Category Archives: Mexico

Chad McCone: Athletes in Action-Mexico, June 2016

13312730_675175669287989_8737681932264039679_nAs I try to sum up the last week or so it’s hard to really give an accurate account of what God is doing here.

I am currently serving with Athletes in Action, an organization who uses sports as a bridge to share the Gospel. “The Gospel applied to sport, experienced through sport, in the language of sport,” is their slogan. When I accepted the invitation to come on this trip I had no idea what to expect. We had a four-day long training camp in Xenia, Ohio. Between learning new plays, having meetings on how to share your testimony, and trying to get to know your teammates, it was a packed 4 days.

This trip has been so different for me than other mission trips I have been on – one being that not everyone on this trip is a follower of Christ. I was taken a back by this at first, how can I go on a mission trip where not everyone even believes in Christ? God had a plan and as some of those guys who didn’t know who the real Jesus was, came to faith during training camp. The mission trip started before we even left the country.  Many of the guys came to play football, but the Father a sport  to get them to a place where they would hear of his redeeming love.

The incredible bond that this team has built in such a short time is nothing but remarkable. We just met each other a week ago, and now are13323772_10206077989975635_7832525007932462151_o opening up and sharing our burdens, like a true brotherhood. At first we had nothing in common to each other, except for our love of football. As the guys learn more about each other and about the bond we have through Jesus, the unity of this group of guys grows stronger each day. There is a unique bond on this team that people are beginning to notice, it is really cool to see.

We had a team meeting last night, I was assuming it was preparation for our game today. Little did I know, God was about to do something amazing. One of our teammates wanted to confess sin in his life in front of the whole team. You could see the brokenness in him, it took a lot of courage to get up and say what he did. From there different guys took turns explaining different struggles in their life.  Seeing big guys who play college football break down over their experiences with their fathers and their struggles over girls was an amazing experience. The guys shared deep things about scars the past has left, and how only Christ can heal those. Our team really rallied around our teammate, it was incredible.

God is working here in the lives of our own team, please pray that what he is doing with our team overflows to the teams from China, Mexico, Guatemala, and Japan. Today we play China, pray that the way we play and the way we conduct ourselves points back to Christ.

In Christ Alone,


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Posted by on June 5, 2016 in General Missions, Mexico, Samaria


Ellen Burns – IMB Journeyman – Veracruz, Mexico

Dear friends, now that I am only days away from heading back to America, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your prayers, your emails, and all of the ways that you have been supporting me over the past two years. There have been a lot of hard days, but oh so many blessings too! As I begin to say my goodbyes to people here, I am amazed by how many different people God brought into my life, and how each one of them has taught me something or blessed me in some way. In the same way I have also been blessed by all of you who have supported me from back home in America. So truly, thank you.”

God is good, and last week, despite many struggles over the past two years, we were able to translate the final story in our story set into the Nahuatl language. Although there is still work to be done on recording and editing a few of the stories, God has worked it out so that Candace can stay and continue working to finalize the recordings. She will be here until the end of May, so please continue to keep her in your prayers! Also, even though I will no longer be sending you updates and prayer reminders, please continue to pray for the people here in this area. There are many people here who truly desire to serve God, but culture and tradition have blinded them to the Truth. Pray that God will open their eyes, and that He will give wisdom and boldness to the believers here to share the Gospel. I pray that God will make Himself known here, and in every nation on the earth!


Despite the sadness of goodbyes, I also have a lot of hellos to look forward to soon. I am blessed to now be able to claim friends and family in multiple countries.

As Candace stays behind in Mexico, she will be responsible for finishing up the recording work on her own. Please pray that God will work out all of the details, and that He will give her the energy she needs to complete to work.

One of our teammates has been meeting regularly to study the Bible with some dear friends of mine. Please pray that my absence won’t cause the Bible study to be interrupted, but that it will continue, and will be a way for my friends to continue learning more and more about God.

Written by Ellen Burns


Ellen Burns – IMB Journeyman – Veracruz, Mexico

Here in Mexico, time continues to fly by. Although I am still in denial, my calendar tells me that it is only three weeks until I head back to America. So, I am slowly but surely packing up my things, and trying to prepare myself for all of the goodbyes that are looming on the horizon. !

