Home / World Updates / North America / San Louis Mexico 2007
God began orchestrating this project about four years ago during another trip to Mexico. We had the idea to outfit a trailer with camp equipment, haul it across the border and hold day camps in remote villages. After closing one door, the Lord directed our steps to another group of churches in Monterrey, mainly through Alberto Zermeno, who has translated for me on multiple occasions. We saw once again how God knows exactly what is best. These churches prayed for a long time about taking this ministry on and were very excited about the opportunity.
In March 2007, a team made up of seven staff members from The Wilds hauled a heavily loaded trailer down to Mexico for the inaugural camp trip. It took quite a while, but eventually all of the equipment made it across safely. After a few days of training, a group of 50 headed south to a small village in San Luis Potosi to hold a day camp.
Early on Saturday morning, we unpacked the van and set about experimenting with how to use the equipment. One large canvas shelter was set up to give shade for the meal lines, boxes of program equipment were pulled out and arranged, and the kitchen was set up (complete with propane tanks and burners, big pots and paddles, plates and cups, drink barrels and the like). Our flexible kitchen crew (Matt Tracy and 4 Mexican ladies) gamely set about to make things as sanitary as possible. In the meantime, about 15 counselors took a big ball and went canvassing in the village to remind the teens about camp. Even though we targeted ages 11-18, we had a boatload of little “niños” show up (around 30 each day) and ended up running a separate program for them. We honestly had no idea how many to expect, but made plans for about 150. It was so neat to see everyone pitching in joyfully.
Attendance on the first day was about 55 teens (not including the 30 little ones) with a number coming in from two other small villages as well. We found out that the Catholics had corralled a large number that day to keep them away from us! You could immediately tell that these kids lived a hard life. Although many adults and children have responded in the past, little progress had been made with this age group. The counselors showed them love right from the start and began pursuing the souls of the many unsaved who attended. Several responded for salvation that day and the counselors initiated conversations with several others.
After more canvassing in the morning, teen attendance the next day was in the 90’s – our biggest day. We had the teens register each day so that we could track those returning as well as the new ones. The Mexican men preached on the life of Joseph during the first two services of each day. During our final service that day, the Lord really broke through the hard hearts of the teens – you could really sense the conviction as a large number of teens accepted Christ. How heart-warming to see the entire building filled with campers being led to the Lord! That makes all the time, money and effort well worth it. The entire staff was deeply moved by those three days of ministry. They have caught the burden and taken ownership of this ministry. How exciting to hear them speak of many other villages that need this kind of ministry. Other churches have also expressed interest in being involved and the potential exists to send out many teams to many places year after year.
I also appreciate the enthusiasm of the staff that came from Monterrey. They gave their time and their energy to serve the Lord helping these young people come to Christ. I also appreciate the work that The Wilds staff has done. I can see the love of the Lord through them and fills my heart with joy. I also want to thank everyone that helped putting together the trailer. Because even though they don’t know us they made a sacrifice by faith. I believe that is is the beginning of a great ministry and I ask you pray that we are able to use it as much as possible for the glory of God. – With love, Denisse Zermeno
What a great blessing this week was! Specially since I know this will be the beginning of another ministry that we trust the Lord will use for his glory! How important it is to have a servant’s heart at all times! You were such a blessing to us because you had a servant’s heart and you encouraged us to do so as well. He did bless us with fruit. Thank you for pointing at the things we needed to change in order to be more useful in the Lord’s hands. May he be pleased as we strive to do his will in glorifying Him always. Lord bless you richly! – In Christ’s love, Juan Marcos Martinez
How does one even begin to describe a trip like I just experienced? I guess I will start with ‘Gracias a Dios’ (thanks to God), a phrase I heard over and over from the Mexican believers while we were doing staff training in Monterrey and while we worked together at the camp in Norias. I’m so thankful to God for what He has done in my life and in the lives of many others over the past week. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have gone on this CampsAbroad trip. It was a great privilege and I praise God for His grace in allowing me to go.
Report by Heather Tracy