How Tenstrike Community Church came to adopt the Pame Chichimeca people of San Luis Potosi, Mexico:
January 1992- Vicky C took the Perspectives course at the USCWM. Every student was challenged to mobilize their church to adopt an unreached people group. Vicky talked to her pastor at Tenstrike Community Church (TCC) in Tenstrike, Minnesota. He had an immediate positive response. The appropriate people in leadership at TCC also gave their approval and a task force was initiated.
The task force narrowed down the possibilities to an ethnic group in Mexico. We wanted a people that had been contacted with the gospel and that would be accessible for us to visit. We also wanted a people that would be within driving distance from Monterey where we already had connections and had sent members of our church. We contacted the AAP Clearinghouse for ministries working with unreached peoples in Mexico. We also contacted the missionary we knew in Monterey, Mexico. Through the leads given us and the direction of the Holy Spirit we decided to Adopt-A-People that Bethany School of Missions in Matehuala, Mexico was targeting for church planting.
In January of 1993, after research and much prayer, we chose the Pame Chichimecas of San Luis Potosi. We designed a prayer card for our people, developed slides and put together a large photo collage for our missions resource center in a visible place in the church foyer. On a Sunday morning service that January we formally presented the Pame Chichimecas as our adopted people to our church. We showed the slides and handed out the prayer cards, encouraging everyone to put it in a prominent place to remind them to pray for the salvation and establishing of an indigenous church among the Pame.
Prayer was mobilized. Several weekly Bible studies committed to pray on a weekly basis for the Pame as well as families, individuals and a monthly prayer meeting. In 1997 after the establishing of an indigenous church among the Pame people, individual TCC members adopted individual Pame believers with whom to be prayer partners. In 1993 a monthly prayer bulletin insert for the Sunday morning church service was designed to keep the TCC congregation current on Pame news and prayer needs.
TCC made a monthly financial commitment to the work among the Pame as well as special gifts for special needs.
TCC has now sent four short term mission teams to the Pame people to research, pray and minister the gospel: December 1993, November 1994, August 1996, August 1997
In the 1930's Wycliffe missionary, Loma Gibson, began to work among the Paine and translate the Bible into Pame. Later, her Wycliffe partner, Norma Smith, joined her in the work. As of September 1998 the first half of the New Testament is completed. The gospel of John was recorded on to cassette tapes in December of 1997 and is in the final stages of editing at this time. Pame is one of the two most difficult languages in Mexico. Because of certain situations Lorna and Norma relocated to the U.S., but they continued to work on the Paine Bible translation. As of January 1998, Lorna Gibson retired.
Bethany School of Missions in Matehuala, Mexico began doing evangelism among the Pame in 1989. In April 1992 Pame authorities granted permission to set up a medical clinic. 201 people were treated. Rice, clothing and toys were distributed. Permission was granted for two Bethany students to live among the Pychcame. The missionary interns, Talitha Mendez and Silvia Contrevas, arrived on September 20, 1992. They settled in the village of Santa Maria Acapulco. Later the missionaries had to move to the village of La Parada because of persecution. In February 1992 another medical team was permitted to come to Santa Maria Acapulco. Over the next several years different interns from Bethany came and went. In 1995 Jose Manuel (Pepe) and Veronica Herrera went as the first full-time missionaries 10 work among the Pame. God used them in a powerful way to raise up indigenous church leadership among the Fame believers. They focused on discipleship of the leaders. As of October 1997, Pepe and Veronica felt the Lord's leading elsewhere and the indigenous Pame leadership has been the leading the church there for almost a year now, but Bethany School of Missions in Matehuala has discovered that the Pame are in need of more missionaries to come and live among them and continue discipling the leaders. This is a present prayer need as of September 1998.
January 1993: 5 or 6 Pame believers. Talitha Mended (Mexican) and Deliria Fount (American) are working among the Fame as missionaries.
Spring 1993: Pame believers begin an early morning prayer meeting 5 days a week for the salvation of their people. The number of Christians increases to twelve.
April 1993: Loran Gibson and Norma Smith of Wycliffe, together with 5 Pame believers and others spend many hours at Bethany center in Matehuala dubbing the film "Jesus" into Fame.
Summer 1993: Two interns from a missions school in Puerto Rico join Talitha. Teen Missions International builds a small church building for the pame in the village of La Parade. Persecution increases and more Pame are saved.
December 1993: A team of 40 arrive to minister in the "Sender de Via" Church and the "Shalom" Church in Monterey, Mexico under the direction of "Christian Equippers". Both of these Mexican churches decided to adopt the Pame and are given Pame prayer cards in Spanish. Fervent prayer in both English and Spanish is offered on behalf to the Pame people. Five TCC mission team members are sent on to the Pame to meet the people for the first time. This small team brings back an encouraging report: There are approximately 30 Pame who have become believers. Fifteen of these have been water baptized. Sixty Fame attend the special Christmas church service put on by Pame believers.
1994: The church continues to grow. A Mexican intern couple from Bethany School of Missions in Matehuala go to minister among the Pame. There are now about 60 Pame believers, of whom 35 are baptized
November 1994: A cross-cultural mission team from TCC and from the Sendero de Vida and Shalom Churches in Monterrey, Mexico comes to minister among the Pame for one week. They show the JESUS film in La Farada and Santa Maria Acapulco in the Pame Language. The Pame are amazed to see a film in their own language for the first time. They always thought that Jesus spoke Spanish. About 20 Pame make commitments to the Lord at the end of the film showing.
1994 - 1996: Short-term mission teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico, England and America go to minister among the Pame people.
1996: Fepe and Veronica Herrera come to live and minister among the Pame as full-time missionaries. They prepare the pame to accept the spiritual leadership of the church. The Pame church begins to outreach to other pame villages - San Diego, Escondida, Santa Maria Acapulco.
August 1996: Cross-cultural team from TCC and Mexico come to the Pame to minister- prayerwalking, evangelism and discipleship. The team ministers in other Pame villages along with the Pame believers.
August 1997: Cross-cultural team from TCC comes to minister among the Pame. Pastor Steve Pomp and his family are a part of this team. This helps to further mobilize the Tenstrike church to be committed to the Pame people in prayer and finances. By this time there are more than 90 Pame that have made commitments to the Lord, but those who are committed to disdpleship and active partidpation in the church is about 45 in La Parada. The Pame are taking a more active role in evangelism and leading Bible studies in other villages.
September 1997: Three Pame young women are sent to missionary training school in the Mexican city of La Ciudad Victoria. They are trained in Bible and missionary outreach for 3 months.
Odober 1997: The Pame church leaders stretch their wings and lead the church by themselves without cross-cultural assistance. Pastor Santiago and several elders are anointed and officially set into spiritual leadership within the church.
December 1997: The gospel of John is recorded on to cassette tapes by Lorna Gibson right before she retires. 1998: Lorna's translation partner, Norma Smith, is completing the editing of the gospel cassette tapes. They are almost ready to send to Pame Land along with the written manuscript of the gospel of John.
Summer 1998: A literacy team from Puerto Rico comes to do literacy work among the Pame. Six eager learners make good progress in learning how to read their own language of Pame. One of the elders, Bernardino, is fluent in reading in Pame and through recent reconciliation is back in fellowship with with the Pame believers. This may make a significant difference in the Pame taking interest in learning to read their language and then studying the Word in Pame. (Up to this time, the only printed Bible read among the Pame has been in the Spanish language.)
Submitted by Vicky C