Florentina Diego Carceda
Who invited Joe and Marg to travel along a dangerous mountain road? One day, a few months ago, Florentina phoned Joe. “I have two teams ready, Joe! Can you come again? I need you here soon! One group will help with outreach, and the other will help build the church. There’s much to do!”
Florentina’s face beams with inner joy. The sparkle in her eyes comes from her enduring commitment to Jesus Christ. Not too many people carry a megaphone, but she does it to announce the start of a Christian Church Service in a local town. She also never wavers to visit remote settlements where missionaries have never gone. This past January, she organized a trip using two tarp-covered trucks. These were regular-sized trucks converted into strange-looking buses. Each carried 15 people.
Among the passengers in back of these trucks were boxes of clothing and 90 Samaritan Purse gift boxes. These boxes had just arrived days before the mission trip, as well as 120 Spanish Bibles on the day of departure. On the schedule the two trucks left Chilapa de Avarez, 100 km east of Acapulco. It took three and a half hours inching along tortuous roads to reach the designated village in the remote mountainous area.
Florentina, a cheerful Mexican evangelist, has a unique gift. She loves teaching the Bible to children and adults alike. On this trip, she organized the families of 4 remote villages to come together at one location. Both adults and their children thrive on her enthusiasm and various presentations while teaching the biblical stories.
Joe and Marg Nesci have gotten to know Florentina quite well. Stories about this resilient woman portray a Mexican mother who lives every day by faith. For example, on February 1, 2023, Florentina organized 200 people to help build the church, half of the volunteers were not believers, but quite willing to freely join in the cause. Together they poured about 120 tons of concrete in less than 8 hours. It’s coming near completion.
The day those men came to work, she needed food for them. What would she serve for breakfast, lunch and supper? How could she provide food for all those workers? Silently, she cried out to the Lord, something she had done in many similar circumstances.
In answer to her prayer, one man arrived, leading a bull. “I hope this will help with the food,” he said to her surprise. And that was not all! One family pulled a pig behind them. Other families donated a total of 50 chickens. There was more than enough food! That day, Florentina and her kitchen helpers served more than 500 meals.
For someone to donate a bull in Mexico is an incredible sacrifice! They are considered well off, If these humble people have even one or two cows. Poverty levels are extreme in Guerrero State, but through Florentina, God is touching many hearts. The Lord uses Florentina’s spiritual gifts and personality to ‘Wake People up!’
Florentina was born and raised in Acapulco and came to know the Savior there. Her mother, who lived in a poorer part of Acapulco all her life, sadly died at home in 2022. Florentina has lived partly in this city by the Pacific Ocean and partly in the nearby mountains. Formerly she was married, and her two daughters now live in the States.
Presently, Florentina is in touch with 10 churches throughout the state of Guerrero. She considers it the region God gave her to evangelize. How she came to be in touch with each of the ten churches is worthy of a chapter on its own. Her life’s journey up and down steep and dangerous roads reveal her passion and prayer as the source of her strength, and abiding confidence in God. Arriving at each of the various villages along her way she states, “I will not put obstacles in the way for all people to be able to grow in the Lord.”