Building Up the Local Church in Mexico, by Kausha Luna
originally published on watermission.org
At the end of 2018, Water Mission’s staff in Mexico connected with ASELSI (Association Equipping the Saints International), a nonprofit organization based in Guatemala. In partnership with Water Mission, ASELSI provides basic theology training to new believers in communities we are serving with safe water projects. Our relationship with ASELSI has created opportunities for spiritual growth within the communities we serve, and birthed hope for the deeper work we wish to accomplish.
At Water Mission, we aim to build up the local church as it pursues the call to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel. Our vision spans wider than water: We are working toward a world in which all people have access to safe water and an opportunity to experience God’s love. We are grateful for partners that not only share this foundational belief, but also collaborate with us in making it a reality through the projects we implement around the world.
ASELSI started leading classes in partner- ship with Water Mission Mexico at the end of March. The first cohort is composed of students from three different communities served by Water Mission—seven from El Encanto, three from Guadalupe Victoria, and two from San Luis. Additionally, ten people are enrolled from different local churches in San Cristobal, where the classes take place.
Students participating in the two-year training program are expected to cover the costs for the courses. However, for those traveling from outside San Cristobal, Water Mission subsidizes transportation costs when necessary. This cost distribution diminishes initial economical barriers and opens the opportunity for students across the region to take ownership of their spiritual growth.
Johny Bermudez, Water Mission’s coun- try program director in Mexico, finds the partnership with ASELSI to be an invalu- able step toward meeting our collective goal. “The people who receive these trainings can become pastors or leaders that will impact their local communities,” he says, underscoring the multiplying power of the Holy Spirit at work through the Church. The spiritual formation of new and existing believers within the communities we serve strengthens local churches as they care for spiritual and physical needs.
In April, ASELSI invited Johny to speak at its annual conference in Guatemala, where he presented a workshop entitled “The Church and Its Reach through Community Projects.” The workshop provided an opportunity to share how Water Mission, through safe water projects, mobilizes the local church to address the physical and spiritual needs of communities across Mexico.
Our instrumental partnership with ASELSI enables Water Mission’s team in Mexico, and the local churches with which they collaborate, to continue sharing the love of God as we provide access to sustainable, transformative safe water solutions.