Morning Star Baptist Church
Mission Trip Highlights

6/9/01 - 6/23/01

[Click here to view the photo album]

   A small group from Morning Star Baptist Church, still tired from a hectic week of VBS, left the church about 5:30 a.m. in route to Atlanta airport to board a plane to Mexico. The group included Tommy & Myra Smith, Sherry, A.J., & Crystal Brackins, and Shirley Fowler. Our plane left Atlanta late, causing us to miss our connecting flight in Mexico City. After an unexpected 3 ½ hour layover, we arrived safely in San Luis Potosi and met Missionary Bob Smith. We enjoyed hearing Brother Bob share experiences from his many years as a missionary as we traveled in his truck to the small, five hundred-year old Catholic town of Monctezuma. As we listened to Brother Bob describe experiences of establishing churches in Peru and Mexico, we became very aware that we were in the presence of one of God’s most choice missionaries.

<     Sunday morning we had breakfast and were introduced to a large group of young men and women who were helping Brother Bob with a building project at the church in Villa De Arista. Due to the size of the groups, and limited transportation and church seating space, the South Carolina group visited with the church in Villa De Arista and the Texas group visited with the church in Monctezuma. One of their group leaders drove our small group to the Iglesia Bautista Maranata in Villa De Arista to be in the Sunday morning service with Pastor Malesio. Tommy gave his testimony and Preacher Melesio translated. Crystal and A.J. played Amazing Grace with their flute and saxophone as Myra accompanied them with the guitar. Myra also gave her testimony in Spanish and played the guitar as she and Shirley sang "God is so Good" in Spanish. Preacher Melesio taught the Sunday school lesson in Spanish and translated into English. Our van driver, Brother Mickey Neadek preached the message and Brother Melesio translated into English.

     For the evening service, our groups switched and the South Carolina group visited with the church in Monctezuma and Texas group visited with Villa De Arista. Our group testified, played our instruments and sang. Pastor Raphael preached a great salvation message in Spanish. We met Pastor Raphael and his wife, Michael, their son, and Cindy, Sandy, and Aunice, their daughters. Cindy and Sandy, along with Blanca and Rosa, two sweet young Christian ladies from this church, made up the team that organized and taught the VBS in the rancheros.

     Monday morning Shirley, Sherry, and Myra met with Ms. Betty Sue to determine how we could help to relieve some of the burden of providing meals for the large group. We helped to plan the menus, organize, and began working to help with the task of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. It was obvious that Shirley and Sherry had experience planning and cooking for large groups. After a few minor adjustments for the difference in altitude, we enjoyed good southern cooked meals right in the middle of Mexico. Another small group from San Antonio arrived and immediately joined in to help with the work. It was a blessing to see how God’s children who never met before could join their hearts and hands in Christian love to work for the Master!

     Brother Bob coordinated tasks for the construction group that worked in Villa De Arista. Tommy, with the help of some of the young people, wired the buildings for electricity. Brother Bob also gave a list of tasks to clean, paint, organize, stamp tracks, duplicate preaching tapes, fix office machines, etc. to be done in the office, dining hall, and other surrounding buildings for the group that did not go to Villa De Arista. There was no lack of tasks!

     During the morning hours while the work groups were busy completing their assigned tasks, the Mexican VBS team were busy preparing posters with children’s songs, children’s Bible lessons, and crafts for the afternoon VBS meetings in the rancheros. Each evening after the meal and cleanup was completed, we loaded about 40-45 people in the truck and Jimmy (Mexican style) and headed for the rancheros for the children’s VBS. When we reached the designated spot, we unloaded musical instruments, VBS materials, and ourselves. Then, we proceeded to walk around the dusty or muddy (depending on how long since the last rain shower) village handing out candy and inviting the children to come to a "Fiesta para los niños". On our first evening we returned to the designated spot, and waited for the children. Myra looked around and saw no children and asked Sandy, "Where are the children? Do you think anyone will come?" Sandy replied, "Hermana Myra, Donde es su fe?" Where was my faith! Minutes later an abundance of children came. We played guitars, musical instruments, sang, shared testimonies, and the Mexican VBS team led the children in songs and taught beautiful Salvation messages and Bible verses to the children. After the lessons, we all helped the children to create crafts to reinforce the message from the lesson. After crafts, we all joined hands to form a large circle and played games. It was great to participate and watch the children really enjoying the fun time together. In one particular afternoon, we invited children and adults in the village of Benado to VBS. While waiting for the time to start, we played guitars and sang hymns in the courtyard of the church building. Several adults came with their children and listened to the music and children’s Bible lessons. After the lessons, some of the Christian adults shared the plan of salvation with each of visiting adults. One of these was a gentleman from one of the larger Mexican cities. Brother Bob led this Schoolteacher to the Lord, and some of the ladies led several visiting ladies to the Lord. In another afternoon following VBS, Brother Mike from San Antonio preached. At the end of the service, a 71-year-old lady and several young people accepted Jesus as their savior. Praise the Lord!

     During the morning and early afternoon hours, we also walked through the town of Monctezuma and passed out tracks and witnessed to the town’s people. Brother Bob explained to us that he had identified several key people that he was praying for. He asked us to specifically pray for and witness to a lady named Delores who owns and runs a store in Monctezuma. Brother Bob explained that she had made a profession of faith several years ago but had not followed through on joining and attending church. Because of the strong Catholic holds in the town, it is a big step for anyone to go to the Baptist church. We witnessed to Delores and invited her to church. The last Thursday evening we were in Mexico, Delores came to church. Tommy Smith taught a lesson on Put on the Whole Armor of God. Delores told us that she prayed and asked God to forgive her for her unfaithfulness and promised to begin attending church. We witnessed to several other store managers in Monctezuma. Many admited they did not know that they will go to heaven, but  explained that they were good people who love God. We shared the gospel that only believing in the finished works that Jesus Christ did on Calvary can save from Hell and give us the assurance of heaven. We shared gospel tracks and personal testimonies with many other Mexicans.  We are praying that others will  water the seeds that have been sown, and continue to plant seeds in Mexico.

     We would like to say thank you to Brother Bob and Sister Betty Sue Smith for allowing us to participate in their work. We are more determined to support and pray for the great work of love in and around Monctezuma, Mexico.