from the Los Angeles area — spend two rugged days treating the local townspeople, then fly back home Sun day afternoon. The project (as yet unnamed, but which might be termed Mission to Mexico was launched on August 23, 1963, by John Boewe, an executive of Church Press, Incorporated, of Glendale, California. Some weeks before John and Eve lyn Boewe, with their three small children, were returning from a business trip to Cuernavaca, near Mexico City. As they chugged along in the slow train, sweltering in the un-air-conditioned discomfort, John felt the stirrings of an old dream. Since he was eighteen years old, he had felt a deep concern for the spir itual welfare of the Mexican people he had seen on the border near Brownsville, Texas. He spoke to his wife, “ Evelyn, I’d like to come back here and do some thing for these people.” She wiped the dusty sweat from her forehead. “ Some t h i ng like what?” she asked. “ These people out here . . John swept the empty horizon, spotted here and there with little clumps of civilization. “Well, they need some one to bring them the Gospel.” It was that day that the Boewes decided to do something for the spir itually impoverished Mexicans they saw in those near-deserted outposts. A few weeks later, John, who is a licensed pilot, set down his four- place Cherokee in Caborca. After several flying trips, John decided to bring his entire family with him on one of these interesting missionary jaunts south of the bor der. The Boewes hooked their camp ing trailer to their station wagon and set out. The remote town of Magdalena was their target. It was a long, hot trip. Little did John and Evelyn know that this desire to min ister to their Mexican friends would almost end in disaster . . . John set up as before, this time with the assistance of Luis Pacheco, a Free Methodist minister. They se cured the permission of the local police commissioner to use the ball park for that evening’s film show ing, then began inviting people to come. In the midst of the preparations, the horrified screams of children told them that four-year-old Dale Boewe had been hit by a truck! John and
Evelyn raced to the street to find their child. He was lying in the dust, very, very still. “ That was one of the darkest hours of my life,” John recalls. “ As I picked up my limp little boy and carried him to our trailer, I prayed, ‘Lord, don’t let him die. Please don’t let him die.’ ” Dale didn’t die, but the injury was serious and the boy was very ill that night. The next morning the Boewes started the endless drive back to Glendale. “ Evelyn and I had always known there was an element of risk in-
ous problems! And the trips to Mex ico continued . . . But the ministry wasn’t complete: they were ministering to the souls of men, but not to their bodies. God had an answer for this, too. Mr. Mel Alexander, regional director of the Christian Medical Society, came to Church Press for a small printing job. John grinned as he talked of that occasion. “ I did him like I do every body else. I try to find some way to slip into the conversation something of our work in Mexico. It usually isn’t too difficult.” The result: The CMS joined forces with Boewe. Now they could minis ter to the total needs of their con- stitutents. A vast new area of serv ice opened up. The next trip the team made was made up of Boewe, Dr. Wilburt Little and Dr. William Mellert (a physician and.a dentist). The work has been growing stead ily ever since. Some trips as many as three planes make the flight from Glendale to Mexico. And every time hundreds of patients are waiting. Interestingly enough, the major cost of these trips of mercy is borne by the doctors themselves. John said, “ In my plane I fly to Mexico we normally can take about three persons, i n c lud ing myself. The fourth place (in the f o u r - p l a c e plane) is taken up by baggage and medicines. We figure it costs us about $180.00 to make the trip, in cluding border fees. So we simply split the cost three ways—about $60 each. Drugs, too, are furnished largely by the doctors, though the Christian Medical Society supplies quantities of particular medicines when needed. “Why do we do it?” people often ask. “ Doesn’t it cost a lot of money? And doesn’t it take a lot of time?” “Yes, all of that,” John answers. “ But God has been so good to us that we want to pass around some of the blessings. Besides, we get more out of it than we put into it. We get the satisfaction of bringing a lit tle bit of health and happiness into the lives o f our friends across the border. “ The thanks of those people is very touching. They don’t have very much, but they are so very thankful that it touches our hearts . . .” Judging from that answer, the “ Mission to Mexico” will be going on for a long time to come.
It is common for Mexican children to bring a younger brother or sister to the clinic. volved in these trips,” John said, “but I hadn’t thought the danger would include my family, too.” As he searched his heart on that interminably long trip back, John said, “ I became more firmly con vinced than before, that I was doing what God wanted me to do. I became confident that He would take care of me and my family in the way He saw fit. So, once again, I turned all of us—Dale, my wife, all of our lives —completely over to Him.” God vindicated this act of dedica tion: Dale’s recovery was complete —there were no after-effects or seri
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