An Update on Mexico for Truth and Tidings,
In connection with a work of God that began in Mexico in 1988, there are now five assemblies established and five fulltime couples serving the Lord in different parts of the country. Along with the efforts of commended workers and local believers, several dozen believers from North American assemblies have visited us and have given impetus to the spread of the gospel by massive distributions of texts and invitations. What follows is an overview of the impact that the Seed Sowers have had in Mexico.
The first city-wide distribution of John 3:16 texts was done in December of 1992. Local believers worked hand-in-hand with thirty visiting brethren and sisters in delivering thirty thousand texts along with invitations to what proved to be eight weeks of very fruitful gospel meetings in the Coapinole hall. In City Hall, a text was posted on the main bulletin board and every employee gladly received a gospel calendar. “By mistake” we doubled up on one street, and a row of houses received the same text twice. A hairdresser and mother of five boys had ignored the first delivery, but the second time she started to wonder if God was indeed speaking to her. Years before she had left the Catholic Church, and had wandered through Mormonism and the Watchtower organization looking in vain for a place where the Bible was read. She liked the phrase on the invitation “We read the Bible and preach Christ,” and after attending four gospel meetings she trusted Christ as Savior. Not too long after that, her unsaved husband was tragically killed while at work. Many here will never forget hearing this young widow at the funeral tap on the glass that sealed her husbands casket and ask: “Pedro, where is your soul?”
In the early nineties, God saved five migrant workers in Oregon. Their families in the Mexican agricultural city of Zamora eventually also received the Word gladly. Seed Sowers covered this city in December of 1993. An abandoned house was rented for meetings and accommodation, and after five weeks of fighting against religious opposition, all sizes and colors of rats, God saved a number of souls. The harvest was made very evident the Lords Day in 1995 when we broke bread for the first time in a tin building across the street from where Paul and Barb Thiessen now live. A very large hall is presently under construction.
The distribution in Tepic took place in December of 1996. The saints in Puerto Vallarta made a noble effort to support these meetings, many of them traveling back and forth nightly for eight weeks. Thankfully, Marcus and Alison Cain were ready to move there to guide this new work. It is a joy to hear Antonio, in the assembly now, tell how he came home to find a John 3:16 text that had been slipped under his door. He picked it up, and holding it tightly to his chest, said to his family: “Nothing in the world will prevent me from attending these meetings.” Indeed, while Sidney Emberly preached one night about sinners who make God a liar, Antonio believed God. Eleuterio, a unique Mexican Indian, was also reached. He said to us: “If I am going to study the Bible I need a Bible name.” He chose a good one. He is known now as Abraham! It was a very happy way to start 1999 sitting with these dear believers to remember the Lord for the first time. Brother Cain keeps very busy with the construction of a new hall as well as two other weekly childrens works.
Going back to 1994 and 1995, a rather mammoth effort was undertaken on the outskirts of Mexico City, a city of twenty million. Lost in the maze of traffic upon their arrival, the Seed Sower convoy of vans was escorted through town by city police! Close to two hundred thousand texts were delivered, followed-up by several series of meetings in a rented building. The work there has been very difficult, and at times most discouraging, but not in vain. Toward the end of that series, Jos, a middle-aged bricklayer, professed faith and asked that someone go to Matilde (an hour away) to preach to his wife. Eventually, that prayer was answered. Far away in Venezuela, the Lord put in the heart of a young medical graduate to abandon thoughts of specializing in bones and called him to Mexico. Harrys Rodrguez and I grew up together in Valencia and, having already visited Mexico on two occasions, he knew something of the tremendous need. When he arrived here he soon settled in Mexico City and attended to Joss plea for Matilde (a town just outside Pachuca). A Seed Sower effort was undertaken in the windy and cold city of Pachuca in 1998. Under rather strenuous circumstances, the series that followed went on for eight weeks, and many were reached. A prized soul is Alicia, a widow, who since the day she trusted Christ has been the source of much joy. An assembly was established in January of 2000 and today has over twenty in fellowship from Matilde and Mexico City. A building is under construction to accommodate the assembly there. Harrys and Rebekah Rodrguez need our very special and constant prayers as they move in and about Mexico Citys dangerous surroundings.
The city of Guadalajara came into focus at the end of 1998. Over one hundred saints from Mexican and North American assemblies united in delivering one hundred thousand texts. During the series, Alfredo came to the door of the hall one night with a little image of the Virgin of Zapopan wrapped in a napkin. He said to us at the door: “Listening to the preaching I have learned that I will not need this anymore; it cannot help me in anything anyway!” Paul Thiessen has devoted a lot of time and effort to this work, helped by Marcus Cain and brethren from the Zamora assembly. Earlier this year a more suitable meeting place was rented, and eighty believers from within the country covered the area with the 1 Timothy 2:4,5 text. Our brethren had nine weeks of meetings and are currently encouraged with up to sixty people attending on Lords Day evenings. We are earnestly praying that someone would be raised up and called by God to serve Him there. Surely there must be someone reading these lines that, with due exercise, and concerned about usefulness for God, could set aside earthly ambitions to serve the best of Masters. The harvest is plenty, the laborers few.
At the end of 1999 a different approach was adopted as we delivered thousands of texts in all the small towns and villages along the treacherous Puerto Vallarta – Tepic road. Open air and house meetings were held, and contact was made with a number of people who responded favorably. Since then a house has been rented in Zacualpan and a weekly childrens work and gospel meeting are held. On April 29th we baptized Silverio, a man in his eighties, who is the first-fruits of that work. Weekly works have also been established in the towns of Jarretaderas, Buceras, San Francisco, and Mezcalitos. We are deeply grateful to God for local brethren that have taken on the responsibility regarding all these works.
Mention must be made, in closing, of Ixtapa, a half hours drive from Puerto Vallarta. An assembly was established in 1999. During their time in this country, brethren John Dennison and Shad Kember made appreciated contributions to this testimony, with gospel meetings, visitation, and the distribution of texts and VIA magazines. With the growth of the Coapinole assembly in Puerto Vallarta, and new works in Volcanes and El Progreso (that began with a series of meetings that went on for sixteen weeks last year) the Lord in His goodness sent Aubrey and Heather Kelly to help fill an obvious need in this area. Brother Aubrey and I had our first series together in Ixtapa last February and were encouraged with blessing from God. Local believers worked hard in covering the area with texts a second time. Randy Polley, from Toronto, is living here and also making a positive contribution in Ixtapa, while he engages in secular employment. Our brethren plan to start building the main auditorium there next week.
Over a half a million texts have been distributed during the last nine years. We thank God that, in His goodness, this corner of the vineyard has also seen “seedtime and harvest” (Gen 8:22). We look again to the Lord as we purpose covering the city of Tepic in December of 2001 with another text of Gods Word. Your prayers would be deeply valued.