A Great Secret in Monterrey, Mexico: La Universidad Cristiana de Las Américas
(A Personal Testimony by Herb Taylor)
Recently, I discovered a great “ministry secret”. In late fall, 2012, I had the privilege to travel to Monterrey, Mexico. My purpose was to:
1) visit a Christian College called La Universidad Cristiana de Las Américas.
2) promote the school among our Spanish-speakers here in the United States.
3) encourage young people trained at UCLA to be missionaries in the United States.
However, this trip really began back in 2007. My son, Benjamin, desired to go on a Spanish-speaking mission trip. He served on that trip, through Oremundo Ministries, to the city of Monterrey, Mexico. Upon his return, his excitement about his ministry there generated another mission endeavor the following year with Benjamin, my wife and me.
During our summer 2008 trip, also with Oremundo Ministries, we ministered in the city of Satillo, Mexico. It was here that God began to work on my heart concerning a ministry to Hispanics. Upon our return to our pastoral ministry in Virginia, we began to see Hispanics all around us. They had been there before . . . but now our hearts saw them too.
Eventually, the Lord burdened our hearts for the bigger picture . . . the over 50 million Hispanics here in the United States. Finally, with the encouragement of David Whitcher (then Coordinator of Hispanic Ministries with Baptist Church Planters) and Dr. Dave Little (president of Baptist Church Planters), we made application and were approved in September 2009 as missionaries with BCP to work among the Hispanics in the U.S.
With that background, it was recently my privilege, as the Coordinator of Hispanic Ministries with Baptist Church Planters, to travel again to Mexico, this time to visit UCLA. La Universidad Cristiana de Las Américas is a Christian training institution for those in Latin America as well as for Spanish speakers here in the United States.
I was not sure what to expect from the school, but was overwhelmed with the work of the ministry that is being accomplished. I would say that my time there had such a profound effect on me that I would like to share with you about this school in word and picture.
After arriving and getting settled in my motel room, I was surprised to answer my door and to see Joel. He had been my translator back in 2008 (see above picture) when we made our initial mission trip to Mexico, and we had not seen each other since that trip. (I am glad to say that he does not have to be my translator anymore).
That evening we attended a concert by the students and staff of UCLA. It was such a thrill to hear not only the orchestra, but also the choral groups as they excellently performed a program entitled, “Hymns Throughout the Ages”. I was later informed that when some of these students came to the school they had never before played a musical instrument. The quality of both the vocal and instrumental selections was superb throughout the evening.
The next two days were filled with a tour of the college as well as a tour of the church that is associated with the school (Genesaret Baptist Church). To many of us in the United States, the school facilities would seem meager but I was very impressed with the cleanliness and quality of the classrooms, offices, dormitories, snack bar, etc.
I also had the privilege to attend and preach in chapel. What a joy it was to hear those young people singing the great hymns of the faith, sharing testimonies of God’s working in their hearts, and observing their attention to the Word of God.
The missionary staff of UCLA is truly a Godly team that works and ministers well together. They are indeed servants of God, not only in the direct ministry of the school, but also in planting churches in various neighborhoods around the city, while training students in the crucial aspect of the church planting ministry.
Not only is there the University (college level) but in conjunction with the whole ministry is a primary and secondary school, a kindergarten, and a day care which primarily ministers to unsaved families. La Universidad de Las Américas is an accredited school, recognized in the U.S. as well. Some of their majors include business, theological studies, music, pedagogy, and education with an English emphasis. The school is also working on a music studio for recording music in Spanish. In addition, the university offers courses online.
I want to encourage you to consider UCLA as an opportunity place for your Spanish-speaking young people who are looking for a quality education. It is also a great training ground for men who are preparing for ministry, or for those who are in ministry here in the United States, but who have not yet received any formal training.
Now, the secret is out. Please join me in this new discovery.
Author: Herb Taylor presently serves as the Coordinator of Hispanic Ministries with Baptist Church Planters. His ministry is three-fold: Planting (assisting Hispanic church plants), Partnering (aiding established churches in reaching Hispanics in their own area) and Preparing (training leaders to reach Hispanics here in the states). Herb and his wife, Wanda, live in a fifth-wheel trailer and travel much of the year assisting Hispanic church plants with BCP and seeking to coordinate efforts in reaching Hispanics for Christ in the U.S.