A Testimony from Tapachula, Mexico

April 19, 2016

Tapachula is a city in the far southwest region of the state of Chiapas in Mexico. It is the main border city with Guatemala (Central America). Recently in Tapachula, the seminar was held in conjunction with the 80th anniversary celebration of the hosting church’s founding. Eighty people attended the seminar. Among those present were several missionaries from other areas, as well as some who had attended the seminar twenty years ago as young people. One of those who returned for the seminar/celebration had attended two decades prior and now came as a pastor. 

One lady, who was the director of the hosting church’s Children’s Department as well as the coordinator of the seminar for the anniversary celebration, agreed to have an IBLP Mexico staff woman stay in her home during the seminar. Later, the hostess shared with her guest how she had not planned to house anyone, since she worked as a teacher and did not want anyone to see her family’s home environment. Yet, in opening her home to the staff member, the two ladies—both hostess and guest—had opportunities to discuss various issues of life, including home, health, and child care. Afterward, the staff person received a letter with the hostess’s testimony (used with permission):

“I really can’t find the words to describe the many blessings I received. Twenty years ago [when] I saw the seminar, I was impacted but lost . . . further contact with the Institute. Many things had happened in my life in those twenty years that I am sorry about. The pastor and others reminded me of the seminar. In 2015, we found and contacted the Mexico IBLP office and planned to have the seminar I had [attended] 20 years ago. . . . We had the seminar and it was a success! I realized there was bitterness and resentment in my family and church, as there was a recent church split, and now the healing we greatly needed was coming through a video! I found out there was also a . . . seminar for children, the Children’s Institute.  

“I then learned there would be a Family Conference [soon after the seminar] in Guadalajara and was moved to spend our church’s Sunday School budget to attend and learn about the Children’s Institute. As the day approached, I realized I had been the head of children’s ministries for eight years, was a teacher by trade and was already very qualified. [I] could teach children easily, and this Children’s Institute thing might be just a little [thing] in my long list of accomplishments. I had never needed any training and was even planning to write my own curriculum. Why did I . . . need to go? I was having serious second thoughts about leaving my family and traveling so far. But, I followed through on my plan.  

“I was on an adventure with God. I thought, ‘I will receive some spiritual tips at this conference but God [has] a full banquet.’ I thought, ‘I will sleep in some dark dorm but God [has] prepared a mansion.’ My first impression [at the Family Conference] was observing sincere smiles, countenances full of joy, looks with special brightness in the eyes, and liberty and peace in those I saw.  

“With a bad attitude I went to look for the person who would teach me about the Children’s Institute, thinking, ‘I can’t wait to meet the one I will probably have to teach what to do with children!’ I expected to meet a mature . . . boring person but when I [met] her. . . .”

To be continued. Part 2 next week

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