loren Eric Swanson: Pastors in Culiacan Mexico

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Pastors in Culiacan Mexico

Friday morning Sam Williams and I caught a 6:30am flight that nine hours later placed us in Culiacán Mexico, the capital city of the state of Sinaloa. Culiacán is a beautiful city of nearly a million located a couple hours north and inland from Mazatlán. We flew the final leg on Aero Literal, which was good. After all, who wants to fly on a virtual air line? We were invited by Pastor Beltazar Zamora, who was part of our city reaching meeting that we held in Cuernavaca earlier this summer. After settling into the Hotel San Marcos we were shuttled to the first meeting at Beltazars church. I gave an overview of externally focused churches and Sam followed by his sugerstick on Grace and Truth…that Jesus always led with grace followed by truth, not the other way around. Afterwards we went out for tortilla soup and a local specialty at a local chain called Pastelerias Panamá.

On Saturday, I gave a short talk on “Purpose” as related to what God has created us for (Ephesians 2:10), why God gives us leaders (Ephesians 4:11-12), the body (Hebrews 10:24), the Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:10)…to prepare us, encourage us, equip us and enable us to do the good works God prepared beforehand. The rest of the morning we worked with Agustín Garduño, from Cuernavaca in breakout sessions in discerning the needs and dreams of the city. One of the things we say is, “needs created opportunities” and Mexico is full of opportunities. This morning flying from Culiacán to Hermosillo I read in the paper that two of three Mexican children lived in poverty. Three million of them work and millions do not attend school. That is a lot of opportunity.

The conference ended at 2pm…then we went to lunch. Sinaloa has a special cut of beef, cut from the filet and the ribs. Though it looks like a flank steak or skirt steak, the meat was incredibly tasty and tender. We were told that each beeve has only two kilos of this cut. I think it was called “cabrito.” During lunch we talked with Lucano, the founding pastor of Comunidad Cristiana Church—the largest church in the city…around 1700 in three services. Lucano and his wife’s family started the church 20 years ago. He is very sharp--bi-vocational since he also owns a construction company. His son is getting his MBA from Harvard. Now here is the most interesting part…around five years ago the Lord clearly showed Lucano and the leadership of the church that their success was not to be measured inside the church but by what happens outside the church in the community. They could not bring all of the community to the church but the church could go into all of the community! They were to see the city as their church. They are engaged with the poor, with children, the disabled….they’ve serves 12,000 people through their medical clinic. If this were not enough, they also support 25 pastors who serve in the mountain regions to the tune of $100 / month. Truly this is a model, not just for Mexico but for any country. I couldn’t help but feel so thankful to be exposed to such a company of the committed.

After the late lunch we went back to the hotel to hopefully catch the end of the SC-Notre Dame Game but had to settle for Florida and LSU. But we were kept up to speed via the ticker and game updates. Looks like we missed a great day of football. At around 8:30 Sam and I wandered over to Panama’s for more tortilla soup. There we found Baltazar, his wife, and Carlos Miller. We talked for another hour or so about churches serving outside their walls. Both of the Zamoras have a heart for the city. Mrs. Zamora made an interesting observation. She assumed that since the churches that come to Mexico on mission trips always do something to serve the poor, she assumed that’s what they always do in the states! She was surprised to learn that it is only when we cross a border do we get a heart for the poor and those on the margins.

This morning Sam and I were supposed to preach in Baltazar’s church and Lucano’s church but at 8:10 I got a call from “Literal Airlines” to tell me that our flight to Guadalajara had been cancelled and if we wanted to leave town today we had to take the 9:20am flight to Hermosillo on to Phoenix and then into Denver. You might say we “left the church in the lurch” but we had to split. Sure hope they got our messages…..

Just got home a bit before 11pm. Man it has been one long day!

5 Comments:

At Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7:32:00 AM, Blogger old bear said...

Erik,

sounds like a great trip; love that you always have the wonderful food comments.
I hope we'll have a similar report in the spring.

what's the next book about? Jerry

 
At Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful church in Culiacan. Do you have its address to send donations to it?

Jackette

 
At Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:43:00 PM, Blogger Eric Swanson said...

Comunidad Cristiana De Culiacan
Teresa Villegas 1261-B S/N
Colonia Gabriel Leyva
Culiacan, Sinaloa
Telephone Numbers (667)715-0553, (667)715-5451

 
At Sunday, February 17, 2013 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

Please read these valuable websites. They speak of the
four horse men of the book of Revelation and give the only accurate
explanation I have ever read.

http://jahtruth.net/horse.htm

http://jahtruth.net/wayad.htm

http://jforjustice.net/

Thank you,

A Freeman

 
At Sunday, February 17, 2013 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

Please read these valuable websites. They speak of the
four horse men of the book of Revelation and give the only accurate
explanation I have ever read.

http://jahtruth.net/horse.htm

http://jahtruth.net/wayad.htm

http://jforjustice.net/

Thank you,

A Freeman

 

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