Saturday, February 28, 2009


I have been receiving inquiries from everyone who is planning to come down on the safety of Mexico at this time. There have been a number of frightening reports on the news about the increased violence with the drug traffickers. I have read a few, and believe you me, they scare me too, and I live here! At the same time, I can say this: The drug war you have been reading about has not affected San Luis at this time. If you didn't read the news, you would never know anything is going on at all. Is it safe in San Luis? I think it is just as safe as any other city in the world. If you want to find trouble, and you go to the wrong places at the wrong times, you will find it. I think there is more danger here from people running stop signs than criminal activitys. I read the police blotter on occasion, and it looks like a small town one, with only accidents and minor events reported. Sometimes there have been crimes of passion or gang related violence, but if one stays off the streets at night, you never get a sense things like that happen. Every time I visit Pittsburgh, and watch the local news, there are reports of people getting shot. You hear that in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington DC that there are murders everyday. Does that mean I shouldn't go to the United States? No, we just have to be aware of the specific places and times where trouble can be found and avoid those places at those times. We at Caring Hearts have years of experience with no inicidents with criminals nor violence. We do our utmost to provide a safe enviroment and experience for our groups. In my four years, I have taken two folks to the hospital, one because he dropped their trailer on his foot, and the other because he fell of the children's swings (since then we have prohibited any one from using them.) Granted, noone can guarantee safety. Things can change and incidents could happen, but this is true in the home where you are reading this right now. One friend of mine has a theory that makes some sense. Reports like this are going out to scare people so they will vacation in the States instead of Mexico, which is a lot cheaper. I read they are warning AZ spring breakers to not go to Mexico, and it is working, many are making plans to go to Las Vegas instead. What is being reported are isolated incidents in a handful of cities within a specifiic group of people. 99.9 percent of Mexicans are going through life as normal, doing what they can to survive and provide for their families as honestly as possible. That is all I see here in San Luis, partly because I know when it is safe to be out and when it is safer to be home. We supply our groups with that same knowledge, and if they obey us, history has proved they will be as safe as anywhere.

I want to take this opportunity to speak about another question, related to the one of "Is it Safe?" That question is "Am I Called?" I believe as we are planning to take a trip to Mexico, that is the first and formost question we must be concerned about. If scary reports put fear into you that make you have second thoughts, take it to God and ask that question - Am I Called? I am reminded of a story in the book of Acts 21:10-14:

And as we were staying there for some days, a certain prophet name Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him int the hands of the Gentiles.'" And when we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking "The will of the Lord be done!"

Paul had a call, a mission, a purpose and destiny to fulfill. He knew from God what that call was, and what it would entail. He did not let a scary report divert him from what God wanted for him. Do you have the same attitude for your trip to Mexico?

I remember when I was called to go to Mexico City 19 years ago. When I spoke to the missionary I wanted to work with, he did all he could to scare me, telling me the dangers of living in Mexico's inner city. I did not let that change my mind, because I knew I was called. I went to Mexico, and you know what? It was dangerous. I was in 5 different auto accidents and was mugged 3 times in my 14 years there. My wife had rocks and eggs thrown at her and was kidnapped and threatened with death for preaching the gospel. But I am convinced it was all part of God's plan for me. At the same time I was blessed with a beautiful wife and daughter, saw God work through me in many ways, met and fellowshiped with wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes I look back, and thank God that I am not there anymore, but at the same time I thank Him that He let me go through those things, because I learned to not trust in myself, "but in God who raises the dead" (2 Cornthians 1:9-10) Through it all, I came out of all the experiences, good and bad, healthy, whole and closer to my God. I am convinced though, if I had not come out whole, if even I had lost my life, that it would still have been a part of God's plan for me, which is the BEST for me, because THAT is where He called me to be. Can you say the same about your upcoming trip to Mexico?

The purpose of this article is to convince you that as someone who lives here, I can assure you that San Luis is a safe place to visit at this time. But if I could not assure that, would that change what God has called you to do? You know what, even if it was dangerous, our kids would still be here, in need of your love and affection. Even if it was dangerous, the needy would still need to hear the gospel and receive rice and beans. Even if it was dangerous, the men and women in the rehab and jail would need your edifying words. Even if it was dangerous, God would continue to move through His people to reach the needs. The question you must ask rather than "Is it Safe?" is "Am I Called?", because if the answer is yes, it should not matter how safe it is. You would be in God's hands, and His will, which is His best for you, would be done.

