Mexico: Purepecha Story, Part 3
Music is very important to this indigenous community. Luis, Alberto’s son, began a Christian music group with other young people that began to come to their Friday night services. The group learned the indigenous language and began to sing evangelical songs in their local Purepecha dialect. They began to be invited to different family gatherings, and word spread in the community that “their message is so different, so freeing, so without guilt!”
Of course, this began to enrage the local priest of the traditional religion, and the community elders were very upset that Alberto was “turning their world upside down!” It was a story just like what had happened in Acts chapter four. Alberto was called to a meeting with the community elders and the local priest. Just before heading out, someone came to warn Alberto that they were planning to burn him alive in the town square. Alberto did not go to the meeting, which enraged the elders and priest even more.
The townspeople began to plot against the family, blacklisting them at the local stores. No one would sell them any merchandise, forcing Alberto and Julia to drive into the next town to buy their groceries. Alberto bought a taxi and was accepted into the local taxi union, but no one would take his taxi.
One day, a crowd with baseball bats and knives gathered in the street in front of Alberto’s home. They began to shout obscenities and storm the front gate. The mob was ready to handle this family once and for all, make them leave town in disgrace, and ex-communicate them from the traditional church and the indigenous community. This would mean that Alberto and Julia would have to give up their home, land, and life in Quinceo.
As the mob advanced on their home, Alberto relates the following: “As they began to bang on our gates, out of nowhere, two big dogs came at the crowd, one from each side, and began to bite at the people. There was blood flowing in front of the house, and the people were screaming because they had never seen these dogs before in town. We didn’t own any dogs either. The mob began to disperse in fear, running for their lives and screaming from their wounds all the way to their homes.”
The next day, the town elders and priest came to the front gate to talk with Alberto. They told him that his family could stay in town and that the blacklisting would stop because “your God is greater than anything we have ever seen or encountered in our town.” They were also allowed to keep having church on their back patio.
Today, more than 100 local people gather weekly to praise God in their native dialect and listen to a message that helps them grow in their faith and that evangelizes to the visitors that come. They are outgrowing the back patio and have put a down payment on a parcel of land that is a little bit outside the center of town. If they can buy this piece of land and build a church, it would be the first evangelical indigenous church in that town ever! It is a daunting task, but this family has faced huge mountains before, and our powerful God always takes care of them.
As an Alliance church in Guadalajara, we have come alongside this indigenous church during the last four years, getting to know them, taking work teams and ministry teams from our church to their community, and becoming involved in their lives like a sister church. We have begun to take monthly offerings to help this new church reach into their community and share the message of the hope and light there is in Jesus.
What began as a family following their “stolen” daughter to the United States became a story of God being in control of each step in the lives of Alberto and Julia, leading them tenderly and showing them love and mercy. In response, Alberto and Julia became obedient to God’s call on their lives to go and share with their community so that no one would perish but have eternal life. Their daughter Abigail’s death has been the catalyst for hope in this very dark and lost community.
Alliance Women is committed to prayer and financial support for this Circle of Hope ministry in Mexico. We have set a goal to raise $16,600. To participate, please visit www.alliancewomen.org/give.