Mission with a Vision of Care
Friday morning on January 9 came early for five of our members. At 6:30AM Ken Leggett, Jonathan Barnette, Max Caramanian, Karen Parks and Pam Mayes boarded a plane for Monterrey, Mexico. This groups was headed south to check out five church plants and a seminary supported by Mission to the World (MTW), our denomination’s foreign missions wing. This vision trip was designed to see if a Southwood/Monterrey partnership might be in the future. The Southwood team was picked up at the airport by Andres Garza, MTW Team Leader and a Mexican national, and Al Couch (affectionately known as “Monterrey Jack”), a Tennessean whose heart was won by the Mexican people while he was on a mission trip years ago.
While in Monterrey, the Southwood team met with local pastors at their churches, heard presentations describing each church plant’s vision and plan, visited Casa Hogar (an orphanage run by a member of one of the churches) and listened to the president of Theological Institute of Ministry describe the seminary’s goals and needs. Before flying out Sunday afternoon, the team split to worship with two churches, Encuentro con Dios (Encounter with God) and Cumbres del Rey (Summit of the King). They were amazed at the work already happening without much help from brothers and sisters in the United States. One small church of 40 members was already planting new churches and sending members out as missionaries. In addition to meeting with people and visiting churches, the team enjoyed a traditional Mexican dinner at missionary homes and visited the world’s largest flag pole which overlooks Monterrey. They met the Public Relations liaison for the US Ambassador to Mexico who worships at Encuentro con Dios. The most encouraging and exciting part of the trip was the realization that each church plant’s focus corresponded perfectly with Southwood’s (Sundays, small groups, serving).
Stay tuned for more information as the Missions Committee continues to pray about the opportunities to serve in Monterrey. He definitely has big plans for redeeming this part of Mexico and using American brothers and sisters in Christ to co-labor in the work.