PS I know some of you are concerned not for yourselves but for your sons and daughters who are planning to come down. Only they can know for sure if they are called or not. That is between them and God. But being minors you are responsible for them. To you, I want to say again, that here at Caring Hearts, we do our utmost to keep our groups safe, and we have not had a crime related incident in the four years I have been here. If your child is called, be assured that God will use us to keep them as safe as possible while they are in San Luis. The drug wars are not being fought here, and we do not wander around the streets at night, which is where there would be danger in ANY city around the world.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Sunday, Sherry Whitworth and Hands Extended from Yuma AZ blessed the people of the Indian Village with chicken, cereal, blankets and other gifts. Ken and Juana held a gospel program and 150 families were blessed by this event. Here are some pictures.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Today our dentist Rosa gave Baudilio from the boys home a new smile. Since he was 13 years old (he is now 17) his two front teeth were chipped. Now he has them out girls! We thank Rosa for the time she gives to help our children. Once the boys are done with their dental work, we will start seeing people from the church.


Every week Adalberto gives English classes to two different groups of children at Bethel. They are learing slowly but surely. I have had reports from groups who are impressed at the amount of English some can communicate. Those who took the classes with Adalberto and have been adopted had an easier time picking up their new language. Enjoy the pictures from this Saturday's class.


Here is a picture of Rosita and her brother Luis working at her new computer. Thanks to our friends Bill and Sharon from Smithfield, PA, Rosita now has a nice laptop with which she can do her homework. As she finished 9th grade and goes to high school, she will be using it a lot! Pray as she continues to get used to her new school and the increased homework she has. Thanks Bill and Sharon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I thought you would enjoy these pictures I took from our reading room. We have been encouraging our children, young and old, to make a habit of reading. Thanks to many generous donors, we have plenty of books for them to enjoy. Here, our preschoolers are hanging out and enjoying their picture books. I want to especially thank Hands Extended and Sherry Whitworth of Yuma who purchased many books for our library and donated the bean bag chairs. Little Lisa looks like she's learning how to read from me! That is what happens to me when I sit down to read. Ha Ha. God bless and pray that our children will continue to grow in this area.


On March 13th, Renee' and I will lead a group on a one week mission trip to San Luis. It's hard to believe, but we haven't been there in four years! That's the longest period between trips in the last 20 years and we are so anxious to see all our friends. But most of all we look forward to ministering to the children at Bethel Orphanage, the Boy's at Oasis Boy's Home and the people in the villages who are hungry for food both physically and spiritually. From time to time someone will ask me, "Why do you go down there?" It is a lot of work, raising funds, booking airline tickets, renting vehicles and traveling more than 4,000 miles roundtrip. But the Bible commands, (not asks), us to "Declare His glory among the nations." I've found the best way to declare His glory is in person. We're also instructed to "Declare…His marvelous deeds among ALL peoples." I've found the best way to declare His deeds is to do them,to shine our light before men, that they may see our good deeds and praise the Father in Heaven. I like to think of it this way; there are men, women and children in San Luis who are lost and hungry today. But when we pull out of there to head home on March 20th, they will have food in their stomachs and Jesus in their hearts. That makes allt he work and travel more than worth while. Pray for us and the many groups that will be going down in 2009. And pray always for the children and the Mexican people.
God Bless you all.
Pastor Gary

Tuesday, February 17, 2009





Here are 4 new children who arrived at Bethel. Pray for them as they get used to their new surroundings. Pray for their families, who have made this difficult decision out of great need. Pray for Mama Bertha, Don, Edith, Juana, Isabel, Sarai, and Vicky as they do their best to instruct and guide these little ones. Pray that we will be able to provide for them and give them all they need. God is using us in their lives, let Him use you too through prayer and intecession.


