Go Ye Into All the World: Veracruz

After almost nine years in the state of Veracruz, we thank the Lord for His work in the salvation of precious souls in different areas, the privilege of working with Timothy and Jenna Stevenson in Veracruz state, the establishment of assemblies in Veracruz city (2009), and Xalapa (2015), and for His faithful hand in guidance and the preservation of testimony in this beautiful gulf state of eight million people.

The largest city in the state is the coastal gulf city of Veracruz which, along with the metropolitan area, has a population close to one million people. Since the assembly formed here, God has added to the local testimony, and the spiritual growth and gospel exercise among the Christians are a testament to His power. Over the past year, several individuals saved by God’s grace have been baptized, and two couples, among others, have been added to the testimony in the port of Veracruz.

We purchased a centrally located property for the Veracruz assembly in May 2016, and construction of a new building on this property was completed late in the summer of 2017. In January, a number of believers were involved in distributing texts and calendars in the community around our current building as well as in the area of our new building site.

In addition to the well-attended weekly gospel effort of the assembly in the port city, there are regular weekly outreach gospel efforts in the towns of Cotaxtla and El Hatito, Veracruz. These weekly meetings are consistently supported by believers in the assembly in Veracruz.

Our experience in the small town of Cotaxtla began in 2007, and the work of God among children and young people from the town and the surrounding villages has grown. Each Wednesday, the children’s Bible class is followed by a second hour of gospel or ministry, and attendance at both these regular weekly meetings has been encouraging. There are about 40-45 children, young people, and adults who attend the class every week. The efforts of many of the children to memorize their assigned verse each week are thrilling.

Among other projects in Cotaxtla, at the beginning of each school year, students are provided with school supplies so they all have what they need to get started. We try to help families in this way and also encourage children to value and commit to their studies. Recently, we began a series of lessons in Cotaxtla linking spiritual lessons with learning about the human body. This gives the opportunity to teach students about their Creator, their value in His eyes, practical health, and most importantly, their need in life for the forgiveness of sins. We pray that God’s Word sown and the Bible lessons taught over the years will result in salvation in the lives of students and others of their families. In recent months, two young people who have attended for a number of years told us in conversation they are sure they are going to heaven because of the death of Christ on the cross for their sins (1Cor 15:3).

In October 2016, a couple from Cotaxtla was added to the fellowship in Veracruz, bringing the total to eight from this rural town the number who form part of the assembly in the city of Veracruz. It is a significant commitment for these believers from Cotaxtla to make the one-hour trip to and from the city of Veracruz to obey the Lord’s command to remember His death until He returns, through the “Breaking of Bread” (Acts 2:42).

Through a couple in the Veracruz assembly, the Lord presented us with a building and a small group of people to share the gospel with in the small town of El Hatito, about 50 minutes northwest of Veracruz. Sunday evening gospel meetings in this small village began in mid-February 2016, in a rented house with a small group and encouraging interest. A couple and their young son have trusted Christ as their Savior, and it is encouraging to witness their spiritual growth and keen desire to share the gospel with others.

In October, a number of Christians from Veracruz distributed 2000 texts with invitations to a gospel series in El Hatito and the neighboring town of Tolome. A two-week gospel series followed, with good attendance, especially among children. During the series we also began a Bible class for children on the adjacent patio, which continues currently, during the weekly gospel meeting inside the house.

We began visiting the city of Coscomatepec in July 2013. A couple, along with others from the Veracruz assembly, continue to faithfully visit making a four-hour round trip each month to visit contacts there with the gospel. Pamphlets, invitations, and texts have been distributed in the city and attendance at house meetings for children and adults has been encouraging. In these years God has blessed in salvation through the preaching of the gospel, and in November 2016 two sisters were baptized in thermal waters in the mountains outside of Coscomatepec (Acts 2:41).

After encouragement from a couple that lives in Cotaxtla, monthly visits to the northern city of Tuxpan began in June 2015 for the preaching of the gospel. Timothy  Stevenson (Xalapa), has joined the effort in Tuxpan and has made several visits lately to help keep contact and preach the gospel to a number of contacts.

The continuance and development of the Lord’s work here in the state of Veracruz is only through God’s grace and power at work from day to day. The work involves regular preaching of the gospel among adults and children in many areas, as well as biblical teaching and helping where possible with marriage and family needs. Challenges include family needs, employment difficulties, economic instability, widespread immorality, and false teachings of many kinds, including the prosperity gospel.

Please pray with us for God’s continued work in salvation and that the light of God’s truth and the testimony to His name and power will shine more brightly in this needy field.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3, KJV).