As we have been faithfully studying the Spanish language down here in Mexico for over two years we have been praying that the Lord would make it clear to our family what team we should join for our long-term future ministry in the country. If you subscribe to our email updates, or are practical partners of our family, you already know that we recently made a final decision about our next direction here in Mexico.
Back at the end of February we made a family trip down to Mexico City to visit our mission run Bible Institute. It was a wonderful trip and we were greatly encouraged by the ministry going on down there. We have had a sense for a long time that it would be an ideal fit for our gifting as individuals and our heart for discipleship. We had been praying about joining the team in Mexico City and after returning began having dialogue with the team down there and our leadership team up here.
We are thrilled to report that the team in Mexico City, the Ospina and Tibberts families, have officially invited us to join their team and we have accepted their invitation! It is with great joy that we share with you that we now have a team with whom we will be serving in our new place of ministry, Mexico City.
Our goal as an organization is to reach the least reached peoples of the globe with the Good News of salvation in Christ and to see churches planted among these peoples. Mexico is a country that we work in because there are many large groups of indigenous peoples who have yet to have a clear Gospel witness in their heart language. So the field of Mexico receives cross-cultural workers (like our family) to work among the indigenous people groups.
Mexico is also what is called a “sending field.” This means that in Mexico we train Mexican cross-cultural workers and send them out to reach the people groups of Mexico and to the ends of the earth. In order to become a member of our organization, each candidate has to have four years of training: two years of Biblical studies from a Bible Institute, college or seminary as well as two more years in our cross-cultural training program.
We have three national training schools in Mexico, together called the Instituto Misionero Transcultural. Two of them are Bible schools and the third is a Cross-Cultural Training school. The institute in Mexico City meets the minimum Biblical studies requirements (Phase 1) to enter the Missionary Training school (Phase 2).
At the Bible Institute students receive formal teaching through the Scriptures as well as practical ministry equipping. When we visited this last time, the students were taking Scripture Memory, Romans and 1 Corinthians. They have classes during the mornings and early afternoon, and then almost every day of the week they are involved in ministry outside in the community. Specifically, as part of the program, the students are trained in how to do evangelistic, chronological Bible teaching through the Scriptures.
This school has been a huge success, having trained many young people in the Scriptures and challenged them to consider cross-cultural missions. Many of the students have either gone on to the next level of missionary training, gotten involved in local ministries or are still planning on going with the mission. It has been very exciting to see the passion of the young people down there being trained in the Word and receiving practical ministry training.
Our leadership team is supportive of this direction for our family and we have discussed with them when we will be allowed to move down to Mexico City. Because we will be teaching in Spanish right when we begin our ministry, they have required us to reach a high level of fluency in Spanish before we make the transition down there, which is understandable. We greatly value clear and effective communication in the Spanish language as we look ahead to our ministry as teachers and disciplers!
Our Future Ministry
We are really excited about being a part of this incredible ministry. This Bible Institute is amazing and unique, and we love how the student body and staff feel like family. The emphasis on discipleship is evident and there is a focus on spending time with people. We love that. One of the current challenges for the school is to meet the high level of interest with limited staff. The current faculty include Oscar & Sharon Ospina and Ken & Betty Tibberts. All four of them are involved to some level in teaching and discipleship with the students. However, there has been a need for more staff for the school who can carry the weight of discipleship and Bible teaching. We are excited to be joining these two families as faculty of the school. I (Tom) will be involved in teaching Bible classes and discipleship with students and Beth will also be involved in discipleship with students.
A Pressing Need
The Bible Institute is facing another need that is very pressing and that is the need for space! Currently the Bible School functions out of the home of one of the staff families! Can you imagine using your very own home to hold daily classes, daily feed large groups of people and also house students? It’s a big deal and the Ospina family has sacrificed a lot of their own space and comfort to enable the classes to continue. Our mission down here in Mexico is currently raising funds to build a new facility for the school or renovate an existing building. This is a huge need, but worth it considering the level of interest of future students in being grounded in the Scriptures and discipled into maturity.
At this point, we would like to invite YOU to consider making a financial contribution to this practical and pressing need. You would be making an investment into the lives of students and future disciple makers, serving both here in Mexico and even to the ends of the earth! Follow this link to learn how you can be a part of impacting the lives of students in Mexico City by meeting this need: https://ethnos360.org/projects/mexico-bible-school
It was a huge encouragement to be able to see our new teammates at our field conference back in early June and to spend some time with them discussing ministry and the future. We are very eager to begin our next phase of ministry with them as our coworkers.
We have been studying hard and it will take a lot of hard work and discipline but we believe that in the Lord’s strength we can do it. Will you pray for us to continue to have good quality language study? Pray especially that our minds would absorb some of the hard grammatical structures that we are battling with, and that we can reach he level we need to in order to get down there as soon as possible and be a part of what God is doing down in Mexico City!