miracle at mt. horeb
by Marco Mendoza
Translated and edited by Thomas L. Marberry
Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.
IT WAS WITH GREAT JOY that I received permission from the administration of El Seminario Biblico la Cruz in Reynosa to use the seminary facilities to begin a new mission work. It had been approximately one year since my pastorate at the Bethel Free Will Baptist Church ended, and the Lord placed the desire to start a new church in the hearts of my family and me.
On many occasions, as I was driving through the neighborhoods to the seminary, I would stop my vehicle and pray that the Lord would give us wisdom to win these people for Christ. I am referring to three neighborhoods, each of which has a population of more than 3,000 people. Each community continues to grow, and the Mount Horeb project will mark the first effort to establish a Free Will Baptist church in this area.
I saw immediately that I would need to have a team with whom I could share this vision. On August 26, 2007, I met with the first members of this team to explain the plan and to prepare a strategy. We conducted a survey that enabled us to learn about the people who lived in these neighborhoods and how to work with them. Our goal was to develop an effective strategy to share the gospel. In the first phase of this survey we visited 179 individual homes.
Photo: El Seminario Biblico la Cruz (Seminary of the Cross), Reynosa, Tampico, MX
The second step was to hold a general meeting in the seminary chapel with as many people as we could bring together in order to share the gospel with them. This team effort took place in October. My wife, María Martina Alvarez, and our children, Martha, Sarahí, Santiago Antonio, and Mendoza Alvarea participated. Francisco Serrano Blanco, Norma Sánchez de Serrano, Aurelio López Cantú, and Rosalinda Tapia de López from the area churches also joined the effort. Several seminary students, including Isai Dueñes Moreno, Eunice Dueñes Moreno, Wendy Guadalupe Rangel de Santiago, and Alejandra Alvarez Vázquez, contributed a great deal of time and effort to this project.
This opening service presented a challenge. The closest neighborhood is two kilometers (or one mile) from the seminary campus, and most of the people don’t have reliable vehicles. We were able to borrow two vans to help provide transportation. In spite of this challenge, we brought together 176 adults, teens, and children. We had an afternoon full of different activities including games, food, a Christian video, a Christian concert, and a teaching session for the children. After these activities, I shared a simple gospel message. During the invitation 15 people (5 adults and 10 children) came forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior.
God continues to bless these efforts. The mission meets for worship every Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. on the seminary campus. We also meet regularly in homes where we have had great success in winning people to Christ. We have had several women’s meetings where ladies have accepted Christ.
We recently presented a special Christmas program that included a drama and a musical presentation. During this special service, we gave toys to the children.
Photo: Members of the Mt. Horeb Project
I want to express my personal thanks to all those who have worked with us on this project through their prayers and provided financial support. Rev. Jimmy Holbrook and his congregation at the Harrah Free Will Baptist Church in Oklahoma sent us a check for $1,000 to pay the expenses for our opening service. Thanks to this generous congregation.
Please pray with us for those who have accepted the Lord as a result of this ministry and for those who will accept Him in the future. Our goal is to help them to grow in the faith.
I want to mention three special needs to you. We need a van to help transport people to the services, sound equipment, and Bibles to distribute to those who don’t have them. Please pray with us that God will supply these needs.
We send our most affectionate greetings to Free Will Baptists around the world.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Pastor Marco A. Mendoza is the leader of the Mount Horeb Project. Learn more about Free Will Baptist Home Missions work in Mexico at www.homemissions.net.