On Sunday, March 10, Northside was blessed to have a visit from Raúl & Kim Solis, teachers at the Latin American Bible Institute. During worship, Raúl updated us on the work being done by the school in Toluca, Mexico. An hour earlier, he & Kim spoke to the teen class about doing mission work. Read below for a recap of Raul’s sermon presentation.
In January of 1991, three U.S. families moved to Toluca with a dream of sharing the gospel in that metropolis, now home to more than 2 million people. Just 16 months later, Kim, a young missionary intern with the Adventures in Missions program, moved to Toluca to work with the missionaries for 1.5 years.
In July of 1992, Raúl was fishing with a friend in a mountain lake when they were robbed at gunpoint. After surviving this encounter, Raúl told his friend, “God wants something with you and me.” Not long after, Raúl was invited to a potluck and met the missionaries. After seeing how kind they were, he agreed to study the Bible with one of the missionaries, and in December was baptized in the same mountain lake.
Raúl & Kim were married in May of 1994, and Kim’s initial plan to stay in Toluca for 1.5 years has turned into 26+ years there.
After he was baptized, Raúl and the other new Christians wanted to study the Bible on a deeper level. That desire led the missionaries to partner with Sunset International Bible Institute to open a branch school in Toluca. Raúl & Kim were in the first graduating class in 2000. Since then, there have been 18 graduating classes at Toluca and many other students have completed the studies at branch schools.
When Kim started the AIM program she had finished two years of college, and years later decided to finish her degree online. After she graduated in 2015, Kim suggested that ILEB begin offering their courses online. Roberto Zepeda, ILEB’s director, liked the idea and gave her the task of making it happen. The school is now saving a lot of time and money by not having to print most of the course material.
Currently there are 336 students studying in 20 cities throughout Mexico and at branch schools in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Cuba, Panama, and even in the U.S. ILEB graduates have planted 30 congregations.
The Toluca church is now self-supporting, has 300 members, and has planted eight other churches throughout the Toluca metropolis area.
Raúl showed a video of people being baptized in a river in Venezuela by an ILEB graduate who preached for a church that grew to 700 members! Praise God for the good work he is doing through ILEB and those of us who support their work!