I have a friend in Mexico named Brigido Gonzales. I met him in 1998 when I went to San Luis Potosi on a mission trip with Marysville Christian Church. Since then, I’ve returned to SLP 8 times to help with 6 summer and 2 winter Vacation Bible Schools. In that time, I’ve watched as the ministry that he is a part of has grown from one location (Pavon Church of Christ- 10 minutes from his house) to two (The Mission- 20 minutes from his house), and then three (Rancho Nuevo- 25 minutes from his house), four (Gorgorron- an hour and 15 minutes south of SLP) and now…five (El Cerro de San Pedro- 35 minutes NORTH of SLP). Oh…Brigido is the pastor of the Pavon Church. Oh yeah, he and his family also run a boys home our of their house. So…to get this straight…
Brigido is a pastor, husband, father of 4 girls, runs a boys home and does evangelistic outreach at 5 separate locations around the city of San Luis Potosi. This past weekend, Brigido posted photos on his Facebook page that he called “primer fruto de san pedro”. In English, that means “first fruit of San Pedro”, and the photos were of him baptizing a man there.
This morning, I read from 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13 from a devotional that I’ve been reading:
“But now that Timothy is back, bringing this terrific report on your faith and love, we feel a lot better. It’s especially gratifying to know that you continue to think well of us, and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you! In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going. Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive. What would be an adequate thanksgiving to offer God for all the joy we experience before him because of you? We do what we can, praying away, night and day, asking for the bonus of seeing your faces again and doing what we can to help when your faith falters. May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.”
Brigido is who I thought about, and the follow-up devotional thoughts encouraged the reader to “Ask god to bring to mind those you know who live theis lives routinely ‘showing faith and love’ (a really alive faith) and giving others joy…the way they live reassures you that this kind of life is possible.”
I am stunned and humbled by people like Brigido, the ones who literally make it all count for God. I sit here in the United States, daily drinking my $2.41 cup of Starbucks coffee, working on my Master’s degree, engaged in what passes for ministry with our students and adults: planning lessons, researching curriculum, teaching in youth group and Sunday school, engaging in worship on Sunday mornings…standing and sitting at the correct times.
Meanwhile, there’s a guy in Mexico that is not spending time thinking about what it might look like to make disciples, he doesn’t write blog posts to communicate the expectations of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he won’t be leading a group of adults in a study of the possibility of sanctification…not this guy…because, right now, Brigido is out looking for the number 6 place to minister because he was called by God to go into the world and make disciples. Brigido Gonzalez will go to his grave, tired, exhausted and yet completely alive because he actually believes that God has commanded those who call themselves followers of Christ to give up everything that they have to go and make disciples.
The life of a disciple is possible. Brigido and his family live it every day. May God forgive us when we do not, and put us in situations in which we trust Him alone.