Every Spring Break the Cornerstone brings it's ministry teams to the Mexican border areas around McAllen, TX to preach the gospel and pray for the needs of Spanish speaking people. Preparation for this trip begins in late January when worship, dance, drama, and prayer/evangelism teams are formed and begin training together for the five weeks leading up to Spring Break. The trip is five days long, with two travel days and three ministry days. Each ministry day is focused on a partnership with a different church in the area at which we do an evangelistic outreach in Spanish to local neighborhoods. Jose Iglesias, our pastor to Spanish speaking people and master of ministry in Mexico, establishes these partnerships and organizes the locations. Once we are on his schedule, anything can happen! This means the ministry days on a Cornerstone trip are intense, from early in the morning to late at night!
A thumbnail sketch of a typical day is breakfast at 7:00 am, followed by worship, prayer and personal ministry. In the van ride to the ministry site, we do listening prayer in which we ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us about the day through Scripture passages and images. A leader in each van writes these down for reference later.
When we arrive at the ministry site, everyone not directly involved in setup, prayer walks the location or connects with kids. The evangelism team sweeps the neighborhoods with local church members to invite people to the event, share the gospel, and pray with people. These are some of the most exciting times as a man was led to Christ on his doorstep on the third ministry day before the event even started! The outreach itself is worship in Spanish led by Joey Geisel, a dance and drama, each of which communicates the gospel in a different way, a testimony by one of our team members, and a short message that presents the gospel and prepares people for the ministry time. At the end of the message, all our teams move around the room and pray for people. Several people were healed and we were privileged to lead some to Christ during this time.
We bring activities with us that do not require us to speak the same language as the children, in order to connect with them, such as bead bracelets, soccer, and jump ropes. After our teams have prayed for everyone, Jose cooks burgers on the Cornerstone grill and we play with the children and continue ministry as the opportunity is there to do so.
The ministry is exhausting, so we head back to where we are staying for some down time, then dinner and extended team time with worship, ministry and an open share time to tell the stories of what God did that day. We often hear for the first time about miracles and students leading people to Christ. We will also have extended time to pray for each other as needs present themselves, which they typically do. This year we had several team members healed of physical problems during extended times of prayer in the evenings.
This trip is typically full of surprises. This year we were ministering at a church that was new to us and on the third day the pastor asked if he could pray for us. We were expecting a typical "thank you so much for coming, God bless you as you go" kind of prayer. But, this pastor, who spoke entirely through a translator, had a prophetic gift and began praying very specific things for our team. It quickly became very emotional and powerful as many received personal words of encouragement. We also faced quite a bit of adversity on this trip and the team handled it all with incredible, faith, grace and flexibility and not a single complaint!
I am so proud of this team and the wonderful work they did to serve the Spanish speaking people of McAllen in Jesus' Name!
Pastor of College & Young Adults