SAN ANDRÉS YAÁ, MEXICO — When Adolfina and her husband Imeldo returned to their hometown of San Andrés Yaá to plant a church, opposition from the community grew. The couple eventually had to leave the town but received support from Open Doors.
“The only thing I ask of Open Doors and the brothers all over the world is to continue praying for us,” says Adolfina.
Adolfina was born in San Andrés Yaá, a small indigenous community in southwestern Mexico. After converting to Christ, she and her husband Imeldo returned there to tell others about God.
“We started talking about the Word of God. And many listened. They didn’t want to receive Christ, but they paid attention, they listened, and little by little some were converted. That’s when my husband said, ‘We have to make a little church so we can get together and talk to them more.’ The land belonged to my father and he gave us that land and said, ‘Build your church there.’ We had services on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We worshiped and praised God and had preaching.”
Christian worship is considered a betrayal by indigenous communities in Mexico who highly value their ancestral traditions. So as their church grew, opposition surfaced against Adolfina and Imeldo.
“They brought the people together held an assembly and forbade us to hold services. But my husband said ‘We’re going to continue with our worship.’ That’s what he said and we continued our worship throughout the week. After a week they rang the bell again to gather the people. And they said ‘Why don’t you obey…you have to renounce your faith. He said ‘No I will not give up my Christ.’ My husband told them ‘Do what you want – I won’t give up.’”
Pastor Imeldo was locked up and that same night the church building was destroyed.
“That night, it was July and it was raining a lot. The people left the assembly, put on plastic coverings and went to destroy the church. They tore down the church and left everything bare. They took up the floor and left it so there was no evidence that anything had been built there. They planted plants, banana plants. And it stayed that way. They threw everything away. And my husband was still in jail. They made the decision to expel him from the community. And it hurt, it hurt a lot.”
Imeldo and Adolfina left San Andrés Yaá and a began a long battle for compensation for their losses. When their own funds ran out, Open Doors came alongside them with help for their legal fees. Pastor Imeldo died from Covid in 2020, but Adolfina is still supported by Open Doors Partners.
“I thank the brothers and sisters who still support all the Christians who are suffering. We are grateful. The only thing I ask of Open Doors and the brothers and sisters all over the world is to continue praying for us.”
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.
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