I was born in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1952. Jesus saved me at the age of thirteen. I used to be an altar boy when I was Catholic, but my mother was the one who brought me to Christ.
Berea Baptist Church in Monterrey, Mexico baptized me in the next year. I surrendered to the ministry at 22 years of age.
In 1975, I graduated from Engineering School, and in 1976 I went to Florida Baptist Schools and I received my BA in Theology. In 1979, I went to the mission field. I worked as an assistant Pastor for three years. I was in charge of the youth and the bus ministry in Monterrey, Mexico.
In 1982, I went to Villaherrmosa, Tabasco, in the southeast of Mexico. I took a little church of 6 and we grew to 72. In 1984, Cynthia and I got married in Monterrey but continued working in Villahermosa.
In 1991, we (now 5) returned to Monterrey, Mexico to work in Peniel Baptist church. We grew from 130 to 250. In 2001, my family and I moved to Florida where I got my Master’s Degree in Pastoral Arts in 2006. My wife received her BA in Christian Education and by 2007 our three children had graduated from High School and we were empty nesters.
In 2007 we went back to work in Mexico and started a church in the border town of Reynosa, Mexico: Bethel Baptist Church. In 2012, we left it with a missionary pastor who is still there and we moved back to Monterrey to help a struggling church survive. We went from 15 to 55. In 2014 Cindy and I moved to Tantoyuca, Veracruz which is where we work presently. We have been here five and a half years. We started with two sisters and now the congregation is close to 45.
During my ministry as a single pastor and then married, we have started 5 churches and pastored 5 churches, which continue serving the Lord to this day.
I was born in 1961 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania to a young missionary couple, Bruce and Karen Bell. They had lived in Mexico City for only a year with my older brother and had been learning the language when I came along. Shortly after my birth, they returned to Mexico to work in the south western state of Oaxaca. After that we moved further south to the border town of Tapachula, Chiapas. My father pastored a Baptist church there until 1968. He then formed a traveling Bible school named IBERO and with a team of 20 or more we travelled Mexico and eventually Central America helping missionaries with their start-up churches, and the students not only had theory but practiced actively in ministry every day.
In 1970 we travelled to the Central American country of El Salvador where we ended up staying 6 years. The Church grew from 20 to 600 in that period of time. This November the Miramonte Baptist Church will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a membership of 3000 and approximately 60 daughter and granddaughter churches! This time period for me was probably the best part of my childhood.
As a young girl of 6, I accepted Christ as my Savior one evening during Family Altar, and shortly thereafter was baptized. But it was during my early teens and this dynamic time in ministry that I committed my life to Christ for His Service. My parents were very diligent to include us (4 children) in every aspect of ministry from early childhood and I strongly believe this is what the Lord used to spark in me the desire of ministry.
Political unrest and other factors required our family to leave the country in 1976, and we never returned. The Lord took us to the States where I finished High School and started College. However, my personal economy was not enough to finance college in the States so my Dad suggested studying in Mexico where he had friends who could look out for me. That is how I ended up in Monterrey and attending Berea Baptist Church where Juan was the Youth Pastor. The rest is history!!!! I moved to Monterrey in 1982, started school, attended church and fell in love with the pastor!
We married in 1984 and moved to Villahermosa, Tabasco in south Mexico and there I continued my schooling (Nursing) and God gave us a very active ministry not only there but in several of the surrounding states, as well as a college education and three children. The rest of my story blends with Juan’s. The Lord has allowed me to work alongside my husband and to help him as much as possible in ministry in the areas where God has gifted me especially working with the children and ladies. We raised our children to participate in ministry just as I was, and they were a great help while they were home with us. We thank God that the three are married and now have children of their own, raising them all in church. They have made us proud parents and grandparents but most of all we praise God for His mercy and grace. If it were not for Him, I have no idea where we would be today.
This latter part of our ministry, just the two of us again, has brought its challenges. Not only because we are older but because our society is changing too quickly. Families are no longer united. Children have lost their childhood in technology. There is so much apathy and very little interest in spiritual matters. And, I am referring to Mexico, and all Latin America. Pray for us as we work among the people and the culture that we so love. May God give us wisdom to minister in such a way as to leave permanent fruit.
We also cherish your prayers for our health, especially my husband’s. He has been a diabetic for 30 years and this of course brings about expected and unexpected problems. God always has us in His hands and we trust Him for productive years ahead.
What a joy is has been for me to share this with our church family. Blessings!