When Jesus Finds You in a Government Office

Three women in Mexico enter a building
Sometimes, everyday tasks can turn out to be ministry opportunities. That's what happened for TEAM missionary Sandy Rios!

Leticia had a lot on her plate. And on her mind.

Her husband was on kidney dialysis twice a week. He was dying — and afraid. And Leticia was his only caretaker.

His fear of death was becoming so crippling that Leticia decided to take him to a psychologist.

But while Leticia was waiting for the right time to schedule his appointment, she turned 60. That meant she was finally eligible for her Mexican senior citizen discount card. She just needed to swing by the Office of the Aging to pick it up.

Leticia had no way of knowing that small errand would change everything about her life.

A Divine Appointment in a Government Office

As with most things that require government paperwork, Leticia’s senior discount card would take a couple of hours to process. So she was in for an afternoon of sitting in a waiting room chair.

That day, though, a married couple was also waiting to get their senior citizen discount cards processed: TEAM missionaries Sandy and Carlos Rios.

Leticia and Sandy struck up a conversation and were soon chatting about everything from Leticia’s sick husband to Sandy’s faith in God. The hours passed quickly.

Before they parted ways, Leticia made a point to get the Rioses’ number.

Carlos and Sandy couldn’t have known at the time, but Leticia was intrigued by the peace that seemed to radiate from them.

Maybe Leticia wouldn’t need to call that psychologist after all. Maybe Sandy and Carlos could help her husband find the peace he was looking for in his final days.

Two weeks later, Sandy’s phone rang. To her surprise and delight, it was Leticia. Leticia asked if Sandy and Carlos could come by for a visit. And Sandy enthusiastically said yes.

The Missionaries’ Faith Captivates Her

When Sandy and Carlos arrived for that first visit, they spent three hours sharing the Gospel with Leticia and her sick husband.

Leticia was captivated.

Her whole life had always been deeply entwined with the Catholic Church. Both of her brothers had grown up in Jesuit schools and her sister-in-law was the niece of a former Cardinal. Her family was far from just nominal when it came to Catholicism.

Leticia had faith in God. But the Rioses’ faith looked strikingly different than hers, which piqued her curiosity.

A group of people in Mexico sit and read their Bibles together.

Leticia was so struck by the Rioses’ faith, she asked them to come back again, and again, and again. Even though she’d grown up Catholic, she’d never seen a faith like this before.

They seemed to know exactly what the Bible said and where various passages were located — whereas Leticia had never even been encouraged to read the Bible for herself.

Sandy and Carlos seemed to know Jesus on a personal level and prayed directly to Him — instead of to a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Before they left her house that day, Leticia asked them to come back the following week.

Husband’s Death Spurs Hunger for Christ

Soon, the Rioses were driving across the city of Guadalajara once a week to meet with Leticia for Bible studies.

Leticia’s two brothers began attending the studies as well. Her ailing husband joined the little group as often as he could. But he was growing weaker every day.

Then, just after his 94th birthday, Sandy and Carlos received word that he’d passed away.

In her mourning, Leticia left town for a few weeks. But when she returned, she was hungrier than ever for the Word.

And now that she was no longer a 24/7 caregiver, Leticia had a much freer schedule. She started going to church. And It wasn’t long before she was attending faithfully.

During one of Leticia’s weekly Bible studies with her brothers and the Rioses, she asked Sandy how to become a Christian.

The next Sunday, Sandy approached Leticia at church. “Have you trusted in Jesus as your Savior?”

Leticia’s face beamed. “Yes!”

People walk into a church service

Because friends like you sent missionaries to Mexico, Leticia now knows Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Thank you for your support!

Leticia Now Witnesses to Friends, Thanks to You!

Shortly after Leticia confessed Christ, she was baptized. And she hasn’t looked back since.

She attended a Christian women’s conference through her new church family. She started witnessing to those around her and even began bringing her neighbor along to Bible studies.

“I remember the first time I called Carlos and Sandy on the phone, inviting them to come to my house,” Leticia said. “Through the distance, I was able to hear joy and jubilation in their voices. Now I understand their joy — the joy of taking part in someone coming to know the true way of God!”

A year after that first Bible study, Leticia announced she was moving to another town to be closer to her daughter.

The Rioses are sad to see Leticia go, but excited to see what the Lord will do in this new mission field He’s opened up for her.

Before she left, Leticia addressed her church family.

“Since I have arrived here, there has been a change in me. And it is just the beginning of a long walk in communion with God,” she said. “The Word of God has transformed me.”

Just a few months prior, Leticia was quietly sitting in a government office waiting for her senior citizen discount card.

Now, her faith is growing by leaps and bounds.

Your generosity has brought Leticia to the Lord. Thank you!


Many more people are waiting to hear about Jesus in their final days.  Your gift can make a difference right now! Give today to help share the Gospel with those who desperately need God’s peace and salvation!

Share the Gospel Today! Click here to give now.

*The names of the people you’ve helped may be changed to protect their privacy.

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About the author

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Brianna Langley

Brianna is TEAM's Associate Editor and Staff Photographer. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University, where she double-majored in journalism and international affairs. She grew up on the mission field in Romania, but now resides in East Tennessee. Some of her favorite things to enjoy outside of the office include hiking, reading, writing and a good cup of coffee.

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  • What an encouraging article on God’s work in Mexico with Carlos and Sandy Rios! The Rios’ have been faithfully serving together with great fervor, energy and abundant creativity! We’re thankful for your unfailing dedication to share the gospel wherever and whenever the LORD leads!

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