“The Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” (Deut 7:9)
Four years ago Jose de Jesus was the leader of 28 Christian, who had come under great persecution for standing up to their pagan leaders and refusing to participate in the sin filled festivals of the Huichol culture. In fact, they were sentenced to death for their Christian beliefs.
Ever since I read the book, “Bruchko,” I have prayed and longed to be apart of taking the Gospel into a pagan, unreached people group and witnessing God draw that people to himself. So when God opened the door for us to meet and even participate in helping these brothers become evangelist and church planters. For me, things just couldn’t move fast enough.
A team from Saint Andrews Baptist church in Florida and I made the long journey up to the town of Bolanos to meet Jose and his wife. The first thing that is striking about Jose is his humility. It is simply Christ-like. After thirty minutes with Jose, I knew this was a divine appointment meant to draw us into being apart of what God was already doing among the Huichol People.
Jose knew nothing of the material world we had come from and he had only one real desire. He longed for the Huichol people to know the salvation of the Lord. Trust me, there was nothing pretentious or false in this man. That was one year ago, in October. I came home and immediately asked many of you, via e-mail and Facebook, to begin to pray that God would make the Huicholes accept Jose and the Huichol Christians, so they could live free among their own people.
This past February, a small team of men traveled up to the Huichol Christians to teach these brothers how to share their story (testimony) to their friends and neighbors. At that time, there were 32 Christians living in fear. They had been placed under extensive restrictions, including not being able to openly discuss their belief in Christ, one God, or creation. Even though Jose and the leaders took this training to heart; we left wondering if they would put it to use.
A few weeks ago, we returned to teach them how to share the story of “Creation to Today,” alongside of their testimonies. As we traveled up the mountain, news came that Jose and the Christians had signed an agreement with the Huichol president to lift all restrictions and stop the persecution. They had only one condition, that only Huicholes could share their faith with other Huicholes. Only God could put a condition that restricts foreigners from doing the job of evangelizing and plant the responsibility squarely on the Huichol Christians.
While it is not clear why this agreement came about and some are skeptical it will even work; Jose is determined to follow it and even use it to encourage his fellow Christians to join together and share with every Huichol who will listen. I personally believe what the brothers did with the training they received in February is the real reason. Since that time, 25 new Christians have joined Jose bringing the total number of professing Huichol Christians to 57. That’s about a 78% increase in just over 7 months. If that doesn’t make you say, “WOW!” you might ought to check your pulse. What would your church look like if it increased by 78% in the next 7 months?
What’s next for the Huichol church? I believe God wants the Huichol people to no longer be pagan, He wants them for Himself and I believe you and I need to pray for Him to use Jose and the other believers to reach that entire people group with the Gospel and claim them for our Lord.
Please join me in praying for Jose and these brothers. They are few in a land where the devil has many followers, but our God is mighty and He loves the Huichol people.