By Nathan Jones
During the first weekend of May 2009, I had the opportunity to visit an outstanding ministry to the "widow and orphan" (James 1:27) — the Hands of Luke Medical Ministries, Inc.
I traveled to El Paso, Texas to visit this ministry, one of the many Lamb & Lion supports, and to attend their board meeting. It was a great blessing getting to know this impacting ministry and the blessed people who have such a heart to serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel to the distressed of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.
Juarez, Mexico continues to grow as Mexicans who are trying to make it into the U.S. and are turned back for various reasons settle in the town. Juarez is also currently a city at war. The Mexican military battles the drug lords almost on a daily basis in an attempt to stop the criminals from extorting and ransoming the populace. The military seems to be regaining control, but the population lives in fear of stepping outside. The city is also currently in a lock down like the rest of Mexico as the country is attempting to stop the spread of the Swine Flu.
Since the Lord laid the vision on his heart 20 years ago, Dr. Marco Samaniego has been using his doctoring and preaching skills to give "a cup of cold water" (Matt. 10:42) to those in need, both spiritually and physically. The Lord led him to Dr. David Reagan and Buddy Ball to help him found the ministry. Dr. Marco's sweet wife, Carmen, handles the finances, and his brother, Leo, organizes the work projects and co-preaches at the four churches they've founded — Lakeside Baptist Church in El Paso and Pavo Real, Conquista and Anapra in Juarez, Mexico. The churches are vibrant and growing, reaching out to their communities with the Good News.
Besides the churches, Dr. Marco and other volunteer doctors have set up clinics to help the sick and nutritional centers to aid the undernourished. The nutritional center in Anapra feeds 150 children one meal a day, the center in Conquista 350 children per day, the center in Pavo Real 100 children per day, and the Periodista center 225 children are fed per day. Besides feeding the children, Hands of Luke operates the Constitucion Children's Home, an orphanage accommodating 70 children who will almost never get a chance to be adopted.
Hands of Luke also runs the Bible Institute, a seminary of 8 teachers equipping 40 students to plant and support new churches.
The two largest outreaches of the year — the Thanksgiving and Christmas outreaches — kept Hands of Luke very busy. Because of death threats by the drug lords to Dr. Marco and his staff, they've had limited access to the Mexican side. Dr. Marco and his staff braved the danger for the 2008 Christmas outreach, delivering gifts of love to 3,000 needy children who otherwise wouldn't receive anything for Christmas. At the Thanksgiving outreach, 16,000 people were fed and ministered to, resulting in 450 professions of the faith!
I would recommend getting to know Dr. Marco and the wonderful people at the Hands of Luke Medical Ministries. Learn more about how you and your church can join them in the Lord's service as the people of Juarez, Mexico are added daily to the Bride of Christ.