Paul writes in the fifteenth chapter of Romans “20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation,”. This has, since the day Christ saved me, also been my desire, to proclaim the glories of Christ to those who have never heard, and to those whom no one will go. Once again through the grace of God this past week we have reached yet another group of people that have never heard the gospel.
About two weeks ago a huge hurricane hit the state of Veracruz and left countless people homeless, foodless, cloth less, and some lifeless. It has always been that in times of great tragedy God sends the church to preach the gospel to those affected. We can see this in “The City of God” by Augustine. For it is in these difficult times that people’s hearts are opened to see the reality of life and begin to search for something of value. There was nothing short of this in the state of Veracruz!!
This past Sunday a group of seven of us (Ivonne and I, along with some folks involved in our ministry here), left to go to Veracruz to take some physical aid, but more importantly to preach Christ crucified and resurrected! Towns were completely in ruins from damaging wind and floods of water. Literally people lost everything. It was truly tragic to see, but more than the physical tragedy was that of the spiritual. After a long drive on Sunday we were up early and left for a small town call Tamarindo that was hit pretty hard by the storm. One of the brothers that went with us has family that lives in this town and he wanted to go there, so we did. When we arrived with cloths and a little food to leave for the people we were informed that many in this town had lost their houses because of flooding, so we began to pass out food and clothes and I began to talk with the people about Christ and found out that Christian missionaries had not reached this little town!! There is a Jehovah witness church and a catholic Church but no evangelical influence!! The true gospel was preached for the first time in Tamarindo!!
After leaving Tamarindo we went to another small town called Buenavista. We were immediately greeted by about forty people seeking aid. Before we began to hand out things we (Abimiel, Fortunato, and I) got to preach for almost an hour!! This was also the first time that the true gospel had been preached there as well. I really felt like we connected with the people in Buenavista, and feel as if we will have opportunity to return. Both of these little towns are off the beaten path and somewhat difficult to get to, but there is no price to put on the joy of being part of a people hearing the Good News for the very first time. I wish I could write to you all and say that God opened the eyes of these people and made the blind to see, and that we are rejoicing at the salvation of this town, but tis not the case. This is a town that has been influenced by the Catholic church for ages and is very hard, but we were invited back to teach more of Christ by a man named Manuel. He said that is was great that we came to help, but to understand these teachings someone would have to come and teach more! O! How the fields are white with harvest!!!!
We then spent the next two days helping people in a town called Paseo De Los Ovejas, or where the sheep pass. We came in contact with a man named Pasqual who is 86 years old and raises crops to sell. His house was flooded with over six feet of water and was left with about 2 ½ to three feet of mud inside. We helped him shovel out mud and clean his house for two days, and we also shared the story of Christ with him. I think this was probably the saddest part of the whole trip, to see a man so close to his end and no fear of the judgment that will come upon him. Please pray for Pasqual!!
Although some would say that we saw no fruit, I would argue and say that they don’t trust the gospel!! We are promised that His word will NOT return void, and I believe that!! God continues to open our eyes to pockets of people here in Mexico that are unreached!! People that have never heard of the love of Christ!! O, how I pray that God would continue to raise up His children to go!! To give everything and go to the Tamarindos or the Buenavistas, and that they would go with a passion for His name!!
I want to thank every one of you who helped financially and prayerfully with this trip!!! Thank you for being faithful in holding the rope!! We will be leading a group in November to return to these two places and spending a week teaching them the truths of Christ. I ask that you continue holding the rope and join me in beginning to pray for God to open their eyes and hearts for we know that unless He does they cannot hear nor understand. Thank you so very much!!
jonathan and ivonne murdock