Covid-19 Impacts Mexico
From Danny G. Roten Director of Hispanic Ministries
Dear Praying Friends, Our Father has said to His Son: “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isa 49:6). What a joy to see this taking place before our eyes! And joy beyond words to take that Light to the Gentiles!
Need I say that this has been an unusual year? Nothing has gone as planned or as we had expected at the beginning of the year. With regard to the Covid-19 virus, the Lord has given protection in our immediate family and church circles locally. We praise Him for that. We appreciate your prayers for us in that regard. I would ask that you remember my 2 sons who work in the medical field especially.
But this coronavirus has hit with fatal impact among many of our brethren in Mexico. The brethren in Cardenas have been spared thus far. But in Usila, Oaxaca, a remote jungle village of southern Mexico where I spent much time preaching the word, brethren and/ or their family members have died. At one time someone in the village was dying from Covid-19 every 2 or 3 days. Brother Mateo lost his son-in-law. Nearby in Santiago Tlatepuxco, brother Fernando, who I trained many years ago, died. On the border in Nuevo Progreso, pastor Tomas became seriously ill, and thankfully survived. Several members of the church had family members gravely ill, and a few also died. Brother Tomas’s father in law (in another state) also passed away. Churches all over Mexico, like here, have had their meetings disrupted, and many are not yet meeting face to face, or only in small groups. I have been happy to see how many of them were able to stream preaching and teaching online. It seems like the Covid-19 infections in many parts of Mexico have not yet peaked.
I had mentioned previously that I would be going to Mexico to preach in a Bible conference with Brother Andres Galaviz in Chihuahua. That conference was canceled because of the virus. Please remember brother Andres in your prayers. This dear brother is now persevering through the last stages of heart disease. He would appreciate your prayers for him, his family, and the congregation that he ministers to there in the mountains.
Our meetings in Oklahoma City have continued without interruption, in various formats. For a while we met together in our usual meeting room, with all wearing masks. Then we moved outdoors. After that we switched to Zoom meetings, and now are again meeting outdoors. We still hold a Wednesday evening prayer meeting on Zoom. The Lord has held us together, and all are rejoicing in his goodness to us. Of late the burden to see new souls saved has been often repeated by each of the brethren, and they are faithful to witness on the job and around the city. The virus seems to have limited our opportunities, but the burden for souls has only grown.
Please remember to pray for the men that I preached to at the federal prison each week. Volunteers have not been allowed inside since the outbreak of the virus, and thus I have no knowledge of how they are doing.
We thank you for your faithful financial support though these difficult times. I know many are hurting financially, but our support has held steady, by the Lord’s mercy.
The Lord of the harvest has called and equipped some of His children for foreign mission work. It blesses me to see in the Acts how that many were providentially prepared even from birth for cross-cultural ministry. Have you thought about these men? Consider Barnabas, a Jew raised in gentile Cyprus – Acts 4:36. Notice that among those Jews who were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen were men who hailed from gentile Cyprus and Cyrene, who began preaching in Antioch to the Greeks – 11:20. And what about Manaen, who was brought up with Herod (in Rome!) – 13:1. We can’t forget Timothy whose mother was a Jewess, but his father was a Greek – 16:1. Finally, consider Paul, i.e. Saul of Tarsus – 9:11. Not only was he a Jew raised in a busy gentile city, but he was born with Roman citizenship – 22:28. That privilege would provide helpful rights and protection on his missionary travels. It even gave him a Latin surname, Paulos, joined to his Hebrew first name Saulos, which became his preferred name on his missionary journeys in non-Jewish lands. Although we are not all called and equipped to serve Him among distant peoples, all who are His have been given gifts to serve Him. You have a gift. Are you serving?
Brethren, pray for us! We greatly appreciate your prayers for us, for our health, for our family, and for the ministry here. Yours by His grace, Danny G. Roten
“God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” Psalm 67:7