Mexico Conference 2008

In 2006, Way of the Cross held its first Pastors’ Conference in Granada, Nicaragua. The conference was entitled Catch the Vision and God moved powerfully on the 1,000 pastors that attended that year. In 2007, Way of the Cross went back to Nicaragua to hold its second conference, Cast the Vision, in Masaya. Over 1,800 pastors showed up and God moved mightier than He ever had before on the pastors and the Way of the Cross Staff. This year, we decided to hold our third conference in Mexico and all we could do was pray that God would show up and move upon His people there like He did in Nicaragua. Nothing in this world could have prepared us for the things God had in store.

We had decided to hold the Pastors’ Conference at our base camp in Aldama, Mexico and about a month before the conference began, we started sending teams in every week to get things prepared. We had a lot of attacks come against us; we couldn’t get the mattresses we needed and the bus prices were double what we thought they would be, but we saw it all as confirmation that God was going to do something big.

The week before the conference began a team of our missionaries went down to do the final preparations. On Saturday, May 3rd, they were driving one of our ministry vans down a main highway when a car coming from the other direction lost control and hit them head-on. Two of our missionaries, Andrea Dahms and Ben “Cookie” Hyatt went on to be with the Lord that day. The car that hit them had seven people in it and all passed away. The other five people in the van were rushed to a hospital in Tampico, Mexico, about two hours south of where they were. The news of the accident hit the ministry hard. Never have we had to fight such a battle as this, but through it all we knew that we still had to go on with the Pastors’ Conference.

The pastors began arriving from all over Mexico on Tuesday. We had a total of about 700 pastors join us and it was amazing to see God move in their hearts. All of the pastors, along with all of the staff, were broken before the Lord. God really used the accident to open up the hearts of the people at the conference to receive what He had for them. The pastors were eager to listen to the messages given during the conference. In past years we have always had pastors who would roam around and not really participate in the conference, or have swarms of people waiting outside the medical area wanting to see a doctor, but this year we had very few people wandering around and we could hardly get them to go see the doctors. Their hearts were truly focused on the Lord.

The pastors showed us a tremendous amount of love by taking every opportunity they could to pray for us, cry with us, and encourage us. It was truly a humbling experience. On Friday the pastors took an offering for us. The ministry usually does not accept offerings from those we work with, or when we do accept them, we will turn around and give it back to the church who gave it to us, but God moved on the pastors in such a way that we knew we could not stop the blessing they would receive by doing what God told them to do. Those pastors, who have so little, raised $2,300 dollars for the ministry. There were even women who were giving their engagement and wedding rings. One young woman came up to Ben, the director, crying and telling him that God told her to give in the offering but she was so poor she had nothing to give but her engagement ring. Ben told her not to give it, that he couldn’t take it, but she insisted that God told her to do it and that she must be obedient to the Lord. Never in our lives have we experienced anything like this.

On Friday night the Holy Spirit moved powerfully on the pastors when they decided to do a Jericho march around the camp. They marched with their flags waving high, shofars blowing, praising the Lord and seeking Him to allow them to take the fire they received in their hearts back to their churches. We had an awesome time with the Lord that night and we are still praying that God will continue to move in incredible ways on the pastors.

Saturday we finished the conference with a graduation ceremony in which every person who attended the conference received a graduation certificate, a bible, a Catch the Vision magazine and other literature. Many of the pastors told us they did not want to leave and we heard testimony after testimony of how God changed the lives of those who were there.

Though the trials that came were greater than we could have ever imagined, God answered our prayers by moving on the Pastors’ Conference in Aldama, Mexico and changing not only the pastors’ lives, but ours as well. Through a great tragedy God broke us and united our hearts with our Mexican brothers and sisters and we believe that this Conference is just the beginning of something unimaginably big that God is going to do in Mexico.