Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ever notice how time seems to be going faster? I used to think it was God’s grace for old people so they didn’t get bored with being old. However, since we’re not yet old, and time is STILL going faster, that must not be the reason! We’ve been home from Tijuana a week, and finally have time to finish reporting on that trip. Dave may have brought back another viral bug...but that goes with missions...

The second half of our week in TJ proved to be most interesting, and probably most fruitful. You may remember that Dave trained a group of eager young evangelists in using Step Up To Life last Fall when we were in El Niño. We met with them Thursday to share and answer questions for them. They very much wanted Dave to do another training time with friends from their area – La Morita—but it wasn’t on our schedule. However, before we knew it, they had contacted everyone, found a church to meet in, created and distributed flyers, and posted it on FaceBook! So, obviously it was now on our schedule!!

Saturday evening found us in a small church in La Morita – a community bordering El Niño. About 25 people were there, zealous in evangelism and eager to learn how to use this tool! They go out every weekend, preaching on the streets of the community, visiting the AIDS Hospice, the Rehab centers, the Youth Corrections facility, the prisons and jails, the Hospitals, and sharing about Jesus every chance they get! 

Dave has now personally trained about 35 of these young adults in using Step Up To Life, and they are multiplying faster than rabbits! They are teaching this tool in their own churches people, and the Word is spreading all through those incredibly poor communities bordering Tijuana proper.

We recorded a sharing time with both Angel and Joe, and Dave will soon have that edited and available. Their personal stories are amazing journeys to Jesus, and they are now bringing everyone they can persuade to His love. Thank-you beyond words to Pastor Elmer Murdoch for hearing this from the Lord so many years ago. If you’re not familiar with Step Up To Life, please check their website at www.stepuptolife.com to get acquainted with this evangelism tool.

Friday evening and Saturday morning, we spent time with several congregations in Rosarito (just SW of TJ along the ocean), working with them on strategic Prayerwalking, and planning with them on how to reach their city effectively. Pastor Fernando is one of the most gifted worship leaders we have ever been blessed to work with, so their services are always a treat for us to participate in.

Sunday morning, Dave preached at Lo Mejor del Trigo Church in el Niño which is on the opposite side of TJ from Rosarito. Pastor Jesús drove around the south side of TJ through some amazingly beautiful parts of Baja Mexico.

Pastor Daniel Nunez and his wife planted "Lo Mejor del Trigo" which means "Best of the Harvest" and this mother church has planted 30 daughter churches. We had a great time of sharing with these precious people again. Pastor Daniel’s mother attends there and is a precious mother in the faith for all of us. 

Monday morning found us meeting with a Pastors’ small group where we have many friends, with whom we have prayed and ministered many times. There is a lady pastor there who is 80 years old, and informed me that she attends Zumba classes regularly….it keeps her moving!! For those of you who don’t know, Zumba is somewhat like Jazzercise on steroids! She is full of the love of Jesus and a joy of life. She and her husband built the church there many years ago, and when he went to be with the Lord, she continued to pastor – although now has a staff to assist her.

The expenses for this trip were pretty well covered, and we thank each of you who helped specifically with this. Your Kingdom investment in our ministry continues to bear fruit both here and in Mexico.

Dave & Sheryl

Friday, March 21, 2014

Greetings from sunny Tijuana, where there is no snow on the ground, and Spring has definitely sprung! Flowering shrubs are beginning to bloom everywhere, covering the otherwise “unlovely” neighborhoods with gorgeous splotches of color. It would seem that God has His own redecorating program every year after the winter months!
Our flight was pretty much uneventful, except that the “unevent” began at 3:00 a.m! We landed at the airport in San Diego at 9:05 a.m., so that proved to be a very long day. The early part of the week has been rather less intense than most trips down here, and we’ve actually had some time to relax and get rested up a bit after the bouts of viruses and daily demands of the past few weeks. Dave has had time to get some preparation of messages done, looking ahead to a marathon of ministry from Friday until we get on the airplane next Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning Pastor Jesús took us to meet with two pastors that we’ve known for many years. One is the current president of the Pastoral Alliance, and the other is a past president. We had a couple of hours to just talk with them and hear how they believe God is working here in Tijuana. This always helps to formulate what we teach on and how we speak into situations when we’re here. There are many needs among the people, as economic issues begin to impact them here in Mexico as well as in the States.

