Uplifting Highlights of Our Visit to The Mayans

Erick Schenkel —   30 Comments


Elizabeth and I just returned from the Yucatán Peninsula, where we helped show “The Story of Jesus for Children” and “Magdalena” in three villages on three consecutive nights and saw over 400 precious people make decisions to follow Jesus!  We were there working with a partner organization, The Message for Mayans. Each weekend they visit one of the more than 1,000 such villages in the region. Along with us was another partner, Feet that Move, who made it possible for us to distribute shoes to many of the villagers.

Each evening, as the light faded, we settled onto the warm concrete or crusty dust in the center of a Mayan village of  250-500 residents. Sprawled around us were the children of the village. Behind them are the adults, sitting on rows and rows of simple wooden benches or plastic chairs. The screen in front of us flickered to life and soon we are all engrossed in the film, presented in the Mayan language.

The children of the village had already enjoyed games led by the team of Mayan followers of Jesus who spend every weekend evening bringing the good news to people in these remote villages. The young people entertained the children with games, skits, and a puppet show. So by the time the projector was turned on, most of the village had been drawn into the square.

Watching the FilmWe were especially touched on the third night by two tiny, wrinkled old Mayan ladies sitting on chairs in the very front row just behind the children. They both leaned forward, captivated from the first moment by this film, shown on the big screen and featuring actors speaking their own language. When Jesus was arrested the two ladies leaned forward, their eyes glued to the screen, hands covering their mouths. Even the children hush, mouths gaping, eyebrows knit in concern. Jesus is nailed to the cross and the entire community gasps at once. And when the invitation is given, these two ladies joined well over one half of the village as they stepped forward to pray and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Each night, after prayers were said, tears shed, and friendships in Christ begun, our team of Americans, along with the team of Mayan young people, climbed back onto our bus, reluctantly leaving our new brothers and sisters—tired, but full of joy.

We won’t be around for the follow-up that will take place over the following few days by the leaders of small churches in each village. We won’t accompany these precious people, young and old, into their new walks with Christ and through the inevitable challenges and crises that lie before them. But we leave knowing that their lives, and ours, have been changed forever by an encounter with Jesus.

30 responses to Uplifting Highlights of Our Visit to The Mayans

  1. kithsiri at

    I was involved with the JESUS FILM PROJECT from the feasibility study, dubbing and the initial island-wide coverage from 1979 fall to Christmas 1981, it is indeed encouraging to know that “JESUS FILM” WILL TOUR THE WORLD UNTIL THE coming of THE SON OF MAN in GLORY!

    • Elizabeth Schenkel
      Elizabeth Schenkel at

      Isn’t it great that God invites us to join Him in what He is doing throughout the earth!! Thank you for your part in creating this tool!

  2. GOD is so good and mighty. He is awesome is but an understatement.

  3. Walter Kast – Switzerland at

    Dear Erick & Elizabeth,
    Thanks for what you’re doing with the Jesus Film.
    I was also 20 years with CCC in Switzerland and have established New Life Network together with Brian Kelley from Germany.
    Ruth and Dieter Förster are my friends and we both are now retired.
    I wish you God’s overwhelming blessings in your wonderful ministry.
    Walter Kast

    • Elizabeth Schenkel
      Elizabeth Schenkel at

      Thank you so much, Walter!

  4. Joseph Norquaye at


  5. Dale Barnes at

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us your experience with the Mayan village. It is encouraging over and over again to hear the effect of the gospel. Praise The Lord!

  6. P.A.Paulraj at

    Bro Erick,
    you are doing a wonderfull job.may almighty GOD BLESS this ministry.


    That is good work you and your team are doing,that is spreading the gospel to everyone.God bless you all.

  8. Ronda Lawhead at

    I’m so thankful Allen and I “showed up” and went on this trip. What a humbling and awesome experience to witness God at work!

    • Erick Schenkel at

      Ronda, it was great to be with you and Allen!

  9. Gina schoenherr at

    Very moving, thank you for all your efforts to further the kingdom into these villages and all over the world.
    Again thank you,

  10. Thank God for His SON JESUS His wonderful gift to a lost world. Thanks s to my brother and sisters who have heed the call and serve in spite of hardship and danger to reach the lost with the Good News.

  11. Priscilla Ehrick at

    How wonderful to see the faces of so many who may meet us in heaven one day as our brothers and sisters in Christ! May God be honored and blessed and may they become His ambassadors of Jesus in their part of the world.

  12. Mary V. at

    All praise, glory and thanks to God for the power of the presented word and the fruit it bore. May it continue to have such an impact on any lives!

  13. Carlos Ruiz at

    Hi Erick. I am one of Tom’s best friend. His Spanish teacher. I am from Mexico and I was very touched with the story. I thank Jesus for allowing people like you and Tom to share the good news.

    Thank you!! And God bless you!!

    • Erick Schenkel at

      Thanks for working with Tom. God bless you for your kind words.

  14. Andrew Light at

    Thank God and thank you for reaching out to Mayans for Christ.

    May the Lord richly bless your service.

  15. Gene Congdon at

    Praise the Lord for his ongoing working in the region, but this must be recognized in the context of what the Church of Jesus in the entire peninsula has faithfully preached and lived out over the past 150 years! Many faithful missionaries, pastors, evangelists and lay people have been faithfully sharing the Good News over all those years.

    • Elizabeth Schenkel
      Elizabeth Schenkel at

      How true! We have dear friends who served over twenty years in Mexico with Wycliffe and created written Aztec and translated the New Testament into that language. The same story was repeated for the Mayan language. We are grateful for all those who have gone before, and for those who come after us. As Paul said, “One sows, another waters, but God gives the increase.”

  16. Diane at

    So precious to hear this! God bless you and your dear wife and others who share the Good News with the JESUS Film.

  17. Butch & Debi Howey at

    Loved reading and remembering this time .. It will be happening again tomorrow evening .. In another village somewhere in the Yucatan!

  18. Sharon Rush at

    The Jesus Film Project has been (since I first new of it 16 years ago) and always will be my passion. It shines His light and truth into the hearts of lost and hurting people. May each and every showing bear fruit for His Kingdom and His glory until He comes again! The Lord bless you and make His face to shine upon all of you who are involved in this ministry!

  19. Oswald Mwakalasi at

    Glory be to God!!

  20. Peniasi at

    thank you so much for sharing your tour to Mayan village with me and may God bless you in your everyday life.

  21. Giovanna at

    What a wonderful story of the goodness of The Lord. God bless you!

  22. Debra Hader Ross at

    Thank you for going and thank you for sharing. As a young girl I prayed often for the Mayans as a people group. This is such good news. I,too, look forward to meeting these new brothers and sisters in Christ in heaven.

  23. Jimmy Hayes at

    Glory to God! May many more souls be saved as they hear and see the gospel of Jesus in the days ahead!

  24. Ronald at

    Thanks alot and God bless you for the great work you are able to do. I would love to invite you to Uganda.

  25. Laurie Roberts Caulk at

    Eric, you and the team may not be able to follow them as they grow in Christ, but there will come a day that you will meet them again and you will be able to see the results of what you began when you visited their village. It is exciting to think of all those we will someday meet in heaven.
    And you never know when one of you might meet one of those children somewhere on a mission field!
    I am a new Jesus Film Ambassador and am looking forward to becoming more involved!
    Thank you for the wonderful Easter card.

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