David and Maribel Easton, from Thornton Heath Evangelical Church, are set to leave the UK for Mexico, where they plan to plant churches that are faithful to God’s word.
Here, David shares their story:
Why are you going?
Paul says in Romans 10: 13-16 that there is a need for the gospel to go to people who’ve never heard God’s word and the Lord spoke to me through this and also, through Matthew 9:37-38, which kept going round and round in my heart and mind.
It was 2013, when we visited Maribel’s family in Mexico and other churches, that God revealed the great need for the gospel, and the need for Mexican people to have church plants that were faithful to the word and Bible training.
The reasons for this were twofold: one, because of the prosperity gospel being rife in the churches, and, secondly, the thought that a believer can lose their salvation. So Mexican Christians say if you can lose your salvation then just give up, because the Christian life is so difficult.
These two teachings are toxic, and are unbiblical. This burdened my heart even greater for the Christians in Mexico, but also for non-believers – that there is a hope who is Christ, who is sufficient for salvation, and nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
How were you called to Mexico?
We have both studied at Cornhill in London, where we were truly blessed as we deepened our understanding of how to handle, proclaim and teach the Bible faithfully.
There was a lot of praying from 2013 onwards that if the Lord was calling us to Mexico, then he’d make it plain to me and to Maribel.
In 2016, God planted an idea that consisted of us starting a conference called ‘Awakening Hearts’. This came into being where we had 20 or more young people and adults come and hear the word of God faithfully preached.
We then ran two more, which also brought non-believers, believers, and those who had once professed faith in Christ. It was a time of blessing and again, the Lord showed me the great need for faithful Bible teaching in Mexico.
But as time passed, I couldn’t see how we could go to Mexico, because I didn’t see any mission organisation that worked in Mexico at the time.
It was when I met a guy called ‘D’ while at Cornhill Bible college that he introduced us to SIM and told us the great need in the Circle of Silence.
When Maribel heard about the Circle of Silence and the work that D was doing, her heart leaped, and for the first time, the Lord showed her that we needed to go to serve him in Mexico.
Maribel and I found SIM UK, who were very supportive in our calling and careful in the process — as it took a whole year, with many interviews — to make sure we were called to Mexico.
Tell us about the Circle of Silence
The Circle of Silence is a mostly mountainous area of about 99,460 square miles in Central Mexico with a population of more than 23 million people, with almost no gospel witness.
It’s made up of nine states where only 1% of people — or fewer — have heard the gospel, making it an area with the largest concentration of unreached people in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
In the whole of Latin America, only one in ten pastors have had any formal Bible teaching, and this may not even be faithful Bible teaching, so the need is big.
The Circle of Silence is a key area as there are major universities and cities where Mexicans come and study, and then go back to surrounding areas. But we don’t just want them to be saved; we want them to be faithful Bible handlers, so that they can withstand any error that they will face, so our plan is to plant churches that are faithful to God’s word, train people, identify their gifts and send them to establish churches.
We’d also like to run conferences, and Maribel has a real heart for street children and ladies’ ministry. We believe it’s vital that men and women, boys and girls, hear the gospel and are trained to handle the word properly for God’s kingdom.
What is Mexico like?
It’s a very large country that covers an area of 1.964 million km2, which makes the UK look like an ant and elephant in comparison!
Corruption from the police, kidnapping, drug and alcohol addiction, poverty — both physically and spiritually — are huge. Gun crime, prostitution and human trafficking are also big problems, especially in Mexico City.
Mexico has a lot of children, and in fact, there are more young people than there are old people, as the mortality rate is about 70 years’ old. It’s very rare to see a very old person in their 80s. This is due to health issues, young people dying in freak accidents, killings, and not being able to afford health care — things we in the West take for granted.
Mexico has almost every eco system in one country. There is sun, with beautiful blue skies, with temperatures as high as 40°C, and low temperatures, depending on the area, of minus six centigrade or even lower.
There are stunning beaches with palm trees, rainforests with giant pine and oak trees that are huge in size, with various animals and insects – both friendly and deadly – which are not for the faint-hearted. There’s snow on the tops of the mountains in the north and desert areas, with huge canyons like Copper Canyon, which is four times larger than the Grand Canyon in the USA.
What is the main language?
The main language of Mexico is of course Spanish, although it has a different dialect, but this was a result of Hernán Cortés who came over to Mexico in 1519 with his men. Spanish is not the only language spoken – indeed, there are 68 different languages spoken by many tribes in Mexico.
Food as a doorway for the gospel
The ancient Mexicans cultivated many foods, mainly corn and beans, until the Spanish came over and brought animals. If you are food lovers you can pass by a chocolate shop like something from Willy Wonka, and if you know the history of chocolate, it originated from Mexico and was brought over to Europe and other countries by the Spanish Catholics.
You can get tacos, elotes, chocolate, burritos, churros, and even pizza, and the list could go on! I believe food is a doorway into the heart of a Mexican where the gospel can be brought.
Also, I mention food because Coca Cola is the main drink that is consumed; a Mexican family will drink three litres a day. This means there’s a real problem with type 2 diabetes, and people have other health issues as a result.
Mexican people are warm, kind and generous, and Mexican culture is very family-orientated. Mexicans do not tend to have small families, but are generally rather large and look after each other especially the older generation.
But times are changing and with LGBT+, abortion, and ultra-feminism coming up in society in prominence, less and less couples are having children or able to have children.
Our work will be a challenge, but we believe the Lord is leading us to Mexico. We need firstly financial partners to go, secondly, prayer, and thirdly, in the future, even other believers who have a heart for the gospel.
- For David and Maribel to fulfil their role in the Great Commission as they serve God in Mexico.
- That they will trust the Lord to provide for all they need in their lives and ministry.
- For God’s blessing as the family leave friends, family and the church they love.
This story is taken from an article that first appeared in the September issue of the Christian newspaper, Evangelicals Now (www.e-n.org.uk)