Mexico is home to over 120 million people. The fastest growing metropolitan area in Mexico, Querétaro, is among the cities with the highest suicide and alcoholism rates in the country. Mexico’s religious atmosphere is dominated by 80% of the population claiming traditional Catholicism as their own. Although the sense of religious custom is interwoven into Mexican culture, there is still a need for the men, women, and young people living in Mexico to know Jesus.
For this reason, Gideons in Mexico regularly strive to further the Good News of God’s Son throughout their communities. In October, God provided an opportunity to join His people in Mexico with other Gideons traveling from different parts of the world for the 2015 Mexico International Scripture Blitz.
Before the first box of Scriptures was ever opened, the blitz team prayed over the city and asked God to prepare the hearts of those who would receive His Word throughout the week. The team’s theme verse was 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” God surely brought about His salvation in many lives during the blitz, as over 110,000 copies of God’s Word were placed in the hands of the people through distributions at schools, universities, military installation centers, police stations, and hospitals.
While Gideons conducted school distributions from public sidewalks, God provided a way to reach a majority of the students, and over 100,000 students and teachers received Scriptures. “Watching the Scriptures land in the hands of so many students, I was reminded of the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus tells us the shepherd left the 99 sheep to go and find the one sheep that was lost,” said team leader Doug Vaughan.
Near the end of one school distribution, Gideons met Victor, a school principal. Victor explained he did not believe he could be a Christian. When asked why he thought so, the principal said he had visited many churches but no one welcomed him or invited him back. One Gideon pulled out a New Testament and showed Victor the plan of salvation printed on the back page. As Victor followed along with the Scriptures, the Gideon explained that everyone is a sinner, but God still loves all people. Then they talked about Jesus being God’s remedy for sin and explained how Victor could be saved. After more conversation, Victor’s heart opened to the Gospel, and he prayed to receive Christ. Before parting ways, the Gideons from Mexico made sure to find Victor a local church home where he would be welcomed and encouraged to grow his new faith.
God Prepares Hearts to Receive His Word
There were many opportunities for Gideons and their wives to talk one-on-one with people they encountered throughout the city. In fact, at least 28 people were known to pray to receive Christ as Savior during the week. Victor Rivera, a Gideon from Florida, describes the joint effort with a local Gideon, Pepe, “When God opened a door to witness, Pepe would share while I prayed over each divine appointment.” The pair used this approach each and every appointed time, and the Holy Spirit touched many hearts. By the end of the week, Rosaria, Diego, Juan Carlos, Emelia, Alejandro, Cesar, Perla, and Tere accepted the gift of salvation and signed the back of their New Testaments.
One day, Gideons drove out to a house where Scriptures were stored for the blitz. As the team arrived, Gideons noticed a “For Sale” sign posted in the front yard and a man standing nearby. The team loaded boxes of New Testaments from the house into their car, and all the while, the man watched from afar. A Gideon walked over to offer the man a New Testament. Jorge gladly received it. The two talked more and Jorge read about God’s free gift of salvation in the back. He confessed his sins and prayed to receive Christ. Jorge came to buy an earthly house that day, but he left with a home in heaven and the greatest gift of all—eternal life in Christ.
“I will never forget the sea of hands reaching for New Testaments and seeing first-hand someone sign the back page after praying for Jesus to come into his heart,” said Ron Kelly from Georgia. We rejoice and thank God for those precious souls who prayed to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and we praise Him for the 110,969 Scriptures He allowed us to distribute. We pray God will continue to reveal His Word to the people of Mexico and many more will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior through these Scriptures. It is a privilege to carry out these Scripture distributions during a time when so many people need the Lord.