Friday, April 19, 2013
Los Héroes Tecámac
Tuesday morning, bright and early, (after a stop by the lady on the corner selling tamales) our Avance team headed outside the city to the neighborhood of Los Héroes Tecámac. Los Heroes is a neighborhood of 70,000 houses built by the government, all alike. Street after street looks pretty much like the one pictured above. Some of the streets are fairly well-kept, others are already looking old and dilapidated, even though the community was only built six years ago. Most of these small "shoebox" homes host several generations. It is a very "suburban" community, there is a large grocery store, a school, and, of course, a Walmart. But more than anything there is row, after row, after row of houses.
The Héroes Tecámac community is the site of a church plant headed up by LAM missionaries John and Tracey Pieters. A few years ago John and Tracey left their modest, yet spacious home that they rented in Ojo de Agua and moved to Héroes Tecámac. This community of 70,000 houses sprouted up and was populated almost over night, and its lack of Evangelical Christian presence (the Pieters' church plant is the first) drew the attention of two (relatively) nearby sister churches that regularly send teams to support the new church. One of the ways this community is being reached is through door to door evangelism.
Door to door evangelism isn't a primary form of evangelism for most Christians in the U.S., but in Mexico it is still widely accepted and is very effective. In order to give our YearOut students a taste of this "frontline" evangelism we decided to join John, Tracey and the evangelism team from their supporting sister churches, Maria, Lola and Cynthia. Before heading out, Maria shared with our group why it is that they go door to door. At its base, door to dor evangelism is a very real and raw way to join in with how God is already moving. Whether people receive you is not based on anything you do or say, rather on how the Holy Spirit is moving in their lives. It's like a treasure hunt that God allows us to join, the treasure being those who are open to the moving of the Spirit and ready to let him take the lead in their lives. If people aren't ready to open their lives up to God, door to door evangelism affords the church planting team to invite the community to take advantage of some of the services they offer (guitar and English lessons).
Overall it was a very positive experience for our students. It challenged them to step outside their comfort zone and initiated challenging questions. Overall it reminded each of us that evangelism should be a lifestyle, and that we are propelled by our love for Christ and the amazing opportunity he affords us to be a part of his reconciliation. Have you ever participated in door to door evangelism? What was your experience?