“Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Mary Nell and I worked in Mexico during the eighties proclaiming the kingdom of God and preaching Christ among the Nahautl and Hausteco indigenous tribes. Their homes were small one- and two-room huts with grass roofs and dirt floors. To make walls they cut down small trees about two inches in diameter, stood them vertically, and tied them together with vines. The houses were comfortable during the heat of the summer, but cold when the frigid winter winds blew through. There was no plumbing; there were no bathrooms, no electricity. They cooked over mud “stoves” and slept on straw mats on the dirt floor. They lived simple lives, working in the fields growing corn, beans, and coffee. Some had orchards of oranges and tangerines. Most had been animistic Catholics who worshiped the Virgin Mary, the saints, and the spirits of the mountains.
These few years with the Indian brothers were wonderful times for us. We held open-air meetings, often preaching by flashlight. When these dear people heard the gospel of the Kingdom, many believed and became followers of Jesus (Jas 2:5). Once they were born again, we taught them the foundations of the gospel (1 Cor 3:11) and worked by their side as they reached out to their neighbors. We saw many of their neighbors come to Christ, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive healing.
Our most effective ministry during this time was the training of leaders. I had studied some of Morris Cerullo‘s material and attended his school of ministry in the States. When I heard that Morris Cerullo was going to conduct a school of ministry in Monterrey, Mexico, I was delighted at the prospect of taking the village pastors to hear him. I knew that they would benefit.
Most of these indigenous brothers had never ventured far from their mountain villages. Very few had been to a city as large as Monterrey. They were excited about attending the school of ministry, even more that they would be staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants. That would be a totally new experience.
I knew that many people would be at the school of ministry. Most would come from the city and all would be dressed better than those of our group. Our people had only a couple of changes of work clothes. Some had no shoes. I did not want them to be embarrassed, so I asked our home church in Georgia for help. We measured sizes and sent them to our church. The church members went on shopping sprees for new clothes and shoes, and shipped them to us. I will never forget the excitement of the pastor as they put on their new clothes. Now we were ready to go to the big city.
Hear the rest of the story in my next blog post…