Mexico: Difficulties of Ministry in a Drug Culture

L-r: Isaac Nugent (Jamaica), Denis Casco (Mexico), and Ajiax Wo (Hong Kong).

L-r: Isaac Nugent (Jamaica), Denis Casco (Mexico), and Ajiax Wo (Hong Kong).

Some of the United Brethren churches in Mexico are in El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, two cities which face each other across the Texas border. Denis Casco, Bishop of Mexico Conference, says this work is much different from the work done in central Mexico, because of the drug problems.

“In this area, 30-40 people die every day, including some people from our churches,” he told the General Conference delegates in January. “It’s a very dangerous area.”

He mentioned three difficult situations:

  1. The son of one of his pastors sits in an Indiana federal prison for distributing drugs for a Juarez organization.
  2. A 16-year-old girl from one of the churches was arrested for carrying 120 pounds of marijuana in a backpack.
  3. One of his pastors in El Paso, who often provided transportation for Denis back and forth across the border, always told US immigration officials he was a US citizen. But one day he called Denis from a Phoenix jail cell. He didn’t have legal documents, and finally got caught.

Denis says, “To protect myself, I usually take a taxi from El Paso to the border and walk across. I do the same on my way back. I want to protect my life and reputation, but I cannot abandon this area.”

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