A tract freely given – An event freely offered – Salvation freely received
By Terry Jones
Does anyone really read a Gospel tract? Do we need to continue to hand them out? Is it really worth it? YES! One can never know the impact one Gospel tract can have in lives of those who receive them. Let me give you an example.
Not too long ago my wife, Kaye, and I attended a national pastors’ conference in southeast Mexico. We were enjoying the fellowship around the table when I began a conversation with one of the pastors present. Brother Pedro, his wife, Vicki, and several members of his congregation had traveled 16 hours on a bus to attend the conference. As we enjoyed our whole fried fish (head, tail, eyeballs and all) with beans, rice and tortillas, I asked Pastor Pedro to tell me about the time he met the Lord.
“I was 23, a drunkard, an idolater and worldly.” he started. “My wife and I were sitting in the park in the town square. I was drunk. I had spent all my paycheck on liquor. It was the weekend and we had nowhere to go. We wanted to go to the Catholic festival buy we couldn’t afford the food and other activities they offered. While we were in the park, a 12 year old boy handed me a Gospel tract and an invitation to the Baptist church. I read the tract but did not understand what it meant. The invitation was to a Gospel movie and there was to be refreshments afterwards. “We can do that since it’s free, I thought. So we went.”
Pedro and Vicki went to the church and met missionaries Richard and Patty Comer. The church was having a special evangelistic outreach with a meal, a Gospel film and preaching after the film. Not knowing what to expect Pedro and Vicki sat down and listened.
As Richard preached, it seemed to Pedro and Vicki that he knew everything about them and was announcing it to the entire congregation. “How does this North American know the reality of our lives?” Vicki thought. Pedro was convicted of his sin and accepted Jesus as his Savior. Vicki was not convinced. She wanted to see proof. As God changed the life of the drunken idolater what was her husband, she saw her need for salvation. A month later, Vicki came to know the Lord as well.
What a difference the Lord can make in a life. Pedro and Vicki became active in the local church. Three years later they moved to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas and while there Pedro saw his mother saved. After a time as members of the Alpha and Omega Baptist Church, they moved to the community of “Tres-Ceros” and started a church. (That’s one.) From there they moved to a neighboring village and started another work. (That’s two!)
In 1995 they again moved to Tenejapa and started the Bethel Baptist Church, where he was ordained as pastor in 2001. (That’s three!) During his years as pastor, this church has started seven more mission churches in the towns and villages around Chiapas. (That’s ten if you’re still counting.) But it doesn’t stop there. On February 20, 2011, the first service of the eleventh church took place. There were already twelve that had been saved and baptized in the town and they had been waiting to have a church of their own.
God continues to use Brother Pedro in the lives of others. The Bethel Baptist Church, where Pedro is pastor, averages around 300 on Sundays and is in desperate need of a larger building. There are six young men who have surrendered to the call of God on their lives to preach the Gospel.
Eleven churches and counting – all because of a young man handed Pedro a tract. Is it worth it? YES! Think of the fruit that abounds in Heaven because of one simple act of faith. What about the churches who have faithfully supported the Comers? They too have fruit that abounds to their account in Heaven. God continues to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him (2 Chronicles 16:9)
To learn more about the work in Mexico and Central America, contact Rev. Terry Jones, Central America Director, BIMI.