By Cecily Thompson – Aragon’s MPT Prayer & Financial Advocate
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected.” (Luke 12:48, CSB)
Those words had been echoing in my mind for the past three days. As we descended down the rough and rutted road from Tacuba Vieja and Tacuba Nueva, Juan had asked us what was on our hearts and minds. This Scripture was the only response I could give. We were returning from three days spent in these two beautiful communities. Traveling to these communities, however, was long, tiring, and difficult but the blessing of a reliable vehicle donated by the WV Baptist Women made it as comfortable as possible. We talked, laughed, and bounced over the speedbumps and ruts. I had always thought the “much” Luke describes was money but over the past three days God had gently, and not-so-gently taught me that it meant so much more.
My husband – Tommy – and I were blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Chiapas, Mexico and be a small part of God’s mission there. We spent three days of our trip in San Cristobal de las Casas with Juan, Denise, Juancito, and Ziba. Our days there were full of preparation for our trip to the communities but also with family time and catching up. We went to see Juancito and Ziba’s school, soccer practice, the local markets, learned how to play “Pandemic,” and laughed and cried together. San Cristobal is a beautiful city in a beautiful country. I was struck by the incredible diversity of Mexico and realized how much I had missed about the country I had grown up so close to.
We were learning so much and felt overwhelmed as our time in the communities ended. Tommy and I had seen and experienced such an incredible blessing. In a few short days, we had learned much about missionary life, Chiapas, Indigenous communities, and ourselves. God opened our hearts and our eyes to see His work and His people. Having walked with them through the preparation for their mission, it was amazing to see how God is working in and through Juan, Denise, Juancito and Ziba as they are now thriving in their God-given ministry. The first day we arrived in San Cristobal, Juan mentioned obedience. Over the next seven days, Tommy and I witnessed first-hand what obedience looks like and how beautifully God uses and blesses it. Life in Chiapas is different, and we visited only two of the eighteen communities where life is even more different and difficult. But just as Jesus told the story of the sensible manager, “Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes,” Tommy and I experienced the reality that we have been given much and recognized the truth that we are called and commanded to share all that we have been entrusted with until our Master returns. (Luke 12:43)
The people we met in Tacuba Vieja and Tacuba Nueva were welcoming and loving. I will never forget their beautiful eyes, especially of the women, as I was teaching. It was evident to me that God has prepared their hearts and given them a hunger for His Word. As Denise described, when it comes to women’s ministry in Chiapas, “the sky is the limit.” The children are beautiful and loving and simply waiting to be taught the Good News of the Gospel. Tommy was blessed to sit at the table, sharing, answering questions, and watching as Juan listened, taught, and ministered to the men in each community. The passion Juan and Denise share as they preach, teach, and love the people God has sent them to is beautiful and inspiring. Juancito and Ziba are a ministry themselves. Juancito took a brand new soccer ball, as part of his ministry, which he shared and left with the children there. We watched the two of them laugh, smile, run, and play with the local children. On Sunday morning, Juancito, Ziba, and I sat on our cots and talked about our favorite comfort foods, thinking of the comforts of home. God is faithful and powerful and Tommy and I witnessed His work in and through the entire Aragon family.
There is much work to be done in Chiapas; God has given Juan and Denise His Vision and He has given each of us the opportunity to be a part of His Mission. Each of us are called to share what we have been given whether it is time, financial resources, or prayer. We are the ones who have been given and entrusted with much and that “much” is the Gospel message. It is love. It is faith. What will you give?