Wednesday evening we attended the service at the church of another friend. It’s always so special to share in their worship times. It tends to remind one of the time that David danced before the Ark of the Covenant. These people ENGAGE with worship; they all sing at the top of their lungs; they dance before the Lord with great fervency; they clap until their hands sting! The little ones, sometimes as young as two years, are included in the worship. They are encouraged to dance, play tambourines, and express the joy of the Lord however their little hearts feel it. There is one little boy who is not quite three yet that plays drums as well as most worship band drummers I’ve heard! Seriously!! They grow up with this abandon before God being the norm for worship.

As we prayed with people after the service, we were reminded of the great needs in this community. People are not worried about their retirement, or their savings, or their 501K plans. They are concerned with putting food on the table tomorrow for their children because they have no jobs and no money….and none of the social welfare resources available to them that we have. They are learning to trust God to multiply their resources….food, gasoline, jobs, clothes, and health. There often is no place else to turn. We are reminded again of the time that Jesus said it’s not enough to say, “Be warm! Be fed!” And we wonder how we can make a difference in the faith of these people without the financial resources to help them all.

One person who came forward for prayer was a little girl of 10 years. Pastor Marco said she comes to church by herself….her family are not Believers. She only comes on Wednesday nights, and she walks by herself through the neighborhood to get there. She shared that she has a problem with her heart and as we prayed for her heart to be healed the Lord led us to minister into her fear of dying. Her faith in Jesus was so precious, and so simple. It touched our hearts deeply to see such a young one clearly drawn by the Holy Spirit to this church.

Yesterday we spent some time with a couple of guys who have taken Step Up To Life to new heights here in the outlying barrios of Tijuana. We’ll share more about that over the weekend, as we will have opportunity to teach another training workshop out there in La Morita, and Dave will have opportunity to do some Q&A with them. They attended a 3-hour workshop in November with us, and have studied and internalized the principles in an amazing way! They have reproduced into their own evangelism team, and are being asked already to train in other churches. The excitement and effectiveness of their team has been noticed, and others are asking about how they got that way. They have taken SUTL and “culturalized” it so that it works extremely effectively for them. They are in the AIDS/HIV hospice center, the rehab centers, the juvenile facilities, the jails, the markets, and on the streets on a weekly basis, sharing these principles and helping people determine where they are in relationship to God. More on that later…..

Tonight and tomorrow, Dave will be teaching in Rosarito with a group of pastors and people in a church where we've been a number of times before. He’ll be doing some things with Prayerwalking and city-reaching strategies with them. Sunday morning he’ll be preaching at the Lo Mejor del Trigo mother church, led by Pastor Daniel Nuñez. And the rest of our time here remains unfinalized at this point. It will be a very full weekend, so we especially ask for your prayers.

We’ve been sleeping well, enjoying the people and the food, and remain in good health….all answers to your prayers. The city continues to “roar” to the heavens with its voice, but in general feels much more peaceful than it did a few years ago. The sights, sounds, and smells have become somewhat familiar to us over the years, but still defy description that will allow you to experience it with us. Many more hundreds of people are now living in the storm drainage channel than there were before….homeless and hopeless, for the most part. People truly without a country, as they frequently grew up in the States but have now been deported. They often don’t speak Spanish and don’t have a place here in Mexico.

It’s easy to become discouraged when one looks at the vast needs of humanity. We wonder how any one person can even make a difference. But God has a plan and destiny for each one. As each one of us learns to know Him, hear Him, and follow Him, He is the One who can make a difference. Thank-you so much for being a part of this with us!

Please email us with any scriptures or words as the Lord prompts you. In the past, many were just what we needed that day.

We need about $900.00 to finish covering the costs for this trip and would appreciate your prayers and obedience as the Lord leads. 
Info is in the donate tab above.


Dave & Sheryl

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A few years ago El Nino was just barren rocky hills along the US border just east of Tijuana…now it is exploding with families moving from extremely poor country communities to seek what they hope is a better life along the border. 

