When I was ten years old I received my first call from the Lord to cross-cultural missions. I attended a church that always had missionaries visit. Their pictures and stories always had an impact on me and I remember praying for a missionary named Mary Baker. I could not get missions out of my head at that young age, and it scared me. Going to another country to live was incomprehensible. That summer I went to a Christian camp called Highpoint Camp in Pennsylvania. I walked up to Ed Dunlap, the amazing evangelist/ventriloquist and I asked him, “How do I know if I am supposed to be a missionary?” And he said “If you pray about it and then you can’t get it out of your mind, then maybe God is calling you.” When I got home I did pray, but as I said before I was frightened and I prayed, “Lord I’m scared, I don’t want to go to Africa or……Guadalajara!” I said the most exotic sounding place I could! What a wonderful twist in the story don’t you think? What a great sense of humor God has! It makes me so happy to know that He was placing GDL on my heart even then.
Please take the time to read our “case statement” below.
Guadalajara is a large city in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. It is the second largest city in the nation, boasting nearly 4.5 million inhabitants (about the same as Boston). Its religion is mostly Catholic (over 90% of the population). Guadalajara is a strategic city since it is centrally located and is the crossroads between many other villages, towns and cities. It is also in the heart of what some have called the “Circle of Silence” within Mexico, which is the region that has been least penetrated with the Gospel. Residents of this six-state area are believed to be less than 2-3% evangelical.
The need for churches to transform the culture of Mexico has become increasingly obvious in recent years as the violence from the drug wars has escalated. The Catholic church with its works-based religion mixed with local superstitions is clearly not producing changed lives and changed culture. We believe that God instituted the bible-based and spirit-led local church as his vehicle though which he accomplishes his great commission. Our desire is to be instrumental in developing a new communities of Jesus followers in Guadalajara who regularly meet and fellowship and reproduce themselves while holistically impacting individuals, their community and their region through the power of the Gospel – multiplying transformational churches.
We will be partnering with Mexican Baptist churches as well as experienced church-planters Dan and MeLinda Nelson to plant churches targeting the middle and middle-upper classes in Guadalajara. This class is among the least-reached in Mexico, but is also equipped with the education and leadership capabilities to make great transformational impact as their hearts and lives are regenerated by the gospel. Being equipped as parents of a special-needs child, we would also like to reach out to other special-needs families with the hope of the gospel.
We must partner with churches and church-members to be able to accomplish this task. Specifically, we are looking for those who wish to share in the fruits and rewards of our labor by participating in our ministry by financial support, prayer and care. Our current financial need is about $1500/month in personal and ministry costs. We are seeking partners willing to commit to regular giving over a minimum of five years as well as lift us up frequently and fervently in prayer and stay actively engaged in ongoing missionary care.
For more information on how to partner, please click here