- Please pray that the people of Tej. repent of sin and respond in faith to the truth of Jesus being the only way to a relationship with the Father.
- Praise God for sending both US and national churches to continue the work in the village of Tej.
“Do you know Jesus Christ?” This is a question we often ask when evangelizing the lost.
When asking this question in Oaxaca, Mexico, the answer will always be…. yes. There are images of Jesus everywhere in various forms (Jesus on the cross, Jesus with a crown of thorns, Jesus as a baby, etc.). Oaxaqueños have a high view of the Bible. The apostles, Jesus, and Mary are all held with a level of respect. The villages outside of Oaxaca city are unique. Neighboring villages look different, smell different, and share different traditions. Likewise, each village has a saint or virgin that is important to their village (a saint could be someone who the village chose to saint). Each village has its own Catholic church filled with several images of the apostles, saints, and virgins (virgin Guadalupe, Juquila, Soledad, etc.). Even though the community may be poor, money is spent to keep the church well-cleaned and stocked with images, flowers and candles. Larger amounts of money are also saved for specific holy holidays.
As a follower of Jesus, I have realized the importance of dying to self in a new way. I have opened myself up to learning the specific traditions and beliefs of the people. In the boldness of sharing the gospel, I need to know who it is that I am evangelizing.
It takes great patience to be a missionary in Oaxaca, Mexico. I have learned many things from a beautiful people in the village of Tej. Tej is unique because the people dislike their Catholic priest. A small handful of people attend mass and less money is spent on the church. However, the majority of the people will identify themselves as Catholic. The people I have shared with are very open to discussing the Bible. They love to hear stories and have admitted that they don’t often read their Bibles. I have had the opportunity to share the gospel many times with the same people.
One of the major barriers to the truth goes back to the question, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” Oaxaqueños struggle to see their need for someone they believe they already know. Many of the people have stories about a specific virgin/saint that helped them during a time of need. Their eyes have not been opened to Jesus being the Only sufficient sacrifice for their sin (John 14:6).
All I can do is be faithful to live in pursuit of my Savior, proclaiming his life, death, and resurrection. The Lord is the One who will open their eyes to the truth, so that they may respond (Ephesians 2:8, John 3:16-18, 2 Corinthians 4:6). I am eternally grateful for the relationships the Lord has given me in Tej. I am reminded of His plan and thankful to see the fruit of His work. Jesus has begun to strip away the barriers that plague this village to reveal the glory of His name (John 1:9-14, Luke 21:27).