US State Department Updates Mexico Travel Warning

Security conditions in Sonora and Sinaloa warrant the update

The US Department of State updated its Mexico Travel Warning on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico issued December 8, 2016.

For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, see our state-by-state assessments below. U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which the Department recommends “defer non-essential travel” in this Travel Warning. As a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed.

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How to Improve the Needy American Missionary

Help him see the treasure in Christ's local earthen vessels.

Mark Roth preaching at Emanuel in 2008Before I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to return to Mexico as a missionary. Yes, return.

My parents had entered missionary service in Mexico when I was less than two months old. Our family left the field when I was almost seventeen years old. A little over five years later, my wife and I joined a pioneering missionary team (led by Dad) going to another area of northwest Mexico. Over the next ten years, Ruby and I had two stints of service totaling some five years on the field. We last left in 1991, expecting to return to service soon. (We didn’t.) The last twenty years I’ve served on our congregation’s Mexico mission board.

I tell you all that to help you understand why a title such as this would grab me by the nose: “What’s Wrong with Western Missionaries?” The author reports on a lesson learned when he put this question to a bunch of believers in some Muslim countries: “What makes a good missionary?”

Finally, with great hesitation, one of the believers looked at me and said, “I don’t know what makes a good missionary, but I can tell you…”

No, I won’t reveal the answer here. 😯 😀

I was quite enthusiastic about the article well before I was done reading it. It motivated me to write my own piece addressing the self-imposed distortion suffered by the self-sufficient missionary. I snatched some snippets from it and put them here as a preview: Read it all

Flowers for Friends Afar

A brief visit to an old gravestone

Flowers in memory of these friends:

some flowers I put on James and Joan's gravestone

Flowers for their children and grandchildren who mourn James’ abrupt departure for the Land where Joan dwells.

Flowers for Orpha too. Perhaps some day you also will see this picture. Your Creator alone knows. We trust Him to do what is best for you at this time. Read it all

Prayer Chewing

An absent son, a present pancake, a father's present

Some folks go prayer walking.

toasted pancakeA few minutes ago, I chose to do some prayer chewing. (Why not?)

Our youngest son Andy is on the East Coast somewhere singing with Tapestry Chamber Singers. He likes to eat leftover pancakes, toasted. I needed a late afternoon snack. I opened the fridge. I saw a bag with leftover pancakes from yesterday morning’s breakfast.

I toasted one in his honor. And thought of him. And prayed for him. While I chewed. (It’s what Dads should do.) Read it all

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, Still Pursued by Jesus

The Good Shepherd looks for a lost lamb for whom He gave His life!

Dzhokar Tsarnaev's eyes up close

Following an intense manhunt that caused chaos in Massachusetts and riveted the rest of the nation, law enforcement finally captured the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect on Friday night.

Following a short standoff in the backyard of a residence in a Watertown neighborhood, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was taken into custody and arrested by Boston Police.

CBS New York

Praise God, the authorities have the young Tsarnaev! (Yes, young; he’s only six months older than my youngest!)

This afternoon I prayed for Dzhokar a bit. (And for others involved.) I prayed he would be captured alive and with no further deaths and mayhem. (Yes, yes — of course he deserves to die. That’s not the point of this post, OK?)

I prayed for this young fellow because The Authority — the King of Kings — still seeks for him. (Apparently, Allah presently has this alleged terrorist, aka Boston Bomber #2.)

The Good Shepherd looks for a lost lamb for whom He gave His life!

How many followers of Jesus will pray for this young man’s redemption?

mug shot of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, Boston Bomber #2

If you are a Christian, will you pray for his salvation?

Ken Miller Moved to Different Jail

Moving Ken to another jail, while troubling at certain levels, will open up a new sphere of witness and influence for him.

So he was moved from “his” Vermont jail to one in New York.

Is the judge trying to break his resolve by moving him further away from family and friends? Perhaps.

Maybe the judge is hoping that Ken will end up with cellmates who are less supportive.

Who knows.

But I know this: God’s hand is in it. And moving Ken to another jail, while troubling at certain levels, will open up a new sphere of witness and influence for him.

May God continue to sustain Ken and his family.

And may God bless Judge Sessions, the US Attorneys, the US Marshals, the jailers, and any other individuals on the “opposite” side from Ken.

Now, about Ken… I’ve been receiving emails through the day so far. I’ll just post snippets from various sources with no attribution. These are posted in the order in which I received them. Read it all

Above all, love God!