“Despues de esta 35 conferencia, queremos heredarle a nuestros niños y jovenes una iglesia sana. Limpia y con vision! Felicidades metodistas libres del noreste.” [After this 35th conference, we want our children and youth to inherit a healthy church. Wholesome and with vision! Congratulations Free Methodists from the Northwest [Mexico].]
- Pastor Alejandro Collins, Tecate
There was a renewed spirit and a notable sense of recommitment at the Mexico Northwest Annual Conference. Meeting in the border town of Tecate, in 100-degree weather, people celebrated the conference’s 35th anniversary, telling stories and showing photos of how the Free Methodist Church was formed in this part of Mexico. Everyone was reminded of how we are building on the prayers, work, vision, and sacrificial labor of numerous people over the years.
Churches were started right there in the heat of the desert and with very few resources. From the beginning, church planters and Mexican missionaries, several of whom were women, started outreaches and compassion initiatives, building the Church from the ground up. Some of these pioneers were at this conference and stood up to publicly and powerfully bless the current and future generations of this work.
“Estaba pensando en retirarme, pero esta conferencia me ha animado a seguir dando todo lo que pueda para el crecimiento de la obra en Tijuana.” ["I was thinking of retiring but this Conference has encouraged me to continue giving all that I am able so that the work in Tijuana grows."]
We could all sense a new breath of the Spirit of God and took time in the worship services to breathe deeply once again. John Wesley often preached about a theology of spiritual respiration and our constant need to inhale and exhale, receiving the breath of God that transforms us and breathing out grace and love and transformative action. This conference reminded us all that we serve a Living God who is continuing His kingdom work in Northwest Mexico and in the world and we get to be a part of it here and now.
Over meals, youth shared stories of how God was using them to reach their friends. Others shared how doors were being opened to minister to broken families and single-parent homes. One pastor shared how they had gone to pray for a young man who was in the hospital and about to die. God performed a miracle and the young man is alive and back home and increasing in health and strength.
In a historic moment, the Mexico Northwest Conference received a record number of eleven Conference Ministerial Candidates — those who are training and studying to become fully ordained pastors.
- For people to continue breathing in God’s Spirit and breathing out creative ministry initiatives that transform lives and communities.
- For the youth who are starting Bible studies, reaching their friends, and dreaming of how God can use them in their studies and careers.
- For three people who we hope will be ready for ordination in 2013.