LAST WEEK IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
September 30, 2023, will be forever in the history books of the churches of Christ in Mexico. It was the first time that about five hundred and fifty young teenagers came together as one for this youth rally. Teens from six different states that surround the Yucatan came to this gathering. It was quite a sight that had never been seen before.
Steve Smith, Sam Welsh and I had the privilege of preaching to these teens. These teens were hungry for the Word of God. Not only were they encouraged by the lessons preached but they were encouraged when they saw for the first time that there were others like them. They saw that they were not alone in the cities and villages where they came from. They realized that they are part of a big family, a family that will help and support each other.
What really called my attention was the leadership shown by the teens from the congregation that organized the event. The teens from the congregation of Emiliano Zapata in Merida were the ones who organized the event. They did not have enough funds, so they sold food, washed cars, and sold used clothing in order to have enough for the event.
They did not realize that teens were arriving as far as 12 hours away from the state of Chiapas and other states far away. Those teens that were arriving a day before, needed a place to stay and several meals even before the event started. Thanks to God, all came into place. Several donations were made to pay the rent for the place where the event was going to take place, and for the food for the day of the event.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
Thirty years ago, I left the Yucatan, and at that time the churches were growing fast thanks to the hard work of Justo Dorantes Sr. At that time, there were maybe a handful of teenagers including myself. There were no youth gatherings of any kind. To realize what just happened last week in the Yucatan was something that brought tears to my eyes. The work done by brothers like Justo Sr. will continue by the next generation of leaders. The future is bright for the Churches of Christ in south Mexico.
I want to thank the elders and the Beltline congregation for all your prayers as we participated in this historical event. Steve and Sam became one with the teenagers. The teenagers welcomed them and embraced them as one of their own. (Deuteronomy 31:6) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”