Mexican Census

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Sitting on my desk is a prayer map of the Latin America Caribbean Region. On that map is this quote from Loren Triplett, former Executive Director of Assemblies of God World Missions:

“We dare not measure our success against anything but the unfinished task.”

This is a sober reminder to keep the Great Commission in view, to go into all the world and make disciples. In a world full of distraction, Loren Triplett’s words help us maintain our focus.

Measuring the unfinished task
Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

But how do we measure the unfinished task? Every ten years, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) takes a census to determine the number and distribution of the population of Mexico as well as its main demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural characteristics, including religious affiliation. When they published their findings on January 25, 2021, we had the data that we needed to make our measurement.

According to those figures, the population grew 12.18% between the years 2010 and 2020 from 112.3 million to just over 126 million. During that same time, those who identify as Christians or evangelicals grew 46.82% from 8.2 million to just over 12 million. That’s great news!

However, although we can say that we’ve made progress on the unfinished task there is still an enormous work to be done. At the same time, while evangelicalism has grown, secularism has exploded. During the 2010-2020 period, those claiming no religion or no religious affiliation grew 336.18% from 3 million to 13.1 million.

What then is our response? We prioritize the Great Commission, committing ourselves to the proclamation of the gospel through word and deed (Rom 10:13-14). We then participate with others who share our commitment (1 Peter 4:10). But, most of all, we pray, asking the Lord to call others to join us in our efforts (Luke 10:2).

As Area Directors, we’re encouraged by the way our missionary colleagues, understanding the holistic nature of the good news that we share, have pivoted during this pandemic, shifting ministry to respond to the need. We’re privileged as well to work with national partners who, although facing tremendous hardship themselves, continue to share the hope of the gospel. And we’re humbled by the movement of prayer that is growing up around us as believers cry out to God to call more workers to reach the lost*.

Coming full circle, then, while we are encouraged by the robust growth of the evangelical church in the last decade, when faced with the 114 million in Mexico who have yet to trust in Jesus, we stop short of congratulating ourselves. Instead, we redouble our efforts in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, prioritizing, participating, and praying so that, one day, we’ll be able to celebrate the completion of the unfinished task.

*Will you join us in prayer for more workers?

Text “xapray” to 313131 and set a daily reminder for 10:02 AM/PM to be a part of this intercessory movement!

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Although, according to the 2010 census, 47% of the population of the state Yucatan reports living in a Mayan household, to date, no coordinated effort has been made to plant churches specifically focused on reaching the Maya speaking population. Since the spring, we’ve been telling you about the efforts that we have made to see church planting among the Maya reach priority status here in the Yucatan. In the last few months, we’ve seen advancements and some setbacks, but now, we are able to share with you that we are on the verge of naming the team that will spearhead what we believe can become a church planting movement!

We are thankful for the efforts of our District Missions Director, Abel Can, who saw the need and saught to make this project a part of his ministry portfolio for the next two years. We’re also thankful for the collaboration of the District Coordinator of Ministry to Ethnic Groups, Miriam Pech, who has been leading the search in the recent months for qualified candidates. With the help of these individuals, two Maya speaking pastors have been found. Following training, these men will lead up a program of training and evangelization that will give local churches the tools and guidance that they need to mother indigenous works throught the state.

Nevertheless, while we’re thankful for the progress, we understand that this effort must be undertaken through continued prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For that reason, we are making this appeal. Would you pray:

  • That God would especially equip these candidates with the giftings required to undertake this work.
  • That pastors would catch the vision and provide opportunity to the team to work and plant Maya speaking congregations in their area.
  • That the Maya people that we seek to reach would respond to the presentation of the gospel in their own language.

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