sunday morning were on the calendar. Good Friday, celebrated in Puerto Rico even more than Easter Sunday morning, was emphasized with a drama. One of our church leaders is gifted at writing plays and even cantatas. This year, with the help of seventeen church members that belong to the drama ministry, the church presented a cantata entitled, He Lives. Three of the songs were composed by the playwright and two professionally produced pieces were sung by members of the drama team. The play was presented twice; Friday night and again Sunday morning. We also had a traditional early sunrise service at 6:30. After the early service we shared breakfast. For the two main services we had several visitors...always a good thing.

Last Sunday we had a guest Christian psychologist address the congregation on anxiety and stress management. The service was lively and the teaching encouraging. We counted eighteen visitors along with the "regulars" to push the attendance to the upper eighties. Good attendances are certainly encouraging.

Mary and my trip to the US is right around the corner. We will be visiting churches in IL, IN, and AR and come back to PR on May 8th; almost a month. There will be one more furlough trip to the Stated in the fall where we intend to travel to SC and TN. All the churches and individuals that have supported us have been remarkably faithful...some started when we came to PR years ago!!

Finally, to wrap up this brief letter, we had John and Ruth Chesnut from International Disaster and Emergency Service visit with us for a couple of days. It was great getting to know them and show them some of what IDES donations had accomplished after Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Fiona, and the earthquake of 2019. 

That's it! Thanks for reading. Until next time---

Cross-cultural ministers to Puerto Rico

Johnathan and Mary Reece

Click to enlarge

Easter drama/cantata

John and Ruth Chesnut 

Aguadilla Bay

March 18, 2024

Monday morning is here. Coffee has been drunk, breakfast eaten and time with the Lord has been prioritized. Time to reach out to you, our friends and supporters. February is behind us and now we are halfway through March. What has been happening?  

will start with yesterday's event, the 38th anniversary of the congregation. It was a wonderful day. The attendance was a little over 90, even with some "regulars" missing due to work, vacations, and sickness. We had several visitors, both locally, as well as a group from a church on the south side of the island. A guest singer provided three "specials" and then our guest speaker, (an evangelist who married a former member of our church) did a wonderful job preaching from Jeremiah 29:11-12, "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope. When you call out to me and come and pray to me, I'll hear you." Although the passage was to give hope to Israel as it went through very difficult times, it certainly has applications for the church too.

And or course, as in so many small or medium sized congregations, after the service we had a church dinner, a delightful meal of stewed chicken with potatoes (with wonderful Puerto Rican spices and flavorings), along with rice and white beans and topped off with a selection of different desserts. No one left hungry. There was a lot left over so we took that food to Hogar Crea (Faith House), a substance abuse rehabilitation center, who happily received the unexpected gift. As our church was blessed in so many ways yesterday, we passed on the blessing to others. After all, is that not what we are to do…love others!

Going back a couple of weeks, we had an after-church event for all who identify themselves as youth…even if it was a matter of the heart and not a chronological count. A volleyball net was put up, tables games were pulled out and we ate an American favorite…hotdogs. A nice crowd showed up and people hung around until almost 4:00 PM

Mary and I will be in the States next month visiting supporting churches in AR, IL, and IN. Although we intend to continue to minister and serve in Aguadilla, we will be discontinuing our need for financial support at the end of this year. We want to give the churches an update as well as express our thanks for years of support of our work.   

 I believe this sums up the highlights of these past thirty days.  Until next time…

Johnathan and Mary


Click on photos to enlarge