Pastor Chuy and I recently returned from our visit to Cora Christians in the mountains of Nayarit. Because of safety concerns on the isolated roads, it was recommended that we drive in two vehicles. We decided to travel together with pastors Eligio and Miguel Torres.
It was a joy and privilege for us to spend a week among these humble, hardworking, and loving people.
On our nine-hour drive from Tepic to Gavilanes we reviewed our main goals:
- Minister to leaders and believers
- Facilitate the Santa Teresa elders to lead the church
- Teach carpentry and basic welding skills and equip several men to help provide for their families.
Arriving exhausted, we were greeted by Gavilanes pastors Pascual and Lina, pastor Elias from Cofradía (2 1/2 hour drive), pastor Ramon from El Sabino (3 hour walk), pastor Horacio from Camarones (2 1/2 hour walk), and Venecio, who walked 5 hours from Zoquipilla to meet us!
I had to ponder how “soft” some of us back home have become.
We had a service that evening with nearly 100 attending. Lina and the church family served up goat soup, ‘cucuri’ (chili), and lots of ‘hamue’ (tortillas).
We stayed up late into the night talking with the visiting pastors as they shared with us about spreading the gospel throughout the area. This is the direct resuIt of the project “Good News to Every Cora Village’ begun by this ministry several years ago. It was a wonderful and blessed time, but too short.
We left at five the next morning, bumping along the dirt roads, arriving in Santa Teresa mid-afternoon.
After getting settled into a couple of cabins, visiting some families and a much-needed night’s sleep, we got to work. Chuy set up a welding class at Ponciano’s house. He taught Ponciano and David, who had joined us from Gavilanes.
With your donations for this project, we were able to buy and donate a couple of welder/metalworking sets and wood shop equipment such as a table saw, air compressor, and three chain saws. This equipment will help six extended families stay together and be self sufficient.
Meanwhile, for the next several days, I visited in the homes of most of the congregation. Elijio and Miguel went out on their own doing the same. Elijio also worked with the Sunday school teachers to set up and use a new printer we brought to help produce materials for the class.
The highlight of our trip was spending a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon with the six church Elders, sitting informally around a campfire discussing future plans. The depth of their maturity and resolve to work together made a great impression on me. Pastors Chuy, Miguel, Elijio and I were able to impart encouragement and also help in areas that they had questions. It was a time of seeking and praying.
It continued to rain for four days: Santa Teresa soil is red clay. With the rains it was a mess!
Even with the rainy mud, over a dozen families walked to Sunday morning service. We rejoiced as a young boy, with the worship team, played the guitar that we’d brought for him.
Chuy ministered as Ponciano translated. Everyone enjoyed tamales after church before the team headed back off the mountains to Tepic.
|We look forward to a Campestre Maranatha focus in our next update. By the way, Faye is doing amazingly well. She was able to travel north and is now in her apartment in Hubbard with family.|
We appreciate the prayers, encouragement, and support.
In Christ’s love,Rick and Kathy Byers
|For those who support the ministry financially–thank you!For the team at Campestre Maranatha, who do a fantastic jobFor the volunteers who keep the ministry going, both in La Paz and up North in Oregon–many thanks.|
Please Pray for
|Leaders in the Cora churches; unity of believersThat the Word will be spread by the Cora to all of their neighbor villagesCampestre Maranatha continue to be a blessing to Baja churchesMaranatha Ministries in Mexico|