By Jaimie Alonso
Juarez, Mexico is documented by the media as arguably the most dangerous city in the world.
My host Pastor, Jesus Alonso known by many as Pst. Chuy, says that as many as one million people have left this border town city for a safer place to live. Drugs, extortion, and violence are very much “in your face”. I have ministered in many dangerous countries due to religious beliefs but Juarez is different. It was like the old days of Chicago or Philadelphia where crime was out of control and violence was a means to make a living. I met many people with personal stories of being shot, beaten, or extorted for personal gain. During my ten day stay, one of the major drug gangs had decapitate and butchered two men of a rival drug gang. The newspapers reported the heads were displayed on posts and body parts were thrown about the nearby area in public view so that their quest for control would be stated!
Sadly, many Christian organizations have stopped ministering in Juarez. They have moved on to “safer” grounds! Without a public demonstration of God’s power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and share the gospel with the message of repentance; this city is in the depths of tragedy. Yet faithful pastors continue to share the gospel in their communities, despite their surroundings and financially poor conditions.
I arrived on a Monday in March to overnight in El Paso. El Paso is a beautiful city which borders Juarez. It is a challenging moral dilemma to see the poverty of Juarez while staying in the comfort of El Paso. Even though Juarez is only about a ten minute drive from El Paso, the contrast of the “have” and “have nots” was very visual. I was reminded of this from my first visit in July, 2010.
On Tuesday morning, I was taken across the border to connect with Pastor Chuy. We drove immediately to a local street market, where tourists, if any, are not advised to go. (Note: Tourism is almost nonexistent in Juarez at this time.) Our “headquarters” today was a used clothing store just on the edge of the market. Ministry started immediately as the local people entered the store. Small greetings were exchanged with Pastor Chuy and he began to bring folks with health challenges to me for ministry. Many headaches, back, and stomach problems were healed. Unfortunately NO CAMERA! I felt this is what it may have been like for the disciples as they walked through the markets in their time.
We left for lunch and met up with a doctor at his clinic. Dr. Enrique Leyva has started many national projects in Mexico. He shared his hopes to build a Christian community where folks would live and grow their own food and livestock in order to feed themselves. This could also serve as a model to the unchurched as relationships would be built as well. Pastor Chuy has started a mini project on his church property raising rabbits, chickens, and crops etc.
There may not be a lot of jobs or money, but food can be available. The hope to train teens in trades at a youth centre in this community was also talked about.
Next, we visited and ministered to a man that was looking after a building that could possibly house traveling ministries. He was a stroke victim of many years and in a wheelchair. I spent some time ministering to him. He was able to walk a little when we left. I did not catch up with him on this trip, but we heard a report that his wheelchair was empty on the ground floor and they found him busily working, without aid, on the second floor. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Chuy was contacted by a Christian lady that had a piece of land that was for sale. She did not have the funds to develop it and wondered if we could take a look. It turns out that this land, which is 1.5 times larger than a professional football field, would be perfect for the Christian community. We bought this land for $500 down and $100 per month for a total of $3,000. This land could have about 24 lots. Cost of one lot at market value is about what was paid for all 24 lots. Praise the Lord! Possible answer to the Doctor’s Leyva’s plan!! Name of this project will be, “The Land of Zion”!
Wednesday evening, we had supper at Pastor Chuy’s mother-in-law’s home. It turns out she had a cataract problem. Healing came as we ministered to her. Again, no photos.
Back at the church, a couple came for prayer. The wife was oppressed by her sister that practiced witchcraft and the husband had chronic back pains. Both were delivered and healed. No photo.
Thursday night ministry was held in a very small church. Only 16 folks attended. The results were:
Man was a stroke victim for 13 years
Stroke victim of 13 years now walking
Man had numbness and no flexibility in his hand; he was healed.
The land has been named “Land of Zion”.
Proposed land development plan
“Land of Zion” before development
The seminar was attended by about 20 pastors and church workers. It was very productive in two ways:
First, there was a great time of repentance for the pastors. I tried to make the seminar a safe place for each of the participants. This was necessary so that each pastor could confess their challenges and sin. This was successful as each felt free to receive from the Lord.
The second success was the healings that were experienced both personally by the “students” and as they also commanded healing for the other students.
The initial “healings” started as I asked for someone to come forward with a back problem. Two candidates volunteered. I ministered to a lady first. She felt a hot sensation and stated she felt a “bal of firel” come out from her arms. Dr. Leyva stated that he had chronic back pain in the area of his kidneys. The doctor was totally pain free as he expressed he felt a “fire” go through this area.
