Not too long ago, I was explaining what Avance is, what we have to offer and how our program works. The next questions is always something along the lines of “yes, but what do YOU do?”. It’s a question I am used to, and often encounter. I explained the normal handlings of my position. I do a lot of office work, organize the program schedule, think outside the box when unusual problems arise, handle all things finance such as budgets and expense reports… Ultimately, I try to make the Director’s and Program Coordinator’s life easier. This friend was confused, how could I be a missionary if all I do is office work? Not the response I was expecting. Considering that most people are just asking for the sake of pleasantries, this provided an opportunity to share about some of more exciting opportunities I get to experience here.
A couple of weeks ago, over the”Semana Santa” vacation (the time between palm and resurrection Sunday), I was able to go with my boss, the program coordinator, to an event hosted by a ministry that is doing some powerful things here in the city and the surrounding areas. The ministry is called Urban Mosaic. They focus on combating the widespread and rapid growth of poverty through community develop by focusing on holistic mission. The event is called Come and See. And is just what it sounds like. A field trip of sorts that starts with an orientation to the ministry at their office where they clearly explain the problem being addressed, the steps taken, and the need for change. Then the rest of the day is spent visiting key communities where you can see the ministry taking place live. We were able to hear from key community leaders and pastors about how Urban Mosaic is bringing change to these poor and forgotten communities through the Gospel. We heard stories about life change, persecution, corruption, communities banning together, sharing and hope. In these communities there is no running water. Only big trucks that come by to fill a tank. That is, after they pay the community mob boss to enter the area, and after the citizens pay them “a sufficient” amount to cover their troubles. There is no electricity. There is no drainage for sewage. It floods everytime it rains. Which means the dugout trenches for human waste also flood into the pothole covered dirt roads.
That is at least, before Urban Mosaic started their work in these areas. One of my favorite experiences from this event was speaking to the community leaders where their water tower had been built. They talked about the hopelessness they felt looming over their lives. Why try to better yourself if there is no hope? However, through the investment and guidance that Urban Mosaic offered, these leaders are now proud of where they live. They take ownership for the water tower that they built and that they paid for out of their own means. They are taking initiative to continue to better their community through accessible medical care, active education in community center, and working together instead of being divisive. It was an incredible experience to see the transformative power of the Gospel taking place right in front of my eyes.
At times, it can be dull. Spending a lot of my time behind a computer. Inputting receipts, organizing meetings, managing to do lists, tracking down assignments that avancistas have not turned in… But I always remind myself that God is working through these times.Our God is a global God. He is working through Avance in Mexico City, and through Urban Mosaic in the surrounding areas. We visited this ministry with the hope of developing a partnership with them. To be able to work alongside what they are doing and provide them with servant hands through our participants. It is still early in partnership process as conversations have just begun but we are always excited about the opportunity to serve ministries that seek to bring the Kingdom of God through the transformative power of the Gospel.
Join us in praying for Urban Mosaic, the work they are doing, communities they are building and relationships they are forming. If you would like to check out their website and read more about them, including ways to get involved, I have attached a link below.