Missions Moment – Southwest USA, Mexico

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Aaron and Nancy Palmatier, Missions Door

“The Lord came to me in prison. I was sentenced to 15 years and I knew I sw-usa-mexico-9-20-16-1would be there the whole time. God sent his messenger to me in prison. I just was released last week after serving my 15 years and today I am graduating with my seminary degree. I have answered God’s call to serve in the ministry.” Rene Ruiz Martinez is one of 6 men who took seminary extension classes in prison and have now graduated upon their release. Today Rene is serving as a pastor in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Sebano, Seminario Bautista de Nogales, has an extensive outreach to various towns outside of Nogales but the most exciting extension is the one that reaches into the prison. Currently there are 15 prisoners taking Bible classes while serving their time behind bars. Upon their release they plan to graduate and serve God in the ministry. I marvel at the dedication of the seminary professors to serve in this way. They don’t get any extra pay but give their time to serve the prison population in this way. These prisoners are people that society has forgotten about but we serve a God who never gives up on us no matter how bad we are or what we have done. I am very encouraged to see these men graduate with a fire and zeal to serve God wherever He may lead them.

Introducing Pablo and his wife Maria Juana. They are Missions Door newest sw-usa-mexico-9-20-16-2candidates for South America. Pablo has served as a pastor and associational leader in Ecuador for over 20 years. His ministry is with the Kichwa people high in the Andes Mountains. Nancy and I spent time with him and the Kichwa last month. We were surprised when they told us we were the first North Americans to visit their churches. They prepared their favorite food for us breakfast, lunch, and dinner, guinea pig! Their churches are growing but because they are so cut off from the outside sw-usa-mexico-9-20-16-3world, they have need of training. They have requested we return with a team for a couple weeks of training for several churches.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support that make this possible!