Carla’s 15-minute ride to church may be the most important part of her Sunday routine.
A member of Cristo Arca de Salvación church in Tijuana, Mexico, for 20 years, Carla rides a taxi to church every Sunday and strikes up a conversation with her driver.
“She opens up the conversation by asking her driver’s names and the names of their family members,” says Abe Lee, a CRWM missionary who serves in Tijuana.
Naturally, most of Carla’s drivers ask why she wants this personal information.
“So I can bless you and your family,” Carla replies.
Carla writes down these names each Sunday, and when they arrive at the church, she asks if she can pray with the driver.
“Usually they are so moved that they tell her she doesn’t have to pay. And instead she puts that money in the collection plate as an offering from the driver.”
Carla’s list of taxi drivers has filled several pieces of paper, and she faithfully prays for each one every week.
Prayers of Healing
While she has had many meaningful conversations on her short ride to church, Carla says one experience stands out.
“Carla remembers a driver whose father was so ill, he was on his deathbed,” says Abe. “So she shared a message from the Gospel and prayed for the driver and for his dying father.”
As with most drivers, Carla did not expect to see this man again. But she was surprised to see him again one morning as she hailed a cab for her usual trip to church.
“The driver told Carla that he shared with his father the exact message from the Bible that she had shared with him and prayed for him. He listened to the story of Jesus before his last breath.”
The driver said he was thankful to Carla for sharing these words because he knew his father wanted to hear a story of Jesus but didn’t know much about the Bible himself.
Bible Studies with a Purpose
Church members with biblical understanding like Carla encourage Abe and his wife, Elaine, as they carry out their ministry in Tijuana. As they come alongside church leaders, they also lead Bible studies in the churches, and many of the participants are going through the Bible for the first time, which may prepare them for a “taxi cab” moment like Carla’s.
As they study the Bible each week, they look for practical ways that they can apply Scripture to everyday life in Tijuana, with the hope that the participants will see the connection to their own lives.
“We as Christians are called to make testimonies and praise stories about our God,” say Abe and Elaine. “We have heard and seen this among our Bible readers.”
In early 2016, Abe and Elaine led a Bible study for about 30 eager participants at Carla’s church—almost none of whom had ever read the Bible before. Beginning in August, Abe and Elaine led a second Bible study at another Tijuana church for about 60 more people.
“Most of these people were evangelized on the streets and do not have solid biblical teaching,” explains Elaine. “It’s time to dig deeper in the Bible.”
Pray that members of the church in Mexico will continue to find practical ways to live out God’s Gospel message.