International Ministries

God does new things with new leaders: Part 3

July 15, 2010 Journal
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From left to right:  Alex, Nati, David, Miriam, and Ismael.    Please pray for all of our seminary students.

Mexico City, Mexico

June 29, 2010

Dear Friends,  

Mission expresses itself in many forms but at its core it is always about helping others come to know the One who can change their lives forever.  That happened to me forty years ago this month and continues to be the driving force in all that we do.  (I met Ramona a year after I met God and tomorrow we celebrate our 38th anniversary!)  Back to Jesus who is more than doctrine, so much more than religion.   We heard it over and over again a few weeks ago when we sat with a group of students at the Baptist Seminary and shared how each of us came to know Him.   The stories were different, yet all of us knew that when we stumbled into the Kingdom it was the real deal.  We found something that changed us and changed our outlook and perspective.  Like Ramona and I, these young men and women are compelled to serve the church and the world, wanting to make a difference while at the same time knowing that the greatest difference comes when people find the faith to believe in and come to know a loving God and experience the redeeming work of his only Son.  

David remembers that his mother carried him as a young child for blocks through muddy streets to church.  “I knew it was important” he says but then one day he found out why and now he is doing the carrying.  Miriam grew up in the church, played the game, went away and then came back when she learned it wasn’t a game after all.  Alex came to faith through the friendly encouragement of a youth leader and Nati, born into the church, was born again as a pre-teen.  Ismael rebelled against the church and his family’s faith but hard times in the world brought him to his knees and now he serves with a heart that is whole and full.  

Last Sunday I attended the Baptist Church in Iguala, Guerrero where one of our Seminary graduates serves as pastor.  It was filled with people of all ages but especially youth, lively worship, good teaching, lots of love, lots of enthusiasm.  The kind of place you want to be, even when Mexico’s soccer team is playing in the world cup!  It was the kind of place where people can come to know God.  The kind of ministry we want for all of our graduates.

At the seminary we want our students to be good theologians and we want them to be good pastors, preachers and teachers; committed to justice and to the poor and to the planet’s well being.  We are less concerned with Jesus’ second coming than we are with what we should be doing till he comes.  There is a lot to do.  But in all that we do, we know that if people don’t see our relationship with Christ and if people don’t hear the message, then we are cheaters, doing nice things but leaving out the single most important piece.  

Thank you for supporting us in our work at the Baptist Seminary and with the churches of CICEM.  Your generosity month after month is amazing.  Your prayers for us and for the churches of Mexico make all the difference.   Have a blessed summer.  -- Ramona & Chuck