Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Immanuel" in La Piedad, Michoacan

As followers of Jesus we believe that the local church is an expression of the body of Christ—that each community of faith should envision itself as a fresh incarnation of Jesus Christ—an “Immanuel” in a specific locale. It has been especially fun to walk along with one of these local expressions of Jesus Christ in the city of La Piedad, Michoacan.

For most of their lives, Martín and Rosa Camarena—along with their children Martín, Jesús, Luis, Erica and Isaac—experienced the dark side of life in Mexico. They lived the stories of alcohol and drug addiction, abuse, violence, trauma, jail, hunger, fear and hopelessness. Then, they began to recognize the Lord’s presence and activity among them and his desire to save and transform their lives. Through a series of events, God caused our paths to cross and over the past couple of years we have all begun to catch a glimpse of God’s vision to live with and minister to the people of La Piedad through his people there.

Their simple home is being transformed into a safe place of laughter, praise and prayer for dozens of kids, friends, and extended family who live around them. Drawing on their own experience with drugs, alcohol and abuse, Martín and Rosa move among and minister to various recovery groups and dozens of people who desperately need the freedom they have found in Christ. A couple of months back, their older sons Jesús and Luis were baptized into Christ. Though they see God’s work through them in their neighborhood, this small church also lives connected to a larger fellowship of simple bodies of Christ in their region.

Immanuel…God with us…In flesh and blood. May God’s kingdom and presence continue to grow and multiply in our world!

Truama Seminar

This past May 25-27, we spent a great weekend with Hugo and Sandra Monroy. Originally from Columbia, this couple now lives and ministers in New York City. Out of their experience and ministry to trauma victims—refugees, victims of disasters, war zones, abuse, etc.—they have developed an equipping ministry for leaders and workers who are also ministering among those who have experienced high levels of trauma and brokenness.

The time was great for a small group of 25 or so of us—Mexican leaders and missionaries from Guadalajara, La Piedad and Mexico City! It was a great time of fellowship and equipping—hopefully an important time to be drawn more deeply into mission among hurting people.