We’re an after-school child sponsorship program focused on Tarahumaras in Chihuahua City integrating Bible teaching, social-emotional worldview change, nutrition, and leadership development. We disciple children into adulthood; opening doors to their families, their colonias, and their nation.
We primarily focus on the children because their hearts haven’t been as hardened by culture or sin. Within five to ten years the children become adults who can be the pillars of the church plant in their own colonia and can be native missionaries who bring the Gospel to their own people, potentially in their own language. The vision of LightShine is for Tarahumara children to be Born Again to a Living Hope, intensively discipled during adolescence, and to grow into adults that are radical Christians who take the love of Christ to their own nation. Children come to the LightShine facilities in their own colonia at least twice per week, and LightShine staff go to the children’s houses once per week for house visits.
In LightShine they receive a healthy meal that is also an opportunity to teach manners, respect, dependence on God and gratitude for His blessings, and family fellowship around the table.
They participate in an intensive modified chronological Bible study. The curriculum is developed within LightShine to target the unique needs of urban Tarahumara. The children participate in a Social-Emotional class that include units such as health and nutrition, hygiene, relationships and societal structure, abuse (drug, alcohol, physical, sexual, neglect), and Tarahumara culture.
The kitchen ministry is the opportunity for the children’s parents and other volunteers to not just make the food for the kids, but more importantly to receive Biblical teaching at their level. This is one of the first steps in God’s kingdom advancing beyond the walls of LightShine and into the larger colonia. Thriving churches have been planted in the first two colonias in which LightShine began.
Beginning with 21 Tarahumara children in 2009, God has abundantly poured out His blessings! LightShine now ministers to hundreds of people throughout Chihuahua, working in 4 Tarahumara colonias. God has caused thriving churches to be planted in two Tarahumara communities. Tarahumaras are being sent to Bible college and a generation of leaders are being raised up. It’s our calling to see the Tarahumara nation in northern Mexico reached for Christ!