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franklin county times

Meridian missionaries spread
the gospel in Reynosa, Mexico

By Staff
Goodbyes were always the hardest. Tears flowed at times and some of the children would chase us down the street as our bus pulled off.
Reaching out to the lost
Over the course of four days, we had the chance to participate in more than a dozen of these outreaches. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we participated in service at a local church with the adults, while more than 100 children many of those we had been witnessing to all week took part in a vacation bible school outside.
Then came Saturday.
No more outreach performances. No more church services in Reynosa. No more vacation bible school amid the rocks, sticks and assorted bits of trash that line the street that was being used as a makeshift stage.
On Saturday, we took part in street ministry and most of it centered around Boys' Town.
The thought of what was going on inside took our breath away. We began to pray and pray hard. Some of us placed our hands on the walls and began spiritual warfare, while others politely stood on the sidewalks near the gate and sent up heartfelt prayers to God.
People continued to enter and exit Boys' Town as we prayed. We were never harassed, asked to leave or questioned at all. It was simply "business as usual."
We then began to walk around the walled compound and pray for the neighborhood that surrounds Boys' Town.
The people smiled and waved and looked at us with curious eyes. But that all seemed happy to have us there.
A changed man
After we returned to the bus, we split up into groups of less than 10 each armed with at least one interpreter and spread out into the neighborhood surrounding Boys' Town.
It was about a half block away that I encountered Cecilio.
He and two other men were working on a car, seeking some shade from the 100-degree heat.
We approached the men and Cecilio stepped out to see what we wanted. He leaned back against the car, crossing his arms as Nathaniel, one of our interpreters, began to speak with him.
He listened intently, saying he had never really heard about Jesus and what he did for us. It didn't take long for one of his co-workers, a bigger man, probably near 40-years-old, to step out and lean up against the car next to Cecilio.
You could tell he was taking in every word of the interpreter.
As he began to ask Nathaniel questions, Vanessa, the other interpreter, began to talk to Cecilio. She then turned to me and asked if I would like to talk to him.
I began to share the love of God with Cecilio, telling him about how we were all born with sin and had a choice to make regarding our souls and eternity.
You could see his very countenance change. He listened carefully as I talked about Jesus and how he died so that we could be saved.
When he was asked if he wanted to accept Jesus as his savior, he eagerly agreed. Vanessa and I led him through The Sinners' Prayer. When he was done, I thought he was going to jump into the air. There seemed to be knew life in him.
Vanessa handed him a Spanish pamphlet for new Christians and he read through it like he was digging into a steak for the first time in his life. His hunger was incredible.
We then gave him a copy of the book of John in Spanish. After reading the first couple pages, he came back to us again, wanting to know more about Jesus. We directed him to the local church.
Cecilio's life was changed that day, as was the life of the man Nathaniel was able to lead to Christ.
But, we had to leave.
Before we left, the eight of us in our group walked just a few feet down the street, held hands and prayed that God would use Cecilio and his friend to change that neighborhood; to spread the love of Jesus and bring down the walls of Boys' Town.
To some it may have been just one simple prayer and Cecilo may just be one simple man.
But to me, it is the beginning of a miracle.
Austin Bishop oversees the sports department of The Meridian Star and is the youth pastor of Trinity Assembly of God, located at the corner of Chandler Road and State Boulevard Extension, Meridian.

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