We wanted to share this recent news we received from dear friends in Mexico:
We recently heard sad news from Barry and Candy Wingo. We have all been praying intently that the Tepehuan (teh-peh-WAHN) people among whom they live would be open to hearing the Gospel. After presenting some weeks ago to the men of the village their desire to teach the Gospel, Barry and Candy received a somewhat favorable response indicating that the village leaders would consider their request . Recently, however, the leaders have made it very clear they are not interested in hearing about Jesus. One of their friends explained it like this:
“Our customs and way of life is very delicate. If we don’t fulfill all the obligations that we have, we will die out as a people. We know of people who have left the Tepehuan ways, and they have died out as a family group. So people here are afraid that you are going to change our customs, and thus cause us harm as a people. So we have to keep doing all that our ancestors have taught us so that nothing bad will happen to us. We are afraid, deep down, to leave what we have been taught, as we know we will die if we do. Since we don’t want that, we don’t want you here anymore, even though you are our friend.”
Others put it this way, “We call on all our gods, all the ones we have in the church. We find our identity in them, we have our mother and our father, and all the saints in the church, the virgin, Guadalupe, all of them. That is what our ancestors believed, and we believe the same. We are under obligation to teach our children the same. We know that you only call on Christ, and we can’t have that kind of teaching here.”
As Barry says, “What we see is just like what we read in Hebrews 2:15 ‘… all their lifetime they’ve been held in bondage through fear of death.’
…there is no openness here even on an individual level because of these fears and also fear of going against the group.”
We are all saddened to think that these men, women, and children for whom Christ died have had the chance for TRUE freedom and life, and have rejected it. We cannot make their choice for them! These people take their own beliefs seriously. Maybe someday the seeds sown will cause some of them, or their children, to have the courage to find out more about the Truth.
Barry and Candy will now move into a city in the area, where they will work with several Tepehuan families who have moved there from other villages. There is one believing family there which is not accepted in the village because they have left the Tepehuan way of life. Please pray God will build His church among the Tepehuan of Mexico, and for wisdom for Barry and Candy as they seek to reach those to whom God will lead them. They will keep on keeping on, doing each day what God leads them to do. The results are up to God!
Thank you for praying for this dear missionary couple and the unreached people-groups of Mexico!
Thank you for your part in reaching the world through your prayers and support!
George and Linda Heckman
New Tribes Mission