Hispanic Migrant Workers Ministry

Hispanic Migrant Workers Ministry

Hispanic Migrant Workers Ministry

By Joe and Marg Nesci

It is a pleasure to write about the unique Hispanic Ministry in which the Lord has led us to participate. Along our journey, the Lord provided us with supportive Christian people of noble character. As it is written in Matthew 9, 37b - 38 (NIV): “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

I was born into a poor Roman Catholic Italian family. My father migrated to Canada to better provide for his family. If I had not experienced what this involved, I would not have understood the migrant workers as I do. Indeed, my dedication to the ministry would not have been the same. 

I first struggled to listen to our Lord, thinking He could use me more readily with the Italian community in the GTA. At the "young" age of 40, I surrendered my life to Christ, praying that God would use me. After years of reaching out to the Italians without much success, the Lord led me to minister to the Mexican migrant workers in Durham, Ontario. I had my own barber shop, where I could share with seasonal workers, bringing them one at a time to believe in our Lord and Saviour. That began with Eluterio in 1996. He happened to work by himself at a farm just across the street from our home in Pickering, Ontario.

Presently, Marg, my wife, and I are members of Latin American Mission Canada (LAM), and they have been very supportive of the Migrant Worker Ministry. In the beginning, however, the Lord sent me a well-known former Uruguayan missionary, 75-year-old Lionel Russell. He led our weekly Spanish Bible Studies and Sermons in our large basement. 

Although my Spanish was poor then, the Lord helped us transform lives, families, and communities here and in Mexico. Despite a shortage of volunteers over the many years, God worked through us to give the migrant workers weekly Bible studies, (ESL) English classes, clothing, fellowship, soccer tournaments, and more. We have also been privileged to distribute over 1,000 Spanish Bibles and clothing for all ages in Mexico over the years.

Despite my triple bypass heart surgery 14 years ago, when I almost died, my wife, Marg, and I are still advancing the gospel by doing presentations in churches, helping build and support churches in Mexico, and I am even leading Bible studies. I have now learned Spanish. You can hear the Lord’s response, “Of Praise,” in all these blessings.

Joy and victory occurred when Peoples Church, one of the largest churches in Toronto, decided to give us Spanish biblical resources for the ministry. Grace and mercy were felt when I led a Spanish Bible study, and the Lord gave me words I did not know. Meekness and humility were experienced when a volunteer guided two elderly women to Christ. After knocking on a door in the mountains of Mexico to desperately use a toilet (a pail with an indoor privacy curtain), the old woman who lived there and her friend wanted to have an impromptu Bible Study.

In July 2009, the first “Mission Observation Trip” occurred with Neil Brown, Marvin Austin, And myself. Since then, many volunteers have partaken in the annual winter mission trips to Mexico. Joy and praise were heard when Neil Brown delivered the 175-year-old church unused pews from our old church here in Little Britain to the new church in Mexico. Although most people thought this would be impossible. Neil knew that all things were possible with God’s help.

Sovereignty and providence were seen when the Mayor (not a Believer) of the village of Cujingo, Mexico, agreed to finish the church we had been working on because he witnessed the Lord’s desire in how the church was being supported.

Above all, love and glory were experienced as communities in Mexico were changed through the power of the gospel and the generosity of our Little Britain Community Baptist Church.

These days, the ministry has grown. Two new churches are being built. One is under the leadership of Pastor Javier in Temamatla, and the other is under the guidance of a Mexican missionary named Florentina in Ayahualulco.

During the Covid pandemic, the Canadian Spanish Bible Studies took place on Zoom, and sadly, the soccer tournaments were and still are on hold. However, even in these trying times, the two churches mentioned above are being raised for the Lord's glory in Mexico's countryside. This happens with the financial and prayer support of loving and generous Canadian donors. Thanks be to God!

We are very thankful to the volunteers of our previous church, Bayfair Baptist Church in Pickering, Ontario, under the coordination of Donna Riggs, for providing delicious meals, fellowship, and biblical nourishment to three migrant farms in Durham, Ontario. This was gratefully started in 2023 and turned out to be a great fellowship much enjoyed by the hardworking field workers and volunteers alike.

This winter, February 1-10, Neil Brown and I (Joe) could go to Mexico again. We visited five churches: Getsenani in Cujingo, Rey de Reyes in Temamatla, and Emanuel in San Paplo Atlazalpan. These churches, filled with new believers, are located in Estado de Mexico, Abenezer in Ayahualulco, and Leon de la Tribu de Juda in Thaquiltepec. 

This is an indigenous community with over 60 children located in Estado de Guerrero. Thankfully, we still financially support two of these churches: Rey de Reyes in Temamatla and Abenezer in Ayahualulco.

What comes to mind when you hear about a mission? Do you imagine trials and hardships? The volunteers and mission team members Marg and I have experienced them. Still, in his grace and mercy, our loving God has kept us safe, spiritually blessed, and strengthened by these experiences. Therefore, the Christians with whom we have crossed paths will continue to follow God’s calling for us to be “Fishers of Men.” Thank you to all who have traveled our Lord’s path with us or other Godly chosen paths in His grace and goodness.

Thank you also for your ongoing prayers and support. In His grace and goodness, His servants, Joe and Marg Nesci