Rio Grande Mission Action Council (RioMAC, INC.)
Rio Grande Mission Action Council (RioMAC, INC.)

SUPPORTING THOSE WHO SUPPORT THE LORD

RioMAC is a registered IRS 501c3 organizations started in 2004, with open membership from pastors and laity of the congregations in the circuit, and other affiliated organizations supporting missional efforts of the LCMS in the Rio Grande Valley.

Purpose

Partnerships

Our Area

The initial purpose of RioMAC was to assist the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) border mission ministries to be self-sustaining ministries.  As this mission grew toward completion, the focus of RioMAC expanded to the larger role of being the instrument for building greater missional unity across the circuit by managing implementation of corss cultural mission outreach projects in the circuit with member congregations.

Today's RioMAC is helping outreach efforts in the RGV for the at risk, the lost, the unchurched, and the fallen away, by working together with the LCMS, the Texas District LCMS, Concordia University-Texas, UpBring-The New LSS, LHM, Thrivent, and many mission service teams from across the United States.
RioMAC is a partnership of  the 12 LCMS congregations of the Texas District, Area C, Circuit 28 working in unity.  Consisting of:

El Buen Pastor - McAllen
St. Paul Lutheran - McAllen
Zion Lutheran - Alamo
Immanuel Lutheran - Mercedes
Iglesia Mision Emanuel Luterana - Mercedes
Our Redeemer - Harlingen
St. Paul Lutheran - Harlingen
Mt. Calvary Lutheran - Raymondville
St. John Lutheran - San Benito
Trinity Lutheran - Brownsville
Iglesia El Calvario Luterana - Brownsville
Fishers of Men - Port Isabel
(visit Our Congregations link for more info)
Poverty statistics from City-data.com show 16% of the Texas population lives below the poverty level.  In this southeast tip of Texas where we are located, the percentage of those living below the poverty level swells to double and triple the State average with Brownsville at 35.3%, Port Isabel at 40%, Laguna Heights at 61%, Los Fresnos at 41%, San Benito at 40%, Harlingen at 24.9%, Mercedes at 36.4%, Alamo at 32.4%, and McAllen at 23.8%.  This area of Texas is some of the most impovershed in the United States.

There are many directions out of poverty, with Christian beliefs and values being a substantial and instrumental influence for youths and adults that are reached through Christian mission ministry.

Mission Service Teams

Parting Story

With the violence in Mexico, many mission service teams have stopped going into Mexico to do mission service work.  The culture of the RGV has a strong influence from Mexico, and the needs for mission service work with the least, the lost, and the unchurched is great in the Rio Grande Valley.  The valley provides a safe environment for these workers.

We work with Can Do and individual congregations to arrange various age appropriate service projects for the teams that come to the RGV.

The impact mission teams have on the families and the youth of the RGV is great, and the impact to the mission service teams seeing how people live with so little, yet are so happy and always willing to share what they have is one of the best parts of the service team members experiences to the RGV.  Teams regularly return to the RGV to do more mission service work after their RGV experience.

Mission Team servants coming to the RGV harvest fields, help to serve more who have not heard the Good News, while strengthening and growing their faith in the Lord as He leads the teams and puts words on their tongues.
In 2013 Pastor Bill, the pastor at the LCMS Chapel on the campus of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, brought a mission group from a Bible study class he teaches.  There were 20+ college age young people from all across the world, including a married couple from Iran working on their master degrees in Contruction Management, as well as several young people from China.  The group was a Can Do Mission Team.  The group's project was to enclose a pole-building pavilion being used for evangelism at a rural San Benito colonia.

The mission group would arrive at the rural colonia site at about 9am in the morning, worked until about 4 in the afternoon when the children would come home from school.  Then the group would put away their tools, and would have singing, small group lessons, and play games.  The parents of the colonia would prepare traditional Mexican meals and all would feast every evening.

After the second day, when the team arrived at the church they were staying at, Daphne, a girl from China, told Pastor Bill she wanted to be like all the people at the colonia, she wanted to be baptized.  The next morning, Pastor Bill announced that during the evening service Daphne would be baptized.  Daphne was Baptized using a bottle of water.  The baptism and the celebration that evening was such a moving, inspirational time for all.  Two months later Daphne graduated from UNL, and today is sharing the Good News as she serves The Risen Lord.

Current Projects

Two major missional projects presently in RioMAC committee are a valley-wide non-traditional cross-cultural Missional DCE (Director of Christian Education) pilot program, and a proposed cross-cultural multipurpose center.  Both projects will greatly aid member congregation mission work in mission areas that have been underdeveloped, as Luke 10:2 tells us,
                      "The harvest is plentiful, the workers few."