Go Ye Into All the World: Mexico

Work is done when a force that is applied to an object moves that object. This perhaps would have been the definition of “work” that your junior high school physics teacher would have given you. In the world of physics there are innumerable forces that could be applied to an object in order for it to move.However, when we come to the spiritual world, there is only one force or power that does a positive work – that is God.

Satan, too, is involved in the spiritual world, but his force or work is “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). For the believer, the apostle John writes: “Ye are of God, little children …  because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1John 4:4).

Paul, and others who were involved in a number of gospel efforts acknowledge the positive power of God on numerous occasions; it is God’s work. Here are just a few examples. Paul writes “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). Again, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). The author of the letter to the Hebrews writes, “Now the God of peace … make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Heb 13:20-21).

With these truths in mind, we now reflect on the beginnings of the work of God in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. It was in 2003 that Noe and Carmen Rodriguez, originally from Iguala, (Guerrero living in Phoenix, AZ), came to know Christ as Savior. They then invited another couple (originally from Iguala) Alma and Aurelio, to gospel meetings. They were saved in 2006 and 2010. As a result of the work that God had begun in these two couples, the gospel began to be shared by telephone with a family that lived 1200km away. In 2009, the first gospel visit took place here in Iguala through the efforts of brother John Dennison. In the following years, several visits were made by Shad Kember and others, and the Lord worked in salvation.

In those beginning visits and up until now, another principle of God’s Word has been seen. Paul writes “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil 1:27). In Iguala, God has used His workmen and women from different parts of Mexico, Canada, United States, Ireland, Colombia, and Venezuela. What is it that brings together brothers and sisters from different cultures and backgrounds? What is it that brings about unity when there are different gifts? What is it that allows them to be in one spirit, in one mind, laboring or working for the fellowship of the gospel? The answer lies in 1 Corinthians 12:6 (HCSB) “And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person.” Thanks be to God!

In 2013, my wife Anna and I felt the Lord had opened a door of opportunity for us to move to Iguala and seek to be a help to the growing number of believers. Six months later, the Lord sent another couple to work with us – Abisai and Carmen Vieyra. Just over a year later, our sister, Andrea Gomez was commended to the full-time work from Venezuela to the work here in Iguala. As we work with the new believers, it has become more and more evident that unless God builds up these new believers, our efforts to help will be in vain (Psa 127:1).

In early 2014, a ministry meeting began each Sunday. Truth from God’s Word guided those who were saved and baptized, and they realized that God was calling them “unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Cor 1:9). On August 24, 2014, a group of just under 20 believers began breaking bread in remembrance of their Savior. One might ask, why are these men and women acknowledging the principles of headship and other such apostles doctrine? Why is there a growing fellowship among the believers? What causes them to pray publicly and privately for each other? Paul writes “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

Over the past two years, extensions have been made in the gospel outreach to two cities: San Lucas, Mexico State, and Oacalco, State of Morelos. Both of these cities are over two hours away from Iguala. God began working in these areas through family contacts which have led local believers from Iguala, Abisai and Carmen Vieyra (and ourselves) to make weekly visits to these areas. These outreach works have been a blessing in at least two ways. One, God’s Word is preached, giving an opportunity for God to work. Second, it has enabled gift to develop in the believers from Iguala through visiting door-to-door and preaching the gospel.

The equipping of believers is God’s work as well, for it is He Who equips a believer to fulfill His will on earth. The author of Hebrews summarizes this truth when he says “Now the God of peace … equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight” (Heb 13:20-21, ESV)

I am sure that you, too, can testify to experiencing and watching God´s handiwork carried out in your life. May we never grow tired or immune to this ongoing and eternal work. “For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil 3:20-21).