Violence in Mexico Prompts World Mission Adjustment

CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2010) – Escalating violence related to drug wars in the northern region of Mexico has led the Department of World Mission to scale back its work in that part of the country.

“After much careful – and prayerful – deliberation, we have felt it necessary to reduce some of our staff presence in the region,” Dave Mark, regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, wrote in an email last week.

MERGE Ministries will limit work groups and mission teams to areas that are clearly secure,” Mark wrote. Work group and mission team visits to Monterey have been cancelled. Short-term missionaries no longer will work in the area, although long-term staff will remain.

“We have been extensively involved in consultations and discussions with sources that inform us on matters of security,” Mark wrote. “We are monitoring the situation continuously and carefully and will increase our presence again once we find that public security has improved.”

Foreigners were not being targeted by the violent groups, Mark noted. “We are, in fact, addressing a general situation in which the dangers have to do principally with being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mark said that mission staff receive training in security awareness and remaining “low-profile.”

Mark asked that Covenanters in the United States “join our Mexican Covenant brothers and sisters as they intercede in prayer for their country during this difficult time.”

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