Okay so maybe that was a little dramatic but you're already here so why not keep reading? As our new service year starts out I wanted to share some of the good experiences we have been having here in the field ministry.
A few weeks ago one of our pioneers, Liseth, was in the house to house work. As is our custom after introducing herself she asked if anyone in the house spoke English. The man replied he had a son who did and he went to get him. After some time the man came back and said his son was asleep and he wasn't able to awaken him (typical teenager). So our sister made arrangements to call back on the young man which she did and placed a Bible Teach book with him.
So yesterday morning we are making return visits and Suzanne and Liseth call back on *"Jake". They found him at home and began reminding him of their prior conversation. He went to get his book and mentioned that he and his brother had been reading the book and were already up to chapter 3. He even said he has been taking the book with him to school and reading it during his free time there. Jake is 13 and has lived most of his life in the U.S. His family returned to Mexico last year and he is fluent in English. Liseth was able to consider five paragraphs at the door with him and arrangements have been made for a Bible study to continue.
Sometimes we are finding interest by word of mouth as well. For example recently there was a funeral held for a sister who was a member of one of the Spanish congregations here. While at the funeral a brother in the Spanish congregation told Brother Gomez that he had been trying to witness to a young man in his neighborhood. It seems that there was some difficulty though as the man had lived in The States for a number of years and was more comfortable talking in English than in Spanish. Could we call on him? (of course! )
The following Wednesday we are out in service and Brother Gomez is relating to me what happened. He tells me the house is kind of far, on the other side of Guasave and he did not know the number only the street and a description of the house. I agreed to go with him, kind of thinking to myself "this is going to be a wild goose chase". So off we drive over the river and through the woods, down some of the narrowest, bumpiest, pothole and crater filled streets I have ever seen. We followed the landmarks we were given: turn right just past the school, there is a big oak tree in the middle of the road and his house is in the next block. Finally we reached the street.
We did not find a house like the one described to us but we knocked on a door (hey, this is Mexico and the people are friendly) and a nice old lady told us that yes there was a man named *"Chris" in the house directly across from her; but she added that she didn't think he was home because she saw his car leave earlier in the morning. We thanked her and decided to knock anyway seeing how we were already there. After a brief wait Chris came to the door and we started a conversation with him. He invited us in and ironically he had been watching some religious programming on T.V.
We were able to place a Bible Teach book with him. He said he was concerned about his family and his young son so we are considering the chapter on how to have a happy family life. During our study we mentioned the name Jehovah many times and at the conclusion we asked if he knew who that was, he did not. When we opened his Bible ( in Spanish ) to Ps. 83:18 and Isaiah 42:8 there it was clear as day: Jehova ! There is something very gratifying about teaching someone the divine name. He read with his own eyes, in his own Bible and recognized it as truth! Chris mentioned that he often prays to the saints and he wondered if they listen to his prayers. We used the scriptures to show him that prayers should be addressed to Jehovah through Jesus. He seemed to grasp the point and we asked if we could demonstrate to him how we should pray. He kept thanking us and we have arranged to conduct a regular Bible Study with him as well. Chris also had lived in the U.S. for over ten years.
At times some have asked us why are we trying to preach in English in Mexico, don't they already speak Spanish? We are seeing every week examples just like the two above, people who spent time in the States or Canada and for whatever reason are now back home in Mexico. Some want to continue practicing English so they won't forget it. Some find themselves to be like outsiders, more Ingles than Espanol. Others are disappointed by the economic conditions and disillusioned by the realities of life on the other side as they say here. But they are spiritually hungry and humble. It makes for very pleasant and productive preaching here in Guasave.