By Tim Frazier
Excerpt from “A Touch of Heaven,” a book by Walter Fleming
We sow the seed, but God is the power, the Power that makes it grow.
My wife Vicki and I moved to the state of Aguascalientes in late 1981. There were three known churches in the state and all three of them were in the capital city also called Aguascalientes. This left approximately 972 different towns, communal ranches, small villages and the like with no known witness for our Lord.
We had no idea how to begin except with prayer and a deep hope of a clear vision from the Lord. Vicki raised and homeschooled our three children and I decided to “Caleb walk” the state. So, I bought a map of the state and of the capital city. Two days a week, I would drive, marking each township, county road and village. I usually got out and walked around the places, claiming Caleb’s promise in Joshua 14:9 for myself. The other two days, I would walk the various streets, colonias and ghettos of the capital city, doing the same.
After many months of doing this and crying out to God for help, the Lord did give me a clear vision of what He wanted us to do. That was to plant four churches in the state with the first one in the city of Rincón de Romos. It was such a relief not to have to choose or guess where to start from the over nine hundred plus choices.
Around that time, Tony and Lois Freeman and their two daughters joined us, and we began in earnest to evangelize. We walked nearly every street as Tony was and is a gifted street preacher, handed out lots of tracts and then rented a room to host an evangelization event. One person came! He was the local taco vendor who sold “tacos de la cabeza” (cow head tacos), and he was afflicted with alcoholism. He was our first convert.
A little additional background on Rincón was that the city was soon to celebrate its 450th anniversary of becoming a city. Well known for its vineyards and temperate year-round weather, it was also known for being a hub for “green” magic and for many demonic manifestations.
The Freemans opened their house for Bible studies and the believers slowly grew. We then rented a storefront right next to a chicken rotisserie restaurant as we outgrew the Freeman’s living room.
About a year and a half after our arrival, we had our first visitors from our organization, Walter and Mae Fleming. We were excited to say the least. The church had grown to about twenty people and I asked Walt to share. Prayer was offered afterwards and a little old lady came up and asked for a prayer of healing. She had some sort of bone deteriorating disease for which there was no cure. Mae stepped up and said she had suffered from the same disease and God had healed her. It was an easy choice for us to ask Mae to pray for her.
The Flemings left the next morning. The next Sunday service, in came our visitor, the little old lady from the week before, but she was not alone. She had most all of her extended family, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, and her own children and grandchildren. Her testimony was simple; she wanted to give praise to God for healing and wanted all of her family to hear of Jesus, the God who heals.
The church never looked back after that; it just kept growing. In time, land was donated and a building project was begun.
The Freemans moved on to other places to fulfill their unique call, and Vicki and I did plant churches in the other three towns as per the vision given to us. From there, we moved on to take on fresh visions and projects. I had occasion on the 10th anniversary of the Rincón church to visit, and the congregation had grown to over 200 people. It was making a name for itself as a center for worship and training. I also went back on the 25th anniversary. The church had sent out workers all over the state, accomplishing many new church plants, and had also sent Mexican missionaries to the Middle East. It was right then and there, I felt a release that our work was done in Mexico.
I learned some foundational values in Central Mexico as we walked through the fires of cross-cultural church planting. Those simply were and still are:
- The battle is the Lord’s. We were privileged to have a part in it.
- Never despise small beginnings. Everything starts with a seed, a prayer, a conversion, a miracle, always something seemingly small, but one that just keeps on growing.
- The Church is the Lord’s. He will build it, one living brick at a time.