Cruzadas Estudiantiles

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Cruzadas Estudiantiles representatives David Gamboa and Oscar Gonzalez pray for Pedro Pablo Balam and his wife Noemi Uitzil during our visit to Cocoyol. You’ll have to excuse me for my tardiness in getting this post up, I’m a bit breathless from all of the activity of the past week. In four jam-packed days, we visited two church plant locations, covered the Jesus Film church planting strategy, stepped through an 7-week discipleship course for new believers, and outfitted our Jesus Film Team with all of the tools that they need to put the plan in action. The seminar ended on Thursday. The Yucatecan pastors, and the representatives from Power to Change, Canada and Cruzadas Estudiantiles, Mexico, have all returned to their homes. The the event is over, but there is the feeling that a movement is just beginning.

As I had mentioned in this previous post, our goal is to plant churches among the Maya of the Yucatan. The seminar was a first step, but the vision needs to be defined. The dream needs to be made concrete. What has been studied on paper will need to be put into practice in the real world, and that is exactly what we plan to do.

On October 22nd, Kelly, the kids and I will travel, along with Abel Can our District Missions Director to Chemax, Yucatan, to commission the first Action Team who will be charged with planting a church in the comisaria of Cocoyol, where there is currently no evangelical presence. Our desire is to recognize the step of faith that these believers are taking as they are being sent out from among their own to make disciples.

Missionary Ken Priebe from Power to Change inspects the Jesus Film equipment. Following the commission service, The Jesus Film Team, made up by Pedro Pablo Balam, and Angelino Ek, will organize the first projection, which will take place on Sunday, October 30th at that site. But more than simply showing a film, these gentlemen are committed to evangelism and follow-up in the area until 15 adults are registered to receive discipleship studies. The Action Team that the church has raised up will provide the support and oversight to solidify this new work in the weeks that follow.

But the founding of the new work in Cocoyol is not the end of the project; it is only the beginning. Eleven other pastors and congregations are waiting their turn to put the Jesus Film strategy into action in their area. The month of November has been designated to help those pastors form their Action Teams and receive the training that they need in order to replicate these church planting efforts throughout the Maya speaking regions of Yucatan and beyond.

Tomás Vera speaks before the commissioning of the Jesus Film Team and equipment. Our District Superintendent, Tomás Vera, has stated his vision for the next two years: one hundred new churches planted and one hundred new ministers for the state of Yucatan. That kind of vision requires much more that the efforts of a chosen few. It’s a vision that requires a concerted effort on the part of pastors and congregations alike. There is the feeling that the Jesus Film Project might just be the right tool at the right time to fulfill that vision.

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As I’ve mentioned in a prior post, to date, no coordinated effort has been made by the Assemblies of God of Yucatán to plant churches directed at reaching the Maya-speaking population of the Yucatan peninsula, but soon that’s all about to change.

Next Tuesday, October 11th, we kick off our church planting seminar in coordination with Cruzadas Estudiantiles of Mexico, Power to Change of Canada and the Assemblies of God District of Yucatán. We’ll be working together with 12 pastors and a team of two church planters to direct our efforts toward planting Maya-speaking works in the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Our goal is that at the end of a year’s time, 12 new missions will be running, doing their part in God’s plan to redeem the Maya people.

We’re excited and confident that the road-tested program and the months of planning will pay off, but at the same we’re keenly aware of our need for God’s presence to guide and direct us. For that reason, we’re appealing to you. Please take a few moments and pray:

  1. For the safe arrival of all of the participants before the seminar and safe travel throughout as we tour various church planting sites.
  2. For the tangible presence of God and a keen awareness of His voice throughout our meetings.
  3. For an openness among the pastors and church planters to new ideas and new ways of doing ministry.
  4. For an honest evaluation of the program and a meaningful, culturally relevant application of its principle ideas.
  5. For communication of the information being passed on, that clear understanding would lead to decisive action.

Thanks for your support, and be looking to hear from us next week during the event!

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