Deep in the heart of South Texas, some 10,000 trucks roll through Laredo every day, crossing one of four international bridges.
The city is the largest inland port for international trade along the U.S.-Mexico border, which is translated frontera in Spanish.
It’s also one of the nation’s busiest southern crossing points for people coming into the United States. With this influx, there’s a large need to build community, Nelly de la Garza said, and an even greater need for God.
The 41-year-old has lived in Laredo the majority of her life, and she’s seen lots of changes. With the large number of people passing through, she knows of many who have settled and planted roots in her city.
The city desperately needs the hope of the Gospel, she said. “A lot of people in Laredo are walking around lost, without God in their lives.”
Passionate about reaching her community for Jesus Christ, de la Garza volunteered to be a prayer team member at the upcoming God Loves You Frontera Tour with Franklin Graham on Feb. 27. Laredo is the third stop on this 10-city tour from Texas to California, February 24 to March 9.
Like many other border towns, poverty is a common problem there.
Large families—and others—struggle to make ends meet. Practical help is definitely needed, de la Garza said, but they also need Jesus Christ and a heavenly hope.
As the children’s director at her church, Arbol de Vida (The Tree of Life), she says next month’s outreach is an opportunity to see God move. “I could not miss out on that.”
Hundreds from her church have taken BGEA’s Christian Life and Witness Course (CLWC) in preparation for the tour. This evangelism class helps attendees strengthen their faith, and equips them to answer questions and pray with those who make decisions for Jesus Christ at the event. Prayer team volunteers will give new believers a Bible and discipleship materials to help grow their faith—and encourage them to get connected to a local church.
“People are looking for a place where they can grow and expand and be used by God,” de la Garza said of the church follow-up efforts that will take place after the tour. “It’s important … to be able to restore their life and move forward.”
As she readies for the event, de la Garza is praying for a great harvest on Feb. 27.
“It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime events,” she said. “I want to look back one day and say, ‘It’s great that many people were saved and are studying the Word of God—and I was part of that.’”
Will you pray for these specific requests for Laredo?
- For God to use Franklin Graham and musical artists to powerfully share the Gospel
- That God will prepare the hearts of Laredo residents to receive the life-changing gift of salvation in Jesus Christ
- That churches will remain united to reach out to their community and plan future Gospel outreach events