vol 5 issue 5

Transformation through unique church-sponsored BSM

For those attending two-year community colleges, a lack of strong Christian community is a prevalent struggle. Whether students commute, work a full-time job or have a family, it is challenging for students to find others to walk through life with. However, churches are seeking to solve this problem by partnering with Texas Baptists Collegiate Ministry to start their very own Baptist Student Ministries.

“Due to the large number of college students in Texas (1.6 million), the opportunities are so vast that we need a combination of both church-based and campus-based Baptist Student ministries,” said Bruce McGowan, director of Texas... [continue]

Finding an answer to the call to ministry

By Terry GoodrichAssistant Director of Media Communications, Baylor University

Richard Baggett and his wife, Miwes, were on an RV vacation in summer 2016, standing on Deception Pass Bridge in Washington and marveling at the view. Then Baggett’s phone rang.

The caller, a supervisor with Christian Resort Ministries International, wondered whether Baggett would be willing to tackle a start-up ministry for an RV park in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where “snowbirds” from northern states seek warmer climates in winter.

The year before, at age 70, Baggett had completed a two-year ministry certificate program at Baylor’s George W. Truett... [continue]

Seeing God at work through 50 years of River Ministry

In 1967, the Baptist General Convention of Texas recognized the 2 million people living along the border of Texas and Mexico as an important mission point and launched the Rio Grande Mission Thrust with $250,000 allocated for missions opportunities. Texas Baptists responded to the call of God to minister to those along the Rio Grande river and 50 years later, River Ministry is still vibrant and life-changing.

In September 1967, just six months after the Rio Grande Mission Thrust initiative began, Hurricane Beulah ripped through the Texas and Mexico border resulting in the displacement of 300,000 Americans and Mexicans from their... [continue]

A valley of redemption

Brenda Bermudez and her family are just a few of many who have experienced the Lord’s redemption in their lives in the modest colonia of Mi Sueno in the Rio Grande Valley.

As a single mother of five, Bermudez’s life has been anything but easy. Bermudez has endured the pangs of divorce, financial stress and limited resources and space. She often relied on her own strength rather than the Lord’s, something that would quickly come to a halt.

Though suffering had been a common theme in Bermudez’s life, she continually sought to provide for her children above all else. Upon hearing about a Vacation Bible School happening in a nearby... [continue]

Physical and spiritual healing through medical missions

By Analiz SchremmerContributing Writer

ACUNA - Dr. Luis Arturo Davila has two demanding medical jobs, and also finds time to volunteer at his church, lead a Bible study for his patients and spend two weekends a month doing medical clinics for the impoverished in Acuna, Mexico through Texas Baptists River Ministry.

“We work all morning, sometimes 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. One time we saw as many as 200 patients in one day,” said Davila, who serves with his wife, Nurse Imelda Cruz de Davila.

Davila, 50, has worked in the hospital for 26 years and is only two years from retirement, but shows no sign of slowing down.

“Medical work is a... [continue]

Sanidad física y espiritual por medio de las misiones médicas

Por Analiz SchremmerAutora colaboradora

ACUNA—El Dr. Luis Arturo Dávila tiene dos trabajos médicos exigentes, y además encuentra  tiempo para hacer trabajo voluntario en su iglesia, guiar un estudio bíblico para sus pacientes y pasar dos fines de semana al mes haciendo clínicas médicas para los pobre en Acuna, México a través del Ministerio del Río de los Bautistas de Texas.

“Trabajamos toda la mañana, a veces desde las 8 a.m. hasta las 8 p.m. Una vez vimos hasta 200 pacientes en un día”, dijo Dávila, quien sirve con su esposa y enfermera, Imelda Cruz de Dávila.

Dávila, de 50 años de edad, ha trabajado en el hospital durante 26... [continue]

Meet Osvaldo and Vanessa Lerma: River Ministry Missionaries in the Valley

Osvaldo and Vanessa Lerma have served as Texas Baptists River Ministry missionaries in the Rio Grande Valley for a combined 25 years. From the colonias in Mission to the beaches of South Padre Island, the Lermas coordinate ongoing ministry on both sides of the border. Vanessa works primarily in McAllen, Harlingen and Mission, while Osvaldo covers the Brownsville region. They easily put 100-200 miles on their cars each day as they work with different ministry partners across their territory.

Building trust and deepening relationships with local pastors is a key-component of ministry, according to Osvaldo. He checks in each month... [continue]

Snapshots of present-day River Ministry

Training church leaders for impact

Daniel Rangel joined with Mario Gonzalez, director of Texas Baptists Multi-housing and House Congregations, to train house church leaders on ministering to new congregations in Laredo. Church leaders learned skills for small group Bible study, 4xFour evangelism, Study Bible resources as well as help with sermon outlines. Texas Baptists River Ministry missionaries facilitate many training opportunities on both sides of the border. Other training opportunities include “No Mas Violencia,” teaching how to stop physical and emotional violence in families, neighborhoods, schools and city streets... [continue]

A place to stay, a path to restoration

ABILENE - After the six-hour drive from Lufkin to Abilene, Roseanne Welch was thankful for the warm welcome she received as she walked in the door of the Eunice Chambless Hospitality House.

“I felt like I was coming to visit my family,” Welch said. “Everyone was so kind and welcoming from the moment we arrived. It felt like home.”

This was the first trip Welch made to visit her son, who is incarcerated in the French Robertson Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, since he was transferred from Huntsville to Abilene. As a single mom, with one son still at home, Welch’s budget was tight. Before hearing about the... [continue]