“Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.” --Ps 40:17
Part of being a missionary is falling in love with another country, developing a bond, a secondary patriotism and allegiance to one's land of service. Ramona and I don't look Mexican but in many ways we have deeply identified with our second country for the past 24 years.
MEXICO IS HURTING. This young country, where the average age is 25, is embroiled in a terrible war with organized crime; huge super-organized and armed gangs made unbelievably wealthy by illicit drugs they export to the United States. We love both countries and, like most Mexicans, we are caught in the middle. The death toll rises as every week gang members, police officers, soldiers, and of course the innocent by-standers, die violently. Cities and towns become no-mans-lands. People flee or live bunkered lives. Businesses and employment dry up but many have nowhere to go. Drug money seeks to corrupt local, state, and national leaders. Those who stand up are too often shot down. Many doubt the wisdom of the current government's aggressive and confrontational policy.
Ramona and I feel safe. We have never felt threatened and the battlefield is still far enough from the places we serve that we encourage mission teams to come. We've had three groups already this year with three more scheduled in coming months. We are grateful for sisters and brothers in Christ who follow the Spirit's leading to come to Mexico when sometimes family and friends question their judgment.
At the same time we send this journal, we are attaching some very horizontal photos of a celebration of Mexican youth. We know that you will enjoy the photos and we can say that your support of ministry in Mexico is providing hundreds of young people with opportunities to experience God's love, develop their gifts and grow in their knowledge of the Word as they participate in programs of the Baptist Seminary and CICEM* sponsored youth events. Young people are coming to Christ and are being discipled. They believe there is a future for Mexico, a future beyond the present hard times.
We know that you have a lot to pray about. The world is hurting. The US is hurting. But we ask you to pray for young Mexico. That God would be her helper and deliverer and that He would not delay. That the beautiful young women and men, amongst whom we live and serve, would have a future of peace and justice, opportunity and freedom. Thank you for supporting mission in Mexico and around the world. Your vision, commitment, and generosity make a difference.