I recently had the opportunity to join our one of our Directing Elders, Jim Hines, on a vision trip to the city of Puebla in southern Mexico. The purpose of our trip was centered on connecting with and deepening the partnership that we at Summit have with an organization called “Esperanza Viva” (Living Hope); a mission organization that serves as an orphanage to the homeless and orphaned children in the city. They are doing amazing work that is impacting the lives of many. 

One aspect of the organization that I found to be deeply encouraging and inspiring is their ministry training school called, La Viña, or The Vine. Students, ages 18-24, come from around the country to attend this training school that offers a rich theological and practical ministry experience. These young people are a shining light in a country that is filled with corruption, violence, orphaned children and unimaginable pain.

During our time in Puebla I was offered the opportunity to share with these wonderful young men and women about some of the things that I have learned in my own life and ministry experience. Together we focused our time on looking at the inner man through a biblical perspective, and discussed why it’s so integral to our spiritual life and connection with God to know what we were created for and how our minds and hearts work. The students were engaged, inquisitive, and thoughtful as they began to interact with the content and one another. It was a difficult topic of study because it so often connected with their own hearts in areas like major life struggles, how we cope with pain, trust issues, and emotional and spiritual battles we face.

I was most encouraged during our question and answer time as the students asked questions about addictions, why they are so significant in our world and culture, how to find help, and how they can help others who are struggling. As we spent time together it was as if I had never left our own city. The hearts and minds of the students were like any other young adults I’ve encountered at Summit, engaging with the purposes of God for their lives and deeply burdened for the lostness and suffering of their city and country. 

I look forward to our continued partnership with Esperanza Viva (Living Hope) and for the transformation that God has planned for the city of Puebla and the country of Mexico, because we know the Gospel gives us hope for the future, as it works in and through the lives of every believer. 

-Evan Lemkuil

You can find out more about Living Hope by visiting their website, lovehopemercy.org