Report of the Work of the Church of Christ
Along the U.S. Mexico Border
Charles F. House
Tecate, B. Cfa., Mexico One Baptism Here February 4th, 1963
From February 4th thru the 8th, I helped the church here, giving them five lessons for as many nights, from God's Divine Word. The house was full. There was an average of 70-80 in attendance including the 15 or 20 standing outside the window, listening to God's Word. A new work is planned at Las Palmas, 20 miles to the south of Tecate. Tecate will supply them with a preacher, from one of the students there.
Los Reyes, Michoacan, Mexico
Brethren Fidel Cisneros, his wife and two children, John Nemeth and I left Sonoyta Sonora by pick up truck for Los Reyes Michoacan, 2200 kilometers to the south, below the tropic of Cancer, Wed. February 20th at 10:45 A. M. We drove straight through with the exception of one night, which was spent in a hotel, arriving at our destination Saturday Feb. 23rd at 3 A.M. After resting a few hours, a room with two beds (no mattresses) and kitchen-patio was rented in a private home (dirt floor) to serve as our "headquarters", in as much as God had opened up opportunity for two preachers to preach in two meetings in different places at the same time. Fidel's family slept in the room while John and I slept in the truck. Contact was made with a religious group of 40 to 50 members calling themselves the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (Incidentally, they baptize for the remission of sins according to Acts 2:38). Since Fidel and I were preachers of the Gospel, we were asked by them to hold services. We immediately seized the opportunity given us. The first service was held that same night at 6 P.M. of the day we arrived at 3 A.M. (Tired ????)
We held evangelistic services Saturday (23rd) Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in their meeting place, and our own service in our room Sunday morning (24th), taking the Lord's supper. (I taught the lesson and we had one native visitor present). Fidel and I have been sharing the private and public preaching and teaching responsibility. Fidel preached once here in Los Reyes. "The Patriarchal Dispensation," "The Mosaical Dispensation," "The Christian Dispensation," "God's Plan for Redeeming Man," "The Plan of Salvation and the Five Acts of Worship" (Fidel preached this one), "What is the Church?," "To Whom does the Church belong?" were subjects covered in public services. After my sermon Wed. night (27th), I spent two more hours in teaching and answering questions put to me by the congregation, who did not want to go home, but wanted to stay and drink in the sweet word of God as it was brought forth. It makes your heart thrill with joy to see the eagerness on the part of the people here to study the Word of God, and to hear their beautiful singing of praises to God. All of the sermons that I preached were wonderfully attended. The people proved EVER Y WORD I taught them from God's Word. They were as beautiful flowers in the desert, drinking in the pure sweet water of God's blessed word. Their hospitality has been wonderful.
Wed. noon (27th) Fidel and John left by mule train for Fidel's father's rancho, 4 hours away in the interior, to preach five services to the Tarasco Indians, in their own tongue (Unaccessable by car or truck). Fidel's wife and children had left several days earlier by foot. I stayed at Los Reyes (alone) to continue preaching there in Spanish while Fidel preached in the Tarasco tongue in the community where his parents lived. Thurs. (28th) I was asked to visit another group of the same church at Santa Clara, Michoacan. There must have been 30 or 40 people assembled there. I was given the opportunity to preach, and preached on the subject: "WHAT IS THE KINGDOM?"
Santa Clara is about 30 minutes away by bus and has a big sugar factory and vast fields of sugar cane that sustains 1,000 families in and around Los Reyes. Last night, Friday (1st), I preached again at Los Reyes. My subject: "IS THERE SALVATION OUTSIDE OF THE LORD'S CHURCH?'' Although I have seen no visible results in my preaching and teaching in 10 public services as well as several private discussions with these wonderful people here in Los Reyes, Michoacan Mexico, the seed of the Kingdom has been planted, the Gospel preached and God glorified. As my brother. Paul would say: "I am free of the blood of these people". My debt has been paid to them. When the Lord said: "Well done thou good and faithful servant." He implied that man's responsibility was not to be successful, necessarily, but to be faithful to God's Word, leaving the results or the success up to Him. God in His own due pleasure will allow the seed to bring forth fruit as it pleases Him.
I am hurridly writing this report from Los Reyes, Michoacan today, Sat. March 2nd in order that our beloved brethren in the U.S.A. (the wonderful ones that made this trip possible) might be informed as quickly as possible. News of Fidel's and John's success among the Tarascos will be forthcoming later, "if God wills", as they have not arrived as of this writing. I am hoping they will arrive sooner than planned in order that we can return as quickly as possible to our homes "without incident", as I was accosted today on the street by a man wearing a pistol and was asked to answer a "few questions". But thanks to a Gracious God and to the Spirit of Christ manifested to him, we departed friends after having partaken of sodas together at the corner grocery store. (Los Reyes is FULL of fanatics that do the bidding of the local priest, resorting to violence if necessary). Not only do they hate this little group of "heretics", but they doubly hate the "Gringos" for the message they bring.
As mentioned in the last report, Fidel needs support. To date he needs $165 per month, as the faithful church at Poughkeepsie, New York (Mid-Hudson) has agreed to supply him with $35 per month of the $200 per month total needed. Glenn Rogers of McAllen Texas still needs support. Prayerfully think about these brethren and the risks that they are taking to PREACH THE GOSE'EL OF CHRIST. Contact Fidel Cisneros at P. O. Box 241, Lukeville, Arizona and Rogers at 612 Vine Ave., McAllen, Texas, DIRECT. If I can help you in any way, write ME. I can heartily recommend these wonderful preaching brethren as being worthy of your 100 percent support.
LATER: Fidel and John arrived home without incident Sunday night. The church met again in our room. We left the following Wednesday, arriving in Sonoyta, Friday the 8th, happy to be home after a most successful evangelistic trip. Thanks to a wonderful God and Father and to wonderful brethren in Christ for making it possible.
Truth Magazine VII: 9, pp. 10-11