Workers at a native ministry’s educational center in Mexico were helping an 11-year-old boy who had emotional and academic problems when they noticed some alarming drawings in his notebook.
The sketches made it clear the boy was suicidal.
Because Roberto* had trouble socializing and his father was addicted to drugs, the local missionaries had persuaded his mother to let him live at the school living quarters.
“Two months after staying in our center, Roberto confessed that he wanted to kill himself,” the ministry leader said. “Our missionaries shared the love of Christ with him, and this child accepted Christ.”
Roberto’s studies began to improve, as did his relationships with his classmates and parents, the leader said.
“As a result of the good progress in Roberto’s life, his parents also received Christ and are beginning to be discipled,” he said. “We thank God for this family that has been transformed by the power of God.”
Native missionaries in Latin America find people of all ages respond to Christ, but in Peru, a 100-year-old woman in a remote village wasn’t so sure about His grace. When a worker visiting her hut shared the gospel with her, she acknowledged that she had never heard of such great love as someone dying for her sins, but she wondered if the time for salvaton had passed.
“While I was young, I did many sins and worshiped the sun and the moon – can God still save me?” she said. “I am an old woman and can’t pay nothing for that.”
The worker explained that God will forgive all her past sins, and that she didn’t have to pay or do anything to earn this free gift.
“Then, in tears, she surrendered her life to Jesus,” the leader of the Peruvian ministry said. “She started taking classes, and when she finished, she was eager to be baptized, so they went to the closest river for the baptism ceremony. After that, she told our missionary, very excited, ‘Never is it late to be a newborn creature and become a child of God!’”
In spite of poverty, COVID-19 and sometimes ethnic violence, local missionaries are reaching many people of all ages with the gospel.
While often serving seniors and married couples, they place a high priority on youth. The ministry in Mexico recently held an event for children 2 to 14 years old, and 177 kids showed up. From that event, 35 children, 15 older youths and 25 adults put their faith in Christ, the leader said.
About 60 youths attended another evangelistic event.
“From that group, in recent months four new boys were baptized,” the leader said. “We are discipling them, and we constantly organize activities to reach young people.”
In Peru, the native ministry’s feeding center for children offers opportunities to proclaim Christ as well as help them with their schoolwork. Workers also give them basic review classes for two hours twice a week to ensure that they succeed in their studies. They also provide Bible classes once a week.
“In order to support their families economically, many children have begun to work, selling candies, soft drinks and the like in the streets,” the leader in Peru said. “They do not want to study, so with great patience we visit them in their homes sharing the importance of studying at school, and we also make their parents aware.”
Residents in one rural village put their trust in sorcerers, made offerings to gods at hills and rivers and indulged in festivals rife with drunkeness and sexual immorality, the leader said. For years, a church of eight people established there by local missionaries failed to grow.
Recently they hosted a three-day Bible retreat, and the village chief put his trust in Christ. An open-air evangelistic event followed in which the ministry’s church sang hymns and gave their testimonies, and 15 people accepted Christ.
“For the honor and glory of God, we now share with you that we have gathered 35 people for worship,” the leader said.
In another village, the pandemic forced a local missionary to put a megaphone on the roof of his church building, and every afternoon he shared a biblical reflection for an hour, along with worship music and an invitation to receive Christ’s grace.
“Before the pandemic, 8 to 10 older adults met in the church,” the leader said. “In these months, 15 new people accepted Jesus as their Savior. The congregation is dedicated to preaching to our children, grandchildren and neighbors so that they know the love of God.”
Such workers are sharing the love of Christ throughout Latin America. Please consider a donation today to help them fulfill Christ’s command to make disciples of every nation.
*Names changed for security reasons