The city in Mexico destroyed the church and drove the pastor away

In a small Mexican town, Christians have been persecuted for years. The believers were first expelled and later the church was destroyed. In the midst of it all, they trust in the Lord.

San Andrés Yaá is a small town in the southwestern part of the country, inhabited by Mexican natives. It is also one of the toughest places in the region for evangelical Christians. Community leaders are rude to those who reject the traditional animistic religion and convert to Christianity.

The persecution began in 2006 when the community expelled the first two Christians. Four years later, the church built there by Pastor Imeldo was destroyed. The pastor was imprisoned and exiled with his family. Because of the persecution and the fear it caused, Christians secretly began to gather in their homes.

The church was born

Imeldo and his wife Adolfina converted to Christianity when their youngest daughter became seriously ill at the age of three. The child was taken to hospital and doctors said the disease was incurable. Upon learning of this, Adolfina’s sister asked if the pastor of her church could pray for her daughter, and her parents gave their consent.

The pastor asked them, “Do you believe that God has the power to heal a girl? If you believe, receive Christ into your heart. ”

Imeldo and Adolfina then wholeheartedly accepted Christ and committed themselves to the work of God. They no longer lived in San Andrés Yaás, but they knew that the people there needed to know God. They decided to go back there and preach the gospel.

Nothing happened at first. They spoke the word of God to the people. Many listened, but few converted to Christianity. Pastor Imeldo decided it was time to open the church with some converts so that they could gather. “We need to build a small church so we can talk to them more. We leave it in God’s hands and He does His work. God will reach them, ”said Imeldo.

They built a church on a plot donated by Adolfina’s father, about a mile from downtown. Praise services were held four days a week. The people who had received Christ began to come, and the church grew slightly.

The difficulties begin

Soon the congregation had 15 members. Although the number seems small, the difficulties began at that point. One day they gathered to welcome a child. It was a party! Even the church in the neighboring town had come to praise God. When the service ended, Christian men from the neighboring community were not allowed to return home. Local authorities stopped the men as they drove through the city. The men invited Pastor Imeldo to the scene. Upon arrival, the authorities required the pastor to prove that he had permission to hold the event, which was not required before.

In the morning, the men were allowed to leave after many conversations. The next evening, however, the whole community gathered to tell the pastor that they no longer allowed gatherings and preaching in the city. The pastor resolutely replied that he would not change his actions and that the meetings will continue.

A week later, the congregation was reconvened for the same purpose, but with a new threat: either the pastor would give up the faith or the community would take action. “I do not deny Christ. Do what you want. I’m not going to give up my faith, “said the pastor.

The church has been destroyed

One rainy night, the pastor was arrested and imprisoned. People dressed in raincoats began to destroy the church. Regardless of the weather, they tore down the roof and walls of the church. The next day they returned to remove the floor and all signs that there had once been a church on the site.

“They left the plot as if nothing had been built on it, so there was no evidence. They planted plants and bananas there, and that’s it. They destroyed everything, ”Adolfina describes. After destroying the church, they went to jail, brought Imeldon out, and gave him another chance to renounce Jesus. They said to him, “Deny – and if you deny, you will have all the rights. You can work, you can stay here. But we don’t want evangelists in this city anymore. ” After being denied several times by Imeldo, they drove him out of town. Adolfina was very shocked, but her husband said, “Calm down. God knows what He is doing. And don’t worry, because whatever they do, we won’t give up. ”

“I do not know how God gave my husband the strength to continue. It was evening time when the inhabitants of the whole city took him two kilometers out of the city and left him there. From there, he walked to the region’s capital, Oaxaca, ”Adolfina describes.

The fight gets support

In Oaxaca, Imeldo sought help, but although he received a decision from a judge allowing him to return home, the local authorities refused. The couple remained calm and relentlessly trusted God. “Only God can give us strength. Let’s look at Christ in spite of everything. We trust in the Lord. ”

After several unsuccessful attempts, the Open Doors set out to help Imeldo and Adolfina investigate the case. “”Open Doors” started to support us and things started to move forward. Imeldo fought, but the people in our community didn’t want to hear about it. So far, the lawyer is waiting to resolve the case. He’s already in court but people don’t want us to go back, ”says Adolfina.

Therefore, they are even fighting for compensation for what has been destroyed and taken away. Open Doors has supported them in covering the costs of the case. Unfortunately, Imeldo did not see the result. He died of a coronavirus in 2020. Adolfina continues to fight, believing that she can survive the trials. She asks, “I would like Christians to pray for us. Pray that justice will prevail because so many years have passed. My husband is no longer here. He’s resting, but he’s not with us. This concerns me the most. ”

The work continues

The Christian community in San Andrés Yaá is very small and needs constant support. In 2006, Pastor Celiflora, whom Imeldo and Adolfina met through the “Open Doors”, and his wife began visiting Imeldo’s Church when they heard that God was prompting him to preach there. Since then, he has helped the church with Bible teaching. With the help of Open Doors, he has been able to deepen his studies.

“In addition to the persecution of the church, Catholics are also persecuted by people engaged in witchcraft. There is an evil presence in this community because they have a mountain where they worship the enemy, ”he says.

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