On a recent trip to Mexico, Jessy Padilla and Ernie Cabrera had the opportunity to experience how God has been at work through the local church in Los Luz and the surrounding community.
Pastor Jessy Padilla of Iglesia Emanuel has had a vision for over 20 years to plant churches in Mexico. In October of 2016 he and Pastor Santiago Patlan planted Iglesia Baptista Torre Fuerte in Los Luz, Michoacan, Mexico. Pastor Santiago and his wife have been serving as missionaries in the area for over 17 years. The church is in a metal building located on 7+ acres. Several Converge churches raised money to help build this structure with the help of Torre Forte in Los Luz and its members in the surrounding towns. The church is also blessed to have a new associate pastor, Julian Aguila, who is helping them grow to the next level. Just out of school, he is young and ready to challenge and reach the youth in the community.
On this trip, Ernie and Jessy had meetings with Santiago and Julian about affiliating with Converge. They are very interested in affiliation and with The Timothy Initiative training that is currently being implemented in Mexico. We talked about what it means to be part of Converge and how we can partner with each other for the gospel. We also connected with other churches who might be interested in Converge and the TTI movements for other trips. There are currently zero churches affiliated with Converge right now in Mexico. Jessy and other Latino pastors have hoped and prayed for the opportunity to affiliate churches in Mexico but there has been no pathway for them to do so until the merger of the Southeast in November of 2020. There are currently three potential churches in the process of affiliation with six more who might be interested. We hope to affiliate at least 8-10 total churches and create critical mass so we can start Converge Mexico. We will partner with the churches interested in TTI and then begin planting micro-churches, strengthening them with the partnership and help of Converge churches and pastors. We are planning a Vision Trip in the near future to help foster the right connections with Converge Churches and also have some short-term mission trips planned in 2022. Our team is looking forward to connecting with even more additional pastors from other churches who already have some connection to Converge churches or pastors and invite some of them to join us.
Please pray for Iglesia Baptista Torre Fuerte. You can pray for more workers for the harvest and that people’s hearts in the community would soften towards the gospel. The Roman Catholic Church leaders in this community have stopped some of the local people from participating in the VBS and other outreach events put on by the church. They also need another younger pastor to help lead their youth program and to evangelize in the community by developing programs like soccer to connect with the local youth.
The possibilities of expansion in Mexico are endless since it is connected by a large landmass to the continental United States. It is one of our biggest trading allies and the number one retirement country for US expats. We have the potential to build a movement in Mexico that could be self-sustaining and fuel our mission work throughout the Caribbean.