One of the amazing people I met on my recent trip to Mexico was Professor Jose Padilla. He is a man of no formal education, but who has a deep faith and a desire to help his community. He taught himself and God used him to build a Christian school in his village, Kilometro 29, on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez. This school began as a one-room school in a cardboard shack and now educates 300 students on its campus which also includes a church. The school has received numerous awards for excellence in education and the students regularly win contests for academic achievement. The school charges no fees and many of the teachers and other workers volunteer their time. It’s graduates have gone on to meaningful work throughout the area and many come back to volunteer at the school. What Professor Jose has done with his school in these circumstances is a powerful testimony of his own faithfulness and the power of the Lord to work though men and women who are sold out to Him. He is an inspiration to me and to many others.
There is no way humanly-speaking that this school should have the success that it has. It is located in a village of desperate poverty that to this day has no running water or even any water source. All the water is trucked-in weekly. Each family receives three 50-gallon drums a week to use for all household needs. They also receive 2 gallons a day of clean drinking water per household. However, the water station is only open a few hours a day and many families face the choice of traveling to the city for work, or staying home for clean drinking water for the family. Unemployment, broken families, poor health, and drug and alcohol abuse are rampant.
Pastor Jose knows all of this and has been praying about what to do next in their ministry. When he attended our training, he learned what God wanted him to do next. He said, “we know we need to reach out to our community. Now we have the way to do it through Community Health Evangelism.” I was amazed that this godly man could have learned anything from us. I am encouraged because I know his commitment to the Lord and to sharing Christ with his community means that great things will happen in the days ahead in Kilometro 29, to the glory of God!