From Ritual to Faith

From Ritual to Faith

Strolling through the streets of Mexico, it’s quite easy to find images that reflect the religious life of the people. Beautiful churches grace the many plazas. Colorful altars with fresh flowers and candles can be seen in many public places. Church bells are heard throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset, like a familiar song.

Despite the appearance of religious life, many people in Mexico don’t know Jesus as their personal Savior. The void of a true relationship with God is filled with religious rituals that cannot give the peace and assurance that only true faith in Christ brings.

But God is at work, resurrecting the faith of the Mexican people. With that purpose in mind, a team of Charis Bible College students spent eight days in the city of Querétaro, sharing the love and grace of God.

Julie and Alex Palomares, the directors of Charis Mexico, had many outreaches prepared in order to give the students an opportunity to share the love of God. The team was ready. Kathy McHugh recalls, “Our team went to Mexico as well prepared as possible, and God blessed our efforts abundantly, proving once again that preparation time is never wasted time.”

The team had the opportunity to visit the Pan de Vida Orphanage and spend quality time with the children who live there. They also held a street outreach in the nearby town of Salamanca, where the powerful message of salvation was shared with simplicity.

The women’s and children’s hospital was part of the itinerary also. Public hospitals in Mexico can be overcrowded, and patients and their relatives can feel isolated and ignored despite the best efforts of medical personnel. To show love to the people in their time of need, the Charis students spread throughout the overcrowded hospital courtyard, taking with them over a hundred sandwiches they had prepared beforehand. The team gave the people food, took time to hear their personal stories, prayed for them, and reminded them that God truly loves them. One leader said that while amazing things happen at all of Charis Mexico’s outreaches, many students find that the hospital outreach impacts them the most.

Judith Leitner shares her own experience from the missions trip: “After praying with [the people], I would look into their eyes, and there was always a noticeable difference. I saw hope, possibility, joy, relief, less-to-no pain, no confusion, clarity, and brightness. Plus, there was always a huge smile of happiness on their faces! I was so touched to see God’s promises come through.”

When people see the love of God in action and understand that salvation is a gift from God, it empowers them to experience a genuine conversion. In these outreaches, the team saw approximately 275 salvations and 50 healings, and 4 people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The students left Mexico rejoicing over the goodness of God. And for the precious people they left behind, the ringing of the church bells will have a new meaning. It will remind them to come out of dead rituals and into a living faith.

Our Charis students take missions trips every year to a variety of places. Please consider praying for them. And as always, please comment below if this has encouraged you!

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