Perseverance in Christ
“Starting new churches is a lot of work,” Arcelia Peña Ramos shares. “But the families need this teaching.” Arcelia has been bringing the gospel to a community in Mexico because she felt God calling her to the area. Her community is known to have many social problems and families suffer from the corruption of drug addiction, prostitution, and alcoholism.
“The training I received has allowed me to see that a church has to be focused on discipline, sound doctrine, and to implement what is necessary according to the context. It is difficult but not impossible,” she says.
Arcelia shares that she first met with a lot of hostility and contempt when she began ministering to this community. But her vision to share the gospel was stronger than any of the challenges she faced. Arcelia persevered and evangelized in personal ways and even in the plazas, in the streets, and wherever they let her do children’s ministry.
“When they saw us come in with a program of love and help for the family, we were accepted,” Arcelia says. She shares not only about the love of Christ but also about the changes and freedom a new life in Him brings. “We are applying the doctrine of a Jesus Christ who walked on the streets and spoke in His surroundings. This is how we are working—using the gospel of Jesus.”
Once the community began accepting Arcelia and her team, they were able to establish a local church. They see God’s hand in their work because people are being transformed by the gospel. The people are interested in helping their own families and want to bring the gospel to others.
For this reason, Arcelia has begun to work with people from the church who she sees as qualified for ministry and is training them in church planting. Leaders are being developed and they are also developing social programs so that they as a church body can continue to impact the community where they are.
“We want everyone to know the gospel, to be whole families and restored for the Lord, and to help us reach others. The only option is to help them find the peace of Christ,” Arcelia says.