Mexico (MNN) — A total of 64 people have been arrested in connection with the killings of 145 people whose bodies were found in mass graves in Mexico. The bodies were discovered earlier this month in San Fernando. The deaths are all tied to the Los Zetas drug cartel, considered Mexico's most violent drug cartel.
Executive Director of Spanish World Ministries Daniel Sandoval says this is just the latest in a violent trend that's taking place in Mexico where drug cartels, gang violence, kidnappings and murder are making life difficult. Spanish World Ministries broadcasts programming into Mexico.
Sandoval says not only are North American missionaries being affected by the violence, but so are Mexican ministries. "In Ciudad Juarez in the northern part of Mexico, around 100 pastors had to leave the city due to threats received from the drug cartels. A few days ago the pastor of one of the largest churches in Michoacán was kidnapped. This is something you'll never hear in the regular media."
Sandoval says this is a spiritual battle. "To me it is more than evident that Satan doesn't want the people in Mexico specifically–just as in many places around the world–to hear the hope that you can find in Jesus Christ."
Spanish World Ministries broadcasts the Gospel on more than 1,500 radio stations throughout Latin America. However, Sandoval says Mexico is a challenge. They're only broadcasting on 12 radio stations. "Radio stations are reluctant to air evangelical programs. They fear reaction from the traditional religions. Those stations willing to transmit the programs charge a lot of money."
The radio programs have been effective, says Sandoval. He told us a story about Mario, a drug addict who was listening to their programming. "One day, he decided to attend the church that was sponsoring the programs, with the desire to learn more about God. He opened his heart to the Lord, and since then, he has been growing in his spiritual life. In the process, the God has helped him to get rid of his addiction to the drugs."
Now Mario is actively serving the Lord in this church. But he was not the only one who was transformed. His father, who was also involved in drugs, saw the change in his son and felt the need to change his life. Some weeks later, he asked his son, Mario, if he could attend the church with him. Now, Mario and his father are faithfully growing in their spiritual lives.
Many people are putting their hope in the government or traditions. Sanodoval says in order to help the nation change, they need to expand their reach. "We know that only Christ is the real hope, but they need to hear [about Him]. My prayer is to have 100 stations in Mexico."
You can be part of this growth. $15 a month can help SWM reach 24 people with the Gospel. Sandoval says, "Somewhere in Latin America, at this very moment, many are listening to the Gospel through the programs produced by Spanish World Ministries. Our prayer is that many of these listeners are trusting Jesus as their Lord. And my prayer right now is that those believers who are listening to this interview will pray for our ministry and will consider joining us."
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