Ministry partner update: ICOMB – May 2019
The International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) is made up of 21 national churches in 19 countries with approximately 450,000 members. ICOMB exists to facilitate relationships and ministries to enhance the witness and discipleship of its member national churches – connecting, strengthening and expanding.
The church in Mexico
The Conference of the Mennonite Brethren in Mexico is known as ICPM (Iglesia Cristiana de Paz en México), which is an acronym meaning Christian Peace Church of Mexico. As of 2018 ICPM is a family of 346 members in 7 local congregations, located in 3 cities in the Mexican Republic; 5 in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, Jalisco; 1 in Villa de Álvarez, Colima; and 1 in Ecatepec, State of Mexico. Last year, the Lord allowed us to perform a total of 31 baptisms in 2 of the local churches.
The church in Villa de Álvarez, Colima
Colima is located in the western region of the country, very close to the city of Guadalajara and the Pacific Ocean. It is the fourth smallest state in Mexico. The church is located in the municipality of Villa de Álvarez. It is a small church, only eight years old, and is surrounded by a mainly Catholic society.
From Pastor Carlos Ortega: “One of the ministries that has most impacted my life is the ministry in the prison for juvenile offenders, where I have known the lives of many young people who were working for drug trafficking as hired killers. Most are orphans who are recruited by the cartels at an early age (12 and older) to fill the void of not having a family.”
The ministry is done through sport (soccer football) and personal or group discipleship. Currently, three young people are being discipled.
“Each of them have very difficult stories, and the work with them is hard and difficult at times, since you do not see much outward change,” says Ortega. “We know of several inmates who have left after serving their sentence and were killed, so our hope is to sow the seed of God’s Word in case once they leave the prison they find themselves in a deadly situation.”