Fourteen international missionaries spent eight days sharing God’s love and the gospel with hundreds of people in Mexico June 21-29. For a few “old-timers” of Crossing Borders, this was the 17th trip to Mexico. For others, this was their first experience with international mission work. These missionaries came from Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin—ages from teen to 80+. We all enjoyed working together to provide encouragement and resources to our Mexican ministry partners as we assisted in the ministry they provide on an ongoing basis to the people in their community, church and children’s home.
Economic challenges, political instability, criminal elements and other factors create very tough living conditions for many in Mexico. The good news is that these factors often lead people to seek stability and personal peace in spiritual foundations. It’s exciting for Crossing Borders missionaries to be able to share the hope of the gospel with these lovely people.
In the end, no matter what country or problem, it comes down to this: Jesus is the answer.
Throughout our years of mission trips, we have found that the main benefit we provide to our Mexican ministry partners is encouragement. They struggle with limited resources, unhelpful government, overwhelming social problems and satanic darkness. The apostle Paul sent Timothy on a mission of encouragement (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3) and we seek to emulate the same principle. By coming alongside our ministry partners, we give them a physical, mental and spiritual boost. As a result, they are rejuvenated, excited and thankful. And while we provide encouragement to them, we find that God provides encouragement and inspiration back to us through our partners.
Here are examples of our ministry activity on this trip, all in partnership with our Mexican friends:
- We gave testimonies, led in songs and served meals to over 200 mostly homeless people in an outdoor “Church in the Park” setting. We also handed out hot meals, bags filled with socks, toiletries, caps and T-shirts.
- We interacted with women and children refugees streaming across the border from Central American countries. We heard their amazing tales of travel danger, fed them, gave them Bibles and prayed for them.
- We treated a family we “adopted” two years ago to a half-day of recreation at a park and a swim outing.
- We purchased items for, packed and distributed 50 bags of food items for needy families. This was done as an outreach of a church to their unchurched neighbors, in an environment of singing Christian songs, hearing a Bible message, laughing and having fun. As a result, five people made a public commitment to follow Jesus.
- We provided lunch and fellowship to thank and honor the leaders of a church we have worked with for several years.
- We helped two ministry partners by contributing manual labor in the hot sun to clear brush and trash from properties they recently acquired for their ministry work.
- We conducted Vacation Bible School programs for over 50 children in a very poor neighborhood. In doing so, we helped a local pastor train his emerging leaders.
- We visited two children’s homes where we played with the children, did crafts, performed in costume a “superhero” skit with a Jesus-centered message, fed the kids hot meals, fixed homes and purchased household supplies. The hugs, laughs and happy faces of the kids melted our hearts.
Crossing Borders is being used by God to help encourage and train some of our Mexican GCI youth and young adults in outreach, leadership and other ministry skills. On our winter 2013 trip, four of them joined us and, on this summer trip, Samuel Mercado (a key Mexican youth leader from Guadalajara) joined us. We are hopeful that many more Mexican youth and adults can participate in future Crossing Borders trips.
God calls us all to be encouragers—far from home or in our own communities. Many reading this have been encouragers of Crossing Borders missions. For that, we thank you.