Evangelism in Mexico
Dear Friend, From the 11th to the 17th of May Samuel Adams and Simon Wade had the opportunity of visiting the work of Every Home for Christ in Mexico. The following is their report:
Mexico in Central America is a country with a population of about 120 million people. It is estimated that 82% of the people belong to the Roman Catholic Church and this can be seen by the number of people who are involved in worshipping images of Mary and many other saints. The countryside can be very varied from scrubland approaching desert, to high mountain ranges with very fertile valleys where crops and much fruit is produced.
Our visit commenced in the city of Tampico where we met Gloria, the leader of the work of Every Home for Christ, and her husband Epy. We have known them since 2008 and have also been shipping them container loads of literature for their ministry in Mexico since that time. On our first evening we stayed with a family who told us a little about the difficult situation within their own city due to drug barons and criminal gangs fighting in the streets of the city. Sometimes the gangs are so heavily armed that they will fight each other with the police trying to get control at the same time!
They told us that gun fights can sometimes go on for up to 5 hours at one time. Recently all the schools in the city had been closed due to the amount of violence and shootings going on with innocent people being caught in the cross fire. They also told us that nearly every family circle in the city has had someone kidnapped at a time and held for ransom. Then these people are released after the ransom has been paid.
On Sunday morning we went to a church with the local representatives of Every Home for Christ. During the service Gloria had an opportunity to share about the work of Every Home for Christ and also introduced us from Revival Movement Association. We shared a little about our worldwide ministry to try and give the folk a little “feel” for the needs of our world. Brother Epy then preached giving a message of challenge for people to get involved in evangelistic ministry. At the end of the service quite a number of people dedicated themselves to get involved in evangelism through tract distribution and door to door visitation.
Just as the service was coming to a conclusion there was a burst of automatic gunfire directly outside the church when two men were injured but not killed. Within thirty seconds of the gunfire, everyone in the church dived underneath the pews in case there would be any stray bullets which would come into the church. After lying on the floor for a few minutes we were told that we could get up and resume our seats. As it was unwise then for anyone to leave the church building, they carried on the service by praying and singing for about another half an hour.
During this time the Police and Army who had surrounded the area then told the church members that they could leave, but that they were to carry their Bibles in a prominent position so that they could be identified as belonging to the church. We asked if this was the first time that this has happened, but they told us that this happens on a regular basis and the church members were used to this situation. This helped us to get a little grasp of how difficult the situation was for these people. The following morning we experienced another shooting in the street where we were staying with the result that we could not leave the house for a period of time.
On Sunday evening we joined up with members from five churches who were going to commence a door to door distribution in an area of the city. All of the folk gathered in a church and received some Gospels of John. Then they prayed and moved out and divided themselves up covering all of the streets in the surrounding area. Later on in the evening, after the visitation was completed, the Christians all came together again and had a time of reporting and telling of their experiences as they distributed the literature. Some of the folk were very excited as this was the first time that these churches had joined together for evangelism. One young lady told us that she was very nervous and felt that she could never share the Gospel with anyone else. So she decided to go round the streets with somebody else who could talk. However, she found that once she got involved in a conversation, she had no problem sharing the Gospel with the people – and she was thrilled to have taken part in the evangelistic effort.
The next day we were taken out of the city and we travelled for several hours to the town of Tanquian, in the state of San Luis, where we met some pastors who were arranging an evangelistic outreach effort that evening. Altogether about 25 pastors from the surrounding area gathered in the town square. We asked the question if all of these pastors were from the same denomination and we were told that they all came from different denominations. Many of the pastors, with their members, had travelled up to 10 miles in order to get to the town for the time of evangelism.
They received Gospels of John and Pardon and Assurance booklets, then they prayed and commenced visiting around the doors throughout the town and distributing the booklets. Afterwards the people all came together in the square for a large open-air meeting which was taken by a selection of the pastors. Often, as the literature was being distributed, we would walk 50 to 100 yards behind the people who were distributing the literature. This removed the focus of people being distracted by us, but also it gave us an opportunity to see many people who had just received a Gospel of John sitting outside their houses starting to read the booklet.
The next day we moved on to another town. Just as we arrived a major thunder storm hit. Thankfully the rain eased about the time that the evangelism was to take place so, again, we met with a group of pastors and church members who started to visit around the town. A Gospel film had been planned to be shown that evening but, due to the fact that there was a power cut throughout the town because of the thunder storm, we had no loud speaking equipment so a smaller meeting was held for the Christians and pastors of the town.
During these days we got to know Havel and Heber a little bit better. Their father had been a pastor. However, now both of these twin brothers have joined the work of Every Home for Christ. Havel is a promoter and his job is to go to towns and cities and visit every pastor telling them about the ministry and showing them the literature that is available for evangelism. Each pastor can then order a supply of literature for his church for evangelism. This is a slow work as many towns will have 20 or 30 pastors and, of course, the larger cities have many more pastors and churches to be visited. There is also a lot of travel involved in this part of the ministry. Heber then looks after the discipleship and follow-up work after the literature has been distributed – encouraging young converts to get involved in local churches and helping and training pastors in discipleship classes. Both of these men work extremely hard and can be travelling away from home roughly three weeks out of every month. Throughout Mexico Every Home for Christ have ten of these promoters and discipleship leaders so that they have the country divided into regions for every promoter to visit.
