Q: Can you introduce yourself, and tell us where you're from?
A: My name is Maria Lopez, and I am originally from Mexico City, however I immigrated to the United States as an international student, and I lived there, in the Los Angeles area for about 20 years.
Q: What is your current ministry?
A: I am currently working at the migrant camps in Sinaloa, Mexico. And specifically I am working in one of the camps in the state of Sinaloa, and I’m working with the indigenous people that migrate from the South of Mexico, into the Central and North regions of Mexico.
Q: How did God call you to do this?
A: I have been working with an organization that is called Buenas Nuevas and they’re based out of Oaxaca. And I worked with them once a year during the month of February... they do an outreach to the migrant camps in the same area, Sinaloa. So I started working with them on a temporary basis, on short-term mission trips. And about 5 years ago the Lord put it in my heart to adopt one of the camps, and I ended up adopting a camp that is named Tayoltita, and I’ve been there, working there for the last 5 years.
Q: What is your favorite part of your ministry?
A: Oh, there are so many things that make me really excited about my ministry... but I’ll name a few. I love to see people coming to the Lord. I have come across people that have never heard the name of Jesus. And when I tell them about how He died for their sins, and how much He loves them, and they open their hearts to the Lord, that blesses me a lot. And then also when I see a smile on a sad kid... or when I pray for somebody who has been sick for years, and they get healed. I really thank the Lord for that.
Q: What is your vision?
A: My vision is for every migrant worker to come to know the Lord and to have a relationship with God. To have hope in their hearts that their lives can be different... that they don’t have to continue in the cycle of poverty that they have been in for years and abuse, neglect and discrimination.
And I have a lot of projects that the Lord has put in my heart to develop. So it’s not just the spiritual side of things. But there are also a lot of practical things, that I would like to see implemented. So I’m doing a lot of community development, like literacy programs, health and sex education, parenting programs... You know, I want to have a holistic approach and implement many programs that will help them improve their lifestyles.
Q: What would you say to people out there who are thinking about doing missions in Mexico?
A: I would say that working with the indigenous people will definitely change your life, like it did mine. Just come and experience the miracle of being Jesus’ feet, hands and arms. And to just love on people that have never been loved in a healthy way.
So I challenge you to come, and work with the migrant workers here, alongside the ministry here. Sow into people’s lives. Love on them, help them break that cycle of discrimination and abuse, by just being there for them. I really hope to see you soon, in the camp Tayoltita in Mexico!
If you would like to contact Maria, you can email her at: maria_elopez@hotmail. com