Rancho El Camino Mexico is an oasis in a seaside desert region of La Paz focusing on community development, adventure education, camps, and retreats with a passion for creation care. Working alongside the local churches and the local government in providing programs for children, teens, and families, the ranch is working towards reaching its full agricultural and sustainable energy potential.
One of the beautiful ministry opportunities that has arisen from Covid related loss is the one-on-one ministry to which we have turned in this time. We have had deeper conversations with teens and families, and we have met more children as we hand out “Kids’ Club” bags to individual families. We have worked with our staff to craft small groups and a discipleship plan for those teens who have given their lives to Christ, and our community exploratory Bible study has grown. All of these things co-exist with the loss, but we are learning to be okay with the tension; moving forward with all that we can while we simultaneously hope for when some of the other programs we love can return.
We look to notice where God is working and then join with him there. Here, that has meant helping students in our community with their online school, doing our best to link families together to share internet, helping students who can’t log on to lesson platforms or who don’t have computers to understand their homework packets, and encouraging families as they work hard to keep their children studying.
In all that we do at the ranch, we work to integrate loss and opportunity, grief and hope, and we build resilience. As we lean into what God is doing, even when facing trials, his word promises that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:4-5).
Covid has greatly impacted the economy of Mexico and in particular, the tourist industry, which is a major source of income for many regions of Mexico. The tourist industry has been reported to have lost nearly 70-90% of its income over the last year. We have seen this impact in our city and region which relies on tourism for roughly 74.5% of its income. We have also felt this impact on the Ranch, which has historically depended on the revenues of both local and international tourism and our ministry training programs to provide jobs to our national staff.
Our national staff are vital players and leaders in the Ranch's ongoing ministries to the communities where we work. They continue to dedicate themselves to serving and working with the teens and children who have been greatly affected due to the lack of school-access and other large group programming. In addition to working as a team to solve the funding problem, we are registering more children each month for our children’s programs (despite not being able to do large groups), we have a waiting list of teens and adults who want to study, and are working to prepare more teachers for our programs and leaders within the community. We are continuing to develop the Ranch staff to operate as a team of teams and, in the midst of it all, grow the Ranch community of faith at the heart of all that we do.
Pete and Emily Johnson
Directors, Racho El Camino
We would appreciate your prayer for:
PS: Pete is one of our small group facilitators in our Global Mentors discipleship program which is about mutual spiritual transformation for mission. The next cohort of Global Mentors will start at the end of September.
It has been just over a year since we canceled our last Justice Journey to Mexico where we intended to participate in kingdom ranch life in La Paz. Lord willing, we are aiming for Spring Break 2022 to join Pete and Emily.
Pete and Emily will be hosting a Just 1 Day Love and Justice Adventure on July 31. Learn more
Picture above: The search for creativity in the face of current obstacles.