FBCO January Mexico Trip Continues Work With IMB’s Richardsons

Clay and Tammy Richardson are missionaries with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) serving in southern Mexico. FBCO supports the Richardsons financially and by sending members on short-term mission projects to help with water filtration, construction, and evangelism activities.

The Richardsons work with an indigenous people group called the Zoque (pronounced ZOH-kay) in Chiapas—Mexico’s southernmost state. One of the challenges of working with the Zoque is that while Spanish is the dominant language in the nation, the Zoque have their own language. Some Spanish, however, is understood.

Jerry Woodruff, chairman of FBCO’s Missions Team, has been to Mexico to work with Clay and Tammy and will co-lead the next trip.

He describes the people as “very private and shy,” perhaps due to a fear of strangers who in the past stole women and children for sex trafficking, or took advantage of the region’s necessary natural resources and paid only pennies for valuable assets.

The area is largely rural and agricultural.

Catholicism is the dominant religion in the area. However, the population has little biblical training or even the same Christian understanding U.S. church attendees sometime take for granted. Church help is often provided after a payment requirement is met.

Jerry says the free grace and gift of God’s salvation is unknown among the Zoque. “One of the fathers when he heard Clay explain how God had died for him so he could have eternal life through faith and they did not have to “pay” for salvation…said that someone needed to tell his family and friends about God!”

Through the Richardson’s work, Jerry says, “God is opening doors.”

One of the ways the Richardsons have built relationships and trust among the Zoque people is by providing them water filters so they can have clean and safe water. During FBCO’s March/April trip our team will help the Richardsons distribute more water filters.

Other projects during the trip will be around trying to build upon the Richardson’s earlier work, and to re-establish a presence in the community. The couple was absent in 2021 as they were on furlough in the U.S.

The Richardsons have four children and are from Lewiston, ID.

Watch the below videos in which Clay describes the Zoque region and talks about projects FBCO teams completed on previous mission trips.