However, before I say goodbye, I still have a lot of work to do! The last couple of weeks we have struggled once again to find help with our recordings, but God continues to work things out. For this week we have people committed to coming almost every day to try and help us wrap up this project. This is a HUGE blessing for us, and we pray that God will also bless them as they sacrifice their time to help us out.!

We are also continuing to meet with a couple of families here in the village, to share Bible stories or to talk about questions they may have about God and salvation. Sometimes they seem very open to talk, and other times they seem very reluctant to even let us in the house. Please pray that God will work in their hearts, and that every conversation we have with them will point them toward God. I am thankful to know that our teammates and other believers in the village will continue to share with them, even when we are no longer here.!

I am still constantly amazed to see how God works out the details of things, even when everything looks like it is spinning out of control. Praise God for all that He does!


*Mama S was able to get some medicine that seems to be helping with her health problems, and the family is satisfied that nothing serious is wrong with her.

*Easter is a very large event in this community, a time when people are more focused than usual on religious activities. Please pray that the week of Easter will provide us with many opportunities to witness to people, and that we will be able to point people away from religion and toward Christ.

*In just a few short weeks I will be unemployed, and I don’t yet know what God has for me next. Please pray that God will give me wisdom as I search for where He would have me work and serve.

Written by Ellen Burns


Ellen Burns – IMB Journeyman – Veracruz, Mexico

IMG_0276Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! Here in Mexico it is called “The Day of Love and Friendship”, and I enjoyed the time I was able to spend celebrating with the friends God has blessed me with 🙂 With only about seven weeks left in Mexico, and goodbyes looming in my future, the friendships I have here have become even more special to me. #

However, despite the fact that my time here is winding down, my everyday life seems to be picking up speed! After a couple of rather slow weeks, we are now staying busy meeting with people multiple times a week to work on translating, editing, recording and rerecording stories in the Nahuatl language. Also, we have started meeting with a couple of different families each week to study the Bible together. Several members of these families are desperately seeking peace in their lives, but don’t yet understand that true peace can only be found in God. Please be in prayer for them!#

I also ask that you continue to pray for the IMB, as it goes through many changes. Many families/individuals have felt God calling them to return to the USA to work in different ministries, or to different countries or cities to serve. A lot of the missionary teams will be going through different adjustments over the next several months, so please keep them in your prayers, while also praying that the Gospel will continue to spread during this time of transition. Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for the lost around the world!


We continue to make good progress on recording the stories! Each day we get at least a little bit closer to completing our project 🙂

At times when we are recording Bible stories, some of the most important details are the most difficult parts to translate.  Please pray that our helpers will be able to find the right words to clearly communicate God’s truths so that many people in this area can hear and understand them.

Our dear friend (pictured above between Candace and I) has not been feeling well for several weeks, and it is possible that she has a tumor, but she doesn’t have enough money for medical tests. Please pray that God will give her strength, and the she will turn to Him during this difficult time.

Written by Ellen Burns


Ellen Burns – IMB Journeyman – Veracruz, Mexico

IMG_0203In the last few weeks, God has been working! After the holidays we were having trouble getting momentum on our story recordings, but God has blessed us with some wonderful people who have stepped up to help us. Although many different people have volunteered a small amount of time, there are three sisters from our church who have given us anywhere between 2-10 hours throughout the week for recording and editing stories! With only ten weeks left in Mexico, this is a HUGE answer to prayers!#

God has also been opening many doors for conversations about the Gospel with several friends of mine. I recently mentioned that one of my closest friends has become interested in a local cultish group. While she continues to talk with them, she has also begun reading the Bible a lot more on her own. In the last few weeks it has been a normal occurrence for her to have questions for me about my beliefs and about what she is studying. Please be in prayer for her as she searches for Truth, that she will find it in God’s Word, and won’t stray to following false teaching.

Please also keep “Angie” and her family in your prayers. In May of last year Angie’s husband was murdered, and since then she has been more open to the Gospel. Last week she agreed to begin studying the Bible with us and our teammates. It is our hope that this will be a way for our teammates to continue reaching this community once Candace and I are gone.


