Jun 132013

We didn’t start well.

As a matter of fact, we despised each other.

It was in the wild and wooly days of the Phoenix Preacher and I was hammering away on a certain CC pastor till I was tired, then I would rest and hammer him again.

I was relentless.

My (now) friend did not appreciate my efforts and some of the spiciest emails I’ve ever received were typed by him.

That war ended, the years went by, and my adversary went quiet.

Quiet, until a couple of years ago.

His familiar email moniker (which was a judgment on me itself) popped up and I was curious as to how I’d tripped his trigger this time.

Instead of a rebuke, it was an invitation…to go with him to Mexico and serve the people I’d been writing about.

He was going into hell at great risk to help people in one of the most dangerous places in Mexico…and the world.

I was stunned…and very humbled and grateful.

I was in recovery from surgery and couldn’t go but I’ve kept in contact as he has continued this great work since then.

I’ll let him tell you about it:

019369-R1-15-10“So we have been going to Mexico now for almost 12 years. It is a beautiful area in the mountains of Mexico among the (deleted) people who live in pueblos of 100 to 150 people. Our sole goal and focus is to plant indigenous churches led by indigenous leaders among the (deleted)people. It is a very slow work at this point but everything we do is designed to assist that vision. So far we have planted 2 indigenous churches. The most recent was in a village of some 300 people, a large pueblo by their standards. 

We begin by making 6-8 trips a year and in the beginning we go primarily to establish a friendship with the people. We help stimulate their economy by bartering beans for crafts that we sell. We feed them plentiful meals as well as take doctors, nurses, and dentists when they are available to go. The docs are a very good resource to let us know what the health needs are. In this latest village they needed a good source of clean water. The entire region has been a 7 year drout. They live off of their fields but when there isn’t any rain there isn’t any food. All the water that was available to live on was run off and shared with livestock. The children are dying off at about 25-35% before age 5 because of the water and malnutrition. So we determined to drill a water well and give them access to as much as they want. The Lord graciously supplied a donation that paid for the drilling of the well. 

The snag we ran into was that the electrical authorities found out that we (Americans) are behind this project. And so to bring 300 feet of electricity to the site they decided we needed to pay $11,000 American dollars. We have tried to negotiate through the local leadership and authorities and they are just not going to budge. We budgeted a lot less than that but are now having to raise an additional $11K to get electricity to the site so that we keep fresh water stored and available. There’s a lot of logistics that I won’t bore you with but we have the potential to pipe 6 outlying communities with this water (where the water goes the gospel goes with it) and won’t be able to do it without the electricity. Until we drilled this well the women were forced to walk 6- 10 killometers for a couple pails of putrid water. They are now walking half that distance for much better quality of water.

019370-R1-12-13With this unforeseen expense the $9000 we needed to raise for a purifier will be completely used up and so we are having to prioritize the need. We have to be able to deliver the water before we purify it. Immediately we need to raise $11000 for electricity and in the near future an additional $9000 for a purification unit. Every dime that is given is used in the field. 


We need medical professionals to go with us. This has become a real need as many simply have not continued to go with us because of the threat of violence. 

We need short termers to go with us as many are reluctant for the same reason and yet the Lord has blessed us with His mercy and protected us to date without a single incident that would be considered dangerous. We don’t presume to think we are immune either and so it must be considered. The work among these people has increased to critical proportions as many of the ministries that once worked in the area have chosen not to return and there is a lot of “unfinished” work to be cleaned up. 

We work with 2 indigenous (Mexican National) missionaries who have laid down their lives for this work that I hope one day that I can attain to even a fraction of their sacrifice and faithfulness. As everyone can imagine the economic crunch in the states has severely hindered their support and we struggle each month to meet their financial needs. It is humbling to receive thier gracious thank you’s every month for what little we send. 

The great news is that we are seeing a harvest take place among these people that is nothing short of early church proportions. In a village of 80 or 90 people we are seeing well over 130 attend services. Some walk over 15 miles to receive from the Lord. He is teaching people the value of fellowship and community among a people who don’t even have a concept in their language or worldview for that kind of living. It is truly miraculous and due to the work of the Holy Spirit. “

019370-R1-15-10In the providence of God, an enemy who has become a friend is doing what I have longed to do…he’s carrying my heart to where I can’t go.

Only God could have brought the hearts of two very different men together for His kingdom…and that’s exactly what He did.

He needs help, as he’s explained above.

I completely and wholeheartedly endorse this man and this ministry…and if the Lord leads you to help, please do.





