Drugs wars, kidnappings plague Mexico ministry

By March 15, 2010

Mexico (MNN) — Kidnappings, drug wars and political corruption plague Mexico. These are serious problems. Is outreach affected? The answer is yes!

Ron and Bonnie Hipwell are missionaries with The Mission Society. They teach at the John Wesley Seminary in Monterey. Ron says, "There's been an intensity because of the warring between the drug cartels. And then there is a lot of corruption in some of the government and the police."

"Basically we have a situation where the drug cartels are fighting for territory," says Bonnie. "The northeast side of Mexico is their avenue to the United States where their consumers are."

Many of the seminary students are pastors and go home to the violence. Ron says, "Some of them go to extremely challenging places where the drug cartels are actually living as well as warring against each other." Bonnie says, "They're fighting for the highways, for the villages, and some areas have literally become war zones in the last few weeks."

The Hipwells are doing the work of preparing pastors and teachers for full-time ministry.

Students believe God has put them in Mexico for such a time as this. Bonnie agrees. "We as Christians are called to be the light of the world. If all the Christians leave Mexico, the light leaves Mexico, and the enemy has won. So we need to stay and stand our ground. This is a spiritual war."

Bonnie says the students are committed. They tell them, "If that means we have to give our lives, that's what that means. If that means God will protect us and use us, we're ready for that."

The Hipwells hope the feelings of uncertainty will give evangelicals opportunities to lead many to Christ. Ron says, "We've been praying for revival here. We see great hope even in our students — a great hunger for God. We've been praying something beyond — something ONLY God can do, to transform this nation."

Bonnie says, "We're now beginning to pray for the souls of the drug cartels. They're lost people just like we were, and we're only here by the grace of God. We're praying God will move in a mighty way."

While Mexico has been a destination for short-term mission trips, Bonnie says visitors should come, "as long as they're going to be working with someone who is here — someone who has been living in the country and knows what's going on and can help keep them safe and direct them to ministries that are really necessary."

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