MONTEMORELOS, MEXICO (June 6, 2011) – Drug cartel violence is common here, but a new church started by Chile Covenant Church missionaries is making inroads to sharing the gospel.
Seventeen people recently were baptized during a service and many others have expressed new faith in Christ, says Henoch Fuentes, an Evangelical Covenant Church minister in the United States who recently visited the church.
The church is the third one planted by Pastor Lucas Hernandez and his wife, Ana Maria, says Fuentes. They are part of a growing number of missionaries sent to foreign countries by the Chilean denomination. “It is important for Americans to know that these countries also are sending missionaries,” he adds.
The church has been renting the local headquarters of the PRI – a major political party – but recently was given a Roman Catholic chapel now owned by the city. Still, like many churches in the region, the congregation has to do more with less.
They have to bring people to the church on Sunday from a sector of the city that is too far for people to walk. “I counted 12 people in a four-cylinder pickup truck that already needs a lot of repairs,” says Fuentes, who recently visited the church.
Indicative of the violence is the death earlier this week of a college student who was shot to death during an attempted kidnapping. News agencies reported earlier this year that “a stack of dismembered men and a woman” was dumped in the city’s plaza.
Despite the bloodshed, the Covenant congregation is “helping people see hope in Jesus,” Fuentes says.
Montemorelos is a city of roughly 53,000 people in the state of Nueva Leon located just south of Monterrey. The area is known as the “orchard of the state.”