These have been and continue to be our primary goals as missionaries
It is our privilege to lead medical outreaches (brigadas médicas) with the ‘core team’ of Mexican nationals that the Lord has called to work with us. These events continue to offer many and various services in an effort to meet individual needs. For some people, it means being seen by a doctor or receiving a haircut; another might need a new dental bridge, or someone else may need to see a nutritionist or consult with a lawyer.
For each one who comes with a need, we want to meet that need with the best care we can, love them well, and clearly present the Gospel. Months in advance, we are praying for them–praying that God will open their hearts to be ready to receive His free gift of Salvation. We know of 673 people who have prayed to receive Christ through these events this year. This November will mark the beginning of our 19th year of medical brigadas in Tijuana. Over 53,886 services have been given with love and 13,672 people have come to know Christ through these events.
Each brigada is held in a community park in various locations around Tijuana. Months ahead of time, Craig and Octavio work together with the Pastors’ Alliance of Tijuana to search out locations, meet with pastors, and prep churches for the event. These meetings result in many opportunities to share with pastors, hear their hearts, pray with them, and encourage them.
Eight years ago we held a brigada in the community where Pastor Felipe ministers. Since that time, he has faithfully come to help at the events in other parts of the city. As he manages the waiting line of patients, he greets each one with a smile so that they feel welcomed and loved. Pastor Abelino has been with us for 3 years now. He too has been greatly encouraged as he has seen his church grow numerically and spiritually as the people in the church have learned how to love and serve their community. Pastor Guillermo brings nursing students (about 15 of them!) to each brigada, often driving them from 1-2 hours away so they can come and serve. He is encouraged to see the gospel going forth across Tijuana. These are just three examples of pastors who have been encouraged as they witnessed the results of having the brigada in their community and are now mobilizing their church members.
This mobilization is strengthening churches. When people serve others together, they have a new perspective beyond themselves. Serving together has helped these churches come up with new ideas of what they can do on their own to reach their communities. One has started a feeding program in their neighborhood, and three churches have been birthed out of these events. The brigadas have a ‘core team’ of Mexican pastors and volunteers that has become like a family. We come together to pray together, to sweat together, to serve together, and to tangibly share the love of God with those who need to know their Savior. This core team is a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ serving together for His glory.