A letter from Donald Wehmeyer in Mexico
This is a true story: a good friend and pastor in one of the Mexican states — where the violence between drug cartels has left more dead than the entire war in Iraq — had a weekly television program. The program was in the format of a citizens’ forum where people who represented different parts of society shared their opinions about current events. My friend — call him Pastor A — always tries to present the Biblical world view which emphasizes values such as peace, forgiveness, truth and service. One afternoon a couple of pickup trucks pulled into the church parking lot, which is also the parking lot for his house, the manse. Several men, one of them carrying a suitcase, knocked on the door. He let them in and the leader identified himself. Pastor A immediately knew one of the most violent drug cartel bosses was sitting in front of him. His mind was racing with concern for his wife and children in a nearby room. “Pastor,” the drug lord said, “We are giving money to everyone in this city who is doing good work. I want to leave this money for you to do whatever you think is best.” Pastor A told me his head was spinning to decide what to do. These men are famous for their plata o plomo (money or a lead bullet) approach to life. Should he take the money and risk being indebted to a bully or refuse the suitcase and risk his own and his family’s lives? Think what you would have done; in a moment I’ll tell you the rest of the story.
Martha and I have exciting news to share. The Lord willing we are going to be grandparents! Valerie and Raul, who were just married in December, are expecting a child in October. We were just getting used to being in-laws and now a new learning experience is upon us. Please keep them in your prayers as we are also trying to get a visa for Raul so the two can go to live and work in the United States as Valerie still wants to pursue her Ph.D. there.
Another important news item is that Martha and I will begin a 10-month stay in the States so we can visit as many churches as possible. Please send us an e-mail so we can get your church on our calendar. We can visit any time after August 1. We are happy to speak at Wednesday night dinners, preach, teach a Sunday school class or lead a Saturday workshop-retreat. Our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some thoughts I had and a prayer-poem from St. Augustine:
Silence is the space between
the complex life and life with God,
Silence is the path to purity.
Silence, like the sacraments,
Holds blessings for those who
Approach with faith,
confident that God will use the means
“We shall rest and we shall see,
We shall see and we shall know,
We shall know and we shall love
We shall love and we shall praise.
Behold our end, which is no end.”
—City of God, St. Augustine
So what did Pastor A say? He said, “You are trying to help others to do good things. But Jesus wants you to do a good thing too. He wants you to give Him your heart, not your money. The money is not want we need in the Kingdom of God; we need people who surrender their lives to the King of Kings.” The drug leader listened and understood but did not convert. The men left with the suitcase and Pastor A asks for our prayer so that this man who has now heard the gospel might be born again. Pray also for the safety of Christians and all the people who live in violent places around the world.
Martha and I cherish your prayers and we look forward to visiting your church.
In His love,
Don and Martha Wehmeyer
The 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 283