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Hannah, Dawn and Dave with Yolanda and Daniel Nuñez in Rosarito - south of TJ
Hannah, Dawn and Dave with Yolanda and Daniel Nuñez in Rosarito - south of TJ

Should we abandon missions in Tijuana, because of the security issues that this border town faces?
Last Wednesday, Dawn, Hannah, and I along with our BEAMM teammate, Ray Call spent the day with Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez in Tijuana. You can read more  about our visit here…
We did feel like we needed to careful and observant, but we didn’t sense any grave danger while we were there. Nonetheless the question above is one that may haunt many. On the one hand we shouldn’t abandon a place out of fear, but we do need to be wise. I believe it’s one of the many reasons that we need an army of friends standing with us in prayer.
Actually there has been some very good news lately about how Tijuana has experienced less violence, and is becoming a much safer place. Business although still slow is starting to pick up. Pray with us for a revitalization of this city. 
While we were in TJ I shot some video and interviewed Daniel Nuñez. I think you will enjoy Daniel’s perspective on Tijuana, and the good work he is doing there. His ministry Lo Mejor Del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) is a bright light in a dark place.
We are thrilled about our growing relationship with Daniel. In my next post I will upload another video clip about our kingdom work, and the bringing together of important partners for God’s glory!
Let me know what you think about my question above. Do you think we should abandon Tijuana? Should the safety concerns change the way we go about ministry there?
In His Grip, Dave


  • By terry1954
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    i believe that God will keep you safe where ever you travel praising his name

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Yes – we definitely have to trust him.
      I’ve been kidnapped and I had my car stolen at gun-point, so it might depend on your definition of safe. We know we can trust God, but we do face some trials and difficulties in this fallen world. Thanks for your comment.

      • By terry1954
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        yes, god did definitely test you with the stolen car, but he was with you, because you trust him, he kept you safe

  • By B
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    No, we should not leave Tijuana. I have been going to Tijuana, first under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and then later under the PCA since August, 1992. During a period of six years, I even made monthly visits to the state penitentiary with no trouble. In all of this time, I have had only one automobile accident. It was not serious, but it was not very nice as I was, in effect, held hostage until I surrendered $1200 from my bank account.
    The most serious crime of which I was a victim was to have the right two inches of my license plate sheered off so that the culprit could have my registration sticker. That was merely a lesson in learning to park in more discreet places.
    Granted, in the 1990’s I felt much safer about driving in Tijuana alone and at night, and about walking the streets by myself. These things I no longer do. I am never alone in Tijuana, except when I drive from one place to another. On those rare occasions when I am there at night, good friends escort me safely to the border.
    No, we should not leave Tijuana. There is also a vital need for solid Biblical teaching and for a truly orthodox Reformed witness there. Unfortunately, the existing Presbyterian churches in Tijuana do not provide these things.
    I have a colleague who is a “missionary” with the Jehova’s Witnesses in Tijuana. He canvasses many neighbourhoods there every weekend, and has never had any problems. He told me that there are 40,000 Jehova’s Witnesses in Tijuana. The number of “Presbyterians” is less than 2% of this, and only a small percentage of those know anything of genuine Reformed theology.
    My colleague from the Jehova’s Witnesses has also pointed out to me that, although there are security problems in Tijuana, many tens of thousands of its citizens go about their daily lives unaffected by the violence, which is usually limited to those linked to the drug trade.

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I like the perspective of being wise by watching where you are going, and making sure you are not alone.
      We don’t plan on abandoning Tijuana, but a number of churches have stopped sending people to the border cities. I pray that the perception about the border changes, so that Christians will come back. Thankfully there are those faithful ones that have continued to minister and have an impact for the gospel.

  • By Naphtali
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Tough question. My cousin was a missionary in Banja Luka, Bosnia years ago when they were at war. She had to hide and often we didn’t know where she was. She wouldn’t leave until she felt God wanted her to.
    Prayer is the best way to find out what God would have you do.

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      Yes – I agree that through prayer God will guide and protect us. We need the church to stand with us in prayer. I don’t think we are to minister without the loving support of others, and prayer is a big part of that support.

  • By Joel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Dave, I’ll pray for you and your team as you wrestle through that question. Like you said, we live in a broken world, and though God does keep us safe, and sometimes calls us to dangerous places, he also works through ordinary means and we need to make prudent decisions.
    My team in Kiev isn’t facing those sorts of issues right now, but if God puts it on the heart of the Ukrainian church to stand against human trafficking and the sex trade in Ukraine, our team may end up facing those sorts of decisions. Eastern Europe tends to be pretty safe unless you cross organized crime, and they’re the folks often behind enslaving those women.
    “Lord God, you’ve promised to give wisdom liberally to those who lack it and ask, so I ask that you answer my prayer and that of Dave’s other prayer partners: give him and his team and partners wisdom to discern where you call them to minister, and how you will provide for their safety.
    You, Lord are the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Monarch, the Sovereign of all creation; yours is power, glory, authority, and might, and there is no corner of the earth over which you do not reign. Stretch out your mighty arm, defend and protect your people, and guide Dave’s team in making a wise decision. May you gain greater fame and glory in their trust in you, and may their decision be rooted in your love for them and not in fear. May their confidence in your leading display their trust of You to the watching world, and may their love for each other be plain to all.
    I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, our Rock and Refuge.”

