This update is from Lorenzo Arroyo, mission director for GCI in Mexico.
GCI Mexico recently held its annual Training Conference for pastors and other congregational leaders over the Easter weekend. Held in Guadalajara, the event was attended by about 70 GCI Mexico adults (with about 120 adults and children attending the Easter service). Alfredo Mercado, national leader for GCI Mexico, coordinated event transportation, lodging, and meals.
A story of transformation
There are always special stories of inspiration told at these conferences, as the Spirit works within and among us. Here is one such story.
On the first day of the conference a woman named Lupita was moved to attend though she had never been to a GCI church service or activity. She had been depressed due to the death of her husband of 40 years, a loss that left her feeling empty and alone. But after attending women’s workshops on loneliness with Barbara Rogers, and on sharing your faith with Rita Arroyo, Lupita experienced an amazing transformation. She became a new woman—radiant, cheerful and full of new life in Christ! Several from the Guadalajara church befriended her and Lupita declared that she will never leave GCI, now that she has found a place to belong.
An emphasis on disciple-making
Lorenzo Arroyo conducted workshops on the need, call, and art of making disciples with an emphasis on casting nets and reaching out to the lost.
Heber Ticas led small group discussions on a missional model for pastoring that focuses on making disciples on the congregation’s “home turf.” He also led the youth in small groups, keeping an eye out for potential church leaders. He then hosted a dinner for young emerging leaders, sending them the message that GCI values and validates them as they prepare for church leadership.
During the conference, Samuel Mercado, national youth coordinator for GCI Mexico, announced plans for the third Mexican youth camp to be held at the end of this year. Natanael Cruz, who pastors our Mexico City congregation, announced the launch of a new video ministry geared toward the unchurched next generation.
In the evenings, event trainers took time to experience some of the food, culture and folklore that Mexico offers.
During the conference, Dan Rogers gave inspiring messages on faith and decision-making in the church, then at an uplifting Easter service he gave a moving sermon on Paul’s argument for the resurrection of Christ. Worship at the Easter service was led by Natanael Cruz,who offered dazzling keyboard arrangements of spiritual songs. Worshipers were moving and clapping to the music—it was a truly amazing Easter event!
Much thanks to the individuals and congregations in Canada, Washington, Oregon and California for the generous gifts that made this event possible. Praise the Lord!