Thursday, January 25, 2007

Trip to Nogales, Mexico

On Tuesday I joined a group of staff from my church to visit a ministry on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico. Our intention was to determine if, and how, we can participate and support the efforts of this ministry. The ministry is called Cuirim House. It utilizes the Celtic-Monastic rhythm approach which consists of prayer, work, and study. I found it to be a wonderful synergy of spiritual pilgrimage, outreach, and discipleship. The house is incarnational in approach in that it fits into the community. It is not Americanized. It is not a posh Christian retreat center. It looks and feels like its surroundings which are extreme poverty. The surroundings are essentially make-shift homes with no running water, heat, or sewer of any kind. This is the poorest place I personally have ever been. The needs, and therefore the ministry opportunities, are huge. The Cuirim House works through the local church in this impoverished area as they help build houses, feed hungry children, provide clothing, and minister the gospel. They do not directly provide support to the community. Rather, they honor the role of the local church. What a humble, respectful, and effective approach.

I was particularly struck by a comment made by Ramone, the pastor of the local church in this barrio: “I continue to move toward the back of the room.” What he said is that his role as a pastor is to raise up other leaders in the church who can do God’s work. He literally is moving to the back of the church as he allows maturing saints to step into the roles God has called them to: preaching, teaching, etc. He is practicing the early church approach of making disciples. He is multiplying. He is sharing the pulpit with those he is discipling as they are prepared. It is a beautiful thing; it is biblical; and it is inspiring. I pray that the churches in America will be drawn back to this call of equipping the saints and embrace this active form of discipleship from the top-down. We can learn from the whole body including the pastor of a small church in the barrios of Nogales, Mexico; even though he is not a mega-church pastor or a best-selling author.

Prayer:
Lord, I thank you for the work you are doing on the outskirts of Nogalas. You love people. You have called us to help the poor. I thank you for the obedience of Brian and the work that is going on through the Cuirim House and the local church in that impoverished, yet precious, neighborhood. May you strengthen the workers and multiply their efforts for your glory. May you receive the reward of your suffering.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This sounds awesome.

Joy Morykon said...

Eric,

thanks so much for posting this. It's such a great explaination of what they do there. I am a friend of Brian and Kirsten's. I live in Lynchburg, VA and we are working on raising some money for the Cuirim House by doing a craft fair. In this recent post explaining the fair, i included an email from Brian about where the funds will go.
http://craftydaisies.com/2007/01/12/craft-fair/

Thanks again for posting this! May the Lord Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Maybe you could do a follow up to this topic..

Kindest regards,
Rosie

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad that you said this...