My role was to stand back and coordinate those that had been healed to minister to those that needed healing and to continue the process. I only ministered to the lady’s back and to the doctor. (This doctor is the chief of the Health Department in Juarez). Everyone received healing and almost all had the experience to minister healing.
Dr. Leyva ministered to a Lady Pastor’s kidneys. She said that it felt like “a ball of fire coming out of her arms”.
Lady Pastor ministering to a man who had pain that radiated from his back into his chest.
Ladies on the right – older lady’s back pain was healed
Lady on the right in black – only “student” I ministered to
Man on left – extended stomach that was “hard as a rock”. Doctor was ministering.
Everyone said they felt heat in their body as they were ministered to. One of the pastors stated “this is the best seminar I have ever attended”.
A ten year old boy was brought to us at supper time. He had pain in his testicles. The boy was completely healed.
A mini course was held at the “New Jerusalem” Church. The church had a very small congregation. Two backs were healed. I ministered to a young lady and then I had her minister to a visiting pastor that had missed the seminar.
Sunday night at Pst. Chuy’s Church:
Church members committing to the “Land of Zion” project.
Ministry at Pastor Chuy’s church. Very good ministry. Time of repentance and commitment as this was the fellowship that will start the Christian community on the land that was purchased – the “Land of Zion”.
Healing service started with the “mini” teaching and then the routine of me healing first volunteer and then they would minister to the next person to come forward. The order of healings went like this:
Pst. Victor’s wife’s back was healed by me, then she ministered healing to her husband’s neck. Pst. Victor then ministered to Pst. Manny’s body pains. (Pst. Victor’s son had been healed of Tonsillitis in 2011 – see 2011 report)
Pst. Manny ministered to Pst. Chuy’s 14 year old son Chuy Junior
Above & below: Then Chuy Junior ministered to his younger brother for a tooth ache, kidneys, and foot pain. All were healed! Pain free!
A little boy healed of a Hernia. He was with his grandma who was healed of Asthma many years ago.
The temperature was -2 degrees Celsius or 30 degrees Farenheit in the morning. There was no heat in my sleeping quarters.
Outreach from the seminar at the Open Market:
My whole time in Juarez reminded me of how Jesus and the disciples seemed to simply come upon people and share the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons.
The outreach at the Public Market was a very productive time. The actual numbers were small but the freedom to minister was great. The area of the market is dangerous to “tourists” because of kidnapping. All of Juarez is labeled like this.
Some folks had thrown beer bottles at us as we shared the gospel.
Church of the host Pastor in the outreach area
The market from the left view
The market from the right view
Drawing a crowd with music
Sharing the Gospel and invitation for healing
Lady with back pain
Lady that was healed of the back pain now testifying
Partially blind lady was healed
Grandpa with stiffness was ministered to by Pst. Chuy
Grandpa demonstrated painless knee bends after healing
Man attacked by soldiers many years ago. Gun butt had been used to hit his head. He was completely deaf in one ear.
Testifying after his hearing was restored
Lady testified after her back and migraine headaches were healed
She came back later to have her foot healed.
After outreach in a store. Lady had extreme pain in her knees. She was then dancing.
Every person received healing except for one. All were followed up by the host Pastor of the market area for discipleship.
After the crusade, Pastor Chuy and I went for a walk through the market area which stretched for about 6 or 7 blocks with used clothes and miscellaneous items. These markets are very important to the local people. The cost of food and new clothes is about the same price as in Canada, but wages are far less than what Canadians earn.
Store of Pastor Chuy’s friend
Man approached us to heal his back. Successful!
Beggar was run over by a car 4 years ago and had never walked without crutches.
Operation scars from the car accident
Man had never walked without crutches for 4 years. Now walking.
This gal was helping us make a DVD of the crusade photos while we were in the mall. She was in obvious pain from a cornea operation. Because of security reasons, I could only hold her hands. She was crying as the pain was gone immediately.
The violence in Juarez is not localized to any one area. It does seem that the outer, poorer areas are somewhat safer.
This Christian man was shot in the stomach as a gang tried to extort his tortilla business. Usually the next step would be to have the business burned down.
The owner of the land that we purchased (“Land of Zion”) had his home invaded. A gun was put to his head as the keys to his new truck were demanded. Usually these kinds of stories are told second or third hand. I was amazed at how frequent and violent the gangs and criminals openly attack the residents of Juarez. [Due to personal safety issues, no photo is shown].
This man was shot in the back. The bullet went through his leg. We ministered to the pain in his leg, but there was no healing.
The Gospel is the only key to change hearts.
The demonstration of power through healing the sick and casting out demons is the best strategy to witness hearts’ changed and bring people to the Lord in this violent city of Juarez!
I will be back in March 2013 to continue to train the residents in Juarez.