As we approached the start of another summer missions trip season, we were excited to start a little differently than in years past. This year, we had the privilege of hosting the 100 Men Retreat as the group from First Baptist Church of Milford came during the first week of June. The purpose of this trip was to have a time of spiritual refreshment and to get several projects done on the property. While that was the plan, it was evident by the end of the trip that God did much more.
The event began with preparation a few months earlier. Project planning was discussed between us and Milford and we quickly outlined a plan of what to do. In April, two leaders from Milford came down to physically finish up the planning of the projects and make sure that details were in order. On May 1, our staff began a month of project preparation. Our desire was to have all of the major projects prepared so that when the men arrived, they would be able to begin the projects. As the month of May unfolded, we realized that there was more to do than we thought. As we uncovered issues and roadblocks, we began to realize that Satan hates this ministry and did not want to see anything positive happen. However, May 1 also began a new practice in this ministry--daily prayer meetings as a staff. We discovered at an even greater level that NOTHING in ministry can be done without God’s power and so we set out to pray as a team each day asking God to give us His power. Although Satan attacked and tried to hinder the work, we saw time and time again as the Lord met the needs and showed Himself mighty. By the end of the month, the jobs were prepped and, most importantly, our faith increased.
The time of arrival came and the fellowship was sweet. Seeing all of our ministry friends from the home church added an extra amount of energy to everyone. We began with a work day on Saturday and enjoyed the opportunity to make great progress on the projects. The men, most of who had never worked together before, worked very well together. This was another answer to prayer as we had spent much prayer time asking God to unify our hearts and spirit. After a busy day of work, we had a great dinner and then went up to the mountain overlooking El Paso and Juarez and had a great testimony service and prayer time. There is something about 100 men singing praises to God and praying together. It truly was a tremendous start to the week.
Sunday was a great day in God’s house, both in America and in Mexico as we had services there Sunday night. Bro. Jim Roe preached a great message in Spanish and Bro. Hector Jimenez translated for those that did not know Spanish. The spirit was wonderful and we enjoyed the fellowship with the church that we would be working with for the services in Mexico that week. As the rest of the week unfolded, we enjoyed challenging sessions each morning as well as devotionals and preaching from key men. In the afternoons, half of the men stayed on property and worked on the projects and the other half went into Mexico each night for services. In approximately 3 1/2 days, the men did an incredible amount of work and the majority of the projects were completed before they left to go home. God blessed and gave the men strength during a very hot week in El Paso.
It is safe to say that the greatest part of the week was seeing God move during the services in Mexico. The major purpose of this ministry is to evangelize the lost. Going into Mexico each night and working with the local churches there allowed all of us an opportunity to see God do what He sent us to do--to seek and to save. In the three nights of services, we saw over 50 people make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ! One of the great parts about the services was seeing the men from the retreat praying together and begging God to move in the hearts of those that were listening to the message. When souls were getting saved, it helped the men see God answering those prayers. What a thrill to know that eternity was impacted because of these services.
While many projects were done (building a new deck, painting the interior, landscaping, replacing a roof, etc.) and the men were excited to do those things, it was clear by the end of the week that the greatest project was the work that God did in each of our hearts. One of the beautiful things about the ministry of BPS El Paso is that when you come here for a project week or for a missions trip, you cannot help but see God in ways you have never seen Him before. Really, that is His desire. We need to see God greater and glorify Him more. Why? Because He is worthy! The 100 Men Retreat truly was a landmark event in our ministries history. Not only that, it changed the hearts and lives of so many. To God be the glory! Great things He hath done!