In the May-June 2011 issue, Battle Cry reported on a Mexico outreach headed up by Missionary Eric Brockhoff. Trained as a sociologist, he began experimenting with ways to deeply and permanently affect the culture of the "colonies," neighborhoods that have a defined area and culture but where lawlessness is rampant and are often dominated by drug gangs. Even the police avoid getting involved in some of these neighborhoods.
Brockhoff`s plan was to compile "care packages" of surplus food items, candy, toys and Bible literature. He initially picked one "colonia" with about 15,000 people, prepared 8,000 packages that included an assortment of Spanish Chick tracts in each.
A month after the tracts were seeded into the neighborhood, local Christian leaders said that there was a noticeable change in the atmosphere of lawlessness. It became a softening-up process of the hearts of the people so that local pastors and missionaries could more effectively follow up.
This year, Brockhoff has 17 projects going concurrently along the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border. He continues to use surplus toys, candy and care items along with the Chick tracts and other Christian materials such as coloring books and Bible lessons.
Two years ago the distribution event was Halloween, but now they stage celebrations in the neighborhoods with balloons, skits, clowns, music and games to attract the people who are then given the "care packages."
The projects are sponsored by churches or other local Christians who then can follow up on those who respond. It is not unusual to see 80 to 120 people respond to an altar call. After one such event, a local pastor reported that his church was filled with new children and adults. "Churches have cried out to us to get us more Chick tracts due to their high spiritual and social transformational nature," writes Brockhoff.
Another of Brockhoff`s projects that Battle Cry reported on in 2011 involved a local prison. Again he started with a small facility of about 800 prisoners, using the same "care package" of treats and a wide variety of Spanish tracts.
After that "neighborhood" had a few days to absorb the messages, they held a service where about 225 inmates accepted Christ. The whole atmosphere of the prison had changed with small Bible study groups forming and drama teams were acting out the stories of the tracts. The tract, El Pistolero (Gunslinger), was a favorite.
Since then, churches around the prisons are reporting that prisoners are coming to their churches after their release to follow up on their commitment to Christ made in prison.
And since Brockhoff`s ministry is built on an increasing saturation of both the colonias and the prisons, the new believers can find an outlet for their growth in sharing their faith.
Brockhoff`s ministry, Vision for the Kingdom, is looking into saturating a much larger prison facility on an island compound with approximately 10,000 inmates.
He is planning on 50 to 60 thousand tracts in a wide range of titles. He knows that they will be circulated so that each tract will be read by many inmates probably until they are worn out. That way, the same gospel message will be presented, but delivered by a wide variety of stories.
Besides the gospel, the tracts teach many basic Bible truths. If you would like to learn more about his technique and ministry, you may contact him at email@example.com.
Brockhoff is one of a number of missionaries helped by the Chick Mission Fund.
Although we are not legally structured as a non-profit, and therefore cannot give tax-deductible receipts, we definitely know how to get literature into missionaries` hands. They often write to us asking if anyone can help them get Chick tracts.
"I wanted to write & thank you for the tracts that you sent us through the Chick [Mission Fund]. We will put them to good use here in St. Vincent! The people are now coming to me, stopping me on the road for, as they call them the 'Little Books'. We just gave out a thousand! This new order will hold us for awhile. Again, Thank you for your kindness towards us!
God bless and again Thank You! Thank You!