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By: Joy Frederich on: August 17, 2013
Story Type: Story    

Learning Boldness in Mexico

I am eternally thankful for the incredible eight week opportunity I had in Mexico to learn about and experience Mexican culture, serve and love alongside the church, and meet so many amazing new people. One of the biggest revelations for me was the beauty of the Holy Spirit and the way it is moving everywhere that Christians are, among different cultures, nations, people groups, languages, etc.

Growing up in the American church, I have an idea ingrained in my mind of what a sermon, worship, and a church service should be like. Although people and cultures have different ways of communicating, worshipping, and loving others God uses them to reach their communities and families with the gospel as well.

I witnessed boldness in the Mexican church that I don’t see as much here to serve and love and share the good news. I met Christians with unbelievable testimonies of God’s grace and goodness who were not shy or afraid to share their stories as examples of God’s power and love.

It displayed for me the burden that we as Christians need to have to share our faith and to see our friends and family saved. It renewed my sense of purpose as I return to Colby in the fall and begin my sophomore year. I pray that God will give me opportunities to share what I’ve learned in Mexico with my friends and classmates and look for moments to share my faith with boldness and love.

The Mexican church and the missionaries I met were a living example of the reality of Matthew 16:24–26 where as Christians we are commanded to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. It’s not enough to say we believe and continue on with school, work, etc. as silent or secretive believers. As a Christian — even without having ever experienced serious persecution — I live in somewhat constant fear of being shunned or rejected if I speak up and share my faith.

This is somewhat of the reality in American culture today, but it was cool in Mexico that certain people were receptive and open to hearing the gospel and would sit and talk with us for hours about their lives, questions, doubts, etc. This doesn’t mean there isn’t fear, resistance, or persecution of Christians there, because there certainly is, and I heard stories of those responses as well. 

Seeing the way God opened doors and the receptiveness among some people encouraged and confirmed for me the strength and hope of the gospel in reaching lives. I realized I have been living a lot of my life in doubt and fear of the truth and power of the gospel because of what American culture says about what people care about and what is popular and acceptable.

This trip confirmed for me God’s goodness and perfection and the fact that humans are broken and depraved, but God is perfect in everything, and so much bigger than what we can see or imagine. Seeing the way Mexican Christians and missionaries love and share the gospel and the growing church there gave me a glimpse of God’s plan. One that is so much bigger than American cultural values or my fears of being rejected.

I pray that God will open doors and that we will all experience the boldness He has given us to share the gospel, because it is what He calls us to do.

Joy Frederich served as a summer intern in 2013, part of our EMERGE program.

See Joy’s original article on her blog.

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