After several years of co-leading Agua Viva, a church plant in Tijuana, Mexico, Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries Scott and Marcia Geurink are passing leadership on to national leaders. Israel and Elizabeth Ponce will be taking over Agua Viva, which Cristo Arca de Salvacion, their home church, asked them to help launch in 2007.
Israel has preached occasionally, and Elizabeth leads children’s classes. But since they also have three young children, and Israel has had to juggle two full-time jobs, they could devote only so much time to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the church planting team began Bible studies, and North American and Mexican churches joined the outreach. In time the church expanded from six families to over 50 people.
In 2011, the Geurinks and the council of Cristo Arca de Salvacion began praying about who would lead the church, growing convinced that God was calling them to approach the Ponces.
They told Cristo Arca de Salvacion’s pastor, Israel’s brother, what they were sensing. The pastor had been feeling the same thing.
When the Geurinks approached the Ponces, they said that they had put this in God’s hands, believing that “if Scott asked them if they were interested in pursuing more training and leadership, it would be the sign they needed from God,” said Marcia Geurink.
Since then, Israel has dropped one of his jobs, and he and Elizabeth have enrolled in the Tijuana Bible Institute. With the Geurinks as mentors, the Ponces have gradually taken on more responsibilities at Agua Viva.
“They both have a strong love for God [and] a heart for the ministry and for people who are hurting,” says Scott Geurink. Related article: Tijuana Church Plants ‘God With Us’ (crcna.org) Mexico: Ministry at a Glance (Christian Reformed World Missions)