By Dale Kietzman, Latin American Indian Ministries
We are becoming concerned about the progress of the Gospel among the Totonac people in the Sierra along Mexico’s eastern coast. The news of new converts comes in regularly, and of groups forming in isolated mountain valleys to listen to Felipe’s Sunday radio broadcasts in their Totonac language.
Last week I asked Felipe if he had a record of all the places where people are congregating. He came back almost immediately with a list. His comment: “Here is what you asked for; there are many but here are some.”
The list shows 105 congregations! (There may be five times that number) They are scattered in 32 different municipalidades,which are areas smaller than our counties, with one town as the center of government, but with many villages and rancherias in the surrounding territory. Two of the counties have 11 congregations each.
Our concern is that leaders must be trained in every place. They will be men and women from those places, but we have to do the training without taking them away from the believers in their community.
Felipe has started a new weekly half hour broadcast designed to give training to those who would lead. In his church in Nanacatlan he is teaching two groups weekly of people who come in from nearby congregations. He records these sessions on video, so that others can carry the message, using laptops, to farther away points.
This is the challenge we will be working on in the coming year. We are seeking more ideas on how to accomplish the leadership training for the Totonacs. Have any ideas?