My junior year of college I went on my first mission trip. Ever since my conversion I had felt a strong urge to work with orphans and impoverished children in some capacity, but primarily through short-term mission trips. So when the list of trips came out that fall I could hardly stand waiting to pack my bags to head to an orphanage in Reynosa, Mexico. God did a lot on that trip to open my eyes to the plight of the orphan and to spur in my heart an even greater desire to care for orphans. Even while we were in Reynosa the concern about drug related violence was a reality, even such that we weren't really allowed to leave the orphanage compound. I don't remember thinking much about the fact that people were murdered weekly not too far from where I was staying, but it was probably because I felt really safe inside the walls of the Christian orphanage. I was really saddened to read a few days ago that due to the rise of violence in Reynosa, the United States has restricted travel to Reynosa.
In light of this news, for Missions Wednesday this week we are going to learn about Mexico. As I read more about Mexico I was overwhelmed by the thousands of people who do not have an evangelical church in their area, the thousands of children who live on the streets and in the slums everyday, and by the desperate need for discipleship among the young people and adults of this neighboring country.
In my own mind it is really easy to think that just because they are so close to us they don't have needs like countries really far away. They border America, shouldn't they have access to churches like us? But just like we daily and weekly need to be reminded of our need for the Gospel, so do our friends to the south of us.
Mexico is the fourth largest Latin American country. Their capital city, Mexico City, alone has 22.5 million people. The primary language of Mexico is Spanish. There are some Amerindian people who still speak Amerindian primarily, but this is the minority. While they are considered 94.26 % Christian, the majority of this percentage identify as Catholic. Some are nominal and some are merely Catholic in belief, yet pagan in practice.
There is still a tremendous need for an evangelical presence in much of Mexico. There has been some persecution of evangelicals, but this has not stopped evangelicals from growing in number. The evanglical church is still largely in the lower class areas and has not really penetrated into the wealthier classes.
Ways to pray:
- Pray that God would allow for missionaries to go to areas that need an evanglical presence.
- Pray that churches would be established and cultural stereotypes of Americans would be shattered as they come.
- Pray for the believers in Reynosa and all border towns as they minister to people amidst fear and violence.
- Pray that God would send people to minister to the younger generation of Mexicans who are largely unreached.
Read more about Mexico here.