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks for your prayer and encouragement. I feel like we need to be wise, and have much prayer covering. There are reports of things getting better in Tijuana, and we hope that it will continue to improve. We do pray that the gospel will make a difference in this city, and in this country to the point where we will see changed lives that do bring transformation culturally, socially and spiritually.
      Thanks for your faithful service!

  • By momentumofjoy
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    You inspire me with every word you write. To thank you for all that you have added to my little world, I would like to nominate you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. For info and details, please go to Love and light to you always! 🙂 MoJo

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I will check the site out.

  • By timcounts
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Thanks for checking out my post on “What is the Gospel?”. When I lived in Albuquerque I would often go to Juarez, another border city in peril. There are 3 reasons I kept going and I will go again in the future if the Lord opens up another door and opportunity: 1) There was a need in the Body of Christ that we were able to help fulfill there. 2) We were able to encourage, assist & help equip solid missionary work already going on there primarily through Mexican Pastors & Missionaries. 3) Our Mexican brothers & sisters in Christ were our guides. At least in the situation we were in, I would not travel around the city regularly without them. This avoided unecessary danger & provided opportunities for planning & fellowship. I will say we used to do more down there without them being with us so much, but at least they always knew where we were going & could advise us since they lived there. Knowing the risk, we would do it for God’s glory & also be as wise as possible. I will pray right now for God to give you wisdom & opportunities for the Gospel!

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Good thoughts – I think those are 3 good points you make. I will keep them in mind.

  • By Frederick Olson
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Just thought I’d share this… I pray it all goes well with you…

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Thank you!

  • By Trey Medley
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Praying for you

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Thank you – prayer is one of the most important things we need.

  • By Gail
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 5:21 am

    All I can add to the wonderful and encouraging comments is this – the only time Paul and his traveling companions did not embark on an outreach to share the gospel is when the Holy Spirit stopped them. He went and he carried the life of Jesus Christ within him wherever he went. We are told we will have trials and tribulations in this world – but, Jesus said, “fear not”. Easier for me to say – since I am not in harms way, as you and your family are/ or may be. I will pray for you and your family for discernment and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon each one of you and upon those you are reaching for Christ. May God richly bless you in your labor for the Kingdom of God!

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Paul is a good model for us to follow.
      I think that Satan would like to use fear to keep us from serving God. We do need to trust God, and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

  • By A Woman and Her Pen!
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I feel inspired…………………..

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you. I appreciate the encouragement.

  • By ranellekgildersleeve
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Many prayers for you and your family. You are exactly where God wants you at this moment in your lives. I pray that he gives you comfort and a sense of security no matter where he leads you. He may end up calling you away, or he may keep you there far into the future. No matter where he calls you, may you feel his hand upon you to guide you in his will. Many blessings on you for doing such important work! Praying for you.

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

      thanks for your prayers – that’s one of the greatest if not greatest need we have.

  • By nj12
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:57 am

    David, you asked, “Should we abandon missions in Tijuana, because of the security issues that this border town faces?” Neither security nor insecurity are our Head. Only Christ is the Head. You (plural) should be able to testify either “We have peace from Him to be in Tijuana” or “We have peace from Him to stay away.” Need cannot be your leader because there is need everywhere. Christ is the Lord.
    If He leads you to be in Tijuana, then you should look to Him and to experienced locals like Daniel y Yolanda about how to conduct yourselves there.
    May He grace you all wherever you are.

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted March 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you for your comments – that’s a good reminder that we need to keep Christ at the forefront, and that we need his grace as we serve him.

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  • By jlue
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:43 am

    The decision should depend upon how the Lord is leading. If you do stay, ask all your readers to pray daily. We should be doing that anyway, however.

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted April 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

      We do continue to seek the Lord. We need His wisdom to know how best to serve, and we look to Him to protect us. We definitely need a lot of prayer, and we are grateful for all those that join us in prayer.

  • By Gillian King
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks a lot for stopping by my blog earlier and liking my post. Now I’m going to do the classically unhelpful thing and answer your question by saying, ‘I don’t know!’ One thing I do know though is that God is able to do so much more than we can ask, think or imagine, just look at the life of Charles Colson, a convicted criminal who God used to touch the prison population of the world! I will keep you and your lovely family in my prayers as you continue to fight the good fight! God be with you always……

    • By diasolifeontheborder
      Posted April 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Yes – we know that God doesn’t give up, and he’s at work in unusual place and through people that the world would think are too far gone.

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