Matamoros Mexico Trip 2016

Matamoros Mexico trip 2016

In the month of March, we made a trip to Matamoros, Mexico with the Sean Bird family, Sis. Lenee Sorrell and her daughter, Natalie. This was our first time to visit Matamoros, which is a border town south of Brownsville, TX.

Everyone we talked to on the trip couldn’t believe we were traveling to that part of Mexico. Even the Mexicans told us they didn’t go to Matamoros if they could help it. We knew that the cartel had caused some problems at the chapel there and we had all made consecrations before leaving on the trip. The night before going across the border, we gathered for worship in our San Antonio hotel. We sang and encouraged one another. It was a somber, reflective and worshipful moment and the Lord ministered to our hearts, giving courage for the uncertainty that lay ahead.

When we got to a town near Brownsville, our van broke down. We were thankful it was in a town where we could leave it to be worked on. Bro. Joel, a pastor in Brownsville who was going to shuttle us across the border, graciously came and met us. We drove to his house in the Bird’s van and after leaving their vehicle there, we all packed our luggage into an older church van of Bro. Joel’s and started for the border.

As we headed to the border, we noticed that we were traveling below the posted speeds and Bro. Joel was making comments that suggested he had not driven the van in some time. He was having problems with it overheating. Sure enough, the brakes started sticking and the engine was not working very well. We were able to cross the border, but in the heavy traffic the engine overheated and we had to park in a supermarket parking lot and wait for Bro. Omar, whom we were going to visit.

He brought another van and we hastily swapped our luggage. Matamoros is located in the state of Tamaulipas which is the heaviest area of the drug war currently. The weather was very hot and we shared a very tight ride to the chapel.

We were blessed to spend the weekend with Bro. Omar, his family and congregation. We had services together and conducted children’s meeting. The children and young people interacted with one another across a language barrier and formed new friendships and bonds. The game Jenga was a popular activity. They enjoyed the new experience and participated in the services.

We stayed within the chapel compound so as to not create to much awareness of something extra going on.

Bro. Sean and Sis. Rhonda had to leave Saturday evening after service since he had to return to work. We anxiously watched them depart with Bros. Michael and Omar as darkness settled in after the evening service. They transported them to the border and walked them across where they met Bro. Joel.

When the brethren returned to their vehicle to come back to the chapel, members of a cartel were parked next to them. We thank the Lord for His mercies and protection.

We concluded the weekend the following morning with Sunday School and morning service before leaving to head back across the border and start the journey home.

We came home very blessed by the fellowship and opportunity to worship the Lord together in Matamoros, Mexico.

~Sis. René Smith

 

 

 

 

Mexico Trip—Matamoros 2016

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