"Harvesting Harvesters"

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In the preaching of the gospel, it is essential to search out those who have not heard.

Jesus did it: Lu 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Paul did it: Ro 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:

Jesus commanded it: Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

It is clear that they have not heard until they have heard in a way that is understandable to them.

2Co 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

1Co 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

But Why The Mexican
Indian People Especialy?
And What Is Different About Them?

For more than four hundred years, they have kept their tribal customs, and their languages in spite of the dominant Spanish culture. Think about what that says about how closed their cultures have been! They have been closed because of the language barrier, because of natural barriers (canyons, mountains, etc.), but especially because of the cultural barrier. True there have been changes in their cultures, but changes that were initiated from the outside have always been resisted stubbornly, and still are. This includes the changes that the gospel could have brought. And their cultures are so fragmented that almost each village is a separate culture, and dialect.

A large part of this resistance falls away when the peer pressure of the village is not there to back it up (i.e. when individuals or smaller groups are away from their villages). David Gutierrez (missionary among the Zapotecs of Puchutla, Oax.), after 18 years of labor with his wife among them, came in 1991 to Culiacan, and after two weeks he said that 18 years of labor had not produced as much fruit among them as those two weeks of outreach when they were so far from home.

Although for centuries individuals from some of these mountain villages have drifted out to the outer world seeking work and relief from their grinding poverty, they were the exception. In recent decades, natural disasters in their homelands, and the availability of work in other areas, and cheap transportation to get to those areas have combined to encourage what today is a major people-movement, a veritable flood of Indian villagers moving North looking for opportunity. Yet their ties to their homelands are very strong, and most return as often as they can. While they are away, they are wide open to the gospel message, and the majority of evangelical churches that have been established in these Indian villages were established in just that way: Indian men and women were led to Christ while they were away from home, and returned with the gospel. Sometimes, (since the change seemed to be initiated from within the group by those returning) they were received, and a local church was born. Other times, the change was rejected by the rest of the village, or the leaders, and the believers were driven out, or murdered.

The work that my wife and I have dedicated ourselves to for the past twenty years has often been criticized because it does not result directly in what the religious world is pleased to call churches, and yet this type of work has been responsible for the establishment of at least 67 such churches (figure quoted from Dr. Gerry Gutierrez in 1998). If the church be defined in a more biblical way, the number would be much higher. Your ministry to these people while they are in your area will doubtless contribute similarly to the advancement of the kingdom of God in regions far from your personal reach. But it will require an investment of time, finances, and love on your part, and bring little visible return this side of glory. Never the less, it is perfectly in line with the expressed will of God. Are you ready?

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© Dave & Ella McMullen, 2001
(Harvesting Harvesters)

Last update
Oct. 15, 2001