Joshua at fence
Alma and Ramon with sewing machine
And they say it’s dangerous in Mexico.
As you may know, Mercy and I are on US/Puerto Rico assignment this year. As we travel to different places to talk about our ministry, we are often asked many questions. A recurring one is ‘how dangerous is it in Mexico’? Because of all of the media coverage of the terrible violence happening in Mexico, there is a tendency to think that Mexico is a very dangerous place. Well, parts of Mexico are dangerous. There are areas that are suffering terribly right now. Fortunately where we serve in Mexicali, we have never felt any sense of danger. As I joke with the Short Term Mission groups that visit us, “If you are looking for trouble, I can help you find it. Otherwise things will be fine.”
And there is a tendency to think that once we are in the United States, that we are automatically safer. There is a sense of orderliness and stability here that can lead to this thinking. And then something reminds us that is just may not be so. For us, it was an alarming phone call two weeks ago from Joshua’s school telling us that there was a tragedy involving the “school community,” and that the children would be bringing home information. An hour after that call, we got a personal call from the secretary at the school telling us that Joshua’s teacher had been shot and killed on her way to work.
As it turned out, the teacher had become a victim of domestic violence. She was shot and murdered by her husband/partner who then proceeded to commit suicide, all this in the presence of their ten year old son. Fortunately, the boy was not injured physically.
The whole city of El Centro has been dealing with this for a couple of weeks now. There was a very large funeral for the teacher. There have been memorials made by the kids at the school fence. And the outpouring of support has been amazing. But one point must be underscored “it can happen here.”
And that leads to another point. This land, our country, needs to see hope. Mercy and I were commissioned by you and like minded brothers and sisters in Christ to proclaim the Gospel. We were invited to partner with a convention in Mexico to help them in planting churches, so that Good News could be extended to more and more places. And we have seen examples of Good News that has indeed transformed individuals and families and neighborhoods.
But as the Good News is being proclaimed in places like Mexico, we are reminded that this land, our country, needs to see hope. When it becomes common to hear of another domestic violence incident that leaves a family and a community shattered, we need to see hope.
We have all been called by God to be agents of transformation in our world. Some pack up and head to Mexico to do this. Some go into the ghettos. And some do it from their rocking chairs as they love children they have “adopted” to give stressed-out moms and dads a hand. There are myriad ways to do this. But two weeks ago, we were reminded that mission is for all of us, because each part of our world needs to see hope, and we are the ones called to do it.
May God encourage you as you act on the call God has given us, and find a way to help transform your world in the name of Christ.
Even though we are on home assignment we were able to send deliver some sewing machines for a community project in Mexicali, see photo. Mercy will be traveling in Nebraska promoting our ministry and WMO from Oct 23 until Oct 31st.