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Sand Mountain Association churches help kick-start second mission in Mexicocomment (0)

February 22, 2007

By Crystal M. Ricks

New Era Baptist Church in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, is just a piece of ground for now. But thanks to the ongoing efforts of Sand Mountain Baptist Association, a lot of spiritual ground has been covered there already.

During a recent trip to Nuevo Laredo, 21 people from nine Sand Mountain Association churches held Vacation Bible School (VBS) activities on tables made from old doors and wood planks set on buckets. "Little becomes much when God is in it," said David Patty, director of missions for Sand Mountain Association. "We had a great VBS with 120 enrolled, and 30 gave their hearts to Jesus during the week."

This harvest is the result of seeds the association has been planting for a while.

Sand Mountain Association’s first mission in the area happened in May 2004, when 42 people from 17 Sand Mountain Association churches went to help the existing New Life Baptist Church establish a new work, Jehovah Jireh Baptist Preaching Center.

By spring 2006, Jehovah Jireh Baptist had become self-supporting. The association then helped purchase the land for a second mission — New Era Baptist. Sand Mountain Association has helped birth both missions under the leadership of Pastor Gregorio Reyes.

Reyes, a former drug runner, was saved a few years ago while in prison in the United States. He felt the Lord’s call to preach and committed to go back to Mexico to share the gospel with his people when he got out of prison.

And that’s just what he’s done. Reyes preaches three services per week at New Life Baptist, Jehovah Jireh and New Era — with 70 people meeting on the dirt lot where they hope to soon have a small block building. He also has a prison ministry, which takes him to a prison four days a week.

"It was tremendous to work with Bro. Gregorio," said Glenn York, pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Dutton. "The Lord has opened our heart for missions. It was a moving experience. Other churches are getting the vision now. We hope to return in April."

For Shannon Williams, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church, Section, this was his first trip to Mexico.

"I had a wonderful time," he said. "We went to the Mexican prison and gave blankets to two ladies who just had babies."

Pastor Matt Kilgore of Pisgah Baptist Church said one of the parts of the trip that blessed him the most was the door-to-door evangelism.

The volunteers also assisted in light construction work, staining and sanding cabinets for the new church.

"Several association church members went on the trip this time that had never been on a missions trip before," Patty said. "It was such a blessing to me to see their lives changed and to see them return to their churches with a new zeal and excitement for missions."

A church from Missouri has pledged money and resources to start a building for New Era this month. Plans are being made for volunteers from Sand Mountain Association to go back to help continue the construction in the spring.


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