Not long after a young woman in central Mexico left her abusive husband and their two children, she got involved with another man who beat her – and got her hooked on drugs.
He introduced Lorena* to a life of drugs, alcohol and petty crime that she had never known. His violence and mistreatment soon drove her to try to leave him, but she was addicted to the drugs she could get only from him, a local ministry leader said.
Family members stepped in and got her admitted to a substance abuse rehabilitation program. She came out clean but soon returned to the drugs that helped her escape the hurt in her life – the abusive relationship in which she was still enmeshed, and the pain of having left her children.
“She was like in a dark tunnel with no end,” the ministry leader said. “Time passed, and Lorena went deeper and deeper into drugs.”
When she got pregnant, family members again got her admitted to a rehab program.
“She gave birth to her child, and the government took him away from her due to her situation,” the director said.
The pain of losing another child was overwhelming and hit during the agony of coming off the drugs, but she finished the rehabilitation program. Lorena knew she had a small window to flee her boyfriend and the self-destruction of that lifestyle. She took refuge with her grandmother.
She had no way of knowing that accompanying her grandmother to the worship service of a church that local missionaries had established would repair an otherwise shattered life.
“The Lord touched her heart, and she accepted Jesus as her personal savior,” the leader said. “The Lord has helped her to stay clean from drugs, and she has recovered custody of her son. She has reconnected with her two older children, and the Lord has provided a job for her.”
Lorena told local missionaries how glad she was that Christ gave her a new opportunity to be truly alive and enjoy His forgiveness.
“She is being discipled with the Word of God, and she has been clean for more than one year,” the director said.
Drug use throughout Mexico has nearly doubled in recent years, according to a government report released last year.
Once known primarily as a transit route for drugs to the United States and to a lesser degree as a producer, Mexico has also become a large consumer of illicit drugs, online news outlet Vice reported. The drug binge has been fueled by a doubling in use of crystal methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant known locally as “cristal.”
“Over the last decade, the huge amount of meth produced in-country by Mexico’s powerful drug syndicates has begun to diffuse into the wider community, increasingly pushed onto the streets by vendors,” Vice reported.
The problem is amplified by a vast shortage of drug rehabilitation centers, an estimated 80 to 95 percent of them unlicensed – with many using cruel techniques in violation of basic human rights.
Recoveries such as Lorena’s are among the more dramatic examples of transformations that take place among local missionaries throughout Mexico as they bring Christ’s healing love to people on paths to destruction.
Before the novel coronavirus pandemic, the ministry in northern Mexico also put children on the path to godly lives via two evangelistic events where the young ones reveled in songs, skits and other activities. At the same time, the local ministry sent gospel workers to neighboring villages that led to six people putting their faith in Christ and being baptized, the director said.
“We are already working in home cell meetings, forming leaders,” he said. “We are having discipleship for growth, believing that the Lord does the work, and that is opening the way to bring salvation in each of these places.”
Local ministries are adept at adapting materials for Mexico’s 331 people groups. In southern Mexico, another local ministry provides discipleship materials to tribal pastors and missionaries that are tailored for their particular ethnicities.
“Several of them are already using these materials to disciple the new believers,” the ministry director said. “Also, we are seeing more and more interest in some of the members of the indigenous congregations to go out as missionaries to other communities of neighboring towns.”
The animistic beliefs and rituals deeply ingrained in various forms among these ethnic groups carry worldviews that workers address in various gospel approaches.
“It is not easy to affect the worldview of indigenous people, so visitation house by house is vital in our ministry,” the director said. “Time is required to create a bond and friendship with the members of the community. There are many hours spent every day to visit these families that we are trying to reach with the gospel. We are developing evangelistic and discipleship materials according to the needs and worldview of each people group.”
Native missionaries are undertaking such work throughout the country. Please consider a donation today to provide them the tools and support to direct people toward the One who can transform wrecked lives.
*Name changed for security reasons