In December, I went to the field with Doulos to serve with our newest partner, e3 Partners. For three days, we ministered to those in the Sende de Vida 2 refugee camp in Reynosa, Mexico. Inside a 10-foot-high cement block perimeter, more than 500 migrants wait patiently for their name to be called to enter another camp to get all their paperwork sorted before heading across the border into the US. Outside, there were many standing in line, waiting for their opportunity to enter and seek a more stable life. You can imagine the uncertainty and stress of the unknown that these migrants feel during this season of transition.
A local church planter, Osvaldo, has been faithfully serving the refugee camp for over 6 months, ministering to these migrants by sharing the hope of the gospel and leading discipleship efforts within the camp. During our time partnering with him, we multiplied his efforts by canvassing the camps in teams with the goal of having gospel conversations that led to a 3Circle demonstration of the gospel and ultimately connecting new believers or those who wanted to learn more with Osvaldo and his team.
There were over a hundred tents set up in rows, as well as a huge pavilion that temporarily housed close to half of the refugees in the camp. In the middle of camp, there was a tent setup on a slab of concrete that served as a dining hall of sorts. There were also a couple of charging stations around the camp that were always crowded. Since the World Cup was going on, many clumps of folks passed the time watching some of the matches during the day. Many of the migrants we talked to came from Venezuela, Honduras, Columbia, and Haiti with nothing but backpacks, strollers, and the clothes on their backs.
The average stay in Senda de Vida 2 was about 30 days. Thirty days doesn’t seem like very much time when you consider the discipleship process. Yet Osvaldo and his team have learned to wrinkle time, sharing the gospel, and setting multiple appointments a day with those who choose to follow Jesus, accelerating the discipleship process and sending these equipped believers out to share the gospel in the community. During our three days in Reynosa, we saw over 15 respond to the gospel by praying to receive Christ, 6 of whom stepped out in obedience with baptisms, and many others who engaged in studying about the seven hopes of Jesus. We even got to perform 2 weddings!
As an organization, Doulos’ mission is to empower indigenous leaders. I love seeing the different ways God is at work in hundreds of different contexts all over the world. Whether we are supplying resources to help build a water well, purchasing motorcycles for rural church planters, or partnering with local church planters ministering to refugees, our goal is to support local leaders in their efforts to reach others for Christ so that the Gospel will go further and faster to the ends of the earth
Director of Development, Southeast Region