Partnering as one national Mennonite Brethren family is important as we…work with the family
By Josue Aaron Hernandez
There is nothing more exciting than seeing people in our communities surrender their lives to God. No church denies this as central to their purpose or mission, but at Grulla MB Church we felt that we needed to be intentional about it.
We did not pray to become a particular type of church—traditional, contemporary, modern or relevant. We prayed that we would become Christ’s church with his vision, his plan and his purpose.As we began to seek God for direction, God moved Grulla MB into a new phase that will allow us to do more for his kingdom. God told us what he repeatedly told Joshua: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). This meant that our faith-risk factor had to increase.
If God was going to lead, then he was going to provide the resources needed for us to accomplish his vision for our church. In other words, “If it is his will then it is his bill.” And God has faithfully been doing this in every way. Our congregation has continued to be faithful in their giving and God has blessed us through a new partnership with Mission USA and Don Morris.
MUSA’s financial assistance only begins to scratch the surface of our partnership. MUSA has joined us in constant prayer and Don has provided words of encouragement and advice drawn from his years of experience. MUSA has been strategic in partnering alongside us in the direction God is leading. Don has not dictated our moves or direction but has been very sensitive and supportive in believing with us the vision that God has for Grulla MB Church.
Moving into a new phase of renewal brought challenges that we had not considered or foreseen. MUSA has been a catalyst in helping us to better confront these challenges. One specific point of help has been in the area of staffing. Grulla MB has always been very active in serving our community by means of service projects, basketball tournaments, outreach/family events and hosting other Mennonite Brethren church groups who come to serve in South Texas and Mexico.
However, as our vision became clearer we realized we needed to increase our staff in order to cover a wider range of ministry and to develop a team that would better serve the needs of our church and community. By joining with MUSA in prayer and discernment we have been blessed as God has sent the right people for his work at Grulla.
We currently have one full-time pastor and one part-time worship leader, but expect to end the year with at least two more part-time staff that will help in ministering to our youth and children. Increased staffing has helped us be more effective in reaching our community for Jesus and targeting specific areas of ministry that needed more help.
I am amazed and grateful that God wants to use us to increase his kingdom and that he has provided people like Don Morris and Mission USA to help our efforts to reach our community for Jesus. At Grulla we are in a long-distance race that requires discipline and sacrifice from those in our church. But even now, God is blessing us with small samplings that bear the fruit of our partnership with MUSA. As I write this we are but a few weeks removed from an Easter weekend in which we rejoiced to celebrate 12 baptisms, five new confessions for Christ and 350 people joining our celebration.
Being part of the U.S. Mennonite Brethren family really is a good thing for us. It adds value to our church life as we aim to increase the kingdom of God.
Pastor Aaron Hernandez and his wife, Alejandra, have two children and serve Grulla MB Church, La Grulla, Texas.