In June 2014, a team of nine long-term Rock Ambassadors moved to Oaxaca, Mexico to establish a Rock Base. They had dreams of planting churches among the unreached people groups there and were committed to making disciples. They had resolved to demonstrate the tangible love of Jesus by providing resources for those with physical needs.
“I believe God is doing a profound and miraculous work in Oaxaca,” shares Team Leader Francisco Villasenor. “For the people of Oaxaca, this is their time. We want to be servants, the way Jesus served. We want to play our part in history.”
Rock Church chose to start a base in this region of the world specifically because it’s home to the largest concentration of unreached people groups in the Western Hemisphere—many of them, dwelling in indigenous mountain villages that surround the City of Oaxaca. These unreached people groups have little to no access to the Gospel. Simply said, there are people that live there, in Mexico, that have never heard the name of Jesus, nor do they understand what Christ did for them.
Two weeks ago, these Rock Ambassadors, an IMPACT 195 short-term team and four local churches within the state of Oaxaca, made history by organizing and hosting the first ever Festival de Impacto.
The vision for Festival de Impacto was to create an event that would draw the unreached through loving acts of service, as well as to unite and equip local churches in sharing their faith. It was hosted in Santiago Juxtlahuaca, the poorest region of Oaxaca, with one of the largest concentrations of indigenous people. The festival included live music, clowns, children’s activities complete with a two-story jumper, meals, haircuts and manicures, all leading up to open-air preaching and opportunities for festival guests to receive healing and prayer.
The Holy Spirit moved powerfully and the response was unprecedented for this part of the world. It was the largest documented Gospel-focused gathering in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca to date.
4,320 LIVES IMPACTED
1,200 TOYS GIVEN
5,000 TAMALES GIVEN
120 HAIRCUTS/MANICURES RECIEVED
The festival was an answer to decades of prayer. Rock Ambassador, Analisa Garcia recalls, “There were many pastors in the room who had joined us for a special breakfast being held for them during the festival. Some had been praying for God to move in this region for many years, some 47 years cumulatively if you added it all up… they had been sowing seeds of love in these villages for a long time. We got to step into decades of prayer and come alongside them for the harvest!”
God saved marriages at the festival. Villasenor shared, “there was a couple who came up for prayer at the end of the night after the message. They had a pretty broken and desperate look in their eyes. We were there to serve them and listen to their story. Turns out the woman’s husband had left her a few months earlier and abandoned their three children, for another woman. She came to the festival, not knowing her husband would be there with the other woman. That night, the husband got saved on his own and broke off the adulterous relationship. We hadn’t led him in any prayer. The Holy Spirit had led him to repentance and he asked me if I could pray for the restoration of his current marriage. Right then and there with his wife standing next to him, he committed to leave the other woman and trust in the grace and mercy of God to restore his marriage.”
God brought restoration to members of a divided church community at the festival.
“Denominational tension between churches in the area has not been uncommon. Conflicts have resulted even in the threat of violence,” recalls Rock Ambassador Carlos Auyon. “One of the pastors at our Pastor’s Breakfast shared that he had been working in a particular area for many years. 15 years ago, members of one denomination came with sticks and stones with the intention of hurting a different denomination’s pastor and destroying his church building. At Festival de Impacto, he witnessed members from that once violent group leave their church service to attend the festival. When prayer began and the opportunity to receive salvation and healing was offered, many of them came forward.”
God gave courage to local volunteers serving at the festival and honored them.
“Eliasi, a volunteer from a partner church named ‘Amistad con Dios’ was so brave,” shared Rock Ambassador Desi Torres. “He had never dressed up or served as a clown before and was a bit nervous to do so in this capacity. He wasn’t sure if his family or friends would accept him or respect his decision to help out at the festival. At one point in the festival, he attempted to find his family, amongst the thousands of people, so they could eat together. He couldn’t find his mom. He thought maybe his family had left because of the tension between his beliefs and theirs’. But to his surprise, he found out that his mom had gone forward to receive salvation during the message. At the Pastor’s Breakfast, when he shared this story, he started crying. Everyone in the room understood how big of a miracle this was in Oaxaca…Eliasi’s mom was no longer following a tradition and routine in her culture, she had begun her relationship with the living God, Jesus.”
POSTSCRIPT: The Global Outreach (GO) Team exists to maximize Rock Church’s global impact by launching bases that effectively reach those most unreached. Bases are currently being developed in Haiti, Oaxaca, Jordan, Thailand and India. Your are invited to join them on a mission trip or consider becoming a Rock Ambassador!
For more information about the Global Outreach Ministry, click here »