Starting Over Again

For Loren and Karen Dickey, the beginning of 2017 brought many challenges as they moved from Veracruz, Mexico, on the Gulf Coast inland to the Bajío. This region is considered the “Heart of Darkness,” the least reached area in Mexico, where only about 2% are Christians. This was the Dickeys’ fourth move in 18 years as International Mission Board missionaries in the Americas (having served in Nicaragua, Chile, Peru, and Mexico), but they sensed that they were “starting over again.”

From the onset, the couple knew this move would be different. Even though they only moved to another state in Mexico, they are learning the culture of the Bajío. They are also “still getting a grasp on Mexican Spanish,” which is different from the Spanish they’ve used before.

Spiritual darkness surrounds them. “Many are steeped in Catholic tradition and don’t even want to hear about anything else, or they have been warned by their priest not to listen,” Karen Dickey said. “In a highly industrialized area, they don’t recognize their need for the Lord, as they can be self-sufficient.” Also worship of a statue of the grim reaper—basically Satan worship—is prevalent.

In addition to the spiritual darkness the Dickeys are encountering, Karen Dickey added, “Mexico is becoming increasingly dangerous as drug lords are expanding their territory.”

She assists her husband in church planting, along with motivating and training national missionaries. She’s also been active in trying to get Women on Mission back on track. Teaching mission study and leading in mission action, she encourages women to pray, give, and go so that the world may know of Jesus’ love.

Karen Dickey said her greatest blessings come from “working directly with the people, watching them grow in their relationship with the Lord,” and listening with compassion. She added, “It is hard to meet someone’s needs if we don’t listen to what they are sharing. We need to hear their hearts and to gently direct them to the Lord as the solution to their problems.”

Ask God to break down the forces of darkness that prevail in the area. Pray the Dickeys would be an encouragement to national partners and be able to develop relationships with the people God is working in. Also pray for their growth in confronting spiritual warfare.

Georgia Herod looks for opportunities to cultivate new relationships in her daily routines.

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