The Texas Baptist River Ministry link churches to specific projects along the Texas/Mexico border, including the most populated cities in Mexico. It is under the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which encourages, facilitates, and connects churches in their work with the undertaking of fulfilling God’s mission of reconciling the world to himself. It is the oldest surviving Baptist convention in the state of Texas. It is located at 7557 Rambler Road, Suite 1200 Dallas, Texas.
In Texas, Baptist work is older than the state itself. It was in 1820 when the first Baptist service was held, which was a full quarter of a century before statehood. Even though Baptists were one of the earliest Anglo settlers in Texas, it wasn’t until 1834 when the first Baptist church was established. It was when a Primitive congregation from Illinois was led by Daniel Parker. The next years after that, many Baptist churches were formed.
In 2009, BGCT started to go by the name Texas Baptists to better connect who they are. The churches that cooperate with the BGCT partner nationally and internationally with the Southern Baptist Convention and others for missions. These include the River Ministry, which is headed by its Director Mario Alberto Gonzales. Read on to know more information about the Texas Baptist River Ministry.
Current Areas of River Ministry Work
River Ministry work will give you the possibility of going on a mission trip to the border or Mexico. These trips usually occur during spring break, Christmas break, and summer, but you can also customize it to match your schedule. There are a number of ways on how River Ministry missionaries engage the community. Areas of ministry include counseling sessions, health clinics, outreach, social events, and other events that help different family needs.
The current areas of River Ministry work are in the following places: El Paso, TX/Juárez, Laredo, TX/Nuevo Laredo, Brownsville, TX/Matamoros, Rio Grande Valley, TX (McAllen/Reynosa, Harlingen, Brownsville), Big Bend Association, TX, Del Rio/Acuña, Eagle Pass, TX/Piedras Negras, Zapata County, and TX/Falcon Heights Ciudad Guerrero, MX.
You and your group can also dedicate one day or two to the ministry on the Mexican side of the border. And if you are interested in doing a medical mission or dental mission trip, River Ministry has medical missionaries in Matamoros, Big Bend, Juarez, Acuña, and Piedras Negras. Aside from these, medical teams can also go to any of the places listed above.
For them to start planning your mission trip, all you need to provide are your preferred dates, the size of your group, location, and the type of ministry work that you prefer.
Texas Baptist River Ministry Mexico Missions
There are less than 2% evangelicals in the Bajio Region of Mexico. This region includes five megacities. This is the concentration of River Ministry’s Mexico Missions work, as well as in Mexico City and Monterrey.
In the Bajio Region/Reynosa, the types of mission work include ministry training and family conferences. In Guadalajara, the types of mission work are student work, kids’ clubs, ministry training, family conferences, personal evangelism, and soccer and sports clinics. In Mexico City, the types of mission work are family conferences and ministry training. And in Monterrey, the types of mission work are block parties, personal evangelism, ministry training, family conferences, and kids’ clubs.
Texas Baptist River Ministry Training
Sometimes, planning a mission trip can be challenging. But the Texas Baptist River Ministry offers training that can help you in planning a mission trip to the Texas border or Mexico. They will tell you about planning procedures, which include the type of mission, the location, preparations, your headquarters, including lodging, meals, and logistics, and as well as in planning your pre-trip.
Aside from those, the River Ministry also provides cultural awareness training. This training will help you and your team further understand the cultural differences that you might encounter while working on the border and in Mexico. Some of these may include cultural differences between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, task-oriented individuals and people-oriented individuals, time-oriented people and event-oriented people, and as well as Catholicism in the Hispanic culture. And if you’re worried that you do not know how to speak Spanish, the Texas Baptist River Ministry also provides a downloadable list of helpful words and phrases that you and your group can learn before you go on your mission trip.
Texas Baptist River Ministry Partner Projects
The Texas Baptist River Ministry also has partner projects. These are great projects that you, your church, or your family can do from home. Here are some of them:
- Evangelistic Soccer Balls: You can provide soccer balls for events and tournaments to help the leaders share Christ through the game of soccer.
- Hygiene Kit Project: You can help put together kits for families that attend free health clinics or health conferences, and as well as those in prison.
- Community Garden Starter Kit: You can provide seeds to help the River Ministry Missionaries reach their community through gardening.
- Organic Church Starter Kit: You can help support the beginning of a new house church by giving tables, chairs, and more.
You can also join and partner with River Ministry and serve in Mexico or Texas, bringing the light and hope of Christ to those in need. Through the Texas Baptist River Ministry, you and your church can help by giving a monthly gift to support the River Ministry, partner to serve in a service or outreach project in Texas or Mexico, and provide funds to help reach out to the communities.