A letter from Andres Garcia in Mexico
120 REASONS FOR MINISTERING AT THE BORDER
The evening meeting began with a brief time of prayer, and then Gloria and I proceeded to explain the latest news and development regarding the broken relationship between PC(USA) and the Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de Mexico.
Their faces showed expressions of consternation as the news that the mission work at the barrio eventually would be closed. Our report surprised them and in some sense it provoked anger and disappointment about the drawbacks regarding women's rights in the church.
But how: what is the problem? asked Cecilia...
Then sister Martha said: Why do all the missionaries have to leave Mexico? Why are you all abandoning the mission when it is doing well everywhere
Antonio shook his head as if to say: No… It can’t be true; and then he shouted out: All our friends are departing… Are you also leaving us?
The conversation with the group moved us vividly into the episode narrated by the Gospel of John, when Jesus told his disciples how difficult it would be to implement the works of God. Many were doubtful, to others it caused scandal, for the disciples it caused fear. Some did not believe, others rejected the word of Jesus, and many decided to depart and walked no more with him (John 6:66). This was because Jesus' mission and following him became more and more dangerous and risky work (John 7:1). Thus, the question of Jesus at the end of the episode: Do you also wish to go away? In this Mexican context is an issue that also causes doubts, fears and scandalizes those who oppose the Kingdom of God. Here in the slums and colonies of Reynosa are so many fragile humans for whom hope and security of life is precarious and uncertain. They are women, children, migrants, uprooted persons from homelands, and the only option they have for their future is going to gather crumbs remaining as social goods that people in power don’t take away.
Do we also wish to go away? It is a question mark to which our sounding answer is: NO! Puentes de Cristo, with the help of God, will continue ministering here in the name of Christ, knowing this work is not ours but it is the work of the One who gave his precious life in ransom for our world.
Join us in prayer:
- For the present and the future of Presbyterian ministries at the U.S.A.–Mexico border.
- For social peace in Mexico, that the new government may be capable to bring hope and real opportunities for progress, education and development to the border lands
- For the Board of Directors meeting on November 17. All the six ministry sites known as Presbyterian Border Ministry (PBM) are passing through crucial times to reshape, transform or re-invent the structure and nature of their mission. We at Puentes de Cristo live in openness to what God may show us in regard to His way in service to Him.
In closing this letter Gloria and I would like to express our deepest thanks for your faithful support and work on behalf of every one of us—your missionaries—serving at the frontline, in between God’s Kingdom and evil’s kingdom.
May the peace and love of Him be with you always.
Andres and Gloria Garcia
PC(USA) mission co-workers and
Puentes de Cristo U.S.A. coordinators
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 4
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 15