Juan and Denise serve in partnership with the Council of Rural Indigenous Evangelicals of Mexico (Consejo Indígena Campesino Evangélico de México, CICEM) in Chiapas, Mexico. They both work in training, prevention and education as they learn the community needs and look for ways to emotionally and economically empower leaders in their communities. Juan focuses on theological education and leadership training as he accompanies, coaches and disciples new church leaders. Denise’s ministry seeks to empower women, especially those who are victims of domestic abuse.
Juan writes – As Denise and I become acquainted with the lives of those we serve, we often wonder, “what difference can we really make?”
We’re on this journey for the long haul. So, we have intentionally decided to master two things we believe to be foundational in our calling to Chiapas. “A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing,” Hudson Taylor wisely observed. We want to be faithful in two “little things”: depending on God and cultivating trust and relationships.
We must depend on God for guidance, provision, and protection. Do we take the time to listen to the Spirit’s guidance? Are we obeying his voice? Or are our thoughts and actions driven by worry and fear? Do we trust that He will continue to provide for ours and ministry needs? Do we trust He protects us as we traverse the roads in Chiapas? We’ve seen God’s faithfulness in every step of this adventure but trusting and depending on Him is a day-to-day practice.
Cultivating trust and relationships is a gradual process. It requires time, patience and care. We’ve discovered it’s until the third or fourth visit to a church when we start getting a glimpse of who they really are, their hopes and joys, and the challenges they face. Conversations over meals, cooking tortillas, doing dishes, playing with the children, celebrating baptisms, a wedding, birthdays, and the birth of a child, mourning with them during the death of a mother, a child; and offering hospitality when the needed medical treatment is only offered in San Cristobal are some of the ways we’ve done this.
Recently, a sister from a Tseltal community sent me a WhatsApp message with a Scripture that encouraged me to keep mastering the basics and be faithful in the little things: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Thank you for journeying with us as we serve and equip God’s people in Chiapas!
Read their full journal at https://www.internationalministries.org/mastering-the-basics/