On Wednesday morning we left the Tampico area and flew to the Chihuahua area of the country and then we drove to the city of Delicias. We were told that a few years ago that this area of the country was very similar to Tampico in that it had a lot of drug dealers and criminal gangs. The Christians decided to start evangelizing in the city and the result was, after a short period of time, many of these criminal gangs melted away. It is now a relatively peaceful and much safer city to live in. As Mexico is a secular state religious education is forbidden in the schools, however Christians have been invited to come into the schools to teach morals and values, which gives them good opportunities.
Once again, we found the churches and pastors to be very active in evangelism. The first evening we met with a large number of pastors and Christian workers who took about two hours telling us of their experiences in the distribution of the Gospel literature and also sharing their appreciation for the literature. Often pastors told us how impressed they were with the Gospel tracts due to their solid teaching and message.
On a number of occasions we came across a number of pastors and church members sitting writing the name of their church and a local telephone number for people to contact after the literature had been distributed. This, of course, was a slow tedious job and yet a very important means of following up people who had received the literature.
One day we visited an old peoples’ home and had a meeting with the residents. The lady who operates the home told us that often families bring their relative to the home and then simply appear to forget about them. The home was neat, tidy and clean and yet run with very limited resources. This meant that they had as many beds as possible per room due to the limited amount of space.
One evening we had the opportunity of attending a Bible study for native Indian people. These people are quite distinctive to the average Mexican – not only by their features, but also by the way they dress. They also are inclined to live in large communities. Many of these people have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. When we attended the Bible study they were using the “Seven Steps to Knowing God” as part of their Bible study. At the end of the Bible study each of the people were then given a copy of the booklet “Pardon for Sin and Assurance of Peace with God” in Spanish. They were told that this would be the new Bible study material for the following week.
Even though the people could read the Spanish language they preferred speaking in their own native tongue. We also had the opportunity of visiting a children’s meeting in a church which had received our sets of children’s Bible lessons. The teachers told us that, since they received the children’s Bible lessons, that they had found these to be a dynamic tool in teaching the boys and girls the Word of God. After the Bible lesson had been taught it was very interesting to see how much information the children had obtained through the lesson.
While in the city of Delicias we met a young man called Philip who was very friendly with Ivan, the promoter of Every Home for Christ in this area. We found out that he was a journalist who wrote articles for the local newspaper and also had a number of radio programmes. We found that he was extremely bold and courageous in using his journalistic skills in sharing the Gospel and standing up for what was correct.
At one time he wrote a newspaper article about the local Mayor and his immoral behaviour. The Mayor was not happy with what was written and demanded to have a meeting with him. This young man told the Mayor that the Lord had put him into a position of authority and trust and that he needed to start and live properly as an example to the people – as God would judge him for his behaviour. The Mayor eventually recognized that he was wrong in the way that he had been living and apologized. Philip interviewed us asking about the reason for our visit and also giving us an opportunity to share the Gospel message with the people through his radio programme.
Our last evening coincided with a monthly meeting when the pastors of the area and church members come together for an evening of reports when each one shares how the Lord is blessing their evangelism and their churches and telling stories of people coming to know the Lord as their Saviour. One man whom we met oversees evangelism in 400 churches within his denomination. Each of these pastors spoke of their appreciation for the literature that they had received from us through Every Home for Christ. Often we were amazed to see how far the literature had been distributed. When we arrived in different places we felt that we were a long way from the Headquarters of the Mission and yet we always found a supply of our literature.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gloria and her husband Epy for all of their help in organizing this visit – and especially to Gloria for all of her work in translating from Spanish to English for our benefit. We would also like to thank Epy, Havel, Heber and Ivan for all of their help in transporting and making arrangements for us to visit and have the opportunity of meeting so many pastors.
As a country Mexico has huge spiritual challenges due to the strength of the Roman Catholic Church and the problem of drugs which is sweeping right across the country. We all know that the only answer to these problems is the Word of God and we were delighted to be able to see churches developing and growing all across the country. Much evangelism still needs to be done, but we were very encouraged to see the enthusiasm and unity amongst pastors in order to reach out with the Good News of the Gospel.
At present Every Home for Christ is distributing 700,000 Gospel tracts every month and, once again, they are asking us for another container load of Gospels of John and Gospel tracts for their outreach ministry. Please continue to pray that they will know the Lord’s protection upon their work and His blessing on the literature as it is distributed. Samuel & Simon.
We would like to thank all who responded to the appeal towards the printing of two million Gospels of John for Russia and Ukraine. We have shipped the first container load and a second container of Gospels will be shipped in early June. Thank you for all of your prayers.
Yours for a Great Revival,
Samuel Adams Clive Allen