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Guadalajara conference

This update is from Lorenzo Arroyo, GCI mission director for Mexico and a US regional pastor.

On March 29-31, GCI Mexico held its annual national conference and Easter celebration. Guest speakers were Joseph and Tammy Tkach, Gary and Cathy Deddo, Lorenzo and Rita Arroyo and Heber Ticas. Alfredo Mercado, national leader for GCI Mexico, hosted the event.

Guad group worship

Guad speakers
Lorenzo Arroyo, Gary Deddo, Joe Tkach and Heber Ticas

During the first two days of the conference about 100 people participated in presentations related to pastoral ministry, women’s ministry, young adults in ministry and teen ministry. Gary Deddo gave plenary presentations on universalism and the Atonement, noting that in doing theology we must begin with who God is revealed to be in Jesus Christ—the triune God of love. Heber gave a plenary session entitled “Fishers of Humanity” that addressed reaching out to the unchurched with Christ’s love. Heber and Samuel Mercado, along with Venegas Parra, did a wonderful job translating for those speakers not fluent in Spanish.

Guad female speakers
Cathy Deddo, Rita Arroyo and Tammy Tkach

In presentations ministering to the women, Tammy Tkach, Cathy Deddo and Rita Arroyo addressed the freedom of God’s grace, sharing our faith with others, and the priority of love. The response included tears of joy. Cathy also gave a plenary session entitled, “Meeting God in His Word,” which addressed basic Bible study principles.

Samuel Mercado and Heber Ticas addressed about 30 youth and helped make plans for Mexico’s third national camp to be held in November. The youth were upbeat and engaged throughout the conference. In the plenary sessions, three of them movingly shared their journey of faith in Jesus.

Guad young adults

Natanael Cruz leads worship
Nathanael Cruz leads worship

The conference high point was the Easter service with 150 in attendance. Nathanael Cruz, pastor of the GCI Mexico City church and a talented musician and songwriter, led worship. He played his own arrangements of contemporary praise songs on keyboard, “rocking the building” with adoration and worship toward Jesus Christ. Joseph Tkach then gave the sermon entitled, “The Risen Lord and the Empty Tomb.” Appreciation and affection for Dr. Tkach was shown through enthusiastic applause.

A joyful additional benefit of the conference was the involvement of Jose Vasquez and his family from central Mexico who attended at the invitation of Jose’s brother, a GCI member in the US. Jose recently began a small group of about 25 people in his hometown. He was so overwhelmed by his exposure to GCI at the conference that he agreed to be commissioned as GCI’s representative in leading his small group. Joseph Tkach welcomed Jose to GCI.

In addition to the meetings, the conference provided ample time for meals and informal fellowship. In the evenings several dined at area restaurants and enjoyed cultural events in Guadalajara. Many commented that these Mexican conferences are getting better every year. Planning is underway for the next one to be held on Easter weekend 2014.

One thought on “Guadalajara conference”

  1. It is with great joy we receive this wonderful news regarding our churches in Mexico. We have heard so little of the Mexican work over the years…thanks for sharing. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

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