International Ministries

Walls Go Up, Walls Come Down

April 28, 2012 Journal
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Taking the Initiative Sometimes Backfires!

The regional mission team from the Western Slope of Colorado stared at the stacks of cement blocks.  This was the building material they all needed to get comfortable with for the coming week.  They were there to build walls to start the second floor of the Theological School of La Paz.  Only problem was—no one had ever done it before.  However, not to be daunted by such a simple thing as lack of knowledge, they studied the blocks, where the first wall had to go, determined how to set a straight line, and then began to mix cement and set the blocks in place.  After several hours of work, the mason arrived.  The Mexican mason.  The man who did this for a living.  He took one look at their efforts, shook his head, and then gently told them to take it all down.  They had to start over.  Chagrined, the group followed his instructions.  Then, they watched the master get to work.  Within minutes, he corrected their mistakes.  Showed them what they needed to know.  And within a short amount of time, the walls were being constructed correctly and safely.

The Master’s Hand

Sherry, a member of First Baptist, Delta, CO, commented, “Isn’t that the way we are sometimes?  Don’t worry God, I’ve got this one covered.  I don’t need to wait on you.  I’ve got all the knowledge I need to complete this task set before me.  We try and try with our own strength and knowledge.  We work and work, and end up with absolutely nothing done right.  Until, finally, we surrender to the Master’s hand and, with ease in our lives, with no strength of our own, we accomplish the task He chose for us.  Did you get that?  HE accomplishes the task using our hands and feet with no effort of our own strength.  He has the task already worked out, all we have to do is wait on the Master.”

Tearing Down Walls of Hostility

Several days later, Pastor David DeMott of First Baptist, Grand Junction, CO also had this insight.  “While we have been building walls of concrete, we have also been tearing down walls of cultural misunderstanding.  Coming to Mexico, a first international trip for many of us, we have learned how to tear down the barriers of different foods, customs, worship styles, etc. to experience the oneness we have in Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 2:14 says, ‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.’  I am blessed to have met some of my brothers and sisters in Christ who live in La Paz.”

Ten Years of Partnership

The project that the CO group engaged in began ten years ago with a donation from the First Baptist Church of Fairbury, IL.  Since then, churches from PA, MA, CA, NY, AK, and OH have sent groups and/or funds to continue work on the construction of the school.  At present there are 2 classrooms, a bathroom, and a garden area.  Classes take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  It is our hope that a full-time program may be offered in the fall of 2012. 

Training future leaders for God’s Kingdom work in Mexico,

Your missionaries,
David and Joyce Reed