Growing up as a pastor’s son in rural Mexico, Marcos Urbina firmly believed that the path of ministry was not for him. The family had very little to live on and struggled financially. Marcos survived three years of one of Mexico’s worst famines but witnessed two of his brothers starve to death. Despite these trials, Marcos’ father remained loyal to the church and trusted the Lord would provide.
None of this made sense to Marcos. Why would God, who his father had so faithfully served, let his brothers die? As a result, Marcos told himself he would never become a pastor because he didn’t want to be in dire financial straits or grim circumstances ever again.
When he moved to the states, he found himself a secure job building aircrafts at a manufacturing plant in Burbank, California. At the same time, Marcos soon found himself volunteering in the music ministry at the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles. One Sunday morning, a guest speaker came to the church. Through the speaker’s message, Marcos knew immediately that the Lord was calling him to preach.
He asked God, “Lord, is this what you really want? I’m making good money, and I know what happened to my family when my father preached.”
Though Marcos struggled with his calling, he eventually realized that pastoring was what God wanted for him. He quickly started going around the suburbs of Los Angeles to find a family willing to be a host home for his new church. While Marcos searched, he received multiple death threats directed specifically towards his efforts at planting a church. This caused him to doubt God’s plan for his church, but he decided to give the hunt for a host home one more try. The next door he knocked on, the Lord provided abundantly. The family who owned the home had been looking for an SBC church to attend and was more than willing to help Marcos plant a new one in their house.
They opened the church the following Sunday morning, and 35 people showed up at the first service — barely fitting in the house. After two months, they had to find a new building because they could not accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. Ultimately, the church Marcos started on a leap of faith grew to be the second-largest Mexican Baptist Church in California.
Marcos eventually left this well-established church to follow his passion for planting and restoring struggling churches. These small and struggling churches did not leave him in a financially stable position when it came to retirement. Food, medical expenses and home maintenance were becoming all too expensive. Once Marcos found out about Mission:Dignity® through his daughter, he has been a recipient ever since. Marcos and his wife Esther have been married for over 60 years, and she has been right by his side, serving faithfully. Mission:Dignity provides funds that pay for his medicine as well as her health expenses.
Marcos says, “There is no way to accurately describe the gratitude I have for the people who support us monthly. I praise God for Mission:Dignity. God’s plan for struggling ministers and widows is Mission:Dignity.”