Hope Deep in the Mountains

Worship was under a cedar brush roof on boards supported by cement blocks (click on a photo to see it larger).

Deep in the mountains and off the beaten path, lies the tiny  village of Refugio.  We started out before 9AM this morning to make the 2 hour drive.  Arriving at the village, we came upon an outdoor church area complete with a cedar thatch roof and benches made from boards and cinderblocks.  The day was foggy, cold (about 40°), and misty but the congregation still arrived.  Many people walked more than an hour to get to the service.  They were truly seeking God.

Our group consisted of Stephen, Tonyia, Pastor Rey, Pastor Ramiro, Pastora Berenice, Sandra, Edith and their families.  The church area was in front of the home of the local pastor, Seledonio, and his wife.  They graciously welcomed us into their home and fed us a meal of chicken, rice, and beans.  As you can see from the photos, their only source of heat in their home is the cooking area and a bucket of coals.

Pastor Ramiro led the service and preached a moving sermon.  After the worship service, we handed out gifts of candy, toys, Christian literature, and personal care supplies to the children.  The photos show how overjoyed they were!

The ride home was eventful.  Most of the road is barely wide enough for one car, and the road was blocked by a large truck that was having engine trouble.  As our group was trying to avoid the truck, the suburban’s parking break handle broke off, stranding the vehicle in park.  We eventually fixed the suburban, and made it past the truck to safely continue home.

Before leaving the church today we received the highest praise we could have imagined from the pastor’s wife.  She simply said, “Thank you for bringing hope.”  May you always have hope.  Until next time, Dios de Bendiga/God Bless You.

Guest written by Jeanette and Lori Lewis (Steve and Tonyia’s niece/great niece)

A bucket of coals provided heat inside the house.

Berenice and Edith sang with the kids and taught them a Bible verse while the adults had a separate service.

The gifts were a big hit.

The girls enjoyed hand made brackets that were included in their gift bags.

We brought them clothing for all ages.

Local Pastor Seledonio welcomed us to the service.

The accordion player had worked in the US and spoke some English.

Lori Lewis expressed her gratitude for the loving reception we received.

Tonyia told them the most important thing in life was to know Christ.

There was an intense time of prayer at the end of the adult service.

Most of the people walked to and from the service.

Many rode in the back of this truck to their trail-head and then walked an hour to get home.

A large group came to worship and share New Year’s greetings with us.

These ladies asked Evangelist Ramiro for special prayers after the service.

The pastor’s wife fed us a great meal of chicken, beans and handmade corn tortillas.

Santiago brought us these Mexican pumkins.

The dirt road is sometimes challenging, but beautiful.

A stalled truck forced us to drive very close to the edge of the road clinging to the side of a mountain.

It was a foggy drive some of the way.