Mexico (MNN) — In a recent release, BBC News reported that since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels, 5,397 people have gone missing in Mexico.
The cartels seem to have been getting more violent in recent days. Executive director of Christian Resources International, Jason Woolford, says their ministry partners in Mexico have always feared being stopped and looted along the road, but now the threat of a more serious fate is significant.
"Before they might stop you and take your cash, but now they're taking your cash, taking your vehicle, and, most likely, will kill you," says Woolford.
The threat is all too real for one CRI ministry partner, which is within 70 miles of the area that a missionary was shot and killed when she didn't stop her car for a cartel.
Many ministries have slowed their work or canceled trips for the last few years in direct response to the threat of violence. CRI, however, has taken a different approach.
"If the enemy–the devil–is attacking people in certain areas, then it's that much more that we, as Christians, should be focused on that area," explains Woolford. In other words, CRI isn't stopping for anything.
CRI continues to send Christian literature, Bibles, Spanish pastor libraries, and other resources across the border to provide spiritual nourishment for many in Mexico. Woolford says the resources are in high demand. "What we're hearing and what we're seeing is that people that are really turning from an idolatry belief system…are looking for more."
Resources are needed perhaps more than ever in these terrifying times, and the Lord is faithfully responding. In fact, an experience one CRI board member had on a recent trip confirmed that.
Before he left, the board member felt called to go to his friend who had just lost his leg. He asked if he could take the man's old prosthetics with him, with no clear idea of why he might need them. When the board member got to Mexico, he passed a one-legged man walking on crutches. He pulled over and was able to send the man away walking on a new prosthetic and an armful of Christian resources. (Listen to Woolford tell the full story here, about 4.5 minutes in.)
Clearly the Lord is moving in Mexico. Pray that CRI's ministry partners would continue to boldly move throughout the country, providing the Gospel to those with little access. Pray for safety and for wisdom as to what should be brought in.
You can help with this ministry directly. Spanish materials are in high demand–a need which is driving CRI to build a second distribution center on the West Coast, with hopes that more Spanish materials will come in. Pray for this endeavor. If you can provide Spanish materials now, send them into CRI today. You can also sponsor a Spanish pastor library to support local pastors in Mexico. Click here to learn more.