Make sure you leave your name and address in the message box to receive a reciept a the end of the year.

  47 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. Hey Michael,
    The paypal link appears to be the same as the email link.

  2. It is…you go to Paypal and that’s the email address you use.

  3. Thank you for sharing that beautiful testimony and ministry.

    Jesus truly is the great healer….

  4. Who is the person? Did I miss that in the article?
    Sounds great, but I wouldn’t give to a blind paypal address, or recommend it to others.

  5. Michael,
    This the true religion spoken of in the book of James.

  6. Josh,

    I can’t write any identifiers for security reasons.
    More information can be obtained through the email address.
    I understand your concerns, but I have known this person for years.
    I trust the Holy Spirit will guide those who are moved toward giving.

  7. Thank you Michael for the report. This is following God’s instructions in the best way.

    This was a worthy read!

    And yes if your friend would allow you to post more details about the organization I believe we would all appreciate it.

  8. Muff,

    I believe so as well…

  9. Bob,

    I’ll ask.
    As some of you know I’ve almost drowned myself in studies and information about the state of violence in Mexico.
    My friend can’t be careful enough in my opinion…

  10. Michael,
    I remember in a previous thread that you mentioned something about having a heart for the State of Israel and I concur, but I also believe that she has the sophistication and means to take care of herself. The people you’ve profiled here are right in our own backyard (so to speak) and they have no such sophistication & means. Who will be their advocates if not us?

  11. Muff,

    Do you mind if I frame that? 🙂
    I heartily concur.

  12. I often believe that conflict is the way to intimacy. War often leads to nations being allied. Broken marriages are healed by horrific clashing. It is hard to hate those with whom you have bled after the matter has been concluded. Strange but true.

    So I often tell a spouse to go home and start a fight but only if you are willing to stay through the mess.

    Pain is the avenue of redemption. Great conflicts bring great salvation.

  13. Just for clarity’s sake, and for the critics.
    This is a Calvary Chapel church doing this mission.
    If you cannot support anything related to any CC church anywhere for any reason, by all means move on and support the good works you can.
    I frankly don’t care if these folks are 15th degree Masonic elk worshippers if the kids get clean water and some access to medical care.
    This is not an endorsement of the whole of CC polity, though there never has been a sniff of scandal around this church.
    I disagree with my friend ecclesiastically and doctrinally, but we agree on Jesus and the need we see.
    That’s what matters to me.
    As to the question of why I don’t go…as I’ve said about a hundred times on this blog I have health issues.
    I don’t go into detail, nor should I have to in order to satisfy the curiosity of folks who hope they are severe.
    I can’t believe I actually felt compelled to write this…

  14. BD,

    That was brilliant…

  15. I have grown less “spiritual” and more practical in these matters. I appreciate the threats in Mexico because missionary friends of mine have had to leave their ministries because of threats on their lives by locals. Mind you this wasn’t just in the border towns but deep in the heart of Mexico.

    Something I learned from a Mormon acquaintance one night. We were walking down a street together in California headed to a restaurant for dinner. Along the way the was a beggar asking for money, my Mormon acquaintance pulled out a couple of bills and handed it to the man without interrupting a beat. No questions and no challenges, just handed him the money.

    Of course I had to ask if he was worried how the man would spend the money. His answer, No. He explained he was trained to just help others when they were in need, no debates, no proselytizing and how he used the funds was between god and the man.

    Changed my perceptive a bit. A man is need help him out. Simple and practical.

    The Mexicans are in need, help them out.

  16. Bob,

    Thank you…

  17. I don’t do a thread on Mexico as often as I would like so this is a good opportunity to point out the links on the right side of the blog if you want further information on our neighbors plight.
    This video is from an author with an excellent new book out on the situation as well.

  18. I frankly don’t care if these folks are 15th degree Masonic elk worshippers if the kids get clean water and some access to medical care.

    I feel the same way Michael. I couldn’t care less what a man’s purported beliefs are. I care far more what the content of his character is and what deeds are produced by that content.

  19. Muff,

    The accusation is that this is a paid political advertisement for CC and a distraction from the issues we’ve dealt with here on a regular basis.
    What I see is a good man leading a good church doing a great work.
    Not many are willing to take the risks he’s taking for these people…and that is what I wanted to show and support today.
    I believe there is a time to address those issues and there is also a time to lay aside our differences for the sake of the kingdom.
    My conscience would condemn me if I did otherwise.

  20. For the record, my concerns had nothing to do with CC or anything like that, only with sending money to an unknown paypal account.

