Barrels at the Border
“It is the fastest local ownership of second-generation leaders I have ever seen. Definitely a work of God,” Oggie attested.
Will and Oggie journeyed to the Mexico-Texas border for a short five-day trip. They carryied backpacks, a firm trust in the Holy Spirit, and the phone numbers of two men they had never met—they only knew of their recent faith in Christ. Will and Oggie planned to meet these two men at a restaurant on their first day in town.
But instead of two people, eight new faces greeted them at the restaurant that day, faces eager and willing to be obedient disciples of Jesus. Will and Oggie trained them in the 411 tool to teach them how to share the gospel and how to train others to do the same. Eagerness to obey so compelled them that they began to share the gospel with other diners sitting in nearby booths.
Upon hearing Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20 during the 411 tool training, a lady who was among the initial eight people trained was convicted that she had never been baptized.
“Let’s go to a pool now,” she said. Off they went.
In this particular border town, there are over 600 people temporarily residing in tent villages as they wait for permission to cross into America. Those trained started offering prayer in these villages, listening to the people’s stories, and sharing the Best Story of all. Many of the tent villagers’ stories included heartbreaking accounts of the cartel’s cruel extortion and violence along their journeys to the border. But such desperate circumstances caused a noticeable desperation in their hearts for a Savior and an unprecedented willingness to make Him King of their life.
Initially they transported those who wanted to be baptized to a local pool. That is until someone noticed a helpful object.
“Look at this. It’s a blue barrel right here in the middle of where we are,” someone suggested. “Let’s see if we can borrow it for baptisms so that it’s more accessible to people.” Thus began the blue barrel baptisms.
New believers who had just been baptized experienced the joy of baptizing their own friends and family members who were trusting in Jesus. Within days seventh generation baptisms occurred—all because of the evident working of God in people’s hearts. Two couples were even convicted that they should marry, so the believers pooled resources together to create a meaningful wedding that week.
Will and Oggie recognized their limited time and focused on developing the earnest new believers into leaders who would continue the work. These blossoming leaders were eager to bring their friends into the leader meetings. Cynthia trained her friend Jinaldo, and by the fourth day of the trip Jinaldo brought in his friend Juan to learn more. Soon Juan was facilitating the 3/3 format in the simple church that had formed.
Some of the new leaders they trained and continue to coach have since crossed into America, yet the work continues to increase both in the tent villages and in the new cities in America where they are relocating. The gospel is spreading. All glory be to Christ!