It’s hard to find someone worth following. There’s usually not a lot of substance in the men and women we place ahead of us. Celebrities, world leaders, local politicians – they all lack the ability to gain my trust.
In the grocery store line-up, I see celebrity magazine covers splashed with news from the icons this world chooses to follow. But those leaders let people down. You don’t have to watch much TV or stand in grocery store line-ups to know that Jon and Kate are no longer plus eight. The perfect family splits up, now who do you follow when it comes to marriage and kids?
Then there’s the political leaders. I think of Barrack Obama. It was like the second coming of Christ when he was elected; people followed him like lambs, vowing everything would change for the better. The world would be a rosy place with Obama in charge. Now the realities of his role have hit and we find he is not the knight in shining armour many had trusted he would be.
We follow the footsteps of these leaders, in the hope that the lives they live and the decisions they make will lead to a better tomorrow. And we are let down. Even in Christian circles this happens, for we’re all susceptible to the sins of this world.
Yet there are leaders worth following in this world, if you look in the right place. Look, for example, in Mexico and to Pastor Tomas. I know I’ve mentioned Pastor Tomas in a couple posts from Mexico. But mentioning is not what I want to do. I want you to know him; I want you to feel as if you have sat down and listened to him speak because I’m sure God has given him a gift of vision that is passed along through his words.
He is a man of strength, a man of vision, and a man of action. He has such passion for the people of the Copper Canyon, the unreached and hard-to-reach people of Mexico’s deep valley areas. He was called to the people of the Copper Canyon many years ago, after hearing of the great need that existed there. And he has not looked back since.
Sitting in the the teacher’s humble room at the orphanage in Guacaivo, Pastor Tomas took the time to share with me this passion he has for the lost people in this stunningly beautiful place.
“Our principal goal is that everybody know Jesus, the Saviour,” he says with a quiet and heartfelt voice. His weathered face reveals the years of trekking through the elements to reach the far-flung destinations, and his attire is simple and practical – a cowboy pastor in the heart of Mexico.
He works to accomplish that goal by providing for basic necessities of food and clothing. The people come to the monthly distributions and Pastor Tomas gets the opportunity to meet with them face to face. He shares the love of Christ and in return they listen and walk away with bags of food and clothing.
He not only ministers to the Tarahamarans and Pima, and to his church members in Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. He ministers to the North American teams that come to help as well. It was humbling to hear him give thanks to the Coquitlam team we were in Mexico with, when he does so much and by comparison we do so little. But he is not a man of idle words, he clearly meant it when he told them how grateful he was for all they do in coming to Mexico, in sharing the story in the church back home, and in raising much-needed funds for projects.
Pastor Tomas moved my heart. He gave me a sense of what Christ did for the world, sacrificing of himself for a dying people. ‘Pastor’, as he is affectionately called by his team, saves people from death by starvation and death without salvation. He showed me that one person can make a difference.
Pastor Tomas said something to the team that really stuck out to me. He said that when God called him, he had no worldly possessions, no money, no resources but gave to God what he had: his body and his passion. And still today he wants to continue his journey with passion. ”I want to live; not to think of the cost, but to go to those places that have more needs,” he said. “This doesn’t come automatically. You have to walk, to stumble, to feel you’re sometimes not able to go on and then you can see God there . . . If I didn’t see God walking in front of me, I wouldn’t go.”
Pastor Tomas is a man worth following, because he follows in God’s footsteps.