Our supervisor continues to do well with his cancer treatment, and has suffered very few side effects! God has also given them the opportunity to share the Gospel with another family that is also dealing with cancer, and that God is calling to Himself.

As my time in Mexico nears its end, I have been praying about what God would have me do next.  Please pray that God will give me clear direction, and that I will be willing to go wherever He sends me.

Thanks to our helpers, we have the majority of our stories recorded in Nahuatl, but now we need to triple check the translations to make sure they are understandable.

Please pray that we will be able to find the right words in Nahuatl that will accurately convey the Gospel through these stories.

Written by Ellen Burns



Ellen Burns – IMB Journeyman – Veracruz, Mexico

For the past month, life has been a bit hectic! We were blessed to spend Christmas with several other missionary families, and we also enjoyed visitsIMG_0080 from Candace’s sister and another journeyman girl serving in a different part of Mexico. It was great to spend time relaxing and visiting with friends (in English!) I also enjoyed the time spent in the village over the holidays. For New Years we attended a late night church service, where everyone gave thanks to God for the past year, and we “prayed in” the new year. This was followed by a cookout and fireworks at one in the morning! The people in the church have become so dear to me, and I loved having the opportunity to celebrate with them.$

Also, the week before Christmas it was amazing to see God at work in our storying project. That week we were approached by at least five different people who want to help translate and record stories! We were able to record more stories in that one week than we had recorded the entire month before! Unfortunately, the holidays interrupted the momentum that we had gained, but we are trusting in God to get things going again now that things have settled back down.$

There are so many other things that God has been doing, and I wish I had the space and the time to share them all with you. Just know that your prayers are a huge part of the work here, and are a great encouragement to all of us as we work to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.


Even as my time in Mexico draws closer and closer to its end, God continues to bring new people into my life. This week we were able to spend time with a new family, enjoy some delicious food together and have some great conversations.

My supervisor began radiation and chemotherapy this week, and so far he has not suffered any extreme side effects.  Please pray that he will be strong during the weeks of treatment, and that God will restore him to full health quickly!

Recently I have been able to talk with several different people about differences in our beliefs and what the Bible says about them.  Please pray that God will give me even more opportunities to share with them, and that I will always be prepared to share why my hope is in Him.

Written by Ellen Burns


Ellen Burns – IMB Journeyman – Veracruz, Mexico

As difficult as it is to believe, yet another month has come and gone, leaving me and Candace with just under four months to complete our project IMG_0008before returning to the U.S. This means that the pressure is on to get stories translated and recorded! God has been good these past few weeks, and He has really opened up doors for us, so that we now have quite a few people who are excited about helping with our stories. Because of that, we are busy getting stories ready for recording, and meeting with people during the week to work on them. It is an exciting time to see God at work, but it is definitely a challenge as well!”

While we see many doors opening, we see others closing as well. As I shared earlier this week, our team was hit with the shocking news of Greg’s brain tumor. Greg, his wife Missy, and two of their children moved to our area just a few months ago, and are the leadership for our team here in Veracruz. They flew back to the U.S. last Friday, and Greg had surgery to remove the tumor. Although they have not shared specifics with us yet, they believe that he has an aggressive type of brain cancer, and they are now looking at chemo and radiation. As difficult and painful as the situation is, we know that God is in control, and we pray that He will be glorified through all of this. ”

With less than two weeks until Christmas, I pray that all of you are making the most of every opportunity to share why we celebrate, and that you are able to enjoy the holiday, wherever you may be. Merry Christmas!


After over a year of teaching English classes, we officially ended our teaching careers on Wednesday. While we will miss seeing the kids every week, we will now have more time to focus on completing our storying project without the additional responsibility of preparing for class 🙂

One of my closest friends here has at times seemed open to the gospel, but recently she has been talking more with people from a large, cultish group here.  Please pray that God will show her the truth, and that she will not be persuaded to follow false teaching.

We are hoping to be able to hold a storying week from the 20th-23rd, recording up to four stories in four days. Please pray that scheduling will work out, and that several people will be able and willing to participate.

Written by Ellen Burns