Greetings on this, the first week of July.
With the king’s permission, Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls which were destroyed in the conquest of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 4:6) “So we built the walls, for the people had a mind to work.” I saw an example of this attitude three weeks ago.
Javier Perez Ruiz is a 36-year-old Tzotzil pastor. Sixteen years ago, he accepted the call to preach the Gospel to his people in Chiapas, Mexico. He went to a village called Yabtechum and began his ministry. He had no house, no family, no car and no church. One thing he did have was “a mind to work” and a heart to love, much like Nehemiah. He built his first church out of wood. It was 16’ x 49’. After they outgrew that building, they tore it down and built another wood church, 20’ x 66’. They outgrew that church as well, and they began to build a third church. This time, they had the help of Steve Osborn, his son Justin and a group from a Mennonite church in Kansas who came to help fulfill the pastor’s dream. His new church is really beautiful, built of block and 33’ x 83’.
I asked Pastor Javier the number of his congregation. He said there are 180 children and 140 adults. I asked him how he did that, and his answer was perfect. A mind to work, and a heart to love.
Pastor Javier is now married. He and his wife have two small children and they live in a small house near the new church. They care for their people. Every time one of them has a need, he and his wife visit their home and pray with them and for them that their needs will be met. No matter what the need. They both have a mind to work and a heart to love. I wish I could see more of that attitude here in the US.
Although Pastor Javier’s house is very small, he did not ask me for anything. But, with pleasure I have already sent money to begin enlarging his home. I was there with them only four weeks after having knee surgery. Why? Because, like Javier, I have a mind to work and a heart to love.
That trip reminded me of a question asked of me a few years ago by a visiting US pastor. He asked, “When you go home, where do you get your food?”. (Referring to where we go to church for spiritual food.) I answered, “When I go home, I am not hungry”. When I see the mind to work and the heart to love, somehow it’s very fulfilling to me.
Thanks to Steve for his financial help. Thanks to his son Justin, the youth pastor at a Mennonite church, and thanks to the entire group who came with a mind to work and a heart to love.
In His Service,
P.S. A pastor in Durango, Mexico is in need of a used half-ton pick up or van in good condition, preferably a model between years 1995 and 2006. Please be in prayer about this need. God bless you all.