Dear Friends,

July 19, 2017

Many of you know that Mexico is undergoing an ever increasing wave of violence and murder. There are thousands of unresolved cases known as ‘feminicidios’. The terrible reality of this depravity became a nightmare for one of the new families in our Neza church. Their 11 year old daughter Valeria was kidnapped on the way home from school. Her body was found the next day in an abandoned minibus (public taxi) on a side street in the neighborhood. She was abused before being killed. Her dad put her in the minibus so that she would not get wet during a rainstorm that suddenly came up. They were going home on a bicycle and were only 5-6 blocks away from the house. When the taxi driver broke off his normal route and escaped with her, her dad tried in vain to chase them down. Her mother immediately began running from taxi base to taxi base and then scoured the surrounding streets on foot, while her dad tried to get help from the local police.

Incredibly the authorities paid no attention their pleas for help, suggesting that Valeria had run off with her nonexistent ‘boyfriend’, which though common here, was completely absurd in the case of an 11-yr.- old child. Her rape and murder caused an uproar in Mexico City with marches and a protest demanding that the authorities finally fix what is wrong with the public transport system. Most of the taxi drivers do not even have a valid driver’s license and many are high on amphetamines during the workday. A suspect was taken into custody but was found hanged in his cell a few days later, only adding to the skepticism as to his guilt or innocence. It is common practice to grab a likely suspect and frame him in order to calm things down.

The government went so far as to pay for the funeral expenses, and sent buses to transport crowds and even our church members to the burial. The funeral services were difficult, but the Gospel was preached and many tracts were distributed. CNN in Spanish as well as local and national press covered the story extensively. It is conservatively estimated that thousands of people attended the funeral. Please continue to pray for all concerned. The outcome of tragedies like this can only be understood from the perspective of eternity.

I have a visit planned to a home for former drug addicts, street kids and severely disabled and abused young people and children. The lady who runs this is a former street person and has been coming to our Institute studies for the last 8-9 months (and bringing a small group of their helpers with her). Her family started the homes many years ago (one for girls and the other for boys). They originally only had help from the Pentecostals, but have been distancing themselves from the prosperity gospel message that contradicts with their own experience in dealing with these severely damaged kids. We want to help them to become grounded in sound doctrine and also provide some medical support (we have a number of doctors in our church family), but need to analyze a little more closely what they are doing.

We have enjoyed good services and evangelistic opportunities in our churches and missions. The translation and printing ministry is never ending. I recently printed a new booklet on baptism and two reprints of other booklets, one on suffering and another on the subject of cremation. We have recently started a lengthy translation project of a commentary on Pilgrim’s Progress. We continue to have monthly Institute studies in Guatemala, Merida, Veracruz, and with the ex-Rhema group. In regard to the ongoing violence you might be interested in the most recent archeology discoveries about this old and ‘new’ subject at the following link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40473547

Missionary Tom Montgomery and Family