Iglesia Torre Fuerte was an active and growing church when we first attended in 2002 The church was started by Paco Betancort shortly after he finished his studies at Ebenezer Seminary. Torre Fuerte translates as “Strong Tower” and comes from Psalm 61:3 “for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (ESV)
A building was made available to the church and it was often an exciting time to be in the very run down building they were using. When it rained, the roof leaked like a sieve and people actually needed umbrellas if they sat in the wrong place. The musicians using the electric instruments were in great danger of electrocution and usually pulled their plugs as soon as rain started to fall. In spite of this humble church building, the congregation was growing. They had big plans for a new facility.
They formed two committees as the first step in getting a new building they desperately needed. One committee was the David committee, and this committee had responsibility for raising money to finance the new building. The other committee was the Solomon committee with the responsibility for designing and construction.
The congregation was blessed to have just the right people for carrying out this work. There were architects, engineers, and builders. They soon found a nice piece of property and Helen and I were privileged to be there for the dedication of this building site on the churches tenth anniversary.
A couple of years later, we attended a service in the new and beautiful church. After the service, as we were riding back to our hotel with Paco, I mentioned how impressed I was with the growth of Torre Fuerte, and how the Lord had really blessed their ministry. Paco responded by saying, “Yes, we have been blessed by the Lord, but it wasn’t until we made the decision to get involved with missions that the blessings started coming. The first few years we weren’t feeling as blessed as we do now.”
He explained that the people at Torre Fuerte had observed mission teams come to Mexico from churches in the United States and realized they could do similar work in rural churches there in Mexico. In their eyes, the Lord had been blessing churches in the States through this mission work, and in faith they believed He would also bless them.
I’ve often thought about what Paco said and how this is a good lesson for any church that is under the impression that it doesn’t have the resources to be active in missions. These churches are missing out on a great opportunity for being blessed as well as for being a blessing.