In October of 2012 the recommendation was made by mission representatives of Voice in the Wilderness (Canada) as well as by the Board of Directors of Obreros Unidos para Cosechar to divide the various divisions of the work into three separate ministries, all under the covering of the nonprofit OUpC. Each of these three divisions was to be placed under the direct leadership of a national director.
In January 2013 the decision was made to place the ministry of the nondenominational Bible Institute Luz de las Naciones under the direction of Alejandra Lozano. Alejandra (Janny) had already been administering the Bible Institute for many years, and the choice of officially recognizing her role was not a difficult one to make.
The directorship of the nondenominational Bible School Project LAMBS was accepted by Mario Cázares. Mario is a man of passion and vision and this choice was also not a difficult one to make. Mario has a desire to see Project LAMBS taken throughout the city of Valles, throughout the local region, and into other parts of Mexico. Apart from continuing to develop the work of the school in Cd. Valles he has also already been able to plant satellite schools in Monterrey and Tanquian, and there is a good possibility that very soon there will also be an extension school in Rio Verde as well.
Javier Santos was the very obvious choice for director for the farm-based Training Center. Javier has worked tirelessly with Steven from the very beginning of the purchase of the landsite. He has carried the vision and passion for this ministry. He graciously accepted the role of director, knowing that this would only increase the already heavy work load that he was currently carrying as farm director.
Although Steven and Theresa Frey continue in their role as missionaries and overseers of the work of Voice in the Wilderness Ministries in Mexico, it is their joy to see each specific area of the local ministry under national leadership. Surely this is the goal of all missions work.
By the end of December 2012 it was obvious that a new facility needed to be found to house the Bible Institute Luz de las Naciones. Up until then it had been graciously hosted in the church building facilities of Pastor Ezequiel Hernandez. However, the Bible Institute had outgrown this location, and the church’s facilities also needed to be used for other purposes. A very usable and well located building was found and rented for the beginning of January 2013.
This location would become the new office for the nonprofit OUpC as well as housing the classrooms for the Bible Institute. This was the first time that the nondenominational Bible Institute had actually found autonomy outside of a loaned, denominational church building.
Project LAMBS continues to grow and expand almost weekly under the direction of Mario.
Work continues in the preparation of the farm site. To better reflect the vision and ministry that is envisioned for this missionary Training Center the name “La Finca Casa del Obrero” (Farm – House of the Laborer) has been chosen for this area of the work. This name is appropriate because the name of the nonprofit that covers the work is “Obreros Unidos para Cosechar” (Laborers United to Harvest). This, of course, can refer to the physical harvesting on the farm, but more significantly to the spiritual harvesting that is the whole purpose of the ministry. The word “obrero(s)” that was used in the names is the same word that Jesus used in Matthew 9:37 and in other places where he said “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few”. It is this vision that we hope to instill deep into the heart of each person who passes through this site.
It is our vision that the missionary Training Center La Finca Casa del Obrero will become a place where men and women can be trained in a very practical and non-religious, hands-on way in the Bible, in ministry and ministering, in serving and servanthood, in physical work and trades skills, and in every aspect of life which will bring their walk closer with the Lord. The vision is that it will become a place where men and women can live in community, work and study, be discipled in the Word, learn ministry with hands-on training, and be able to grow in their walk in the Lord 24/7.
Because the new Training Center is located in an area close to four major tribal groups its focus will probably be directed to, but not limited to indigenous, national men and women who have God’s call on their lives for ministry back into their own villages in the Huasteca region. Whereas the more academic-based Bible Institute Luz de las Naciones and the mobile Project LAMBS schools are mainly reaching those in the cities, the purpose of the farm-based Casa del Obrero will be to train and equip national missionaries. We also envision this Training Center being able to accommodate those who do not have a strong academic background, and may not even be able to read or write. We are aware that God’s call on lives is not limited to academia or classroom knowledge.
The missionary Training Center is still a work in progress. The sugarcane crop is going well. Fruit and nut trees are planted and are growing. All of the land is cleared and cultivated. As of April 2013 there is one metal shed built on the land, and the building sites are filled and prepared for ongoing construction. We look forward to watch as God provides funding so that the actual buildings can be constructed. Until this is done, and we have a place to house both staff and students, no ministry can fully be developed on this site, and missionaries will not be able to be trained and sent out.
Theresa ministers to women through her sewing and tailoring school. The school has been moved from her living room to the new Bible Institute rental building where it continues to grow and expand. Cristina, her student/co-teacher is being trained to take over the instructing on a daily basis. It is Theresa’s vision to hand this portion of the ministry completely over to national leadership very soon as well.