NEAR | Mexico City
Senda De Vida
Tragic circumstances often brings about major change. That is exactly what happened to Senda de Vida (SDV) when their roof collapsed at their church. The roof, debris, and rebar covered where they once met to worship. Some churches would have called it quits, but Pastor Alex and the leaders of SDV knew God had another plan.
The people of Mexico City (and the country of Mexico) are resourceful people. With that, SDV decided to begin meeting in a park just a few blocks from where their church was located. They began setting up tarps, hanging them from trees. They started to worship outdoors. In doing so, their mission began to change. Instead of focusing on their worship space, they made intentional discipleship their priority. They knew that all people need to be discipled. Those who were curious about Christ and those who were new to the faith were connected with someone who was a mature follower.
Not long after the shift, the church began to grow. Eventually, they were asked to leave the park. In their resourcefulness, they went back to their property and they took their tarps with them. Each Sunday individuals from the body of SDV would set up a make shift roof over their sanctuary, and people would come into worship from all over Mexico City (often traveling up to three hours to get there). The lack of a roof, the space in which they worshiped, and the lack of resources weren’t an issue for them. All that mattered was to them was to be intentional in their discipleship process, and to make Jesus famous throughout Mexico City and beyond.
As they grew, both to be strategic and to make room for more people to be discipled, SDV began to plant churches. Familia de Vida was the first church plant, and like its sending church, Familia de Vida has grown. This past year SDV has launched two more church plants, Verdad para las Naciones and Senda de Vida-Tlaxcala. This summer SDV has plans to launch its next plant in Jalisco, a state several hours away from Mexico City. As SDV is making Jesus famous across their country, they are now are praying about how God can use them around the world.
This August, a team from College Wesleyan Church (CWC) will join our brothers and sisters at SDV to celebrate with them the completion of their roof. This has been a two year project, and a partnering project in which CWC and SDV joined together to raise the funds to make it possible.
In 2013 CWC asked Global Partners (GP) to help us find a partnering church in a “Near” location. We were looking for a partnership that could be built upon mutuality and reciprocity. GP recommended that we should meet with Pastor Alex and his team at SDV. Pastor Steve and Pastor Jarod flew down to to Mexico City to meet with the leaders of SDV. While there one of the most obvious thing that we noticed was their lack of a roof over their worship space. During that trip CWC offered to raise the funds to rebuild their roof. Pastor Alex pushed back. He stated that if a partnership was to be established between CWC and SDV they wanted relationships over resources. That was a pivotal moment not only for the partnership between our two churches, but also for Outreach at CWC.
Since that first trip we have had annual teams go down to Mexico City to build relationships with our family at SDV. During those trips we never do for SDV what they can do for themselves. Though, we have had opportunities to serve alongside of them at dental clinics, in homeless ministries, and other outreach opportunities. Friendships between CWC members and SDV members have been established. Our small groups and their cell groups are connecting and investing in one another. Teams from SDV have flown up to join us in Marion, and have served alongside of us. SDV, through their intentional discipleship process, has helped us rethink what discipleship can look like. Now we are beginning to dream and pray with one another on how our two churches can come together to engage a mission field as one team, serving side by side.