    I’m can only assume who it is that is upset over the CC stuff.

  21. I’m glad to hear about this outreach!

    The gospel is one part compassion for the body and 2 parts compassion for the soul. Start with meeting the physical need- the felt need. Listen while the healing begins. Then give out the good news. Stick around to nurture both the body and the soul. Giving out the gospel without meeting needs or follow up produces seeds on rocks. Feeding the poor without giving out the gospel just prolongs suffering. Gotta do all three. I don’t mind being the odd man out on this.

  22. Josh,

    That’s a legitimate concern and I have an email out to see what more I can say.

  23. Gary,

    I think most would agree with you and I do as well to a degree.
    I’m for meeting critical needs just because they need met…if we can give out the Gospel as well, thats a bonus.

  24. @ 23 – All good Michael, I just wanted to make clear to everyone that your # 14 was NOT in reference to my # 5.


  25. Josh,

    Probably a good idea the way things are misunderstood here.
    Clarity is a good thing… 🙂

  26. “The accusation is that this is a paid political advertisement for CC and a distraction from the issues we’ve dealt with here on a regular basis.”

    1. It is your blog and you can write about whatever you damn well please. You owe no one any certain amount of airtime on their pet issues!

    2. How the hell arrogant, self absorbed or naristic does a person have to be to make a statement like “people getting clean water is a distraction from me being able to debate theological theory with my friends over the Internet” anyway?

    3. People are ridiculous!

  27. And for the record, that’s not about josh.

  28. @ 28 – Thanks for the clarification, London 🙂

  29. London,

    I really do care about all the things we write about and all the people involved in them.
    I have a love and respect for my friend in this article and I also love the fellow who is unhappy with it.
    I just have to follow my conscience a day at a time.
    The unsettling thing for me as a general observation is the realization once again that we’d rather talk about negative actions than positive ones.

  30. I agree about being careful with specifics. Someone we support down there had to pull all facebook activity for safety reasons. Only took a few weeks too before that decision became clear as the wise thing to do.

  31. Steve,

    When this guy told me where he was going, I didn’t believe it till he proved it.
    God’s hand is on him and those who help him.

  32. The fellow who is unhappy about it needs to get over himself.

  33. Michael said: “The accusation is that this is a paid political advertisement for CC and a distraction from the issues we’ve dealt with here on a regular basis.”

    To the detractors, I’d say, since when is love in action a distraction?

  34. Linnea,

    I hope it becomes a focus…we can deal with the negatives as well, but we must see and appreciate the good whenever we can.

  35. Well said, Linnea!!!

  36. “So I often tell a spouse to go home and start a fight but only if you are willing to stay through the mess.”


  37. PP has become near sacramental in effect.

  38. BD,

    Not quite… 🙂

  39. Again, another moment when I wish I had unlimited resources.

    Saying a prayer for this ministry…

  40. “I frankly don’t care if these folks are 15th degree Masonic elk worshippers if the kids get clean water and some access to medical care.”


    As to why I am supporting them with what I can, because my friend Michael asked me to. Funny how that works and no this is not directed at someone who asked good questions.

    If we spent 1/10000th what we spent on two wars we did not and could not win, no offense to the fine people that served, on the issues in Mexico and dealing with drug issues on our side of the border. Could be wrong and money does not solve all issues, but it is a part of solving most issues.

  41. Good thoughts, Brian.

  42. I will say though, I haven’t seen govt.money solve anything. War on poverty, war on drugs and the war on terror. We spend oodles of money only to find ourselves still hearing the same thing year after year. Nothing is solved.
    I am not a big fan of believing that civilization will just get better and better. I have seen people do evil things. I see that civilization is just a thin veil just waiting to be torn from in front of our faces and the whole charade revealed.
    That is why, when I read things like this, it lifts my heart and shows me the active work of God in the world and it shows me that He is there and He cares. That is where money should go.

  43. Amen, Brian and Derek!

  44. This is The Phoenix Preacher at its (his) finest!

  45. I am not a big fan of believing that civilization will just get better and better. I have seen people do evil things. I see that civilization is just a thin veil just waiting to be torn from in front of our faces and the whole charade revealed.

    Derek, I too have seen things that will haunt me to my grave. You might enjoy reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. He deals with this very thing and how thin the veneer really is. He also points out the immense power we have as individual drops in a big ocean to change the future for good or bad. By the way, I thought the movie was well done too.

  46. Just added Cloud Atlas to my Amazon wishlist. Once I have a job and money coming in regularly, I will probably buy it and read it.

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