stealth religion

By: ewhite422

Jun 24 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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It was illegal to be a missionary in Mexico.  And in spite of that, I spent 12 years planting churches on university campuses.  I guess I did not feel bad about breaking Mexican law, since I felt I had a “higher mandate” from God.

Whether that is true or not might be debated in another post.  I have thought a lot about American missionary efforts since then, especially after seeing the effects of our work on the recipients of our “gospel” and on our own children, who lived and breathed our mission.

I’ll write about that another day.  In the meantime, The Poisonwood Bible is a good novel that deals with issues I faced.

But back to being stealth…

We crossed the border in our private plane, a Cessna 210 Turbo.  I usually carried travel brochures and wore my big sunglasses so that I looked like a tourist.  I instructed my children to remain quiet if we were questioned by the border guards.

On one occasion they questioned us more than usual.

“It seems that you cross the border frequently,” one Mexican border guard remarked after studying our passports.

“Yes, we love Mexico,” said my husband.  “We like to vacation here often.”

“What do you do for a living?” asked the guard.  He probably suspected drugs.

Without hesitation my husband answered, “I’m a sheep rancher.  And the sheep are a lot of trouble!”  What he meant was he was a pastor.

“Oh, you must do pretty well, with the airplane and all.”

“Well, yes, we do all right.  But the truth is, I come from a wealthy family.”  (He meant God was his father).

I smiled (internally rolling my eyes) while praying, “Dear God, have mercy,” and cautioned my children with my gaze to remain quiet.  Oh!  The things we do when we believe we are doing God’s work!

We used God’s work as the reason to smuggle Bibles and supplies into Mexico.  We brought in televisions, public address systems, and more, all in the name of Christ.

Were we right?  We will not know until we face the One in whose name we broke laws.

We were later investigated by the Mexican government.  Apparently, they did not find enough evidence to throw us out.  And so we stayed for 12 years pretending to be tourists.

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