Megacities – One Year. One City. One Message.
“Megacities was an experience that revolutionized our church!”
This was the enthusiastic response we got from Pastor Luis Castillo, from the Fresca Unción church in Mexico City, when we asked him to describe his experience with Megacities, a Youth With A Mission ministry pioneered on the University of the Nations campus in Australia.
Megacities' ministry was designed to create a platform for a strong and focussed engagement with one of the world’s most influential cities at a time, for a one- year period.
Megacities’ target city for 2010 was Mexico City. University of the Nations and other YWAM and UofN outreach teams from 13 nations - with team members representing 48 different nationalities - partnered with churches, organizations such as World Vision, Compassion International and Teen Challenge, as well as various branches of government. Together these partners worked on the streets, in hospitals, schools, universities, slums, and prisons throughout Mexico City. Through the partnership between local Mexicans and international YWAMers, more than 46,000 people heard the gospel and over 10,400 committed their lives to Christ.
As Pastor Luis Catillo described, when local believers worked alongside UofN and YWAM teams, explaining the message of Jesus and meeting the physical needs of the poor, they were inspired to find new ways to introduce the people of their city to the Good News of reconciliation and restored relationship. Over 1500 people who expressed a desire to follow Jesus did so because their fellow Mexicans explained to them His message; most of them had never shared Jesus with anyone before.
Since its beginning in 2001, Megacities has sent thousands of missionaries into some of the largest and most influential cities around the world. In each city Megacities has generated energy toward transformation, as they have engaged with fellow believers in evangelism and mercy ministries. Over the 12 months of its efforts, Megacities goal is to help strengthen and equip local believers with teaching and training that will assist them to reach their city with the message of Jesus. Through these strategic partnerships, Megacities has seen large numbers of people come to follow Christ, as well as significant church growth, new ministries started and an increase in unity in each of the cities where they have worked.
Growth and Unity
Over the 12 month focus on Mexico City, many churches experienced significant growth. Pastor Rogelio Olvera from Iglesia Cristiana Independiente Pentecostes reported that all of the churches in his region grew by at least a third.
At the other end of the city, Pastor Raul Espinosa from Iglesia Abraham Manantiales de Esperanza reported that at the beginning of the year there were only 6 people in his church. Now it is a growing community of 40 members. 15 of those people came to know something more of Jesus when a family member was miraculously healed of cancer while a Megacities team member prayed for her.
Pastor Ofir Peña’s church, Cornerstone Mexico, recently experienced the largest attendance in its history. He testifies about his involvement with Megacities teams; “The life of the church is transformed; you taught us how to do everything.” Since working with the teams, 60 youth from his church have signed up to continue ministering weekly through street evangelism.
In one part of the city a church was inspired through an art evangelism seminar to open a gallery for the purpose of sharing the gospel through art.
In another area, a group of pastors were so encouraged by the fruit they experienced partnering with teams, they have cancelled one service each month in order to be in the community, to pray for their neighbours and share with them how Jesus has changed their lives.
A youth leader and government employee, Jonathan Zepeda, reported that “Megacities broke the division.” Before the teams came, few youth groups from different churches interacted. Now in Jonathan’s region alone, seven churches are regularly working together to tell people what Jesus means to them. Their goal is to form a group of 500 youth from different churches to continue the work.
The 2012 Megacities focus is London, England: a city of global influence with a unique heritage and a rich, diverse culture. More than 300 languages are spoken and every major religion is represented.
The diversity of people and needs in London presents an opportunity for every type of ministry focus. Megacities is looking for people join the united effort to love the people of London, from evangelists to educators, intercessors to counsellors, bands to sports ministries and everything in between.
For more information about bringing a team to be part of Megacities London, please contact the Megacities office: firstname.lastname@example.org.