It was here Pastor Daniel Nunez planted Lo Mejor del Trigo Christian Ministries and 30 more churches in just three years. Last November we taught Step Up To Life to the pastors and a group of “Evangelists” in what turned into a perfect storm of readiness. 
Here are Pastor Jesus and me with some of the Lo Mejor del Trigo Evangelists.
Many of these “Evangelists” have amazing testimonies of being rescued out of lives of drugs, violence and even murder while involved in the gangs. While they are wonderful witnesses, they were hungry for more understanding on how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing people to true conversion, and they literally devoured Step Up To Life with an enthusiasm I have never seen. 

Now, just a few months after that first training they want more. They have lots of questions...and they have friends they want to receive the SUTL training.

Rosarito is the ocean beach party place for Tijuana and also a center of significant Witchcraft and Satanism. The Lord moved wonderfully with Pastor Fernando and a group of pastors in our visit last November, and we have been invited to work together in a prayer outreach that will reach their community.

As on every trip, we connect with some of our Tijuana leaders and minister to the staff at our Christ For the City orphanages. Sheryl will do some teaching, and spend significant time praying with people individually. She will also fulfill her primary crucial role as Dave’s “ears” in many social situations.

This will be our 39th trip to Tijuana, coming alongside Pastor Jesús & Rosa Rodriguez to care for pastors, ministry leaders, and government officials. Since 1996, hundreds have become personal friends, and we’re honored to be considered as friends and teammates, rather than outsiders.
This wouldn't have happened without your prayers and support…together we’re doing what none of us could do alone.


Please pray for safety, health, ongoing favor, open hearts, and God’s anointing.

Please consider a financial contribution for this ministry trip.

When the leaders asked us to come, we committed trusting the Lord to meet our $2,300.00 budget for airfare, lodging, local travel, meals, and several lunches with leaders. We also like to leave a gift with Pastor Jesús & Rosa Rodriguez.

We’ll be sending Ministry & Prayer Email Updates during the trip so you can go with us in prayer. 

Tax deductible gifts (designated Gehrls-Tijuana) may be sent to
CFCI, PO Box 390395, Omaha, NE 68139-0395

Please send an email to dave@cfci.org so we know this is for Tijuana

Monday, February 24, 2014

“We saw you on TV…” is becoming fairly common these days…but the sad part is that it usually means someone was murdered.  We have been at over 250 homicide sites since the fall of 2007 and God has granted us great favor as we obeyed.  I want to thank you for enabling us to be there… together we are doing what none of us could do alone…and God is glorified on the streets of our city.
The PrayerWalk for five year old Payton Benson a few weeks ago was particularly hard. She was killed by a stray bullet that came from a running gang fight over a hundred yards away and found its way through the walls of her home as she was eating breakfast.  Sadly, there are people who sleep in their basements because of the threat of bullets coming through walls.
 There were over 150 at Payton's PrayerWalk, her family and friends, Mayor Stothert, her staff, Chief of police, many community leaders…and lots of media.  
The whole city was shaken by this tragedy and amid the reactions we had opportunity to share insights on TV, secular and Christian local talk radio, including a special interview in our home with WOWT’s Brian Mastre:  Shooting Revives Memories of Other Children Lost.  According to the Heartland 2050 Survey “reducing crime and making neighborhoods safer” is the number one felt need of Omaha so that is a key mission focus where “The Church needs to BE the Church of Jesus Christ.”
KCRO's Heartland Viewpoint
Not everyone is called to PrayerWalk homicide sites, but everyone needs to be hearing our Lord and doing their part like Sheryl’s Prayer Shawl team, who put a Prayer Shawl around Payton’s mom, ministered to her and gave her a special child’s Prayer Shawl for Payton’s remembrance box.

At many Homicide PrayerWalks it is important for leaders to speak to violence issues, but we are always there first to pray… to “grieve with those who grieve,” to minister to this neighborhood that has suffered violence, and to beseech God to intervene in our city.  Wherever there is a strong, ongoing visible presence, including PrayerWalking, police statistics show a corresponding reduction in violence…as much as 80% in one gang area we know well.
Our next trip to Tijuana is March 18-25 
One primary focus will be to follow up the “Step Up To Life” training with pastors & evangelists at Lo Major Del Trigo last November, a church that has planted over 30 daughter churches.  We will be getting out a special update on this trip next week.

