Profile: Jalapa, Mexico
March 10, 2017 at 6:00 AM
(Join us as we take a closer look at each of our ministry partners from the viewpoints of the ministry directors. Three to four ministries will be profiled per month, so check back often to learn more about the Luke Society's 42 ministry partners.)
Profile: Jalapa, Mexico
Q&A with the Director
Q: What are the important components to your ministry?
A: The ministry is focused on promoting the integral development of children and adolescents living in poverty. It has four components: health care; educational support, nutritional support and Gospel proclamation/discipleship.
Q: What factors led you into a career in ministry work?
A: Since I was a teenager, I wanted to help people living in poverty. I was indignant at the social injustices I saw around me so I embraced convinced communism as the only way to change things, until I had an encounter with Jesus. He transformed everything in me, except the desire to help those living in poverty. That desire increased, and soon I realized that children are the marginalized among the marginalized. I started a program to support street children with people of my church. From there Vida en Abundancia de Mexico was born. In 2002 the Luke Society came to us and has been an invaluable resource.
Q: Describe some parts of the culture in the region where you operate your ministry?
A: Our ministry is located in a marginal urban area of the city of Xalapa, Mexico. It is a region with a temperate and rainy climate, sometimes with a lot of fog, which can contribute to children to getting very sick in their respiratory tracts. Although the area has improved in the last years, there are still many families who live in houses with walls of wood or cardboard, with few or no public service. The predominant religion remains the Catholic, although it has a great syncretism that mixes a lot of idolatrous beliefs. Thanks to God, the Gospel in our area is growing more and more. A peculiar characteristic of our culture is the food which includes a lot of chili. Even the young children eat chili from the age of 2 or 3, and it is very common to find candies with chili that our children love.
Q: How are you able to witness about Christ in your ministry?
A: Each day, we seek to take every opportunity to speak about Christ. We have a devotional in our clinic every day in the waiting room giving some message of the Bible. We pray and sing praises; also the doctors share the Gospel with the patients when there is opportunity. In the kindergarten and classrooms of the school reinforcement workshop, children have a devotional before starting classes or before eating. In addition, every Saturday we have a Children's Bible School in which 60 children receive a solid teaching of the Scriptures. The last four months we have taken the responsibility of running a church group that meets every Sunday to worship God in our facilities. Between 25-30 people worship there and also hold a Bible study meeting during the week.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working in your position?
A: Definitely dealing with children. They have qualities that adults should not lose, such as innocence, the ability to trust, their ability to believe and their ease to forgive. Working with them in the name of Jesus is a privilege.
Q: What is your vision for the future of your ministry?
A: Our vision for the future is to extend ourselves to other parts of the city or to other cities with the same integral development program for at-risk children and adolescents, as well as to plant a church in this area of the city.