The church plays a crucial role in the community. We have been called to be a light and bring hope wherever God has positioned us, whether in the countryside or the city. Wherever the Lord’s church is, we should make a positive impact as we serve our neighbors with love and share the good news of salvation. As part of our mission to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” there is also a call to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is what we aim to achieve in our communities, working together to advance and expand the Kingdom of God.
We have many opportunities for missions in West Texas. There are many people who do not know Jesus and are not part of the family of God. However, to reach these individuals and families, building bridges with other significant entities in the community is necessary. Joining efforts to provide the necessary resources and services in our towns and cities. To achieve this, it is essential to go out and connect with the people around us.
And that is precisely what a group of disciples has been doing in some places in West Texas, in collaboration with local churches such as Hope Lutheran Church in Lubbock, Prince of Peace in Amarillo, St. Paul in Canyon, and certified evangelists Beth Lauterbach and David Baldner. It’s wonderful to see both American and Hispanic pastors working in unity to impact the community with the powerful message of the Gospel. Thanks to God, we have been able to celebrate four community events in the city of Hereford in partnership with the Blue Waters Apartments.
I vividly recall celebrating the first community event last summer, the Vacation Bible School. Apart from the children already participating, we wanted more families and children to know about this event. So, a group of Hispanic missionaries, including Jaime Gonzalez, Arturo Gracía, and Jaime Durkin, hit the streets of the town, visiting different locations to invite anyone we found. We went to a humble apartment complex where there were no children, but someone gave us information about another place with many young families and children. So, we went there, and when trying to put flyers on the bulletin board outside the office, the manager came out to ask what we were doing. After explaining about the VBS and our desire to invite the community, she invited us to go inside confidently and invite the families living there.
This is how the conversations started, and relationships were established, leading to the August Back-to-School event with over 125 backpacks filled with school supplies. We also celebrated the fall festival with games, candies, and more. The Lutheran Literacy Project was another success, where many children received Lutheran books and reading material, thanks to Margaret Peterson’s work on this project. In December, we were blessed to celebrate the first Christmas Service, attending to several families from the community and sharing the Gospel message. All this work has been a collective effort involving several local churches, evangelists, pastors, leaders, and community members.
The Holy Spirit motivates us to continue, knowing that many people need to know God’s love and forgiveness. This is evident in the words of a child who participated in the VBS last summer when, after numerous biblical lessons from the young people from Hope Lutheran Church, he boldly asked, “Who is this Jesus you are talking about?”
For these kinds of questions, we move forward with God’s help, building bridges so that the gospel can reach every corner of West Texas. For the year 2024, we are planning to start an After-School program, ESL classes for adults, and soon a new Church Plant to serve this community. We pray to God and seek guidance on where we will continue to share His love and build more bridges with His Word through missionary work. Amen.
By Rev. Lincon Guerra
Area A Mission & Ministry Facilitator
BMA Liaison / Hispanic Min. Coordinator