Wednesday afternoon we finally had a chance to get into the hotel and relax a bit. We absolutely could not wait to lay down after the night of traveling we had. Upon arrival we were welcomed with great news! Not only would the local congregation be joining us at the church at Maranatha, many pastors and leaders from various area congregations were coming to hear what we had to say. Some were traveling long distances. Some were coming on faith as they barely had gas money to get to there.
We received a very warm welcome from the congregation. Though it was a small building, every seat was filled. The service was opened with music, all in Spanish, and it was beautiful. To hear worship in the native language really moved my heart, and the Holy Spirit was definitely there. There were some obstacles we faced, but God was at work. God is bigger than our cultural differences and language barriers. (Claudia, Clyde’s wife, did an outstanding job translating for us.)
As we spoke, there was some tension in the air that we didn’t quite understand, but was made clear to us later. Church members and leaders alike had some challenging questions that we did our best to answer. Obviously God worked in that too.
Although the church was very welcoming, they voiced some serious concerns. As it turns out there is a church nearby, also called Central Christian, that has brought some unfavorable opinions of Christianity to the area. This charismatic “church” has done a lot of damage to the true gospel message.
A lady of the church stood up and boldly expressed her confidence in our mission and how appreciative she was that we were there. Tearfully, she expressed that she could tell that our hearts and motives were pure. A local pastor who had also voiced some concerns came to us afterwards and explained that he was trying to help clear things up for everyone there, but he too could tell that God was in this.
When it was all said and done, our reception was wonderful. We were even invited to join the church for a dinner and fellowship in our honor, and got to spend good time with the church.
While we couldn’t give them any exact plans, we told them that ultimately we wanted to serve the people of the region. We conveyed to the wonderful people in attendance that we were there to establish, cultivate and build relationships based on our common bond of the Lord Jesus Christ. With the help and guidance of God through the power of the Holy Spirit we hope to work with the local believers to help provide the spiritual needs of the people of this area; which is to love and know the Lord Jesus. And that’s exactly what we plan to do with this mission. To serve the people of Los Mochis and surrounding area by sharing with them the gospel of Jesus Christ is our purpose. This is a region with 400,000 plus people. Only a handful of churches that teach and preach the true gospel and doctrine exist here. The need is tremendous.
We are up against some strong religious organizations who have really hurt the gospel message and hurt the people, so the task at hand is an important one. The participants in last night’s service are making up folders for us to look through that will really identify the needs that they have in the region. With these folders we hope to identify the specifics of what God has for us.
And now, we are off to follow up with some contacts we made last night! Thank you for your continued prayers.
-James, Nathan and Clyde