Filbert Pres. and the Purépecha Indians: Two Years Later

By Phil Mobley, Jul 9, 2013
God’s kingdom knows no national boundaries. For a group of interconnected people stretching from York, S.C., to Tarecuato, Mexico, this is more than just a theological reality. Their continuing story is proof that loving one’s neighbor and loving the nations are often one and the same in God’s design.

As Goes the Farmer, So Goes the Church
In the spring of 2011, Network chronicled the beginning of a Reformed witness in Tarecuato, Mexico, a two-and-a-halfhour-drive southeast from Guadalajara. This effort—led by Mexican missionaries commissioned by MTW church plant Rey del Reyes—grew out of Robert (Bob) Hall’s desire to love and serve a group of men he had hired to work on his farm in York, S.C. Bob never sought to journey to the nations; instead, the Holy Spirit brought “the nations” to Bob. And He has kept building connections ever since.

For a decade now, ministry teams from Filbert Presbyterian Church (PCA), Bob’s home church, have ventured deep into Mexico to minister to the Purépecha Indians. There are perhaps 200,000 of these pre-Columbian natives in Mexico, who have no Spanish heritage and speak their own language. Around the year 2000, several hundred of them ended up in South Carolina. God led a few to Bob’s farm, and the initial connection was established.

The Nations Abroad, The Nations at Home
“The most unexpected thing has to be that there is a Reformed presence in this tiny Catholic village in Mexico and that people in our congregation have a heart for this native population who are really on the fringe even in Mexico,” recounts Dave Hall (no relation to Bob), associate pastor at Filbert. As important, if not as surprising, is the growing love for the broader Hispanic community in York itself. “There are people here from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras …,” Dave notes. “We’ve needed to feel the need. It has allowed us to go out of our way to reach out, to do visible acts of kindness to people who need Jesus.”

The people of Filbert regularly lead English language classes and have targeted summer VBS programs to children of Hispanic immigrants. Additionally, an RTS-Charlotte seminary student from Monterrey, Mexico, Jose Luis Cardona, served for three years as a church intern and provided a welcoming face to much of Filbert’s outreach. He has just returned to Monterrey to support church-planting efforts there.

Through the neighbor focus of the people of Filbert Presbyterian, the gospel is moving forward in ways that no one could have planned. “It’s about the people you work with and around every day,” says Bob, whose farm is kingdom territory. “We have to have a heart for them just as Jesus has a heart for us.”

For more information on how MTW can help your church facilitate missions, contact our Church Resourcing Department at [email protected].
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