On Sunday, November 29, we were privileged to be joined at our worship service by Pastor Juan Valdez and his family, from Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. Juan is the Pastor of the Iglesia Bautista de Rincon Tecate, a church that Bethany has partnered with for years on Spring Break missions efforts. We have sent numerous teams to Tecate, and have done Vacation Bible Schools, work projects, and other ministry efforts with Juan’s church. However, this was the first time he and his family had visited our church in Salem.
Juan encouraged us briefly from Hebrews 11, reminding us that through us God is still writing the story of his faithfulness in this world, and then shared about how this is currently happening in his church. They are involved in a number of evangelism and discipleship opportunities in and around Tecate, including work in schools and with families. The church offers a discipleship program for new believers, which has been well attended. Additionally, Juan has been able to recently develop a program at the church in which they are training men to preach, and then giving them opportunities to do so. There are currently ten men enrolled in this program, including one who was preaching in Juan’s place while he was visiting us on Sunday.
After the service on Sunday, members of our church joined the Valdezes for lunch, after which they had the chance to see some of the sites around Salem. On Sunday evening, they were able to join our Hispanic Growth Group for a fellowship meal.
We are grateful that Juan and his family were able to visit us after receiving us at their church so many times in years past. Our thanks go out to the Bethany families who donated to help them make the trip. They expressed their thanks for that many times over.
Our next Tecate ministry trip is planned for March 2017 (on Spring Break). We will be able to see the work being done by churches in Tecate, and partner with them in ministry. Perhaps you will consider joining us?