Elders Corner – Teach All Nations
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:18-19
After arriving in Mexico, Sunday morning we received a cultural orientation from Todd Fink in order to help us be most effective and courteous as we minister among the Mexican people.
After lunch, we loaded up into the vans to go meet the church we would be working with this year. We have the privilege of working with the same church that we did last year. Those who participated in the trip last year had a wonderful reunion with friends that we made last year. It’s amazing to me that though we only spent one week with these people last year and barely had a conversation with any of them because of the language barrier, yet, it’s clear that they are more like distant family members than distant acquaintances. It’s wonderful to be a part of the body of Christ.
After our greeting and a short time of prayer, we proceeded to “blitz” the neighborhood around the church. This basically meant that we were going door to door praying for people and inviting them to the evening’s church service. What an eventful evening that was! Our group separated into four teams and each team was matched up with a few of the Mexican brothers and sisters who led us around the neighborhood. There were a couple of groups that visited the sick and were blessed to be able to pray with them. One group saw a couple of people accept Jesus as their savior for the first time! Though our group didn’t see souls saved, we did see a life saved. As we walked around to the various houses we were visiting, one of the Mexican women was sharing grapes with everyone. A little boy about 2-3 years old that was joining us, along with his grandma, starting choking on the grapes. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably really only about 1-2 minutes, and everyone in the group taking turns trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver, he finally coughed up not one, but two grapes. Praise the Lord for saving his life!
We arrived back at the church shortly afterwards for the church service. As a team, we shared a couple of songs with the congregation and two of our team members shared their testimonies in front of the church. Afterwards, the kids left for VBS along with most of our team. Cal Fink preached for the adults and clearly expounded the gospel. Afterwards there was a time of response for those needing prayer to come forward. Many of the congregation did so. What a wonderful experience to see the church responding to God’s word and the invitation to prayer!
On Monday, we began our week of work projects, community outreach, and VBS. Monday through Thursday the routine would be to split into four teams. Two teams to work on the construction projects and two teams to do community evangelism. Monday, for the most part was wonderful and uneventful.
Today, Tuesday, we went back to the church to carry on Monday’s routine. However, we soon found out that it was anything but routine. Less than an hour into the work project, Heather Hull was stung by some unknown flying, buzzing insect. The sting turned out to be painful but basically harmless. About 45 minutes later, Maddy Severson, working on one of the digging projects, dropped a 20 pound, 6 foot long, solid steel crowbar (used a little like pick axe) on her big toe. Elevation and ice were used immediately and after a couple of hours, she was feeling stiff but walking mostly normal.
At this point, I began thinking, “I can’t wait to hear from the outreach teams because we seem to be under attack.” The reports did not disappoint. All the team members came back excited and telling stories of multiple visits where Mexicans made the decision to follow Jesus for the very first time. Praise God that Satan can only ever strike and bruise the heel that will ultimately crush his head!
Sorry for the long update, but there was lots more that could have been shared.
Thank you all for praying and please continue to remember us over the next two days of the same “routine”.
~ Rob Johnson, Youth Pastor