Debbie and Keith serve in Central Mexico. They partner with the Council of Rural Indigenous Evangelicals of Mexico, AR, (CICEM) to provide pastoral accompaniment to the indigenous churches. This consists of training pastors, church leaders, youth leaders and teachers for the children.
Keith writes – Last week I finished a theological paper exploring the question, “Can God do something new?” After a brief reflection, I began to think about some of the changes we have witnessed within the indigenous Mexican communities of CICEM throughout the past eight months since returning from our home assignment. Over the previous 30 years, they have relied primarily on financial support and labor help from churches in the United States. This partnership has been phenomenal in building lasting relationships across various churches in the US and various CICEM congregations. Lives have been changed, friendships forged, and people have come to know Jesus.
Recently, a new initiative provoked the idea that the power of CICEM is first from God and second from the CICEM congregations. Indigenous communities of Mexico have a profound understanding of community. Therefore, for a time such as this, these communities, that span four southern central States of Mexico, have embarked on a renewed journey. … Six representatives from the Board of Directors of CICEM visited with all of the churches in their zones and explained the importance of unity and the acceptance of their own resources and abilities. One of the communities had expressed their appeal to build a church. Currently, they were meeting in a small one room building or outside under a tarp. Due to the request and the movement of God in their hearts, the association of churches of CICEM, collected over $3000 dollars in love offerings. (To put into perspective, the average income of an indigenous person in the Mixteca is $2,400 a year. If the average income in the US is $40,000 per year, that would mean the churches would have collected around $50,000…) Additionally, a team of 13 people formed (men, women and children), from one of the CICEM churches in Zona Mazauha, to go and spend 8 days helping with the construction project.
… As the team were saying their goodbyes, the project manager was brought to tears by the expressions of love demonstrated by the family of God. Not only did congregations provide financial means, many took up food offerings to provide the meals for the team during the work. This work was a new work in the heart of the community of CICEM. In this instance, God worked on the hearts of individuals to deliver newness to a community.
… The history of CICEM continues to unfold as we seek the will of God. As we look back, we can see faces, hear stories, and glorify the work of God through the building of so many valued relationships. As we look toward the future, we are excited to see ongoing partnerships that have been formed between the indigenous churches of CICEM and the US church continue to flourish because of the faithfulness of His people. …
Our primary purpose is to invite others into a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and allow Him to change lives. On behalf of our CICEM churches, Deb and I want to thank you for your on-going prayerful and financial support of our ministry within the CICEM churches of Mexico.
Read the complete journal at https://internationalministries.org/can-god-do-something-new/