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Encouragement, support needed to help churches on U.S./Mexico border reach fertile fields, minister says

Texas State Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, minister Miguel Zuniga and Speaker of the House Joe Straus in the Texas House of Representatives, where Zuniga offered an invocation. (Photo provided)

Churches of Christ along the U.S./Mexico border are few in number, but they serve a part of the country that’s hungry for the Gospel, said Miguel Zuniga, minister for the Laredo Church of Christ in Texas.
“Our neighbors and brethren to the south have suffered due to the prevalent violence in Mexico,” Zuniga said. “Several American churches have curtailed their involvement in Mexico due to the unrest.” (See our previous stories about the impact of drug-related violence on churches in Tijuana and Torreon. Also, see stories about the cancellation of trips to construct church buildings in Mexico.)
“Those of us along the border have also suffered,” Zuniga said. “We encourage U.S. churches to visit stateside churches like Laredo, helping us financially and with church group involvement. For whatever reason, Churches of Christ along the border are small in number, weak and need encouragement.
“Here is a fertile area that needs strengthening to do greater good.”
I interviewed Zuniga in 2006 for a story about the impact of the immigration debate on border churches. He is a graduate of Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas. He and his wife, Hope, worked in partnership with the University Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas, to plant a church in Laredo, a city of 235,000 souls about 250 miles south of San Antonio. The couple’s five-year commitment with the Abilene church ended last year. The Laredo church has a core group of about 20 members, Miguel Zuniga said. Among the new converts are a city councilman and his wife.
Since the violence in Mexico’s border towns escalated, some Churches of Christ have focused mission efforts on the U.S. side of the border. Read our previous stories about an alternative spring break in Arizona and a mission trip to the “colonias” of Las Milpas, Texas.
Earlier this year, Texas State Rep. Richard Pena Raymond invited Miguel Zuniga to give an invocation before the Texas House of Representatives in Austin. The minister said it was “an opportunity that gave the Laredo church recognition for our ministry in this great city.”
For more information, e-mail Zuniga or call him at (956) 286-9631 (after 5 p.m. Central), contact Allen Isbell, minister for the Broadway Church of Christ in Galveston, Texas. or Jack Miller in Lakeway, Texas.

  • Feedback
    I preached for the Arkansas Avenue Church of Christ in Laredo in the early 1970’s, and we had a membership of over 120. Also, Faustino Garcia was the Hispanic preacher who conducted services in Spanish in a portable building we had moved onto the property. There were about 30 members in that group. We also worked closely with the preacher in Nuevo Laredo, where there was a congregation of about 60-80 brethren.
    Bruce Casada
    July, 19 2011

    Is this the same Bruce Casada who went head first throughk the springs on the trampoline at LCC in 1962?
    [email protected]
    Dave Oakley
    July, 22 2011

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