By the Vida Impact Missions team in Mexico
For many years, Don Juan wondered if there really was a true God…and if there was, did that God care about him? His sense of recognizing a Creator was clouded by a maze of witchcraft and idol worship rampant in the community where he lived. Although he had some exposure to the Bible’s teachings and had heard it said, “Do not have any idol before me nor worship any creature,” Don Juan’s exposure to that very thing left him feeling confused.
Growing up surrounded by mountains and trees, and planting and reaping his own food from the soil, he couldn’t help but wonder about a God who might have created it all. The questions in his mind continued to play on repeat: Does God really exist? Can I get to know Him?
It is for people like Don Juan that Vida Impact Missions exists.
Through a missionary training and outreach ministry known as Luke 10 in Action, Vida Impact sends out disciples in pairs. Similar to the actual account found in this particular chapter of the Bible, these missionaries enter villages with nothing but their faith and the Gospel, searching for “men of peace” who will receive them into their homes.
In August of 2014, Julio and Cesar found Don Juan and his family. The family welcomed the two strangers into their home for five days, feeding them and providing them a haven in their journeys. In return, Julio and Cesar offered the family the Good News of Jesus. As the two missionaries shared from the Bible, Don Juan recalls, “It was like fish scales falling off my own eyes, getting to know a God who really cares, who I didn’t have to work to impress or else I will be destroyed!”
The following month, the Vida team returned and continued sharing the Gospel with Don Juan, his wife Maria, and their two daughters. Soon after this, Don Juan and his daughters realized the truth of what they were hearing and reading — salvation only comes through Jesus Christ. They gave their lives to Jesus and decided to follow Him. Less than a year later, father and daughters were baptized, along with seven others!
During the initial process of sharing the message of salvation through stories found in the Gospels, Vida team members attempt to cover every aspect of living for Christ. For example, using the story of the rich young ruler found in Mark 10, we explain how following Jesus comes with a price and we have to be ready to count the cost.
In keeping with this, and as is so often the case in the life of a new believer, things did not go smoothly for Don Juan and his family. Doña Maria remained resistant to the Gospel, preferring to cling to the idols and saints that had long been a part of her life. It wasn’t long before the family learned the reality of having to count the cost.
Soon after the baptisms, Doña Maria fell gravely ill, to the point that no one thought she would live. When this happened, the members of the community began to blame Don Juan and his daughters. “It’s because you changed religion,” they said.
The accusations fell heavy. It felt like the family was being attacked on all sides, but Don Juan stood firm, convinced of the truth he had discovered in Jesus. Nothing would dissuade him from following God as he prayed and continued to trust in his newfound Savior.
Beyond doctors’ expectations, Doña Maria survived. Coming to the realization that God was real, she too decided to put her faith in Jesus. The images of the saints, once so deeply worshiped, were removed from the house and remain gone to this day.
The family is the first one in their entire lineage to put their faith in Jesus and to leave behind generations of witchcraft and idol worship. Not only are they growing in their faith, but they are passionate about sharing the truth they have received, especially with their friends and extended family members.
ANM partners with Vida Impact Missions through Seedtime and Harvest, its parent ministry in Mexico.