Our support dropped significantly in January and so far in February, so with the TJ trip in March we are a bit anxious in our flesh, but looking to the Lord…Please pray for God’s supply and partner as led. 
See Contact & Support Info in column to right -->

More than ever we appreciate the privilege of serving the Lord as our vocation…and that would not be possible without your partnership. Together we are able to do what none of us could do alone.  

Thank-You so much for partnering with us through prayer, support, time and encouraging friendship!
Dave & Sheryl

“A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.” ~ Charles Finney

Friday, January 24, 2014

The homicide of  5 yr old Payton Benson 
is becoming a city-wide "Turning Point" 
in our efforts to reduce violence. 
Come, help keep the momentum going:  
This Saturday, January 25, 2014
Noon to 2:00 pm
Omaha North High
Viking Center - 4410 N 36th S

It's time for the whole community to come together to end the killing of innocent people and the destruction of families.
This Saturday, January 25, 2014
Noon to 2:00 pm
Omaha North High
Viking Center - 4410 N 36th St

We must expand efforts to address the violence directly and we must resolve theunderlying issues that create the environment for gun violence.

We are calling for an end to gun violence. We are calling for investments to transform Omaha, NOW!

To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
To honor the requests of the families impacted by gun violence
To invest now to Accelerate the Pace of Transformation, so that we never experience this again!
Family Members of Gun Violence Victims, Game Changers & Impact One, North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, Pastors and Faith Leaders Covenant, Omaha Police Department, City Council, Douglas County Commissioners, Omaha Together One Community, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, South Omaha Violence Intervention and Prevention Collaboration, Student Peace Movement, and hundreds of other organizations, businesses and residents.
Hosted and Facilitated by the Omaha 360 Collaboration and the Empowerment Network
 Download the Meeting Flyer Here!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Miracle from Christmas Past

We had I-94 all to ourselves as we drove through the falling snow in the middle of Wisconsin in our 1970 home conversion van on Christmas Eve 1975. I had just lost my job in Michigan and we were trying to get to my parents home in Minnesota non-stop as we had no money for a hotel. 
I started looking for a place to fill-up when the gas gauge was on ½ and it was now on empty…I pulled off the interstate and found a phone to call the highway patrol and ask if they knew of any open gas stations, they thought there might be one about 50 miles further north, so I requested for a patrol car check the interstate later in case we didn’t make it. 

Sheryl and I prayed as we drove on through the snow...4-yr old Matt sensed our anxiety and stood between the front van seats while Amy 2, and Sandy 1, slept. I value the faith and prayers of children so I asked him to pray that we not run out of gas. After he prayed, he was his normal happy self…he had already seen protecting angels with his young eyes…but I still struggled with grown-up anxiety.

Well, we drove over an hour that night on empty and I gladly paid an outrageous price when we saw that one open station…the only one between Illinois and Minneapolis. I have always kept mileage records and 12 mpg was the best that old ¾ ton van had ever done…but that night it got 37 mpg!

After Christmas we requested some time with my ministry mentors Pastors Hegre and Brokke at Bethany Fellowship (now Bethany College of Missions in Minneapolis).  After counseling and ministering to us in the loss of my employment, they connected us to a new church looking for an associate/youth pastor in Omaha, NE.  A few days later that old van was on the road again for a life changing visit with Pastor Elmer Murdoch and a young growing church holding services at Roncalli High School.

As your family may gather this Christmas like ours will, I am so strongly impressed on how critical it will be in the days ahead to have, and pass on, a confidence in our All Wise, All Powerful and Sovereign God to care for His kids.  I believe we are at the onset of significant cultural change and increased spiritual warfare where God will allow us to be tried, tested and where no one can be lukewarm in their faith.

Thank-You so much for partnering with us through prayer, support, time and encouraging friendship!  


Dave & Sheryl

Monday, December 2, 2013

PS from Dave to Sheryl's Final Impressions from Tijuana

We just received some pictures from Gerardo of the PrayerWalk training I did with the church he and his family planted a few months ago in a business just a few blocks from the ocean.  A picture of Gerardo with his family is in Sheryl's report below.