Where do I begin? How do I share what the last 4 years has been like in Mexico?
Do you have time to read a book? Do I have time to write one? Most likely – “no” on both. So, I’ll try my best.
Just this morning I said to my son, Caleb, “You’re six and we have been here four years.” It puts things in perspective when I think - my youngest son has lived more years in Mexico than in any other place. Our time here has been a time
of learning. When you go out on the mission field, you think you’re ready, you think you’re prepared, you think you know what you will be doing.
For us - we were not ready, but God was. He asked us to take the first step and trust Him. We did and we had no idea what God was going to do. We thought we would be assisting a ministry, and we did; but along the way God started moving in my heart. So, after the first year He brought us even further from our comfort zone to a small city called Motul. As God placed this call on our lives I remember thinking, “I’m not ready, we’re not prepared, there is still more to learn, we can’t afford to start a church,” and God spoke to my heart during a long road trip in Mexico. His answer was, “You’re not ready, but I am.” So with that, we removed our boys from school again, and moved for a second time.
Little did we know what God had in store for us as we now took the second step of faith. We rented a large place
in the middle of the city. At first, we lived in the back rooms of the church in an area that was suitable for us to live in.
We opened a coffee house with the hope of building relationships with people here in the city.
We invested all we had into the property with hope that God would bless it. I remembered the first day we opened, two girls showed up, and I remember thinking God is going to bless this place. People started coming to church; for many it was the first time they heard the word of God, for some it was the first time they visited a church that really cared for people, for others it was their safe place. All of the core group of people that
now come to church we first knew from the coffee house, from sharing conversations over a cup of coffee and sharing just how much God loved them.
Our first church service started with everyone sitting on the same couch. After a while it grew and we had to move to a table, then we had to connect two long tables. Soon enough we had to have two large tables and bring in additional chairs alongside the tables. Then we finally had to start every week removing all the tables and sofas to bring in rows of chairs. After a short time, we introduced children’s ministry. It first started in a 12X12 ft. room with just my two sons and one other girl. The boys prayed the children’s ministry would grow and wow has it. Before we could blink we needed more room for the kids. So, the church needed to use the back space we were using for our house (we were glad, we were very ready to move). We were blessed by a church in the states that helped us get into a house. Finally, we had a home and the church had more room to grow. And grow it did. We had to move the children’s ministry 2 times since then because of growth. We now have a babies room with about 6-8 babies/toddlers a week, and an older kids’ room with 10-20 attending every week. In the beginning, the kids wanted to stay with mom and dad. The kids would even cry when their parents made them stay in the children’s ministry rooms. Now the kids cry when their parents make them leave.
Our church body that started with our family and one other is now bustling with about 40-50 adults a week and about
20-30 kids a week. During this time of growth, we have seen Jesus do amazing things. People received salvation through Jesus, marriages have been restored, relationships mended, lives changed. It is a blessing sharing God’s Word on a weekly basis. But still, the church was hungry, so we have started a mid-week discipleship class that is doing well.
About 70 percent of the body serve in some way or another, from sound-tech team, worship team, café ministry, children’s ministry and for a few - sharing in the teaching and leadership responsibilities.
One of my most special times was last year when we saw 50 kids attend our church’s VBS program. All VBS ministry was run by the local church. From planning, to worship, to lunch prep - I was a proud pastor seeing this local church body here in Motul reaching out and investing into the next generation. Honestly, the God-stories are endless and the change has been eternal both in the people here and in our lives as well.
And for everyone of you reading this - thank you! You allow us to be here. We are supported by your prayers.
We also are 100 percent funded by donations. We are so grateful for you. You are helping with the great commission, you also are making an eternal impact in the kingdom. For all of you that pray and help financially, heaven is going to have people from Motul, Mexico because God placed us on your hearts and you listened.
So, what is next? What is the next step God is calling us to? First, let me say that we are still praying, and God is leading us. And if I may be transparent, I’m intimidated. As a church, we have maxed out the space we have, to the point when we have new people come in they leave because of the size restraints (our usual attendees just pile in, for new people it is intimidating). So, we are looking and praying for a new property. A place large enough to continue to grow the church body, but also to have two different education models. The first phase would be to start a program for teenage girls that have had to drop out of school due to teenage pregnancy. This is a huge problem in our city. Usually when the girl gets pregnant, the boy runs off and the teenage mom never returns to school and the spiral of hopelessness begins.
We hope to offer a Christian solution to this problem. A school for these young moms. To offer education,
to offer light child care, Bible classes, and parenting classes. The second phase would be to help prevent this type of issue by starting a Christian elementary school. Our entire church has been praying for some sort of Christian education here in Motul, Mexico. It seems like God is lining things up as our church has been blessed with a large number of teachers and even a professor. We also want to start a youth ministry as well. Our hope is to reach the minds and souls of this next generation for the sake of Jesus.
But now for the hard truths. We cannot do it alone. Natalie and I have a full schedule, to the point we can not lead any new ministries without failing in some other area. We are praying for missionaries to join in the work here long-term.
We are specifically praying for a married couple with a heart for youth and teaching for the school; we are praying for a woman to come alongside Natalie and help her.
And as we are looking for a place to hold these ministries the church needs financial help. It is a blessing to see the church praying for a new place. They want to give and we have starting a way for them to give directly to the new building fund. The reality is, the average day wage here is about 10-15 dollars a day. We are currently looking at two properties: one is $50,000 U.S. dollars and the other is $88,000 usd. Huge numbers, I know, but this would grow the church and start a school. For this amount of money, we could change an entire city. So, pray. Pray for help, pray for financial support. If God puts something on your heart - do not be afraid. You don’t have to bear the burden of everything yourself. Every prayer is heard, every little donation helps. In closing, these past four years God has done great things. So many have given their lives to Jesus, so many families have been restored. But by no means is God finished here. We are grateful to be a part of God’s plan. We are grateful to so many that have come alongside us already, and we are grateful for those who may join us in the future.
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.
Pastor Calvary Motul
written by Len