Thursday, December 01, 2005

November 2005

November 2005

José Lopez was in his early thirties when Kirt and I met him the first year we were in Tepic. Román, the first Huichol to give his heart to Cacáüyári, the one true God, had shared the truth with José, who had been fruitlessly searching, and he repented of his past, asked forgiveness for his sins, and accepted the gift of salvation. Life for José was never again the same.  He became obsessed with sharing the Good News with the people of his tribe scattered throughout the rugged mountains of Nayarit. His single-minded, unwavering focus resulted in rejection, persecution and great personal loss, but hundreds have come to Christ through his witness. The villagers of Guásima del Caimán, where José was born and raised, expelled him from the village, but he never gave up praying for his family and friends there.

He studied God’s Word diligently, and eventually he became the pastor of the little group of believers in his new village of Salvador Allende. Last month, a messenger from Guásima del Caimán arrived at his home with a message from some of the villagers that they were ready to listen to him. For the first time in 25 years, José returned to his natal village and found many villagers waiting to hear the “Good News” from which José has not deviated since the day he accepted. Thirty-six Huichols received Christ during his visit, and others are considering the Truth. Around half of them made the long journey on foot to the sister village of Zapote de Picachos for the dedication celebration of their new building the first week of November.

Placing their faith in Cacáüyári and His provision for their forgiveness is not without cost. The village shaman is furious and went directly to the municipal judge to stir up trouble for them. The newborn believers were brought before the judge and his council who threatened to take their fields and crops from them and to banish them from the village.

Mauricio, one of those infant believers, came to my house this week along with Pastor Manuel and Pastor José to discuss “what the Bible says about enduring persecution.”  In the course of the conversation, he shared that he has determined that no matter what happens, he will not waiver in his decision to accept Christ. He has burned all of the trappings from his “old ways”; he has resolved with God’s help to never again touch the tequila and corn liquor that he and his neighbors continuously drank until they passed out; he has determined not to participate in the religious ceremonies in honor of the many gods of his old religion, and he has resolved no longer to beat his wife and children, but to lead them in the Truth. Then came the clincher:  Mauricio is the son of the shaman. In the short time since he believed, he has been stoned, his children have been refused admission to the rural school, and the municipal judge has declined his signature on the application for schooling in Tepic of Mauricio’s oldest son, who is nearing completion of secondary school. Please pray with me that Mauricio and the band of believers in Guásima del Caimán will stand firm and continue to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever.”  II Peter 3:18

As always, I am forever grateful for your love and care that allows me to be here sharing God’s love in Tepic.


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