Trip Refections: Mexico 2022
The children walk, ride their bicycles, or get rides by relatives in a car or on a motorcycle. The older children keep an eye out for their young siblings, and it is impressive to see the attention they give to the Bible story. Joan led the children in both a Bible lesson and a craft. The Bible lesson showed the children how Jesus cares for us in the storms of life, and for the craft time, the children were reminded that “Jesus died for me” as they made white handprints on a burlap cross with a black background. The red nail-scarred mark in the center brought the personal cost of Jesus' sacrifice to heart.
Pray for Todd and Barb as they continue to minister to the people of Jerez. As violence has increased in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, Jerez and a neighboring city have recently become havens for 10,000 people from drug violence in the nearby villages—pray that those seeking refuge will find their hope in Jesus. Pray too for safety and wisdom for Todd and Barb. And pray for the people's hearts to be receptive to the Gospel.
Pastor Israel Vazquez-Flores serves the Mission at St. Paul the Apostle Free Lutheran Congregation in Leon, Mexico. The congregation is one of two congregations in the Central Mexican Lutheran Church and has close ties to our AFLC mission work in Mexico. Partners in Mission Outreach (PIMO) made many mission trips by bus to Leon in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, Pastor Israel holds weekly worship services and Bible studies in a community building in the center of his residential neighborhood. The congregation has a committed group of family members and friends that want to reach out to their neighborhood with the Gospel.
Pastor Israel’s sister, Mishel, a graduate of FLBC, assists Pastor Israel in outreach and ministry, especially to the children. In our visit last month, I was encouraged to see many neighbors join the worship service on Ash Wednesday. Please pray for Pastor Israel’s predominately Roman Catholic neighborhood—that people will be drawn to the worship and preaching of God’s Word—and that they are reached with the Gospel.
Pastor Milton Flores serves the Gethsemane Lutheran Congregation in Celaya, Mexico. The congregation is the mother congregation of the Central Mexican Lutheran Church. Pastor Milton and his wife Chelo minister to the people in Worship services, Sunday school, Bible studies, Youth and Young adult groups, and a monthly Bible study outreach in the nearby city of Quetero.
Pastor Milton’s three sons, Milton Jr., Josque, and Andreas, are also active in ministry. During our recent visit, while Andreas was leading the Sunday school opening, he ‘bravely’ took care of an aggressive tarantula sprinting across the floor—Thank you Andreas! It was encouraging to see the attendance at the young adult Bible study. Madison Greven led the group in a Bible study about the certainty of the resurrection of Jesus. The Gethsemane congregation hopes to one day have the approval of their neighborhood association to build their sanctuary. Still, they are pressing on in ministry in their building, which will function as a fellowship hall one day. Please pray for Pastor Milton and the congregation as they seek to reach the city of Celaya with the Gospel.
- Earl Korhonen, Director of AFLC World Misssions