Long Drive to the Prodigal
Thursday, July 17
Our project breaks into 10 teams to serve in different areas of the city partnering with varying ministries. Here's a list of who we've worked with and a description of their outreach.
- Pelicula de Jesus - JESUS film ministry. Serving local churches to help bring the gospel to many poor areas of Mexico.
- Fundacion Emmanuel - According to one of our guides, Mexico City has 2 million street children, homeless kids living in the streets. 90 percent of those children ages 12-16 are addicted to drugs. This ministry focuses on reaching street kids with the love of God through physical, emotional and spiritual care.
- Reto Juventud - Teen Challenge. A drug rehab program that integrates the gospel to help people break free from addictions.
- Rios de Agnus Vida - a local church focused on reaching their community with the gospel.
- Comedor de Dios - a food kitchen in Tepito, an area where most Mexicans avoid due to fear and the level of poverty there.
- Salvation Army - Outreach to poor areas. Our students helped host a vacation Bible school type event for children.
- Casa San Francisco - a boys home, caring for abused and abandoned boys ages 8-16.
Donna Kushner, director of MK2MK, describes her experience at one of the ministry locations.
Getting there involved a bus ride, a metro ride and then another bus ride. Two hours later, we were in the far north of the city where small homes are built straight up the mountain. We arrived at the shelter just as the men finished their morning snacks.
Some were in wheelchairs, others had walkers and some were missing legs or were disabled in some way. All had come off the streets of Mexico City and had nowhere else to go.
Our team of high school students was somewhat tentative at first - the scene was not pretty as most of the men were in tattered clothes, the smells were overwhelming and most spoke only Spanish.
But they were glad to see us!
Carlos approached me early on and I was encouraged to be able to speak to him in English - he had studied in Canada and quickly took on the role of translator for our group.
After a few songs, Cam, an MK from Moscow, began sharing the story of the Prodigal Son with the 50 or so old men gathered under the canopy.
Our friend Carlos happily translated. The storybook he used is made for children but Cam was able to make it relevant to their lives as he shared that it is never too late to choose to come back to the Father.
The men listened intently and it was obvious that their hearts were touched. I was amazed by his ability to contextualize the gospel for this audience.
As I looked around at the team of high school students ministering to these men, it occurred to me that if Jesus were walking through Mexico City, this is one of the places He would be - loving the unlovely, showing tenderness to the lonely and bringing hope to the hopeless.