When Gary and Ann Geistfeld of rural Wood Lake talk about what is happening in Mexico they are always smiling and often shaking their heads simply because what they are observing is, from their perspective, nothing short of amazing.
While they have been actively involved in the establishment of a Christian school in the Central American nation, they take no credit – giving that recognition to God.
After all, they know without his hand involved nothing that has happened ever would have. For the Geistfelds, involvement in ministry in Mexico began in 1996 when they made a trip to Mexico on a vacation. On their way home Ann said she felt a strong urge to bring something back the next time they visited.
“The feeling kept tugging on my heart for the next few years,” said Ann, adding she had heard the children were in need of school supplies – simple things like pencils. Was that what they were supposed to bring?
Ann admitted that just did not feel right to her.
In 2009 the Geistfelds returned to Mexico, and during that stay Ann said she felt that call again, but this time the message was clear. They were supposed to bring Jesus. After sharing her thoughts with Gary, Ann said he had been feeling the same thing. The question was how were they supposed to do that since neither of them spoke Spanish.
The Lord directed their next steps guiding them to understand that his word is universal, and that is what they were supposed to bring to people. Over the next couple of years, the Geistfeld made a few trips to Mexico’s Mayan Riviera and the cities of Puerto Adventuras and Playa del Carmen where they distributed Bibles.
“It was so amazing to see the people reach out for these scriptures,” said Ann. “There were times we could not get them out of our backpacks fast enough as people stood reaching for them. We have had people offer to buy them and are so grateful and awed that they are free. Some have seen us on the street distributing and come from their work to see if they too can have one. We still continue to bring and distribute these scriptures when we go to Mexico."
It was through sharing Bibles with some men working in a hotel where they were staying in Puerto Aventuras when Gary met Pastor Jose Jaimes. Pastor Jose shared with Gary that he was a pastor who had been born in Mexico, attended Bible college in New York and from there went on to Spain where he met his wife Nuria and that the two of them had been active in church planting and Christian education in Spain and had now felt the Lord calling them to Mexico to plant a church that would include a school.
All of them spent time in prayer to determine if the Lord had in mind for them to work together.
“We returned to Mexico to visit with them and their house church and really get to know each other on a deeper level. It was very clear to all of us that our meeting was orchestrated by the Lord,” said Ann.
In Summer 2016 the Abba school opened in Playa del Carmen Mexico for students in K-12 in a rented house.
Along with all the basic classes the children have English class each day and French class once a week. The curriculum used is faith-based. The children are doing very well in their studies and are happy – stating that the Abba school feels to them like a happy loving family. Day to day administration of the school is done by Nuria.
According to the Geistfelds, education in Mexico is not like in the U.S., and the public schools are not all places where students can feel safe. This area of Mexico is beautiful, but is a spiritually dark place with idol worship, drug and alcohol abuse and sexual immorality. Many young girls have their first baby at the age of 12 or 13 years old, some of these babies are conceived within the public schools.
“We have seen the Lord do amazing things in the lives of the children there,” added Ann.
The current expenses for the school include things such as rent, utilities, teacher’s salaries and other administrative costs. Pastor Jose has began a church plant which is meeting currently as a house church Sunday evenings. Because the church is unable to support a full-time pastor, Jose continues to work full time in the hotel industry.
The desire is to raise the funds to enable Jose to leave his secular job and work full time in the ministry.
Abba International Ministries does have a governing board made up of Gary, Ann and Tom Orme. Tom is from Franklin, Tenn. and brings to the board 18 years of international ministry experience as he created Vision for Children a ministry active in LaPintana, Chile.
Gary also serves on the board for Vision for Children and shares a friendship with Tom. Abba International Ministries is a non-profit, so donations are tax deductible.
The Geistfelds would be happy to share more information with people. Contact them at (507)530-7880 or (507) 485-3257.
For anyone wishing to donate, checks can be made out to: Abba International Ministries and mailed to: Abba International Ministries, 1345 540th St, Wood Lake, MN, 56297.