Agua Viva Ministries was founded by Jesus (Chuy) Davalos, an evangelist and leader who had a passion to reach Mexico for Christ. Chuy had a driving desire to share the Gospel with the millions of fellow Mexicans who have not had the privilege of hearing those words of hope. Davalos, at one time in training for the priesthood, had been gathering information on Protestant leaders. However, his own life was suddenly changed when he himself decided to follow Christ. Chuy gave himself to a life of ministry as pastor, missionary, and evangelist. His highest goal was reaching the unreached in Mexico. This goal led him to become involved with an outreach group called “Youth Enterprises,” which would eventually lead to his founding Agua Viva Ministries. THE AGUA VIVA WELL While exploring options for ministry, the people of Youth Enterprises began to work with the idea of Christian camping. For years they worked in a camp in the Sierra Juarez until the Mexican government became suspicious of the large groups of youth that were gathering and confiscated the property. Left with the task of finding a new facility, a Youth Enterprises worker named Sal Mendez headed toward the nearest town, Ojos Negros, to see some property that was recommended to him. Believing that the land was ideal for camping purposes, Mendez sought to rent the land. Sadly, the owner, María de Jesús refused. Although not opposed to their intentions, the she believed that it would be wrong to rent the land with no drinkable water. She recounted a 20 year history telling of numerous wells dug only to find “agua muerta,” dead water. They assured María that they were willing to haul in water however, and soon convinced her to let them rent out and move onto the land. During the course of preparing the camp a small well was dug to place a deposit tank. Water was found, but assumed to be contaminated. Clean water was continually hauled into the camp as the work progressed. But one day the cook ran out of water for cooking beans and out of desperation tried water from the well that had been dug. To her—and everyone’s—amazement, the water was good—”agua viva!” Shortly afterward, María, the owner of the land, reported that her daughter-in-law was sick. Excited by God’s faithfulness to them, the camp workers gathered to pray for her and the Lord worked in a mighty way to heal her. Eventually the Youth Enterprises team felt lead establish permanent camp facilities and wanted to purchase the land. They negotiated and raised funds for months until a settlement was reached. Remembering the healing of her loved one and the clean water that the Lord provided, María agreed to sell the land. As new owners of the land, the first order of business was to change the name of the ranch to “Rancho Agua Viva,” or “Living Water Ranch.” The owner, Maria de Jesus, said it best, “For 20 years I have owned this ranch with no good water. Now you have it. You must be of God.” Chuy agreed, “For us, it is a miracle.”
In order to fulfill the Great Commission: We will train Mexican Christian leaders. We will work alongside local churches for spiritual growth in Mexico. We will involve U.S. and Canadian missionary guests in the life of the local church, serving and evangelizing our community. We will maintain low-cost camping facilities as a space for Mexican churches to grow closer to God. We will educate all who come, promoting cross-cultural understanding and a missions-minded worldview. We will be a tool by which the lives of North Americans, particularly Mexicans, are eternally changed.
To be centered on Christ, focused on loving others. To evangelize, disciple, and equip in order to reach others. To demonstrate integrity and balance in lifestyle and ministry. To have unity in values, mission, and relationships. To invest in the growth and development of our human resources.
Agua Viva Ministries - What We Do
Chuy Dávalos, the founder of Agua Viva Ministries, had a passion for the lost people of Mexico and today we accomplish his vision via four aspects of ministry: 1 – We work with U.S. and Canadian partners to share Christ’s love to the people of Ensenada, Mexico. 2 -We have two Bible schools to provide pastoral, theological, and practical ministry training to Mexican Christians. 3 -We maintain a camping facility in Ensenada, Mexico where Mexican churches hold retreats, seminars, and other events at an affordable rate. 4 – We support missionaries throughout Mexico with the goal of planting churches in unreached areas.