Mabelvale Hispanic Mission
“And He said unto them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’” (Mark 16:15). The mission of the church to take the gospel (good news) to every nation, language and culture was authorized by Jesus and what the church has done since the first century. The Apostles and other Christians began to carry out that mission as the gospel was first preached “in Jerusalem, in all Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8), and the same mission continues for the Lord’s church in the twenty-first century.
Recognizing the need to take gospel to the influx of Spanish speaking people moving into the Southwest Little Rock area the Elders of the Mabelvale Church of Christ decided in July, 2002 to work toward carrying out that goal by selecting Wayne Brewer to begin the Hispanic outreach in September, 2002.
The work of taking the gospel those that speak Spanish and the first baptisms were in October, 2002 at the first Gospel Meeting (Conferencia Bíblica). Since that time many others have “come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4) and have believed and obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16, Romans 1:16, 6:17). Through the power of the gospel God has blessed the Hispanic mission work and there is now a Spanish speaking congregation that worships at the Mabelvale Church of Christ building. The Spanish speaking congregation is active in taking the gospel to the Spanish speakers in the Little Rock area through personal in-home Bible studies and special activities such as Evangelistic Campaigns and Gospel Meetings.
Through the years the mission has expanded into various Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru. Many of the English speaking young people and adults at the Mabelvale Church of Christ have participated in these foreign mission trips, as well as brothers and sisters in Christ from Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, various places in Arkansas, and other countries as well. For example members of the church of Christ in three different Mexican states have traveled within Mexico and to the USA and Costa Rica in order to work with brethren from Mabelvale in various evangelistic efforts to take the gospel to other Spanish speakers. The Mabelvale Hispanic Mission work often has Christians from at least three countries together in evangelism.
The first opportunity that Wayne Brewer had to lead some of the Mabelvale Church of Christ members on a mission trip to Mexico came about because a family of the Hispanic mission at Mabelvale, Julian and Maria Hernandez, returned to Mexico in July, 2005 where they continue to be faithful workers in the kingdom of God in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.
The word “mission” accurately describes what is taking place because that is what Jesus desires for the church to do. The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote to the church at Rome; “And so I have in my aim to preach the gospel, no where Christ was named…having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey…” (Romans 15:20, 23-24). May that mission always be alive in the twenty-first century as it was in the first.