Troubles and Triumphs

Protestors march in the streets of Mexico City after 43 students were abducted by police and allegedly executed. © Gatifoto, Flickr.
Protestors march in the streets of Mexico City after 43 students were abducted by police and allegedly executed. © Gatifoto, Flickr.

MEXICO CITY— Rev. Jason Boyle, an FPCNA missionary in Mexico City, reported that the Free Presbyterian mission church in Mexico continues to see blessing even though they are laboring in an unstable society.

Civil unrest broke out in cities across Mexico this month because 43 male students from a teacher’s college 120 miles south of Mexico City were abducted by Mexican authorities and presumably murdered. The abduction happened in late September, and on November 7 the Mexican Attorney General announced that several plastic bags were found containing human remains. Investigators are trying to determine if those remains are the kidnapped students. The violent protests were also in Mexico City where the Boyles live. “Please pray for this troubled and corrupt nation,” Boyle said. “The people of this land truly need salvation in Christ.”

Rev. Boyle took a four-day trip last week to the State of Veracruz in Eastern Mexico to preach for Marcus Reyes and Lalo Peña, two Mexican pastors who were recently accepted under care of the FPCNA presbytery.

After preaching at a midweek meeting at Pastor Peña’s church in the City of Orizaba, Rev. Boyle then travelled 13 miles to a sister city, Córdoba, where he preached to Pastor Reyes’ congregation. Boyle’s wife, Danielle, also spoke to the women in the Orizaba church.

“We really enjoyed the opportunity to strengthen the growing bond between our churches,” Boyle said, “and are continually encouraged that Marcus and Lalo were accepted under care of the North American presbytery.”

Pastors Marcus Reyes and Lalo Peña pictured with missionary Jason Boyle in the State of Veracruz in Eastern Mexico.
Pastors Marcus Reyes and Lalo Peña pictured with missionary Jason Boyle in the State of Veracruz in Eastern Mexico.

The State of Veracruz is one of 31 states in Mexico, and sits on the Gulf of Mexico 100 miles east of Mexico City where Rev. Boyle ministers. Both Marcus and Lalo have been preaching in that area for over 15 years, helping many pastors to come to a greater understanding of the Scriptures.

“The Lord has given these men a heavy work load in Veracruz, not only in their own local churches, but also among many other pastors and churches who have left the Charismatic Movement for solid, biblical doctrine,” Boyle said.

Rev. Boyle urged his prayer supporters to pray especially for the work of these men and also for their witness in Omiquila, a remote Aztec village nestled in the mountains 50 miles north of Córdoba and Orizaba.

“It was sweet to spend time at the church there,” Boyle said. “The people of Omiquila are timid, but truly are brothers and sisters in the Lord.”

In the past, the Reyes family would hike 2-hours up the mountain to the village, but now with the road it takes 45 minutes. The village also got electricity for the first time about eight months ago!

On November 22, Rev. Boyle returned to his own congregation in the capital city where he ministers to a congregation of fifty. Their church, Redeemer Christian Church, has been looking for a new meeting place because they are outgrowing their present facility.

“Both rooms where we meet for the service and children’s Sunday school are getting a bit cramped,” Boyle said. “It’s even more challenging with the space for the children.”

Danielle, Boyle’s wife, teaches toddlers and teenagers in a very small room, and they have had youth fellowships from surrounding churches with over 75 attendees.

The congregation has their eye on a nearby church building for sale, and they hope to meet the seller in December, along with a notary, to explore the possibility of both financing a loan, and making a purchase. If that does not materialize, they will consider another building for rent.

The congregation currently meets on a busy road that leads to the city hall. “This past Sunday we were in the middle of praying when a very loud parade went by right outside the church door!” Boyle said. “We naturally began to ask the Lord to keep distraction away so that we could concentrate on His Word.”

Even though they have challenges, the congregation remains encouraged.

Recently, Rev. Boyle’s church began a five-week class on stewardship to help believers establish God-honoring financial habits. “We have long talked about having a finance class for our churches,” Boyle said, “The need is so great because of the lack of education and cultural challenges.”

“Some don’t have money to buy food because they have no work, but others don’t want to work and spend the little money they have frivolously,” Boyle said.

“It’s difficult for people whose culture has lacked the broad influences of a Protestant work ethic and things like frugality and all that goes with that,” Boyle said. “But God is teaching them.”

Recently, the church took a love offering for the works in Veracruz to help the pastors continue their evangelism among the remote villages. “It was a blessing to see them support the Lord’s work in this small way,” Boyle said. “A good number of them gave when they themselves were in need.”

The congregation is also growing spiritually, especially the ladies’ Bible study group, where Danielle has seen a greater commitment and a joy among them even though many in the church come from difficult circumstances.

One couple, Hector and his wife Claudia (not their real names), started attending the church over two years ago, after being invited by a friend who herself didn’t attend at the time. The couple sat with interest for a full year, even attended baptism classes, but remained unsaved. Then, after mounting financial difficulties, and increased conviction over sin, they came to Christ. Claudia, particularly, has been a testimony to the entire church and her Roman Catholic family. When she was recently diagnosed with cancer, Rev. Boyle said “she demonstrated such peace, contentment, and joy.” Claudia’s Roman Catholic sister told her, “keep going to that congregation because you are totally changed!”

Claudia is rejoicing today, because the Lord healed her cancer.

Another new believer, María (not her real name), had struggled with severe depression and suicidal thoughts before she came to Christ. Church members loved her, often reading tracts to her as she sat listening with visible slash marks on her wrists. One day she asked a church member, “How do I repent of my sins? I’m bad inside.” She eventually came to Christ, but needs continued prayer as a new believer.

“It is so amazing to see ‘light bulb’ moments in people’s lives,” Boyle said. “Pray that their past, and often continuing struggles, would ground them in their faith.”

In December, Rev. Boyle will travel over 1000 miles to Hermosillo, a city located centrally in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, 150 miles below the US state of Arizona. Paco Orozco, a Mexican pastor, invited Boyle to a pastors’ conference and asked him to preach as well as speak on the life and legacy of Rev. Ian Paisley, the founder of the Free Presbyterian Church who died on September 12, 2014. Paco has labored in Mexico for over 25 years, after attending Greenville FPCNA while a student at Bob Jones University.

“I praise God for His provision to be able to go to this conference,” Boyle said. “I am also thrilled that Lalo is able to go with me and benefit from the time of teaching and fellowship.”

Rev. Boyle mentioned a number of prayer requests, the biggest being the need for elders and deacons to be raised up in the church. He and his wife also expressed thanks for the continual prayer and assurances of prayer from the Lord’s people. “May the Lord keep us all in constant awareness of the necessity of prayer in our lives and in our churches,” Boyle said.