Mexico (MNN) — Drug traffickers in Mexico's North are
sowing deadly chaos. The U.S. Department
of State issued a travel warning to the area.
Last week, shootouts between police and suspected drug gang
members could be heard around the city of Monterrey. These same gangs also hijacked cars to
set up scores of roadblocks.
Ron and Bonnie Hipwell with The Mission Society are teaching at John Wesley Seminary in Monterey. Of the
impact on their teaching work, Ron says, "It is limiting some of the
activities–that's where the impact is. It's difficult to carry on ministry in
the local church or mission work."
Bonnie Hipwell says it is stifling churches, too.
"People usually work till about 8:00 at night, and then they have time to
go participate in their cell groups or their praise team practices."
Mission Society missionaries continue efforts in rural areas
around Monterrey. They host short-term teams and work together with Mexican
nationals to minister through cell churches, outreaches to women and children
in the impoverished barrios, and service to the "garbage people"–some of Mexico's poorest who survive by gathering items that might be useful from garbage trucks.
However, because the trouble is escalating, short-term teams
are canceling their trips. Ron says a team from a Baptist seminary
cancelled their trip on Monday night. While
it is disappointing, Ron says it may well be a time of growth for the church.
"The churches can depend on each other, and maybe not so much on
missionaries coming in or short-term teams to complete what God wants them to
Change is coming. In
1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spain. 100 years later, Mexico was in revolution and
spent years freeing itself from civil war. In 2010, Mexico celebrates its
bicentennial. Bonnie says the church is continuing in the
freedom theme. She says Christians are praying that "2010
can be the year that God creates the
revolution, and it's a spiritual revolution, and not a political one. "
Pray for the spiritual revival that is beginning to grow and
transform Mexico. For more details on
the Hipwell's work in Mexico, click here.