Wheee! Isn't this fun! Why do we mention this? The boys of Oasis built it!!! They were having problems with theres, and under the direction of Brother Pedro, they dug a 5 meter hole and made a Mexican Septic tank. They also finished tiling the womens room in Oasis. They have had many opportunities to practice what they have learned, and we are happy they are being prepared for their future, learning skills that will give them an advantage.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Here are some pictures from the Oasis Home Bible Study. It has been doing well. Pedro and Fran's daughter Sarai has been helping out with the adults, while Luis Valenzuela has been ministering to the children. He has a faithful group of chilren from 8-12, many come without their parents. God is using this Bible study to reach out to the neighborhood around Oasis.


We have recently placed Rosita in a private school and she is doing very well so far. Because of the smaller class size, they are able to have more opportunities for learning experiences. Last month she was able to go with her class to a national park 3 hours from San Luis, El Pinacate. It is famous for its moon like landscape. Here are some pictures from her trip. Can you spot Rosita in the group photo?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Each year at our medical clinic, hundreds begin to trust Jesus and ask for pastoral visits. Our Bible School students and graduates have been busy visiting those people to help them be grounded in His Grace. Here are some pictures of them at work.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Scott Cornish of Uniontown PA donated a 1997 car to Adalberto. It only had 40,000 original miles and it is in great shape. Bill and Sharon Layhue of Sonlight Missions drove it down and their ministry helped with the importation costs. Adalberto is very grateful for this special blessing, which meets a need his family had. Thank you Scott, Bill, Sharon and Sonlight Missions!


Evelyn Ellenwood of Pittsburgh sent us some nice T-shirts from Logos Ministry. Adalberto gave them out to needy people from the Bible School and Rehab Centers. Thank you Evelyn for your kind gift.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Here are some more testimonies from our January Groups.

My first trip to San Luis taught me gratitude. the next six taught me how to see God in everyday life. The people of San Luis may not have all we have materially, but they have such a strong faith in God. They set an example for Christian life - Suzanne, St. Ferdinand Group.

This was my fifth trip down to this humble community and it certainly didn't disappoint. Every year I come down, I leave feeling closer to God. The people always end up giving more to us than we ever could to them. - Tyler, St. Ferdinand Group.

I came here expecting to help people and when I left here I realized I was the one who was helped. Seeing the people's faith despite their circumstances is just such a great reminder of how God is always with us and that with him we can be truly happy. - Erin, St. Ferdinand Group.

This is my second trip to Caring Hearts. I have never been so moved/touched. This ministry has had a huge impact on my life. The boys have taught me more than I have taught them! I love the boys at the boys home, they have an awesome enviroment to live in and I am forever grateful. This ministry has provided hope and assurance that God is at work. I saw God this week through the actions of the boys and the beautiful faces. - Kaylee, Geneva College

Coming on this trip I had no idea what was in store for me. I was excited, because I have been to Mexico before and I loved it, but because I have experienced this kind of trip before and I know the emotional pain you go through at the end of the week during goodbyes. I wasn't anxious to get real close to the boys we were working with at Oasis because I didn't want my heart to break all over again. But, by the first day, I knew there was no escaping it. My heart grew in love and then was broken in a different way with each boy I met and each experience I had. The thing that ended up being my favorite part about the trip was the relationships. I fell in love with each of those boys as an individual. This trip also helped me to realize more about my own life and my own relationship with God and I saw more love of God in the lives of these boy than I ever have. God bless San Luis and the ministry at Oasis! - Emby, Geneva College

Prior to the trip I thought that my sole purpose on coming to San Luis was to help the kids at the orphanage and do some construction. Looking back at the last week, i now see how God used the people of San Luis, the orphanage, etc. to impact my life and strengthen my faith. I am grateful for the hospitality that was shown by the people of Bethel and was very happy with the past week. Thank you and I look forward to the next opportunity to come back and be blessed. - Corey, IUP

This mission trip was very different from the rest. This is my second time here at Bethel and it probably touched me more than last year. Seeing how the kids remembered us really meant something. Going to the dump was twice as meaningful this year too. I was given the opportunity to share my testimony there; it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. One of the best moments, however, was cooking with the kids. It was time well spent here and I only wished we could have done it more. Overall it was a great experience...and I thank you Ken, especially for that. - Rosa Maria, IUP