The first trip of the second round of Luke 10 Exploration Trips went out from April 24 to May 1 to Mexico, with a team of ten people.
Ten exploration teams made trips to ten different destinations and peoples between April 2022 and March 2023. These trips were the first round of exploration in discerning potential new fields for EFM to launch as part of EFM’s Five-Year Goal. It was determined that eight of those destinations require a second trip for further, deeper, exploration. Further exploration will help EFM to begin making decisions about where to make commitments in November 2023 to send North American households to launch new fields. See more information aquí.
The following is a report written by trip leader Maria Giron.
|Who Was on this Trip & Where Did We Travel?|
The members of this team were: Maria and Edwin Giron (EFM), Marco Martinez, (EFC-MAYM), Erik Nilsen (FSW), Ernesto Ramirez (Superintendent of Mexico YM-Central), Elizabeth Ramirez (Director of Mexico Friends Theology Institute), Pedro and Sandra Moscosa (Future Church Planters- Mexico YM Central), Wilmer Vicen (Coahuila Friends YM-North), and Tyson Contreras (Coahuila Friends YM-North).
In the State of Jalisco, we traveled to Ameca, Mixtla, Cocula, the little town of La Estanzuela, and San Martin de Hidalgo. In the state of Nayarit, we traveled to Tepic, Compostela, Zitacua- a Huichole Town, and San Blas.
|What was our experience traveling here? How did the Lord meet us?|
In each city or town, it was very evident how God led us to very kind people willing to talk with us and tell us about the needs of the families in that place. On this trip, we noticed more open-heartedness in people to listen to the scriptures, in some cases, as if people were hungry to know more about God through the Bible; as if they were realizing that religion is no longer enough for them.
We had at least four cases in which, while the team was together having a devotional or simply praying in the middle of the town’s plaza, somebody heard us and approached asking for prayers for healing. Sometimes we thought that they were street vendors asking for money or selling objects, but we were wrong, it was as if it were God sending us evidence of the need that exists in the people of those territories.
In a town where we were invited to visit a small group of women who met frequently to study the Bible, after having a time of worship together, we saw how God opened the doors of their homes and many of those women invited us to enter their homes to pray for their sick ones but also they each shared their stories with us, in which we noticed that in each family there was a tragic story that has left marks of pain and suffering in their hearts. God made us raise our eyes to see many people without a shepherd and hopeless. God raised our eyes to see how the fields in those places are ready for the harvest.
|One Trip Highlight: The Youth in Zitakuya|
One afternoon we arrived at a town called Zitakua in the state of Jalisco where a large community of Huichol people live. We walked a bit through the streets until we reached a multipurpose court, and our attention was drawn to see many young people gathered there to play or see others play volleyball. We stood there and some of our team started chatting with some of the kids who were watching the game, to our surprise a young man asked for a bible because he had never read one. Soon one of our team ran to our car and brought several Bibles to give away. Other young people, seeing that Bibles were being given away, also approached, and that’s when two of our young future missionaries began to read Biblical passages and presented the good news of the Gospel to those young men. That was a divine and Kairos moment for those young men and without a doubt with great effect for eternity.
|How Can You Pray for Next Steps in this Country?|
- Pray with great intention so that God raises up brave people who are willing to say “Here I am Lord, send me now.”
- Pray for the searching, the recruiting, and the sending of those who are ready.
- Pray for the city of Cocula. It is a potential place to start a new church in the state of Jalisco since it is a growing city, with enough resources and it is a central city from where many surrounding towns are supplied, and perhaps many towns where ministries could be developed.
- Pray for Zitakua- The Huichole’s Town. We detected a feeling of welcome in this place, especially among the young generation. In the youth, we could perceive a curiosity in them to learn about Jesus through reading the Bible.
- Pray for Mexico Yearly Meeting as they work with and take the next steps for those wanting to plant churches in Jalisco.
The second round of Luke 10 Exploration Trips continues through October 2023. The EFM National Luke 10 Think Tank will meet on November 8, 2023 to look at which fields meet EFM’s CAN GO Criteria for launching new fields and begin making the first decisions as to where EFM will commit to deploying missionaries by the end of 2025.
Are you Feeling Called to Join EFM?
Are you interested in exploring missionary service? Do you know of anyone of any age who might be interested in exploring the idea of serving as a missionary overseas for two or more years?
EFM is currently looking to contact and connect with people about opportunities to explore serving as missionaries with the Friends Church!
We look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available about what we are finding and discerning in EFM’s Luke 10 Initiative.
Director of Mobilization