Bringing Peace to Our Violence: Report from Mexico

"You Intended This to harm me, but God Intended it all for the good of many."  Genesis 50:19 "God Brought us here to be instruments to seek the shalom of the cities."  Jeremiah 29:1-7

A little more than two years ago, Monterrey, the financial capital city of Mexico, Began to lose its status as The most peaceful big city in Mexico. Our city Became the location of a drug war. Some people left the city Because of this. Many who Remained Became Their afraid of leaving homes late at night.

As a ministry team, we defined some rules to avoid unnecessary Risks. However, we were very careful to continue doing ministry in cities That need the gospel. We really did not want to unbiblical Become martyrs, trying to Say That Because We Are Christians there is no problem of violence. Such an attitude exhibits religiosity and spiritualism without a reasoning faith. Yet as true Christians who believe in the true gospel, we can not leave our ministries and our communities without hope.

We Believe That the only hope for our cities is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the gospel changes everything. Recently, a popular TV and movie actress sent a message to the biggest drug lord saying, "I do not believe in the government, not even in any church, but I Believe that you can change, so please change your love for drugs and weapons . "That I am sure the kind of change she is talking about is not possible without God. But as a Christian, This declaration puts me in the spot, if I have the only true hope That changes everything, why am I not asking This Man to come to know the only way to change, the grace of the Lord Jesus? This is the call gave us Jesus Christ When He said, "all authority on heaven and earth has-been Given to me, Therefore go, make disciples."

Some months ago, I about Preached on Genesis 50 Joseph's life. The Lord knows much better than we do why some things happen Allows Have to. Yes, Northern Mexico has been hit by a drug war, but we have a much Greater Lord That surely can bring something good out of all this. Through violence, our network of churches Has Become Their ministries in more vibrant, and more sensitive to the needs of our cities. It Seems that violence has made us grow in numbers and in maturity. Pastors are now hungry for Opportunities to counsel Christians and non-Christians. Church planters are becoming more creative to start new ministries to serve the city. This has happened in the last two years.

Downtown Monterrey has Transformed from a dangerous place late at night, to One That is now more family and tourist oriented. In the past many Involved with drug gangs started to come downtown to night clubs, but doing lot since then closed down. Politicians Have Changed Their Minds also. There are not many politicians who want to run for mayor They are afraid Because They Will Become targets. However, the ones That want to run are doing so out of a desire to really serve, rather than wanting to be served. The idolatry of the item is changing possessions Because people now appreciate more than Their Lives Their possessions. People in Monterrey used to love to show jewelry on Their fingers and ears, to wear fine suits and dresses, but now They do not care about it Because They Could be in danger. The druglords Intended to harm the cities, but the real only Lord is transforming all of it for the good of many in the city.

Yes, we are sure the Lord Brought Us to be the light of the city. Please keep supporting us so That we can be a bigger light In These cities. We are starting a new church in Durango, and new justice and mercy ministries. We are Strengthening Our Relationship with the Lord in order to grow, to be not only in the cities but for the cities in Northern Mexico. We have a vision and a great passion in the gospel for These cities.

Pray today:
. • Develop team develop developing For boldness to Keep This ministry through the sharing of the gospel and making disciples through
. • For new ministries to help the cities
. • For each of the 12 churches in our movement
• For the short-term teams and partner churches from the U.S..
• For the government of the cities and country to be instruments in the Lord's hands.

Andres Garza
Northern Mexico Network Leader
agarzaayala at