Greetings from a suddenly quiet campus. It’s amazing how much life and vitality our students, faculty and staff provide this place, and how missed they are on days when class is not in session. I was pleased to be invited to attend a gathering in the Rio Grande Valley where a unique type of ministry is being done. Below is an explanation, provided by a recent alumna whose gifts and talents are being utilized in great ways. Enjoy! -JFrosch
God is Moving
Down in deep south Texas where I have the opportunity to love and serve in big ways, God is working! God is moving amongst the unwelcome, unloved, and undeserving in big and incredible ways and you have an opportunity to impact them as well! Let me give you insight into my world.
When I say I live in deep south Texas, I mean the part of Texas many don’t know exists. It is south of San Antonio, south of Corpus, and past a checkpoint though the middle of nowhere. Many of you may not even know this end of the world exists - or you may only know the area is present when you hear talk about South Padre Island. Even with the 1.3 million people who call the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) home, it is largely forgotten. The RGV is a peculiar place; a mix of Texas traditions with a Mexico twist. People here are genuine, loving, and full of life. Yet, so many of them wear the burden and identity of being unwelcome, unloved, and undeserving. That particular reason is why we are working so hard to make sure Jesus is known throughout the RGV.
In an effort to share Jesus, connect the twelve LCMS churches in the RGV, and deploy congregations amongst these people with true effort to love the unloved, welcome the unwelcome, and bring life and purpose to the undeserving, RioMAC was born. RioMAC - Rio Grande Mission Action Council - is a collaboration of these twelve churches. Most often we see ourselves as ONE church body with TWELVE locations in the RGV. God has given us the incredible opportunity to come in contact with people the rest of the world runs from and calls unworthy. We get to share Jesus with them - reminding them that they are so loved and pointing them to our Savior.
Because we work with so many undocumented youth, we are not always able to take big trips north of the RGV to participate in District and Synod-wide events. For so many youth, events like Camp Lone Star, Glorybound, NYG are out of the picture. As we wrestled with what we could do to give these youth the same type of experience as other youth across the US, God put on our hearts to start a Statewide Middle School Mission Trip to the RGV called Crossroads. This way, youth in the RGV can learn, serve, and worship alongside other youth around Texas - just like they would if they had the opportunity to attend other District Events.
We are anxiously awaiting our second year of Crossroads. Plans are being made, youth are getting registered, speakers are being booked, bands are practicing, service events are getting scheduled, and Jesus is already there waiting to welcome us! And we would love you to be involved as well! Here are a few ways you can get involved and partner with Crossroads and ministry happening though RIoMAC.
- PRAY: Pray for our church workers who work endlessly to share Jesus. Pray for their congregations who are being equipped, trained, and deployed as missionaries in their homes, jobs, and communities. Pray for our youth and those who live feeling their identity is less than what Jesus says. Pray for Crossroads as we bring people of different cultures and financial backgrounds together to serve.
- SERVE: If you know any middle schoolers who would benefit from this event, send them! Registration is $300 for middle school youth and we dont want any of them to miss out on this incredible opportunity to serve! We also have other incredible ways people can serve in the RGV, so contact us and let us know the ways God has gifted you and we can plug you in to use your gifts.
- SHARE: Listen to and share our stories! You can follow what God is doing though Crossroads and RioMAC by following us on Facebook at facebook.com/CrossroadsRGV or facebook.com/riomacrgv. You can also visit the RioMAC website at riomac.org.
- GIVE: If you'd like to give toward our cause, you can visit riomac.org/give. Your gifts are tax deductible and all funds will be used to further the Gospel being spread in the RGV though Crossroads and other RioMAC efforts. We also accept checks mailed to:
602 Morgan Blvd
Harlingen, TX 78550
Thank you for your partnership with us though prayer, serving, and/or giving! We are humbled and joyful to be following such an incredible God and look to Him as He continues to guide us!
CTX Alum ‘14