Last week I finished a theological paper exploring the question, “Can God do something new?” After a brief reflection, I began to think about some of the changes we have witnessed within the indigenous Mexican communities of CICEM throughout the past eight months since returning from our home assignment. Over the previous 30 years, they have relied primarily on financial support and labor help from churches in the United States. This partnership has been phenomenal in building lasting relationships across various churches in the US and various CICEM congregations. Lives have been changed, friendships forged, and people have come to know Jesus.
Recently, a new initiative provoked the idea that the power of CICEM is first from God and second from the CICEM congregations. Indigenous communities of Mexico have a profound understanding of community. Therefore, for a time such as this, these communities, that span four southern central States of Mexico, have embarked on a renewed journey. The Holy Spirit demonstrated a new work in the establishment of a fresh community at Pentecost. This was the fulfillment of the promise written by the prophet Joel. He wrote, “Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29)
Six representatives from the Board of Directors of CICEM visited with all of the churches in their zones and explained the importance of unity and the acceptance of their own resources and abilities. One of the communities had expressed their appeal to build a church. Currently, they were meeting in a small one room building or outside under a tarp. Due to the request and the movement of God in their hearts, the association of churches of CICEM, collected over $3000 dollars in love offerings. (To put into perspective, the average income of an indigenous person in the Mixteca is $2,400 a year. If the average income in the US is $40,000 per year, that would mean the churches would have collected around $50,000). Additionally, a team of 13 people formed (men, women and children), from one of the CICEM churches in Zona Mazauha, to go and spend 8 days helping with the construction project. The pastor lined up eight days of work, which the team completed in 2 days. Due to their generosity and tenacity, the team was able to finish in 8 days what the Pastor believed would take a month! Throughout these 8 days, two other small teams from CICEM churches in Zona Mixteca came to help with the work as well. As the team were saying their goodbyes, the project manager was brought to tears by the expressions of love demonstrated by the family of God. Not only did congregations provide financial means, many took up food offerings to provide the meals for the team during the work. This work was a new work in the heart of the community of CICEM. In this instance, God worked on the hearts of individuals to deliver newness to a community.
There is a crimson tread that runs throughout humanity which links each of us together. The history of CICEM continues to unfold as we seek the will of God. As we look back, we are able to see faces, hear stories, and glorify the work of God through the building of so many valued relationships. As we look toward the future, we are excited to see ongoing partnerships that have been formed between the indigenous churches of CICEM and the US church continue to flourish because of the faithfulness of His people. We invite you to remain or begin in this good work that God has started. As your faithfulness to this ministry continues to grow, together, we will seek to develop new avenues of thinking for the advancement of His kingdom. Our primary purpose is to invite others into a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and allow Him to change lives. On behalf of our CICEM churches, Deb and I want to thank you for your on-going prayerful and financial support of our ministry within the CICEM churches of Mexico. If you would like to be part of our Missionary Partnership Network (MPN) either prayerfully or financially, please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will explain how.
In the name of our risen Savior,