Jan and Pastor Pablo Feliciano Cruz
Pablo and Jan Feliciano Cruz have been serving together in Chiapas since 1984. Pablo is a native of the Tzeltal people group from Southern Mexico. Jan Kok grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan in an American middle class home. Pablo Feliciano Cruz was reared in Yaxoquintela, Chiapas, Mèxico.
When Pablo was a boy, his father, Tiburcio, was the maintenance superintendant of the Wycliffe Bible Society’s jungle camp that was located in Yax. It was here that Wycliffe trained prospective missionaries before sending them into remote locations to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the indigenous peoples. It was here that Pablo first encountered English speaking people and learned to speak English before he spoke Spanish. It was here that Pablo developed his life-long love of the Bible and Jesus. It was here that Pablo learned construction skills, mechanical skills and people skills. To this day he can fix nearly anything or build anything or relate to anybody. He developed his strong faith in this small village and never forgot those roots.
Jan and Pablo met while both attending bible college in Grand Rapids. After Pablo graduated, Jan moved to Chiapas with the expectation of marrying Pablo but only after a year of actual living in Chiapas to make certain that she understood exactly what she was getting into and that she could make it her life long home. Jan moved to Yax to live with Pablo’s parents while Pablo pursued a ministry that required a great deal of travel. Jan’s immersion into Tzeltal culture was intense but she knew where her heart lay: in ministry as the partner and wife of Pablo. They were married in September of 1984.
Over the course of the next thirty years, Pablo has been involved in numerous ministries and positions of responsibility with the Tzeltal Synod of the National Presbyterian Church of México. He has served as the pastor of village churches. He has been the president of the seminary in Villahermosa. He organized and was president of the Bible school in Ocosingo. He has served as president of the Synod and of its non-profit arm. He has taught other pastors, taught lay pastors and been the mediator for numerous conflicts that have arisen in the life of the Synod’s churches. Pablo was the visionary and construction manager for Dispensario Tzeltal Manos de Cristo, the Synod’s health clinic in Ocosingo, that was dedicated in March 2012 and that is now serving the indigenous people of Chiapas. He currently pastors the church in Sibal, a village in the jungle. He currently serves as president of Hebrón de Desarrollo Tzeltal, the Mexican partner of Hebron USA, which operates Manos de Cristo, hosts American medical missions to Chiapas, hosts American construction missions to Chiapas and is involved with other development projects of the Synod churches. He travels extensively throughout the Tzeltal regions of Chiapas solving problems, managing conflicts, preaching the Gospel and serving as resource to the Synod. Just keeping pace with his myriad roles is exhausting
Pablo and Jan are in part supported by donors and churches in the U.S. through Hebron USA. In return they support, sustain and inspire their community and their American supporters in the spirit of the Jesus Christ.
Learn more about Pablo
Message from Pablo Feliciano Cruz