ADVENT MESSAGE 2004
From Mexico Missionaries, Muriel & Terry Henderson
“… Prepare the way of the Lord, …” Luke 3:4-6
Advent is a time of preparation; a season in which we can focus on the promised return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Once again we prepare to embrace the gift God sent to earth in his son, Jesus, and throughout the year we prepare our hearts and lives for Christ’s second coming and in that process ready ourselves for ministry here and now.
Preparation for transformation and ministry is an integral part of the “Give Ye Them To Eat” program and that which the GYTTE staff and missionaries are involved in day to day. We are given the privilege of assisting people in the process of transformation and preparation for service. As they serve their families, churches and communities, others are given similar opportunities and thus the circle expands.
As an Advance Special project of the GBGM, the GYTTE program serves rural families in south-central Mexico by providing training in agricultural, community and livestock development, community-based primary health care, and church and faith development. There is also a small scholarship program to prepare rural youth for future leadership. Over the past 25 years an equal number of students have graduated from training centers, colleges, universities and seminaries to serve the church and their nation.
In just the past eighteen months four scholarship students have graduated and their preparation for service is now bearing fruit. Each of them had to leave their village in order to prepare for service. Yanet Lira’s college studies were in education at the regional Normal School. For the past year and a half she has been serving with the GYTTE program, offering villagers training in health, hygiene and community development.
This past summer Miguel Quintana completed his college studies in communications at the Institute for Higher Eduacation and now works full-time with the GYTTE staff in developing a new training program that combines agriculture, community and livestock development issues and practices. The community development course will be hosted at GYTTE’s “Tree of Life” Training Center the second week of December. This will be the first in a series of leadership training courses for villagers and farmers searching for development opportunities for their families and communities.
Raquel Balbuena and Maria Calixto graduated from the John Wesley Seminary in Monterrey, Mexico June 20, 2004. Both Raquel and Maria had received God’s call into full-time ministry yet, coming from a rural background, their financial reality did not reflect a promising picture for seminary preparation. But their studies were made possible through GYTTE‘s scholarship program and the faithful support of U.S. sponsors. Four years of hard work and commitment as well as God’s constant care, love and direction have given them the privilege of serving God and community in local Methodist churches. At the Southeast Annual Conference Raquel Balbuena was appointed to serve as pastor to two congregations and two missions in the area of Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca. Also in July, Maria Calixto was appointed to serve in the Northwest Annual Conference as pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Agua Prieta, Sonora, on the Mexico-Arizona border.
Just as Yanet, Miguel, Raquel and Maria have prepared for service to God and country so each of us needs to prepare for a mature relationship with God and service to others in this needy world. Fortunately, Advent breaks into our busy schedules and days to remind us that preparation is an essential component for our spiritual well being and our calling to share the “Good News” of the transforming experience of the Christ.
Mission donations, in support of the GYTTE program, empower people for service to God and neighbor. We invite you to consider the ministry of “Give Ye Them To Eat” in your giving. For information on how to make a donation for academic scholarships go to the link titled Donations.
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